- World Jewish-Adventist Friendship Center



- World Jewish-Adventist Friendship Center
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Shabbat Shalom Newsletter
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A must website. To subscribe to our newsletter. To download some resources (Hebrew Sabbath School,
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Professional Urban
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The WJAFC provides:
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- Teaching for
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scholars and rabbis
29 August / 14 Ellul
2015 / 5775
We pray every week
This website is the new resource provided by the Office of Adventist Mission of the General Conference
of the Seventh-day Adventists.
• Russian Website: http://www.boruh.info/ This website is in Russian, many articles and the
parasha are posted on it every week.
the Jewish Ministry.
A weekly Journal of information and training published by the
World Jewish Adventist Friendship Center
Under the umbrella of the
General Conference —Office of Adventist Mission
According to our
list of prayer for
2015, I suggest that
from August 30 to
September 5 for
Joseph and Yvonne
du Mesnil d’Engente,
who are working
Journal of Information and Training — Issue 645 — 29 August 2 0 1 5 / 1 4 E l l u l 5 7 7 5
in France. France
has the third largest
Jewish population in
the world after Israel
and the USA. The
new Jewish Adventist
congregation we are
Jael Wells Cuellar
English Edition:
Richard-Amram Elofer
Richard Amram Elofer
Russian Edition:
Alexandra Obrevko
French Edition:
Sabine Baris
Spanish Edition:
Jael Wells Cuellar
Portuguese Edition:
Carlos Muniz
Dutch Edition:
Hubert Paulleta
Hubert Paulleta
building in Paris will be
Carlos Muniz
English: [email protected]
Russian: [email protected]
French: [email protected]
Spanish: [email protected]
Portuguese: [email protected]
Dutch: [email protected]
Credit photos:
Richard Elofer, Alexandra Obrevko, Jael Wells Cuellar
Hubert Paulleta, Laurent Baris and Advent Digital Media
for more information: contact us at www.jewishadventist.org
a “Cultural Center” to
Alexandra Obrevko
reach about 300,000
Jews who are living in
Paris and its suburb. A
13th Sabbath offering
will be dedicated to
this center in 2016,
however we welcome
any donation for this
project. Let’s pray for
Sabine Baris
Parasha’s comments P.2-4
Haftara P.4-5
Apostolic Writings
Inspirational Corner P.6,7
Color Sheet for Kids
for the leaders of
our partners pray
This issue
of Information
If you would like to listen Jewish or Messianic songs. If you want to be used to ear modern Hebrew of the
Apostolic Writings, it is the right radio to listen on the web.
Shabbat — Ki-Tetse
Joseph and Yvonne
his wife.
Dedication in Sao Paulo,
( The leaders of the Office of Adventist Mission, Rick McEdward and Gary Krause have
been invited together with Richard Elofer to
the dedication of the new Jewish Adventist
Cultural Center of Sao-Paulo which will be inaugurated on September 5, 2015. This building
is the result of a very hard work of Dr Reinaldo
Siqueira, the leader of the Jewish ministry in
the South American Division and all the dedicated members of this congregation who have
been working in this area for about 15 years.
Let’s pray for the success of this new Cultural
Center in order to be a light in the midst of this
very populated city of Sao Paulo.
Shana Tova
Happy New Year
5776 to Everyone
Next Jewish Celebrations
( The coming of the month of September means
a large period of celebrations for the Jewish people. Three main feasts are celebrated on the Jewish
month of Tishri: Rosh Hashana on the 1st day, Yom
Kippur on the 10th day and Sukkoth which is celebrated from the 15th to the 21st day of the month.
But that is not enough; Jews like to celebrate the
Almighty, that is why the day after Sukkoth they
celebrate Shmini Atsereth (the feast of the 8th day,
the day after the seven days of Sukkoth) and the
next day they continue with Simchah Torah, literally the ‘Joy of the Torah’ to celebrate the end of
the reading of the parashot or the five books of
Moses. In our calendar, all these feasts will be
celebrated: Rosh Hashanah on September 14 and
15. Yom Kippur on September 23, Sukkoth from
September 28 to October 4, Shmini Atseret on
October 5, and Simchah Torah on October 6. The
last parasha for this year, Haazinu will be read on
September 26 and the new cycle of reading will
start again with Bereshit on October 10.
This more than three weeks time is very important for the Jewish people, it is a time of vacation
in Israel, the work slows down everywhere in the
country and in every business. That is why our
congregations should use this period as a special
outreach period, inviting Jews to various celebrations in connection with the feasts. My suggestion
is that this period should be a privileged period to
start a series of study on the Sanctuary, the Temple and their meaning for our time. The celebrations of Rosh Hashana, Kippur and Sukkoth are
connected to the Sanctuary. It is a favorable time
to point out the relevance of these celebrations
at the end of time and why Jews and believers in
the Messiah do not need to rebuild the temple of
Jerusalem in order to worship in truth and spirit
remembering that Yeshua said: “G-d is a Spirit:
and they that worship him must worship him in
spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24). I have noticed
that the teaching of the feasts, the sanctuary and
their meaning is less and less taught in Adventist congregations, it is time to come back to these
biblical teachings, to understand them at the end
of time, just before the coming of the Mashiach
ben David who will establish the kingdom of G-d
in a definitive way.
Parasha Overview
Parasha for
this Week
he Torah describes
the only permissible way a woman
captured in battle may be
married. If a man marries
two wives, and the less-favored wife bears a firstborn
son, this son’s right to
inherit a double portion
is protected against the
father’s desire to favor the
child of the favored wife.
The penalty for a rebellious son, who will
inevitably degenerate into
a monstrous criminal, or
for some commentators
who acted to interrupt the
Jewish relationship with
G-d, worshipping idols is
- A body must not be left
on the gallows overnight,
because it had housed a
holy soul.
- Lost property must be
- Men are forbidden
from wearing women’s
clothing and vice versa.
- A mother bird may not
be taken together with her
- A fence must be built
around the roof of a house.
- It is forbidden to plant
a mixture of seeds, to plow
with an ox and a donkey
together, or to combine
wool and linen in a garment.
- A four-cornered garment must have twisted
threads - tzitzit - on its
- Laws regarding illicit
relationships are detailed.
- When Israel goes to
war, the camp must be
governed by rules of spiritual purity.
- An escaped slave must
not be returned to his master.
“If you come across a bird’s nest in any tree
or on the ground, with young ones or eggs
and the mother sitting on the young or on
the eggs, you shall not take the mother with
the young. You shall let the mother go, but
the young you may take for yourself, that it
may go well with you, and that you may live
long.” (Deuteronomy 22:6–7)
Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19
A Great Number of Mitzvot
n this Parasha we find
more mitzvot (commandments) than in
any other portion of the
Torah (74 mitzvot). Bible
mitzvot fall into two categories; bin adam lachaveiro
(mitzvot between one person and another person),
and the mitzvot which are
bin adam lamakom (between
us and G-d). Most of the
mitzvot in this Parasha
concern behavior between
This group of mitsvot intended to regulate private
relationships, such as family
life and business dealings.
When G-d gave these laws,
Israel was going to start
its decentralization in the
land of Israel and to begin
its civic life, this new situation may give occasion for
various excess. That is why
Rabbi Hirsch point out that
“Here especially, Scripture
emphasizes those laws intended to promote respect
for the law of justice, loving
kindness, and moral sanctity among the individual
members of the nation, who
will now be left on their
The Solder and
his Captive
e are horrified by
what we see and
hear done by the
terrorist groups operating in
Syria and Iraq in our days,
especially raping or beheading their captives. G-d knew
that there was a risk for a soldier to fall in love with one of
the ladies taken captives during a war, that is why He gave
some regulation: “When you
go to war against your enemies
and the L-rd your G-d delivers them into your hands and
you take captives, if you notice
among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to
her, you may take her as your
wife. Bring her into your home
and have her shave her head,
trim her nails and put aside the
clothes she was wearing when
captured. After she has lived
in your house and mourned
her father and mother for a full
month, then you may go to her
and be her husband and she
shall be your wife. If you are
not pleased with her, let her go
wherever she wishes. You must
not sell her or treat her as a slave,
since you have dishonored her.”
(Deuteronomy 21:10-14) This
law can surprise us, because the
Bible forbids to marry a non
Jewish lady, and this text does
not say that the captive lady
has to convert to Judaism. It is
clear that she is not Jewish, she
has been taken captive during a
war. Even more surprising, the
man can divorce without giving any reason even if she has
been “dishonored”. And when
we know what was the status of
these dishonored ladies, it is not
a good situation for her.
Rashi, in his classic Torah
commentary, writes that the
Torah is addressing our evil nature (Yetzer Hara). If G-d would
not permit this relationship, the
soldier would succumb to the
challenge and transgress it by
taking her anyway. And Rabbi
Yechezkal Abramsky derives an
encouraging insight from this
unique Mitzvah (Commandment). He points out that this
is the only Mitzvah where G-d
does not expect a person to
overcome the challenge.
What about the other challenges to G-d’s standards of
morality and fortitude, which
we face all the time? In those
cases, it must be that we have
been given the ability to emerge
victorious. If it were too much
for us, then like that soldier,
G-d wouldn’t expect us to
overcome. Then the question
is: do we have commandments
in the Torah that we cannot
overcome? it is a difficult
question, and in fact if we ask
this question to twenty different people, we will have
twenty different answers. Because we are all different, we
all have our struggles and for
one a specific commandment
will be more difficult than for
another one. That is why we
could have so many different
It is interesting that Rabbi
Pakouz says “the Torah places
all sorts of restrictions in the
way of marriage over a period
of thirty days (Deut 21:13)—
so that his passion will cool.”
It is true that when a soldier
sees a very beautiful woman,
he would like to take her, but
after a month of mourning for
her father and her people she
would not be so attractive.
We see in this matter the
difference between the Biblical religion and all other human traditions and religions.
As we believe that Yeshua is
the Mashiach we are not left
without help. First we have
the Ruach Hakodesh (spirit
of G-d) who is given to us
to help us in our life. Rabbi
and Shaliach Shaul says: “The
mind of sinful man is death,
but the mind controlled by the
Ruach is Hayim (life) and Shalom (peace)” (Romans 8:6), we
must look for a life controlled
by the Ruach, the Ruach Elohim. This life with the Ruach
is a process that help us growing to what the Bible calls Kedushah (holiness or sanctification), this process again is the
work of the Ruach Elohim as
Shaul says it, we are “sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:16). As Rashi said
we are moved by our sinful or
evil nature, but in fact we have
the choice of giving our life to
G-d and to live a life moved
by G-d and the Ruach Elohim.
Rabbi Shaul affirms also “the
sinful nature desires what is
contrary to the Ruach, and
the Ruach what is contrary to
the sinful nature. They are in
conflict with each other, so
that you do not do what you
want.” (Gal 5:17) let’s submit
ourself to the Ruach, not to
the sinful nature. However
let’s remember that if we sin
we have a savior who is able
to forgive us, Yochanan says
how we can be forgotten “the
blood of Yeshua, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John
1:7). If this idea of the blood
purifying our sin is strange
to us, let’s remember how
the blood of the sacrifices in
the Beth Hamikdash (Temple)
purified Israel and we will
understand. The blood of Ye-
shua purifies us and the text
continues: “If we claim to be
without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in
us” (1 John 1:8) Nobody can
affirm that he is without sin,
that means nobody can say
that he does not need G-d
for his forgiveness and salvation. G-d provided the blood
of Mashiach for this salvation,
we all need it, we have just to
be honest and we will discover
that without the Ruach Hakodesh and the Mashiach our
life is miserable; we want to
do good and we are not able to
do it. Then Yochanan gives us
a new secret of a good believing life, he said “If we confess
our sins, he is faithful and just
and will forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). Please
let’s remember that Yochanan
was a Jew, a Jew of the first
century, it is not about a confession to a priest, to a pastor,
or to a rabbi, it is a genuine,
authentic and sincere prayer to
G-d in the secret of our room
where we open our heart to
G-d in a deep and personal
prayer, saying to Avinu Shebashamayim (our Father in
heaven) what we have done
wrong in our life and asking
him forgiveness for that.
- Taking interest for lending to a Jew is forbidden.
- The people of Israel are
not to make vows.
- A worker may eat of the
fruit he is harvesting.
- Divorce and marriage
are legislated. For the first
year of marriage, a husband
is exempt from the army and
stays home to make rejoice
with his wife.
- Tools of labor may not be
impounded, as this prevents
the debtor from earning a
- The penalty for kidnapping for profit is death.
- Removal of the signs of
the disease tzara’at is forbidden.
- Even for an overdue
loan, the creditor must
return the collateral daily if
the debtor needs it.
- Workers’ pay must not
be delayed.
- The guilty may not be
subjugated by punishing an
innocent relative.
- Because of their vulnerability, converts and orphans
have special rights of protection.
- The poor are to have a
portion of the harvest.
- A court may impose
- An ox must not be
muzzled while threshing.
- It is a mitzvah for a man
to marry his brother’s widow
if the deceased left no offspring.
- Weights and measures
must be accurate and used
- The parasha concludes
with the mitzvah to erase
the name of Amalek, for, in
spite of knowing about the
Exodus, they ambushed the
Jewish People.
Haftara Overview
Isaiah 54:1-10
his Shabbat is the
fourth Shabbat
after Tisha B’Av.
We are in a period called
”Seven weeks of comfort.”
The seven Haftarot of
the weeks between Tish’a
B’av and Rosh Hashana
are prophesies of comfort
and hope for Israel and
G-d’s people at large.
This text is a very special text of comfort since
the first verse is not clear
for everyone. In this text
G-d is speaking about
two wives; the first one is
the “desolated” (divorced)
wife and the second one is
still married. “Sing, O barren one who did not bear;
burst into song and shout,
you who have not been in
labor! For the children of
the desolate woman will
be more than the children
of her that is married, says
the L-rd” (Is. 54:1).
The Brit Hachadasha has
clearly identified these
two women as Sarah
and Hagar. (Gal 4:24,
26). The desolated wife,
Hagar, represents Israel
and the married wife,
Sarah, represents the kehila (church). However,
in the text of Isaiah there
are more blessings for
the desolated (Hagar or
Israel) than for the married (Sara, the kehila) “For
the children of the desolate woman will be more
than the children of her
that is married” (Is 54:1).
“You shall not charge interest on loans
to your brother, interest on money,
interest on food, interest on anything
that is lent for interest.”
(Deuteronomy 23:19)
Stoning a
Rebellious Son
he Torah states: “If
a man has a stubborn and rebellious
[ben sorer u’moreh] son who
does not obey his father and
mother and will not listen to
them when they discipline
him, his father and mother
shall take hold of him and
bring him to the elders at
the gate of his town. They
shall say to the elders, “This
son of ours is stubborn and
rebellious. He will not obey
us. He is a profligate and a
drunkard.” Then all the men
of his town shall stone him
to death. You must purge
the evil from among you.
All Israel will hear of it and
be afraid.. “ (Deut 21:18-21).
What a difficult text! Which
parent will bring his son
to the elders in order to be
stoned? Rabbi Yehuda Appel
says “it should be made clear
that the entire issue of the
rebellious son is a theoretical
one. The Talmud makes this
point by saying that ‘there
never was nor will there ever
be’ a child put to death based
on this law.”
What the Torah is doing, is
to send a warning to the parents On a basic level, the Torah is emphasizing the deep
responsibility parents have in
raising their children. The Torah is warning that if a child is
not disciplined properly, he can
eventually fall into criminal activities. the Zohar says, it is different with G-d Who has ultimate knowledge. Oftentimes
G-d brings hardships upon a
person, not as punishment for
a past crime, but as a preventive
measure against future wrongdoing. Both our past and potential future is revealed before
let’s go further: it is interesting to notice that the Talmud
says that because of the many
detailed requirements which
are necessary, the occurrence of
a “ben sorer u’moreh” (son stubborn and rebellious) is impossible. That is why the rabbis and
Jewish commentators agree together to say that it never happened in Israel that a man was
found as a “ben sorer u’moreh”
and was stoned. Rabbi Yaakov
Menken explains to us in which
circumstances a man could be
stoned, he said: “punishment
of stoning (although administered in a merciful way) was
reserved for those who acted to
interrupt the Jewish relationship with G-d. This was the
most severe of the four types
of capital punishment. The
crimes which merited stoning
were such misdeeds as cursing
G-d and worshipping idols.
We’re not speaking of a Jewish
uninformed collegiate who fell
victim to a cult, as can happen
today, but someone who knew
Judaism and the importance
of its Mitzvot, understood our
unique relationship with G-d,
and — after being warned
not to do it, and of the potential punishment—deliberately
worshipped an idol in front of
witnesses. So the one who is
hanged is one who quite deliberately attempted to break the
bonds between Israel and G-d
— a person at the absolute lowest echelon of evil! Nonetheless, the Torah tells us that he
was made in the image of G-d,
and even his dead body must be
treated with respect.
However, there are some
cases when people were stoned,
a blasphemous in Leviticus
24:23. A man who break the
Shabbat in Numbers 15:36.
Achan son of Zerah, who stole
some items in the city of Aï
in Joshua 7:25. Adoniram was
stoned without judgement in 1
Kings 12:18. We have at least
three cases where people were
stoned after some false witnesses gave a false testimony:
Naboth in 1 King 21:13, Zechariah the priest in 2 Chronicles
24:21. and the last case in the
Brit Hachadasha, Stephen in
Acts 7:58.
Apostolic Writings — Mark 7:24-37
n our Parasha we still have
a long list of rules and laws
(74 Mitzvot) that Moshe
gives to Israel at the border of
the Promised Land as a reminder. The people of Israel have an
universal mission to be a “light
to the nations”: “You shall not
abhor an Edomite, for he is your
brother. You shall not abhor an
Egyptian, because you were a
sojourner in his land. Children
born to them in the third generation may enter the assembly
of the L-rd.” (Deuteronomy
23:7–8). This injunction about
the stranger is in parallel with
the narration of the Besorah of
Mark where Yeshua took his
disciples to Tyre and Sidon,
two non-Jewish areas in order
to help his talmidim to be aware
of their mission to the nations:
“Yeshua left that place and went
to the vicinity of Tyre…” (Mark
7:24) Israel and the movement
of Yeshua have the same mission
to be a light among the nations:
The Haftarah has also some
interesting parallels with the
text of the Besorah. In the Haftara Isaiah gives a great comfort
for Israel. She has been desolated
and divorced but taken back by
G-d as her wife. “Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore
a child; burst into song, shout for
joy, you who were never in labor;
because more are the children
of the desolate woman than of
her who has a husband,” says the
L-rd.” (Isaiah 54:1) This text of
the Haftara presents two women, the “barren” who is desolated
or divorced and the one “who
has a husband” a married one.
These two women represent according to Rabbi Shaul in Galatians 4:24-27 Hagar and Sarah
or figuratively Israel and the
Church. In the text of the Haf-
tarah the barren woman is comforted. The married one, which
is represented by Sarah is the kehilah (assembly) full of Gentiles
and seems to be ignored.
However in the parallel text
of the Besorah, Yeshua comforts
the married woman who is the
Gentile woman, a Greek, born
in Syria-Phoenicia and who is at
the center of the story “a woman
whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard
about him, and she came and
bowed down at his feet. Now
the woman was a Gentile, of
Syro-phoenician origin” (Mark
7:25-26). In the text she is the
occasion to show the openness of
Yeshua to the Goyim (Gentiles).
These people were not very well
considered in Israel, they did not
live among G-d’s people. But
Yeshua went purposely to this
non-Jewish country to teach
his talmidim (disciples) about
the needs of these people from
the nations who are starving for
spiritual food.
The text of the Besorah says:
“Jesus left that place and went to
the vicinity of Tyre. He entered
a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not
keep his presence secret.” . . . .
“The woman was a Greek, born
in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged
Jesus to drive the demon out of
her daughter.” (Mark 7:24, 26)
It happened very often that Yeshua was provocative to be sure
that his disciples understood difficult topics, here his teaching
is that no-one is unclean, every
one is a creature of G-d, every
one from every nation has been
made in the image of G-d.
This lady has a demoniac
possession in her family: “She
begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter” it is
one of the most unclean situation Yeshua could encounter.
The text of our parasha is concerned not only about health
but also about cleanness of the
Land “You must not desecrate
the land the L-rd your G-d is
giving you as an inheritance.”
(Deuteronomy 21:23). That is
why Yeshua starts a dialogue
with this lady, a dialogue
which became famous: “’First
let the children eat all they
want,’ he told her, ‘for it is not
right to take the children’s
bread and toss it to their dogs.’”
In other words Yeshua said to
her that the words of the L-rd
are not for her as she is part of
G-d’s people… “‘Yes, L-rd,’
she replied, ‘but even the
dogs under the table eat the
children’s crumbs.’ Then he
told her, ‘For such a reply, you
may go; the demon has left
your daughter.’” (Mark 7:2729). This lady, as many other
gentiles gives a demonstration
of a great faith. She accepts
to be called a dog if only she
could get some “crumbs.” Impressed by her faith Yeshua
agrees with her and doesn’t
hesitate to clean her daughter
from a demoniac possession.
“She went home and found
her child lying on the bed, and
the demon gone. (Mark 7:30).
She believed, she went back
home, and discovered that her
daughter was healed. Then
Yeshua continued his ministry
among the Gentiles. He was
the first Rabbi to do so. The
reaction of the people (non
Jews) was amazing: “People
were overwhelmed with
amazement. ‘He has done everything well,’ they said. ‘He
even makes the deaf hear and
the mute speak.’” (Mark 7:37).
The text then continues
to comfort the desolate
woman: “Do not fear, for
you will not be ashamed;
do not be discouraged,
for you will not suffer disgrace; for you will forget
the shame of your youth, .
. . For your Maker is your
husband, . . . the Holy One
of Israel is your Redeemer
. . . For a brief moment I
abandoned you, but with
great compassion I will
gather you. . . . . but with
everlasting love I will have
compassion on you, says
the L-rd, your Redeemer
” (Is 54:2-8). G-d continues to love His people,
as compared with Hagar,
who although Abraham
divorced her, he continued
to love her and she was
taken back, according to
Jewish tradition, as Ketura.
This means that for Israel,
G-d has not cancelled His
covenant with His historical people, even though He
opened His arms to the
Gentiles in the kehila, “My
covenant of peace shall not
be removed, says the L-rd,
who has compassion on
you. . . . All your children
shall be taught by the L-rd,
and great shall be the prosperity of your children. In
righteousness you shall be
established” (10-13).
v All the instruction
given to the Israelites of
old in regard to teaching the commandments to their children
is for us. If we become
careless, and neglect to
urge the necessity of
observing these commandments, as I know
that many have done,
let us all humble our
hearts before G-d, and
make earnest, thorough work of repentance. Let us learn to
deal mercifully with
our children. In their
tender years they are
to be kindly, patiently,
intelligently, lovingly
taught in all religious
service, the parents
making these lessons
simple and attractive,
in order that they may
make known to their
little ones the way of
the L-rd. In the past,
the failure of parents to
do this work has been
felt in future generations. . . . (LHU 146)
A Thief
am the thief, as he was called
by everyone in town, came to
the rabbi one day during the
month of Ellul. “Rabbi, I found a
wallet full of money. I would like
you to help me locate the owner so
I can return the wallet and perform
the mitzvah of returning a lost object to its rightful owner.”
The rabbi, a bit surprised, yet
impressed to see Sam improve
his ways, assured him that he will
make an announcement in synagogue so Sam will be able to return
the wallet and perform this very
important mitzvah.
A little while after Sam left, the
rabbi discovered that his watch was
missing. He immediately sent for
Sam and sure enough, he had it in
his pocket.
“I can’t figure you out!” said the
rabbi. “First you come to return a
lost wallet and then you steal
my watch! I don’t understand
you at all!”
“What’s there to understand?”
answered Sam. When it comes
to returning a lost object that’s a
mitzvah. But when it comes to
stealing, that’s business.
Dead Coming
to Life
abbi Elazar, the son of
Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, was walking with his
colleagues when a dove appeared.
The dove informed Rabbi Elazar
that his father-in-law, Rabbi Yossi, had fallen seriously ill. Rabbi
Elazar ordered the dove to assure
Rabbi Yossi that in three days he
would miraculously recover, and
Rabbi Elazar and his colleagues
would then arrive at his home to
celebrate. Soon afterwards, the
distressed dove returned to inform them that since Rabbi Elazar had annulled the heavenly
decree hanging over his father-inlaw, the angel of death had taken
in his stead another Rabbi Yossi-Rabbi Yossi of Pekiyin.
Hearing this tragic news, Rabbi
Elazar decided to travel to Pekiyin to comfort Rabbi Yossi’s family
and to personally take part in the
burial of this great sage.
Upon their arrival, the rabbis
were informed that Rabbi Yossi
was survived by a young son and
Rabbi Yossi’s wife, the mother
of these two young children, had
died a short time before, and
these youngsters were now doubly orphaned. In the room where
the departed lay, the son would
not allow anyone near his father’s
body. He laid his head close to
his father’s and wept bitterly and
uncontrollably. Looking heavenward, he declared: “Master of
the Universe, You wrote in your
holy Torah these words: “’If you
chance upon a bird’s nest, in any
tree or on the ground, with fledglings or eggs, and the mother is
sitting over the fledglings or on
the eggs, do not take the mother
together with her young. Let
the mother go and take only the
young...’ “Master of the Universe!
According to your holy Torah,
we must let the mother live,
and surely we must not take the
mother and leave the children unattended. “You, G-d, must fulfill
the words of Your holy Torah. My
sister and I are two little birds.
My mother has died, and so our
father has taken her place to care
for us. “According to Your Torah,
dear G-d, You may take either me
or my sister, but You may not take
away my beloved father!”
Hearing the poignant plea of
this innocent child, Rabbi Elazar’s colleagues began to weep.
Suddenly, the room became silent, as a pillar of fire appeared,
hovering over the bed of the departed. Everyone in the room ran
out, and Rabbi Elazar’s frightened colleagues wanted to do
the same. Rabbi Elazar calmed
them, saying, “A great miracle is
about to occur.” Out of the fiery
pillar, a heavenly voice sounded:
“Fortunate are you, Rabbi Yossi,
to merit such a wise son whose
justified complaints split the gates
of heaven, ascending before Gd’s Throne of Glory. “A new verdict has been passed. You, Rabbi
Yossi, will live twenty-two more
years, in order to have the privilege of teaching this wise child.”
Then, as suddenly as it had descended, the pillar disappeared, as
Rabbi Yossi’s eyes fluttered open.
Rabbi Elazar exclaimed to his
friends, “How fortunate are we to
have witnessed with our own eyes
the miracle of the dead coming to
Rabbi Elazar then blessed Rabbi Yossi, “How fortunate are you
to have experienced the miracle
of the resurrection of the dead
because of the wisdom of your
young son!”
Meanwhile, the young child
had fainted from the overwhelming events. When he awoke, it was
impossible for him to fully express
his elation, as he smothered his father with hugs and kisses. Rabbi
Elazar remained for three days to
v G-d, the great
Deuteronomy 21:10 - 25:19
“If you go into your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes, as many as
you wish, but you shall not put any in your bag. If you go into your neighbor’s standing grain, you may pluck the ears with your hand, but you shall not put a sickle to your
neighbor’s standing grain.” (Deuteronomy 23:24–25)
governor of the
universe, has put
everything under
law. The tiny flower
and the towering
oak, the grain of
sand and the mighty
ocean, sunshine and
shower, wind and
rain, all obey nature’s
laws. But man has
been placed under
a higher law. He
has been given an
intellect to see, and
a conscience to feel,
the powerful claims
of G-d’s great moral
law, the expression
of what He desires
His children to be.
(OHC 137)

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