Location Minimize

5070 Pine Island Drive N.E.
Comstock Park, MI 49321
(616) 531-7455


    
 Service Times Minimize

  תפלות שחרית לשבת    

Men's Shabbat Morning Prayers 9:00 am

Shabbat (Saturday) Worship Service, 10:30 am

Shabbat School (pre-school~young teens) 11:30 am

Oneg (Delighting in the Shabbat with food and fellowship) 12:45 pm

 


    
  Login
 Home   Search   
 Welcome

Shalom! Welcome to the website of Adat Eytz Chayim (Tree of Life) Messianic Jewish Congregation. We are a congregation of Jewish and non~Jewish people who believe that Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) is the Son of G-D, the long awaited Messiah of Yisra'el. We are not a part of the popular Hebrew Roots Movement, but rather we have been called to Messianic Judaism, which we believe to be an end time movement of G-d, wherein we become co-workers with Him in our responsibilities to the Nation of Israel and to the salvation of our Jewish brothers and sisters..

As such, we conduct our services in the typical Jewish context, incorporating many elements of a synagogue style of worship. Typically our services begin with a liturgical worship time of singing praise songs in Hebrew and in English. Accompanying this element of liturgy, is the ministry of Davidic Worship, which we believe was (see "Sh'mot"  Exodus Ch 15:20-21) and is a formidable expression of worship through the means of dance. We then proceed to the liturgical element of worship in an order as demonstrated through the use of the siddurim (prayerbooks). We have chosen to use the MESSIANIC SHABBAT SIDDUR as compiled by; Jeremiah Greenberg, Director of Messianic Liturgical Resources, for that purpose. This siddur, by design, is in a wonderful, user friendly Hebrew/English format. In addition to these resources, we have chosen to use exclusively the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB), as translated by David H. Stern, published by; Jewish New Testament Publications Inc. We are comfortable with this version of Scripture for many reasons. Primary in our appreciation is the sensitivity of language used for the Jewish reader, as well as an enhanced understanding of text for those seeking to embrace the Hebrew root of their faith. Along with these reasons, we appreciate the layout of the Torah (first five books) and its adherance to the traditional Parashot (portions) and the Haftarot (conclusion) portions utilizing the annual or yearly cycle of reading. As a bonus, the Complete Jewish Bible offers the suggested B'rit Chadashah (New Covenant) readings in conjunction with the traditional texts.

As a Messianic Jewish congregation, we are observant to the "moadei ADONAI" designated/appoinments of ADONAI  and the "mikraei kodesh" holy convocations, as outlined for us in Vayikra (Leviticus) Ch 23. We are also observant by the grace of ADONAI to be obedient to all of His laws and rulings to the best of our Spirit led abilities, as they may be applicable to our lives today. Knowing that people are at various levels of spiritual maturity, our desire is to teach and encourage them in an adherance to the dietary laws also as applicable.

You might ask; "Are we under the Law?" Let me say this: We all have the "yetzer hara" evil inclination or evil imagination in us (see B'resheet Genesis 6:5), and by G-D'S grace we can obtain Yeshua (salvation). However, even though we are sinners saved by grace, if we choose a life of grace only (I call this: "living in Graceland") this grace quickly becomes a spiritual band~aid, and we will tend to use it to cover all of our afflictions. Grace alone (unmerited favor that ADONAI has for us) does not do away with the mitzvote (commands) that are applicable to our lives today, as a matter of fact, grace alone is a form of "lawlessness." When we receive Yeshua into our hearts and we qualify to receive the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), it is then that we become enabled to be as observant to G-D'S laws as we are led. As a dear brother said recently (not a direct quote): "We do not become obedient to G-D'S laws to be saved, we desire obedience to Him because we are saved!"

Our desire as a Messianic Jewish congregation is multi-faceted, but of primary importance is the salvation of our Jewish family, and the spiritual education of our children and those who honestly seek to inquire. We want to have a part in building the Body of Messiah in an effort to enlarge the Kingdom. Please see "About Us" Who We Are, for a Statement of Purpose and our "Statement of Faith." We will continue to provide additional information on this site as development continues.

Shalom uv'racha (Peace and blessing)

"p'ri tzadik eytz chayim (The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,)

v'lokeach n'fashot chacham" (and he who is wise wins souls.)  

Mishlei (Proverbs) 11:30 CJB
  :פְּרִי-צַדִּיק עֵץ חַיִּים וְלֹקֵחַ נְפָשׁוֹת חָכָם   

 

    
 "Swallowed Up In Pride" Minimize

We've addressed on occassion, especially from Vayikra (Leviticus) the commands of holiness, what they look like, and how we are to achieve them in order to have relationship with a Holy G-D. This weeks parashah, in part, deals with a man from the Tribe of Levi, and his major misunderstanding of what Holiness is.  Korach, the title of this weeks parashah is about this man from the tribe of Levi, a cousin of Moshe and Aharon, who is responsible for instigating four different rebellions against the Divinely appointed leadership of the B'nei Yisra'el. 

Korach was a rabble-rouser who used his influence over people by appealing to their emotions and predjudices. Successful in that agenda, he began to sow discontent among these members of the young nation, who, for the most part, were still beset by a slave mentality.As with all of those who are skilled in troublemaking, Korach framed his accusations to make it difficult for Moshe to defend himself. On the one hand, he could have attacked Moshe for his most obvious flaws. He could have said, "Why should Moshe lead us? He is of "uncircumcised lips." We need someone more articulate; someone with better communication skills." Or, on the other hand, he could have charged Moses with: disloyalty for having been raised in Pharaohs' household or for being hot tempered. 

Korach, however, charged Moshe with a character flaw for which there could be no defense, namely a lack of modesty. Concerning Moshe and Aharon, Korach states: "You take too much on yourselves! After all, the entire community is holy, every one of them, and ADONAI is among them. So why do you lift yourselves up above ADONAI's assembly?" 

A closer look at the text of this parashah, might suggest that these rebellions against Moshe and Aharon were in part caused by Korach's distorted view of what holiness looks like. In B'midbar (Numbers) Ch 16:1~7 we read; Now Korach the son of Yitz'har, the son of K'hat, the son of Levi, along with Datan and Aviram, the sons of Eli'av, and On, the son of Pelet, descendants of Re'uven, took men and   2  rebelled against Moshe. Siding with them were 250 men of Isra'el, leaders of the community, key members of the council, men of reputation.   3  They assembled themselves against Moshe and Aharon and said to them, "You take too much on yourselves! After all, the entire community is holy, every one of them, and ADONAI is among them. So why do you lift yourselves up above ADONAI's assembly?"   4  When Moshe heard this he fell on his face.   5  Then he said to Korach and his whole group, "In the morning, ADONAI will show who are his and who is the holy person he will allow to approach him. Yes, he will bring whomever he chooses near to himself.   6  Do this: take censers, Korach and all your group;   7  put fire in them; and put incense in them before ADONAI tomorrow. The one whom ADONAI chooses will be the one who is holy! It is you, you sons of Levi, who are taking too much on yourselves!"

With a failure to realize that personal holiness, as mandated by ADONAI, is a striving through obedience to His commands. Holiness is a hope and a desire, that has an attainable goal. Korach, however, articulates an incorrect interpretation of what holiness is by stating the words of vs 3 as we have seen: "....After all, the entire community is holy, every one of them, and ADONAI is among them." Again, Korach misunderstands that holiness is not a given, nor is it to be assumed, but 
rather it is an authoritive command to achieve, and as such he presents holiness here as an already established fact for the entire community.

In the first part of vs 3, the phrase: "You take too much on yourselves!" becomes a not so subtle invitation to Moshe and Aharon that they can now step down from leadership. Instilling the idea that the whole community is holy, is suggesting to Moshe and Aharon that their jobs to deliver the instructions and commands from ADONAI to the community was no longer necessary. The implication that they express here, is that because thay had all stood at Har (Mount) Sinai and because they now had in their possession, the Ark with the tablets, and because the Tabernacle with the 
established order of Levitical priesthood was in place, they were a holy community.

By means of this very implication, Korach had the community convinced that whatever they did would be holy because they were all now holy, so Moshe and Aharon's task had been completed and they were no longer needed in their Divinely appointed roles.The great Jewish Theologian Martin Buber (1878~1965) refers to this conduct of Korach as: "insolent self-assertion," and for those who are traversing the sometimes rough terrain on the road of holiness, this attitude can be a great temptation. Stemming from contemptuous and disrespectful bahavioral patterns, it seems to breed a posture of Self-righteousness, and Holier than Thou concepts. If left unchecked, it will often manifest itself into sacred arrogance. 

Rabbi Sha'ul alludes to this type of arrogance in his letter to the Messianic Community in Rome. Ch 11:17~21, where he warns the wild grafted-in branches to not succumb to arrogance because like some of the natural branches that were cut off, so too can arrogant wild branches be removed. It states: But if some of the branches were broken off, and you - a wild olive - were grafted in among them and have become equal sharers in the rich root of the olive tree,   18  then don't boast as if you were better than the branches! However, if you do boast, remember that you are not supporting the root, the root is supporting you.   19  So you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in."   20  True, but so what? They were broken off because of their lack of trust. However, you keep your place only because of your trust. So don't be arrogant; on the contrary, be terrified!   21  For if God did not spare the natural branches, he certainly won't spare you! These attitudes and behaviors, if left unattended, become snares and dangerous means of entrapment that will lead one in the wrong direction on the path of holiness.

Rebellion can be spiritual and political, and with the Hebrew root word for rebel being marah, מרה 
which means to oppose, disobey and to be bitter, simply put in today's parashah, it is: the act of defying or 
challenging authority. And yet in conjunction with rebellion it was the very idea of arrogance, pride and haughtiness that Korach levied in judgement against Moshe and Aharon. The last part of B'midbar Ch 16:3 which we read earlier stated: "So why do you lift yourselves up above ADONAI's assembly?" What we see here, is Korach citing his own shortcomings or deficiencies, namely arrogance, pride and haughtiness, he then goes on to ascribe them to those in Divine authority over him. 

In quoting from the Gemara, Baba Metzia 59b & Kiddushin 70b (commentary on Talmud), Commentator Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, know more commonly as Rashi, says this: "He who condemns others, condemns only his own blemish."
    

Scriptural Readings for festival days can be found under "Events" -Holy Convocations and Rest Days

Shemoneh Esreh, just what is it and what can we learn from it?
See "Supplementary Readings" under Resources.

"The difference between one who attends Shul and one who is a member of Shul is commitment. Attendees are like the people sitting in the grandstands complaining about the sun in their eyes and bad calls by the authorities, while the members are engaged in the competitive battle on the playing field to win mens souls."           
rav chovel
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

©Copyright 2010 Tree of Life Congregation   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement