Nisan 24, 5762 / April 6, 2002
Nisan 28, 5765 / May 7, 2005
Nisan 28, 5768 / May 3, 2008
Nisan 26, 5771 / Apr 30, 2011
Nisan 26, 5774 / Apr 26, 2014
Nisan 26, 5777 / Apr 22, 2017
Shabbat Mevarekhim - the Sabbath of the Blessing for the new month Iyyar.
(See Siddur page 36.)
SCRIPTURES (should be read first)
Today we say:
are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,
sanctified us by His Word, and instructed us to count the Omer:
Today is the
11th day of the Omer, which is 1 week and 4 days of the Omer.”
When we recite these kinds of
blessings, we need to understand and be mindful of what they mean. God has
sanctified us – He has set us apart from other people, by having us perform
certain things that others don’t normally do. These things have significance for
us to gain and maintain holy attitudes.
For seven weeks, we are to especially
consider how we were freed from slavery to sin (Egyptian slavery) by the
Passover Lamb, and we are maturing to be betrothed to Messiah. We should be
counting the days, blessing God for this time to grow in faith.
Firstborn, Exodus, and Tefillin
Two sections (v.1-10 and 11-20) both
begin with sanctification of the firstborn and end with tefillin (symbols worn
on the forehead and arm).
(V.1-2) “Sanctify to Me every
The firstborn, from creation, were
the priests – “sanctified” to God; they received the blessings and
responsibilities of spiritual service. The salvation of the Hebrew firstborn at
the Passover was related to the position of priesthood – carrying on the worship
of the true God, while the Egyptian firstborn died and could not lead in their
idolatry. Here an additional sanctification was placed upon the firstborn. The
tefillin on the (1) “left” (weak – based on Heb. of v.16) arm and (2) forehead
represent dedication to God in (1) deed and in (2) intellect.
“Now, behold, I have taken the
Levites from among the sons of Israel instead of every first-born, the first
issue of the womb among the sons of Israel. So the Levites shall be Mine. For
all the first-born are Mine; on the day that I struck down all the first-born in
the land of Egypt, I sanctified to Myself all the first-born in Israel, from man
to beast. They shall be Mine; I am Yahweh” –
Here we see that, from a certain
point in time, Yahweh took the Levites for priests instead of the firstborn.
But the firstborn were still “His”. Yeshua came, not through Levi, but a priest
after the order of Malchisedek – the firstborn.
We may note that this is one passage
used to imply that Hebrew heritage is based upon the mother: the reference being
to the firstborn who are “the first issue of the womb”.
(V.3) “Remember this day” . . .
The form of the word here (infinitive) means to remember continually.
shall keep this ordinance at its appointed time from year to year.”
The Feast of Unleavened Breads was
established as an eternal memorial – “Do this in remembrance of Me”.
(V.8) “And you shall tell your
son” is the basis for the Passover haggadah, including the parable of the
four children (that we sing to the tune
of Clementine). Why did we just eat
unleavened breads for seven days? “It is because of what Yahweh did for me
when I came out of Egypt.” We are to consider ourselves as having come out
of Egypt at that time. By the Passover sacrifice of Yeshua, we were delivered
(V.13) The donkey was the only
non-kosher animal of which redemption of its firstborn was required. The donkey
is seen as symbolic of material possessions. It was redeemed by offering a lamb
(or goat), the same as the Passover offering. Thus our material possessions are
to be dedicated to God’s service, as having been purchased by Yeshua’s
God did not lead them by the way of the land of
Today this area is called Gaza, and it is populated by Arabs who call themselves
“Palestinians (Philistines)”. This would have been the short route, but they
might have turned back if they had gotten into a battle situation so soon. So
God leads us in the path of growth that we can bear.
Yahweh went before them
. . . . . . in a
pillar of fire by night
(Psalm 50:3-5) “May our God come
and not keep silence; fire devours before Him, and it is very tempestuous around
Him. He summons the heavens above, and the earth, to judge His people: gather My
godly ones to Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.”
We sing Psalm 121, concerning God’s
people: “Throughout the day the sun shall never smite; the moon shall not
harm you in the silent night.” They are protected during the sun-lit day by
a cloud that the enemy cannot see through; they are protected during the
moon-lit night by a fire that clears the way before them. All things are working
together for their good (Romans 8:28). This is symbolized by our being freed in
a time of pleasant weather – the Passover was in springtime.
The nations conspire together against
God’s chosen ones (Psalm 83:3), but understand – they are filling up their own
cup for the day of wrath (Jeremiah 25:15, Revelation 16:19, 17:4). God will
summon the heavens and earth to judge, and when the nations are burned, we will
be saved. We will obtain a clean land, a renewed earth with the Garden of Eden
Now, to consider our past slavery and
So if the uncircumcised man keeps the
requirements of the Torah, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as
circumcision? And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Torah,
will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Torah and circumcision
are a transgressor of the Torah?
– Romans 3:26-27.
Therefore, my brethren, you also were
made to die to the Law through the body of Messiah, so that you might be joined
to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear
fruit for God. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which
through the Law were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.
But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were
bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the
letter – Romans
Therefore there is now no
condemnation for those who are in Messiah Yeshua. For the law of the Spirit of
life in Messiah Yeshua has set you free from the law of sin and of death
– Romans 8:1-2.
Before faith came, we were under the
Law of Sin and Death (Romans 8:2):
“The soul that sins, it shall die”
– Ezekiel 18:4.
Sin is, by definition, transgression
of the Torah. Because we transgressed Torah, the Law of Sin and Death said that
we must die. But now, we are freed from the penalty, because Yeshua suffered
once for our sins, and therefore there is no more condemnation. We are free to
worship our Savior and Lord. While Torah principles to show us the way, we can
walk by the Spirit without condemnation of the letter.
Hebrews 8-9 explains how God will
renew His Covenant – the Abrahamic Covenant – with His people. While He formerly
presented it in writing, He will ultimately write it on our hearts
The Commandments were given because
we lost the spirit by which we would naturally do righteousness. After our
resurrection, we will no longer need commandments, because we will be filled
with His spirit, and naturally and whole-heartedly serve God. We will be wholly
"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King
of the Universe,
Who chose us from among all peoples by
giving us Your Torah.
Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the
Sanctify to Me every firstborn)
Reader 1* Amen. 1 Then Yahweh
spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Sanctify to Me every firstborn, the first
offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it
belongs to Me."
Reader 2* Amen. 3
Moses said to the people, "Remember this day in which you went out from Egypt,
from the house of slavery; for by a powerful hand Yahweh brought you out from
this place. And nothing leavened shall be eaten. 4 "On this day in
the month of Abib, you are about to go forth. 5 "It shall be when
Yahweh brings you to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the
Hivite and the Jebusite, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land
flowing with milk and honey, that you shall observe this rite in this month.
Reader 3* Amen. 6
"For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there
shall be a feast to Yahweh. 7 "Unleavened bread shall be eaten
throughout the seven days; and nothing leavened shall be seen among you, nor
shall any leaven be seen among you in all your borders. 8 "You shall
tell your son on that day, saying, 'It is because of what Yahweh did for me when
I came out of Egypt.'
Reader 4* Amen. 9 "And it shall
serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that
the law of Yahweh may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand Yahweh brought
you out of Egypt. 10 "Therefore, you shall keep this ordinance at its
appointed time from year to year.
Reader 5* Amen. 11
"Now when Yahweh brings you to the land of the Canaanite, as He swore to you and
to your fathers, and gives it to you, 12 you shall devote to Yahweh
the first offspring of every womb, and the first offspring of every beast that
you own; the males belong to Yahweh. 13 "But every first offspring of
a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then you
shall break its neck; and every firstborn of man among your sons you shall
Reader 6* Amen. 14
"And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What is this?'
then you shall say to him, 'With a powerful hand Yahweh brought us out of Egypt,
from the house of slavery. 15 'It came about, when Pharaoh was
stubborn about letting us go, that Yahweh killed every firstborn in the land of
Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore, I
sacrifice to Yahweh the males, the first offspring of every womb, but every
firstborn of my sons I redeem.' 16 "So it shall serve as a sign on
your hand and as phylacteries on your forehead, for with a powerful hand Yahweh
brought us out of Egypt."
Reader 7* Amen. 17 Now when Pharaoh
had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the
Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, "The people might change
their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt." 18 Hence God led
the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea; and the sons of
Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt. 19 Moses took
the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear,
saying, "God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones from
here with you." 20 Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham
on the edge of the wilderness.
"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King
of the Universe,
Who in giving us Yeshua, the Living
Torah, has planted everlasting life in our midst.
Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the
"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King
of the Universe,
Who selected good prophets, delighting
in their words which were spoken truthfully.
Blessed are You, Yahweh, Who chose the
Torah, Your servant Moses, Your people Israel,
and the prophets of truth and
Reader 8* Amen. 3
(Sh’ma) "Listen to Me, O house of
Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, you who have been borne by Me
from birth and have been carried from the womb; 4 Even to your old
age I will be the same, and even to your graying years I will bear you! I have
done it, and I will carry you; and I will bear you and I will deliver you.
Psalm 50 (To be sung.) A
Psalm of Asaph.
(El Elohim Yahweh) The Mighty One, God, Yahweh,
has spoken, and summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shone forth. 3
May our God come and not keep silence; fire devours before Him, and it is very
tempestuous around Him. 4 He summons the heavens above, and the
earth, to judge His people: 5 "Gather My godly ones to Me, those who
have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." 6 And the heavens declare
His righteousness, for God Himself is judge. Selah. 7 "Hear, O My
people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you; I am God, your
God. 8 "I do not reprove you for your sacrifices, and your burnt
offerings are continually before Me. 9 "I shall take no young bull
out of your house, nor male goats out of your folds. 10 "For every
beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 "I
know every bird of the mountains, and everything that moves in the field is
Mine. 12 "If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is
Mine, and all it contains. 13 "Shall I eat the flesh of bulls or
drink the blood of male goats? 14 "Offer to God a sacrifice of
thanksgiving and pay your vows to the Most High; 15 Call upon Me in
the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me." 16
But to the wicked God says, "What right have you to tell of My statutes and to
take My covenant in your mouth? 17 "For you hate discipline, and you
cast My words behind you. 18 "When you see a thief, you are pleased
with him, and you associate with adulterers. 19 "You let your mouth
loose in evil and your tongue frames deceit. 20 "You sit and speak
against your brother; you slander your own mother's son. 21 "These
things you have done and I kept silence; you thought that I was just like you; I
will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes. 22
"Now consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you in pieces, and there
will be none to deliver. 23 "He who offers a sacrifice of
thanksgiving honors Me; and to him who orders his way aright I shall show the
salvation of God."
Hebrews 8:6 – 9:1; 9:13-15
Reader 9* Amen. 6
But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the
mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. 7
For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion
sought for a second. 8 For finding fault with them, He says,
are coming”, says Yahweh, “when I will effect a new covenant with the house of
Israel and with the house of Judah; 9 not like the covenant which I
made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out
of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in My covenant, and I did not
care for them”, says Yahweh. 10 “For this is the covenant that I will
make with the house of Israel after those days”, says Yahweh: “I will put My
laws into their minds, and I will write them upon their hearts. And I will be
their God, and they shall be My people. 11 And they shall not teach
everyone his fellow citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know Yahweh,’
for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest of them. 12 For
I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”
Reader 10* Amen. 13
When He said, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is
becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear. 9:1 Now even
the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary.
. . .
13 For if the blood of goats
and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled
sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the
blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish
to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15
For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has
taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under
the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the
Rock of Ages, righteous
throughout all generations.
You are the faithful God,
promising and then performing, speaking and then fulfilling,
for all Your words are true
Faithful are You, Yahweh
our God, and faithful are Your words,
for no word of Yours shall
You are a faithful and
merciful God and King.
Blessed are You, Yahweh our
God, Who are faithful in fulfilling all Your words."