Parashat Korach Numbers 16:1-18:32
Maftir Numbers 28:9-15
Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Tammuz-
Special reading from the Prophets”- Isaiah 66:1-24
This Shabbat we welcome a new month, the month of Tammuz. Therefore because of the special day, there are special readings. We substitute the normal reading from the Prophets and replace it with one related to Rosh Chodesh- the new moon celebration, i.e. new month. Sometimes people hear that there is a special acknowledgment for the new moon and think this is pagan, however this is not the case. The OT speaks of this celebration many times. The purpose of this article is not to justify Biblically the celebration, but to focus on a small part of the day’s reading from Isaiah chapter 66.
The reader is informed in the first part of the passage that HaShem looks to the poor and broken in spirit person who is zealous regarding the His word. The language in the first part of this sentence is very similar to Matthew 5:3,
“Blessed are the poor (afflicted) in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
The main difference is the prophetic passage adds, “…who is zealous regarding MY word.” This addition helps clarify what Yeshua was saying in the Matthew section. I have heard many teachings on this verse, but have always wondered what it meant to be “afflicted in spirit”. I now, with the help of Isaiah, understand better what Yeshua was saying. There is no merit in simply being grieved about a given situation. Maybe I am afflicted in my spirit because I am not a millionaire or a star athlete. So what! Such things are not important to HaShem and certainly those who are grieved simply because they are not getting what they want, does not mean they are going to be comforted in the Kingdom of G-d.
The important question is what causes me to be grieved and afflicted in my spirit? If I am grieved because I want the things that G-d wants—that which is revealed in the Scripture about truth, justice, and righteousness –then I will indeed find comfort in the Kingdom of G-d when Messiah is ruling over the world from Jerusalem. However if I am grieved because what I want (desire of the flesh) is not being realized, then I will not find what I want when Messiah returns. I may well be like those mentioned in the book of Revelations,
“They shall stand at a distance…saying, ‘Alas, alas the great city, Babylon, that mighty city, for in one hour has your judgment come.’ And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her…for in one hour her great riches came to naught.” Rev. 18:10-17 selected
However, if you are conformed to the likeness of the Son and by means of the Holy Spirit bring every thought captive in obedience to Him, then you will indeed find comfort in the Kingdom where worship will be observed from one Shabbat to the next and from one new moon to the next (See Isaiah 66:23).
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