Parashat Bereishit (In the beginning) Gen.1:1-6:8 Haftarah: I Samuel 20:18-42 (Special Reading for the eve of the new month)


Parashat Bereishit (In the beginning) Gen.1:1-6:8

Haftarah: I Samuel 20:18-42 (Special Reading for the eve of the new month)

This week we begin the cycle of reading the Torah for the new year of 5770. This year I plan to focus my blogs on the weekly prophetic reading (haftarah) which corresponds with the parashah. This week, because Shabbat falls on the eve of Rosh Chodesh (the new month) Chashvan, there is a special reading which speaks of an event that took place also on the eve of a new month. One can read the account for himself; what I want to focus upon is how David and all of Israel submitted to G-d in acknowledging through personal observance the entrance of a new month.

I recently told an individual that I could not meet with him on Monday because I would be attending an event that was being held on Rosh Chodesh Chashvan. This event is a lecture followed by a meal at a synagogue near my house. My motivation for going is twofold. First I believe it is beneficial to acknowledge the things which HaShem said were important to Him. Second because I will have an opportunity to respond to the lecture and hopefully plant a few seeds in regard to the message of salvation. When I explained this, he said that G-d does not care about the moon’s cycle and there is no Biblical significance to the new moon.

What do you think about this? Before you answer you might want to read Numbers 28 verses 11-15. For in this section there is a list of special offerings which G-d Himself commanded to be offered to Him on the day of the new moon (new month).  In our weekly Torah reading HaShem says that He put the Sun and the Moon in the heavens to serve as signs, and for festivals and for days and years (Genesis 1:14). These things are important and as Paul taught in Colossians, these things reveal spiritual truth about the Messiah and His Kingdom (see Col. 2:16-17). Be careful which translation you use; for example the NIV makes an incorrect translation:

·       Colossians 2:17 NIV

These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

First of all the word “were” is not in the text.  This would be in the Greek imperfect or aorist (past). Verse 17 reads in the original: ἐστιν σκιὰ τῶν μελλόντων, τὸ δὲ σῶμα τοῦ Χριστοῦ. The word which I placed in bold is the word “is” in the present tense.

It is interesting that scholars would mistranslate a word that even a beginning student of NT Greek would identify properly. The answer is that as often is the case with the NIV translation, the editors are more concerned with imparting their theological perspective than accurately rendering the words of the text.  The NIV is extremely biased against the relevancy of OT practices for the believer today.

The point is this, one’s faith in Yeshua as Messiah should not cause one to flee from the Biblical aspects found in Judaism. The things in Judaism which G-d likes, we should like and the freedom or liberty one has in Messiah should not be used to ignore the various things one finds in the Bible that HaShem has provided to help educate the believer and strengthen one’s faith.

In your reading of the haftarah this week you will find that Saul is certainly not acting in accordance with G-d’s will. Perhaps if he had focused more on the meaning of the Biblical observance of Rosh Chodesh and the joy one should express, then he would not have cursed and attempted to kill Jonathan his son who was a faithful man of G-d.

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov!  

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