humble your “self”

Your self should not like a discussion on modesty. Your self should find it grating, insulting and offensive. A discussion on modesty should make your self mad. You should chafe and huff and find loopholes for your self to protect who you are.

Modesty isn’t for your self. It is meant to destroy it, to humble it, to make it invisible. If your self hates talking about modesty and standards…good.

I think the biggest mistake we have made in the MJ world with regards to modesty discussions is to have that discussion with our self with our logic and intellect.  Instead be bold, be a peculiar people. Let’s have that discussion with our inner spirit. Put away who you are, what you want to be known for, your individuality, your independent persona and focus on your inner spirit.

The only way to grow closer to Hashem is to strip away your self, to humble yourselves, to be modest in thought and deed but also in dress. Hashem does actually care what you wear, just like He cares what you eat, how you interact with others, what you say and how you say it.

This observance of modesty in dress for both men and women will strip away your individualistic self. And through that process allow the spirit within you, your neshama, to shine Hashem’s glory, the Torah, our Messiah Yeshua in your everyday life.

 

John 1:1-3

We started our study through the Gospels this Wednesday. I am using Chronicles of the Messiah from FFOZ, to structure the study. I am really excited about this study and everyone that showed up came prepared to discuss and share.

We discussed who Yeshua is, the Word, Wisdom, Torah, Memra and Dibber. We definitely agreed that we knew why God did this amazing thing through Yeshua, but we didn’t agree to the how. We agree that He did this because He loves us…how he did it? Well we all had our own answers, but crazy thing happened we didn’t agree on just one. One thing became clear to me that how we each understood Yeshua, was as unique as our individual relationships with God.

No Bible Study Tonight

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We only do a formal Bible Study every other week, but we study every day.

Just the other night my husband and I stayed up way too late studying out the Noachide laws and the Jerusalem Council ruling concerning Gentiles.

I met with a friend of mine and we reaffirm our understanding about being wives and mothers.

I talk with Mom and we discuss the latest portion or my writings on the Siddur or what she has been into for her weekly Bible Study.

Every day should include study, every day should include discipleship, every day should include living out the Word.

Wed Night Bible Study

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We had a great crowd Wednesday. So many people I may have to bring in a few more chairs!

It was a great study too!

We focused on finding Yeshua in the Torah portion.

We saw him represented in the Rebellion of Korah as the Priest, the Savior and King.

Also we spent some time in Acts 7 seeing Stephen use this portion and others as his proof that Yeshua was the Messiah.

While chasing some great Rabbit trails we discussed a triune man vs a dual nature man. We discussed the Amidah and its blessings that contain Yeshua and the Branch of David. And also share some current reading material, Lancaster’s new book on the basic principles, and Shapira’s book The Return of the Kosher pig.

It really was a great night!

Again with the covering?

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I Corinthians 11:6 For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off ; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head.

Here again we see how covering and short hair must be different. The first sentence would make no sense if both sides of the comparison were about short hair. Paul is saying that if it is a disgrace for a woman to have no hair or short hair than let her cover her hair. This is a literary device and perhaps even a bit of logic. Paul is using something that is common and understood like the idea that women with short or no hair were disgraced and saying that going uncovered before the Lord is the same thing. Now we can argue that it is no longer a disgrace for a woman to have short hair therefore she should not have to cover, but it doesn’t work that way. Paul’s overall point is that women should veil/cover their heads in prayer or while prophesying. He uses common ideas of the time to prove this point…Like if it would be wrong for a woman to preach in her bikini than she should also cover her head. The point doesn’t change just how he is trying to show/prove it to Believers at Corinth.

I Corinthians 11:7 For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God ; but the woman is the glory of man.

Here we have another tough verse in light of what we know of the times. Jewish men prayed with their heads covered. The priests prayed and served in the Temple with their heads covered. Can we find out more through this verse that will reconcile the two thoughts? The Greek reflects that the same words for head and cover are again used here. The word for cover is used no where else in the New Testament. Some have supposed this word cover which is defined in the dictionary as veiled means a woman’s veil and that is why the men are warned against it. Is there history to support this? After a brief search I have not found any historical proof to this claim. Again I am back to Paul could not have been calling the Torah wrong so he must have been discussing something different…I’m thinking perhaps veils like women or like pagan priests wore in religious ceremonies. But I still don’t know.

To Cover or Not to Cover

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I Corinthians 11:4 Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head.

The first thing that should be noted here is that Paul is not saying that men should not wear anything on their heads while in prayer or prophesying.
Uh, no that is clearly what he is saying.
Nope couldn’t be.

Paul is a Jew, taught the Scriptures from a young age, he knows that the priests wear turbans while in prayer in the Holy Temple. He also knows of the religious garment of a prayer shawl…he probably wore one himself. So He can’t be saying that men shouldn’t cover their heads. What could he be saying? I have heard that the men of Corinth were wearing veils like feminine head coverings. I have heard that the men had long hair and wore it like a female. I don’t know if any of those are true, but I do know that whatever Paul was telling them did not go against Torah or against the prayer traditions.
What I’m thinking at this point is I may never know what that “something” is that is on his head.

I Corinthians 11:5 But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved.

This verse is not as difficult to understand and yet, “Your hair is your covering.” is a common misinterpretation of this verse. But lets replace hair with the word cover and write it up again.

But every woman who has her hair cut short while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is the one and the same as the woman who has her hair cut short.

Now that doesn’t make any sense does it…A woman who has short hair is just like a woman who has short hair? Paul is clearly comparing a woman who has short hair to a woman who has her head uncovered.

The next misinterpretation we can deal with is that “her head uncovered” means a woman with long hair who has let it down. So lets go to the Greek. Is it hair or head? let down or uncovered?

The word in the Greek for head, kephale, we have seen before it means head, literally or figuratively. since we see Paul comparing a woman with shaven hair and a woman with a covered head we can tell by the context this means a literal head as opposed to her husband or Messiah. Just to drive the point home this word is translated every time it shows up as head, not hair.

I can’t imagine how one could let own their head, but let’s look at that Greek as well. The word is akatakalyptos, it means uncovered or unveiled. It is only used twice in the New Testament here in verse five and in verse 13.

So we can see in this verse that a woman should not pray with her head uncovered or with her hair cut short.

Short study on Modesty

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There isn’t much talk of how we should keep modest in the Torah.

The Jewish people enumerate only one mention, Number 5:18. This reference comes from the laws concerning a woman who was suspect of adultery, her hair is to be uncovered and she is to feel shame. From this we can assume that all women who were married covered their hair. We can also assume that there was an internal level of modesty associated with covering the hair as the woman felt shame when she ws uncovered. But this one verse doesn’t give us much to go on.

There is also the concept of “laws of a Jewish woman.”

This means that standards, acceptable norms, become the law. This is based on the idea that God created a woman with a sense of Modesty and then relies on us to express that in thought and deed. Because of the nature of time and place and fashion these codes have changed over the years. Orthodox Jewish women do not dress like 1st Century Jewish women. What is not unique to Judaism and seems to affect every aspect of religious culture today is that there was never a need to define modesty until recently. It was said, “Dress like a good Jewish/Christian girl.” and nothing else was needed. This unfortunately is not the case today. If you were to ask an immodestly dress woman why she would wear that to services she may reply, “If those men look then they have the problem.” or “How I dress shouldn’t be the way you judge me. God knows my heart.”

If those men look they have a problem.”

Is this true? If a man looks up from his Torah reading, standing on stage looking down towards the congregation, and can see clear down a woman’s top, is that his fault? If a man is praising the Lord and looks up towards the dancers and see a little too much leg or the shape of a woman’s backside clearly defined by her tight pants, is that his fault? No these things have been put on display. The woman who dressed herself that morning was not surprised to know her pants were form fitting, or her blouse cut low, or her skirts slit bared a bit of thigh. So where does the fault lie in a man seeing what is clearly on display? The fault lies with the woman. Now before you get all bunched up if a man continues to look at the woman and does not avert his eyes and, heaven forbid, lusts after her, he is to blame.

How I dress shouldn’t be the way you judge me. God knows my heart.”

Let’s break this up into two statements and start with “How I dress shouldn’t be the way you judge me.” Culturally this is a silly statement. Of course we are all judged by what we wear. I can tell who works at a store or restaurant by what they wear. I can tell the rank, specialty schools and locations served by seeing a person in uniform. I can tell if a woman is attempting to be seductive, if a man is trying to be tough or attractive. I can tell if a person is headed to the gym. I can tell if a family has just gotten out of Church and is making a quick trip through the HEB. I can also tell if a person is going to get the job, by what they wear to the interview. All this is told through dress.

When a person enters Basic Training one of the first things that happens is putting on the uniform. This simple act starts the transformation of a person from civilian to soldier. The world clearly understands the power of clothing and requires certain dress for certain activities. Why as a body of believers would we pretend that, how we dress doesn’t matter? “Well because how I dress doesn’t reflect my personal relationship with God! That’s why!” Doesn’t it?

If you ran a rescue for prostitutes and one of those ladies came to know the Lord, would you not encourage her to dress a bit differently? If you ran an outreach to gangs to get young men out of the life wouldn’t you tell them the first thing they should do is to stop wearing the colors of their former gang? Why then are we so timid to take new believers, or believers new to Torah and teach them that they should change their clothes as well as their outlook on dressing? Shouldn’t we be encouraging people to change their uniform, to show the World who they are and who they belong to?

Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

God knows my heart.”

This is usually a phrase that is meant to fend off either an accusation or a conviction. If I tell you, “you don’t know what I meant, thought or felt, only God knows” there is no argument against that. You are right only God knows the inner workings of a man’s mind, but He tells us there are ways to tell what’s going on, on the inside.

Luke 6:45 “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good ; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil ; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

We do what we do because the good or bad stored up in our hearts. Our actions and our words are a direct reflection of who we are on the inside. What we do and say reveals the character of our hearts. What are you revealing about your character? Are you being selfish? Displaying your body without thought to your brother? Are you being foolish? Pretending that what you wear does not define you?

Order and Headship

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Study

I Corinthians 11:2 Now praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditionsjust as I delivered them to you.

Paul tells this congregation that they have been good about the traditions he taught them. What is interesting is that Paul doesn’t say Gospel and he doesn’t say law or Torah he says traditions. In Acts 28:17 Paul references the customs or the traditions of the Fathers. What traditions could Paul be talking about here?

I Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.

I always find it helpful to consult http://www.blueletterbible.com when it comes to languages and literal interpretations. My first question here is the “but” at the beginning of the verse, is it in the original language? Then I want to know more about this word “head”. There is some debate as to what language the Brit Hadashah was originally written in Aramaic, Hebrew or Greek. What we have to work with is Greek so I will look to that to answer these questions.

For the first there is a conjunction word in the Greek all the translations I have available agree except Young’s Literal it translates it “and”. The Greek word is “de” and is the same word that is translated as “and” in the rest of the verse. Why does it matter, in some verses say “but” instead of “and” may change the whole meaning. In this case I agree with Young’s and this is why. There is no evidence in our understanding of first century Judaism that the man being the head of the house would be a new teaching. Everything we know about the Jews is that they are a patriarchal society. To say Paul taught the tradition “but” man is the head of the house only makes sense if man being head of the house wasn’t the norm. So I’m going to go with Paul praises the congregation and leads into another teaching this one being on the order of man and woman, man and Messiah, and Messiah and God.

This leads into my next question, what Greek is used for head and is there any history with this term or concept in Judaism. The Greek is “kephale” is means literally a head and also metaphorically the one  in charge. We see this word used in describing anointing one’s head and also in the Matthew 21:42 where Yeshua refers to himself as the “head of the corner” or the “chief cornerstone.”  The concept of someone being the head of another is not unknown then, this is a common way to describe a hierarchy.

So Paul is saying that

God is in charge or the lead of Messiah Yeshua.
Messiah is in charge or the lead of every man.
Man is in charge of woman.

For the most part this ancient flowchart is generally accepted. The practice of it may be debated, but Paul makes it very clear. The pattern God wants us to acknowledge and follow is God > Messiah > Man > Woman. In the verse the Greek reveals that the word for “every” can mean every individual man or it can mean mankind. I tend to think it means mankind because every single adult should fall directly under the leadership of Messiah.

25 Ways to Communicate Respect

I think this blog speaks to the post I will make later today…what is our role, our place?

Loving Life at Home


Actions speak louder than words. You can say you respect your husband, but he’ll have a hard time believing that unless your behavior backs it up.

What does respectful living look like? Here are 25 ways you can communicate respect to your spouse without uttering a word. If you’ll make it your habit to do these things, the next time you tell your husband how much you respect him, he won’t have to wonder if you really mean it.

  1. Choose Joy
    It’s true: A happy wife makes a happy life. Please don’t use moodiness as an attempt to manipulate your man, but in all things rejoice, because that’s the right thing to do. (1 Thessaonians 5:16; Philippians 4:4)
  2. Honor His Wishes
    Give weight to what your husband thinks is important. Make those things a priority that matter most to him, whether it’s having dinner ready when…

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