I would like to thank all of you who emailed me with kind words of support over the winter. It has been quite an eventful time for our family, and it is not over yet! We will be making one more move in June to Virginia. This is an answer to many prayers and as always we wait upon Him. When He answers the way is perfect!
At this time you are probably you have begun to count the omer which culminates with the Biblical feast of Shavuot. You can find information on both of these in the Spring and Summer 2007 issues.
We hope that Sarah's Tent continues to be a blessing to you and toda rabah (thanks very much) for all your kindness and support.
Hadassah Veirs, Editor
The Hebrew word shamar is translated in our English Bibles as “beware”. It is Strong’s # 08014 and it means to guard or to protect by means of a hedge with thorns. This is not to keep the one that is within the hedge from getting out, but to keep those who are outside from getting in.
Sisters, there is a wolf in sheep’s clothing attempting to break its way past the hedge into our beliefs, into our homes and contaminate our lives and our relationships. The wolf is called polygamy - more specifically, polygyny which is a man having more than one wife. We now have new terminology being spouted in some Messianic circles - messianic polygyny also known as patriarchal marriage. Proponents are believers in Yeshua and followers of Torah - and they believe YHWH has commanded marriage with more than one woman. The wives in this relationship refer to themselves as “sister-wives” or “co-wives”.
When I first ran across a website on this subject, I was surprised, but didn’t take it seriously. I am no longer ignoring this dangerous doctrine. It is growing and women are being hurt by it. A woman and her children were abandoned by her husband because she would not accept him taking a second wife. Others are being caught off guard by those who they are considering for marriage. This is a serious matter and we will treat it as such. The messianic believers who teach this doctrine are gaining more and more followers.
My goal in this article is to help you to see the entire issue in it’s proper perspective. No where in Scripture does YHWH say that a man can not have more than one wife. I would be deceiving you if I said that He did, and would be just as guilty as those who twist Scriptures to make polygyny a commandment. He does not condemn polygyny, but neither does He condone it. Let us not forget that our God created us with free will. We can choose to seek Him, or we can choose not to. There are many things that He does not speak of specifically, but if we have a mind to be pleasing to Him we will choose to seek His will through His Word. For instance, a person could say that smoking was not a sin since it is not specifically spoken of in the Bible, but if you study the Word you will find that this behaviorcorrupts the physical body and enslaves us. We are the Temple of the Ruach HaKodesh and are set apart for Him.
It must be stated that some things were only allowed for a time. Let’s look at the practice of taking in marriage one’s half sister, something which our father Avraham did. Although He permitted it in Avraham’s day, YHWH later specifically instructedthe practice to cease.While polygyny is a practice that seemed to be tolerated, it was clearly not our Master’s intention for the family.
He made the rib, which Yahweh God had taken from the man, into a woman, and brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She will be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh. Beresheit (Genesis) 2:22-24
As you see in the text above, YHWH created the woman from man. We are then told that a man will leave his father and mother and will join with his wife(singular) to become one flesh. Polygynists see this verse as referring to the sexual relationship. Since the man becomes one physically with all of his wives, this verse seemingly is no problem for them, howeverthere is a deeper spiritual meaning here that they are missing. In marriage we are halves, coming together to make a unified whole. This is signified by the Hebrew word echad . YHWH is echad…Hear O Israel YHWH our Elohim, YHWH is one (echad). We recognize His unified oneness as being our Father, Yeshua our Messiah, and the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit).It should come as no surprise that He created us after this fashion since we are made in His image. Our bashert - our “destined one” is the other half of ourselves. We must not think that YHWH has no hand in who we marry. Can we be so arrogant as to put our Creator in a box, and think we will allow Him to control only what we believe He should?The Hebrew word for bride is kallah which is taken from the root kalal which means to complete; to make perfect. Two halves becoming a unified whole. We are incomplete until we are in covenant with our other half .This is more than sexual. The two halves compliment each other perfectly. This is a deep spiritual relationship.
What does it mean to be in a marriage?Marriage is a covenant. At the time of circumcision, (or naming ceremony for a daughter) we are blessed with the hopeful words, “so may he (or she) enter into the study of Torah, the marriage canopy, and good deeds.”In ancient times making a blood covenant was no minor event. (To get a better idea of how the ancient covenant was made and how it relates to us today, I would suggest reading The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread by Richard Booker.) “A blood covenant between two parties is the most closest, the most enduring, the most solemn, and the most sacred of all contracts. It absolutely can not be broken. When you enter into a blood covenant with someone, you promise to give them your life, your love, your protection forever…till death do you part. Marriage is a blood covenant. We don’t honor marriage as a blood covenant, but God says it is. (See MalachI 2:14; Proverbs 2:17)”
The ancient Hebrews as well as other nations had blood covenant ceremonies incorporated into their society. It was an important relationship. You can probably see from what we have learned so far, how our relationship to Yeshua is very much like the blood covenant.We renew this covenant each year at the Pesach (Passover) meal. How many times did YHWH, speaking through the prophets implore His people to repent by comparing their relationship to a marriage? Marriage is very important, and ordained by YHWH - and this is why the enemy attacks it.He would have you believe marriage is your own choice, that it can be entered into irreverently and discarded as easily as we throw away a rag. YHWH did not intend this to be.He also did not intend for a man to enter into this deep spiritual relationship with more than one woman.Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh.
What Messianic polygynists refer to as patriarchal marriage is deceiving. It implies that this is something instituted by the patriarchsand ordained by YHWH. In fact polygyny was first recorded in Scripture before Avraham. Lamech, a descendant of Cain, (this should not surprise us) was the first recorded polygynist. Lamech is also a murderer like his ancestor. It is said, although not recorded in Scripture, that the reason he committed murder was because of jealousy.His victim was paying too much attention to one of his wives. Followers of messianic polygyny often state the statistic that 80% of the world’s societies practice polygyny. (Please note that they say 80 % world’s societies, not 80% of the people. This is meant to be deceiving, and there is never a reference for this figure.) They also state that monogamy is a Roman -Greco idea, and that now Biblical marriage is being restored to the faithful remnant. Those who have a heart to accept polygyny have been set apart and have a higher spiritual understanding and calling from YHWH.
Let’s look honestly at polygyny in Scripture. When Avraham was called by YHWH he was married to one wife. Yitzach only had one wife for his entire life. Yaacov only wanted one wife but ended up with four. Having one wife did not impede Avraham’s ability to hear YHWH when He called him. Nor did it stop Him from speaking to Yitzach as well.Let’s go back even further. Noach didn’t miss the boat because he only had one wife, nor did all three of his sons. Yaacov heard from YHWH as well, but was plagued with just as much trouble as blessing his entire life. Jealousy reigned in his householdas each wife tried to vie for his attention and to have his sons. Later, their children emulated their mothers’ attitudesas Yosef was sold into slavery. One son was removed from his inheritance becausehe defiled his father’s bed by having sex with one of his wives. There is no doubt that this entire family was used by YHWH. Yaacov’s familybrought forth the nation of Yisrael. He also allowedwhat happened to Yosef to preserve them during the years of devastating famine.Did Yaacov hear from YHWH? Yes, butwhat was his response when Pharaoh asked him his age? Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage."Beresheit (Genesis) 47:9This was a man who suffered from one thing or another for the greater part of his life.
Avraham only took Hagar as his wife at Sarah’s insistence. Did this cause problems? Well, we are still dealing with the repercussions of this today, but let’s just look in the past for now. YHWH made a promise, and Sarah thought she would help by adding Hagar to the equation. Hagar reciprocated by treating Sarah with disdain, which caused retaliation on Sarah’s part. Hagar ended up in the wilderness until directed to return. Can you imagine how life must have changed in Avraham’s camp with two women battling?Hagar was told to submit to Sarah, but we can well imagine the amount of lashon hara going on behind the scenes.How do I know this? Because at the feast when Yitzach was weaned, Ishmael was mocking.We’re not told what was said or done exactly, but where would Ishmael get the idea to act this way in public, if there wasn’t something going on in private? Our children will embarrass us by acting out in public what they see or hear in private. This is why our words and actions need to be blameless at all times, not just when we are among others.
Yaacov never asked for more than one wife. He was deceived by his father-in-law, and then pressured by his wives. This does not equate to YHWH commanding polgyny.Let’s skip ahead a little to the time of the Shophtim (Judges). First Samuel chapter one tells us about the prophet Samuel’s birth. His father wasElkanah an Ephraimite who had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Immediately we are told Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.This is not a new story. We are also told that Peninnah provoked her sorely and caused Hannah so much anguish that she stopped eating. One thing is clear from Scripture: having more than one wife causes trouble in the household. Moving even further along David and Solomon both had problems. Solomon had so many women that they turned his heart away from YHWH. The fact is I can find no good example of a polygynous household in Scripture.
Can a man enter into the blood covenant of marriage with more than one woman? He could physically, but his half would be joined to more than one woman. Instead of being joined to your other half in blood covenant, you’re unified whole is now divided into many more. Your life, your time, your love now must be divided among many. This would not be a unified whole. I call it a mess. I have already demonstrated through Scripture that we as women have a difficult time in this situation. It is almost as if we know that it is unnatural and we fight against, even when we believe it will be a means to an end, such as the birth of a child. Rachel giving Bilhah to Yaacov did not make their home happy and content. It only increased the competition between the women. What should be ours alone by right of the covenant now must be shared with other women. Now life becomes a competition; competing for the attention and love of her husband, and preeminence in his life. Clearly this is not what YHWH intended. It is not two souls becoming one.
What Polygynists Say
We need grow our numbers in order for Israel to grow. The way to do this is to have more than one wife.
Don't think to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father,' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. (Matityahu 3:9) Remember what happened when Sarah decided to help the situation.
YHWH is polygynous according to Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 23:1-4 This is an allegory. YHWH was trying to teach us through the prophet Yechezkel that we have committed spiritual adultery; both Samaria (the House of Israel) and Jerusalem (the House of Judah). Since they were the daughters of one mother, (Sarah), should we then assume that YHWH has transgressed his own instruction given to men not to take a woman to wife when you are already wed to her sister? Of course not! The intention of YHWH has always been to take all of Israel (both Houses) and reunite them as one. We were separated so that we would survive, and exiled for our sin. We will be one nation again.
Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his companions; and I will put them with it, [even] with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in my hand. and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. Ezekiel 37:19, 22
Biblical polygyny will be the key to restoring our heritage through Yeshua.
Our restoration is being brought about by the Ruach HaKodesh as we are being shown Torah is the way we live out our redemptive walk in Yeshua. This false statement is also leading to another - that if you don’t adopt the polygynous lifestyle you are putting your salvation at risk. Sisters, do not fall for this lie. It is from the enemy!
The reason why Hagar rebelled and caused problems within the household was because she was an Egyptian, and Egypt practiced mandatory monogamy. Therefore she assumed that since she was to have Avraham’s child, she would be his only wife.
Egyptians were not strictly monogamous. I won’t list all of the sources here, but any competent historical website will tell you that the ancient Egyptian had as many wives as he could afford. The average working man probably only had one wife. Remember they had to house, feed and clothe their wives as well as the children they had. I would say that the majority of men were probably happy with just one wife. However, if Hagar was in the Pharaoh’s household before she was given to Sarah, she would have seen first hand that the Pharaoh had many wives. This would not have been a new concept to her. Hagar would not have expected that Sarah was just going to go away, and I’m sure she never gave Hagar that impression.
The structure of Avraham’s family was polygynous and ordained from YHWH.
If Avraham’s family was polygynous then why was he only married to Sarah for all of those years, particularly since she had never born him any children? Certainly if polygyny was something he believed and practiced he would have had more than one wife long before. In truth, Avraham only took another wife at Sarah’s insistence - and then not again until after Sarah’s death. In fact it appears the only time he had more than one wife living with him was when Sarah gave him Hagar. Hagar was sent away with Ishmael, and then after Sarah’s death he took another wife, Keturah. Keturah bore him six sons and all were given gifts and sent away. There is no other marriage recorded in Scripture for Avraham. The concubines spoken of in Beresheit (Genesis) 25:6 were Hagar, who was still considered Avraham’s although she no longer lived with him, and Keturah. It appears that Avraham was inclined towards monogamy not polygyny.
When the wife is niddah (in her monthly state of impurity) then the husband will still be able to have his “needs” met.
This is a case of the husband thinking only of himself, and not fully understanding niddah. The following is a quote from The Laws of Family Purity, an article written by Nava Michaels, in the fall issue of Sarah’s Tent and the first of a four part series.“Being a niddah holds great responsibility as the woman maintains the standards of set-apartness. Though loving and diligent attention should be given to maintaining distance from one’s spouse on a physical level, these restrictions are employed only to guard oneself and one’s spouse from temptation to engage in relations during menses. A couple should, however, draw near to one another in other non-physical ways which as a matter of course cause them to draw from the deep well of their union, nurturing and sustaining the marriage.”
This is a time for the married couple to explore the non-physical side of their relationship.There is much more to marriage than sex. By drawing closer to each other in other ways and dedicating this time to YHWH, their relationship grows stronger. When there is more than one wife, what happens to the bond that is to be cemented during this time? The wife who is niddah may be made to feel inadequate or dirty, (and niddah does not mean dirty), since her husband will seek another, instead of spending time with her.
Also, there is a small thing called menstrual synchrony to consider. This is a phenomenon where the menstrual cycles of women who live together, will start to synchronize and occur at the same time. It is not 100% accurate, but is prevalent enough to be noticed.
In 1 Timothy 3:2, when describing the standard for a bishop, Shaul (Paul) uses the Greek word “mia” which some misinterpret as one - “He must be the husband of one wife.” The word mia actually means first, so that the verse should read, “He must be the husband of his first wife”” meaning he must be faithful to his first wife, not an adulterer. When Shaul means “one” as in the numeral one he uses the Greek word heis.
Actually mia and heis mean the same: one. The reason why Shaul uses different words for the word one is because heis is masculine, and mia feminine.For instance when he writes: “A bishop must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, modest, hospitable,good at teaching…” he is using mia because “one” is speaking of the wife (feminine). However, when he says “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Messiah Yeshua,” (1 Timothy 2:5) the Greek word he uses for “one” is heis, masculine, because he is writing of YHWH. Now, let’s look at 1 Timothy 5:9.
“Let no one be enrolled as a widow under sixty years old, having been the wife of one man…”
In this verse which Greek word, heis or mia do you think Shaul used? If you said heis, then you are correct. The verse is about women - widows, but because “one” is describing the man, heis is used. 
YHWH allowed divorce, but as Yeshua tells us this was not His original plan. This is also the case here. Polygyny was merely tolerated by YHWH and He gave commandments to regulate it so that the women and children would be treated fairly - because He knows the hardness of man’s hearts. Many say we must look to the example that the patriarchs set.I agree, but let us use common sense! Sometimes examples were given so that we would not emulate them.
The amount of wives one has does not denote prosperity, deep spirituality or closeness to God. Women are not decoration like jewelry in that the more you have the better man you are. The woman is there to complete the man’s and her half, and to be her husband’s helpmeet. We need to be ever vigilant and not allow people who will twist the Word of YHWH for their own agenda to sway us into that which is not pleasing to Him. It is monogamy not polygyny that is His desire for His children.
Rebbetzin Nava Michael's series on niddah will return with the next issue.
Righteous Mothering – Hedges - Raising Sons the Builders of the Family Name by Nava Michaels
There’s a very good teaching out by Nancy Campbell which makes a correlation between the parenting nature of the sheep and goat, and how, if we are wise, we will take note and apply the wisdom, understanding, and knowledge embedded within to our own lives. Yah doesn’t want us to be ignorant of His qualities which we are to pattern ourselves, and as scripture states, creation serves as one of the witnesses of Who He is:
19because that which is known of Elohim is manifest among them, for Elohim has manifested it to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible qualities have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, both His everlasting power and Mightiness, for them to be without excuse … [Rom. 1:19-20]
A lady in Australia shared with Nancy Campbell that she and her husband used to hunt wild goats for a living in out-back New South Wales. She observed that in the face of danger the nanny goat would leave her little kids unprotected and run from danger to save herself. And yet the sheep, which is a docile animal, will protect its young. The very natures of these two animals are diametrically opposed to the other. Yah always likens His people to sheep who by its very nature is gentle, submissive, easy to entreat, docile, and will lay down its life for its lambs. The goat is cowardly, self-willed, ornery, and as stated above only thinks of its own safety when confronted with danger, to the detriment of its young. Like begets like. We are all born with the Adamic nature. That nature without the blood of Y’shua and pure scriptural discipline is a goat nature, born in corruption, sinful, rebellious, self-willed, and on its way to sheol.
As a mother of Israel, you have a vital responsibility to work in cooperation with Yah to present to Him tzadik zohar (righteous seed). Ideally, this should be done in cooperation with an abba of Israel, but realistically due to a society gone out of control and away from the order of Scripture, many times a woman is left alone to handle the tasks of training and raising the yeledim (children). Even with both parents in the home, more times than not and practically-speaking, the Israelite mother usually has more opportunities throughout the day to parent the youth.
As we ended our last talk, the question was posed: what do you do when you have a teen or young child who has left the way, or perhaps, has never received Moshiach as his Master and Savior? Is there hope? Looking at my childhood and teen years I can say a resounding KAYN! (YES!) I was “sheol (hell) on wheels”, and if I can change, whether bayn (boy) or baht (girl), it doesn’t matter, for where Yah’s grace and mercy are extended, His righteousness is established. As stated in our previous teaching, the seeds of humility on your part, emah, must be sown in your heart for Torah must reign supreme there; there’s no room for competitive thought systems. You will either obey your own ideologies of what mothering is, or you will surrender to what Torah teaches. When your son cusses you out, when he falls asleep during Shabat gatherings over and over (if he’s there at all), when he takes every opportunity to discourage you from your walk with Yah, what do you do? You humble yourself, not under your son’s hand for he has to learn true authority as it lies in you, but you humble yourself under Yah’s hand knowing that He will exalt you in due time.
Next, you establish a life of prayer and intercession for your son. One of the wonderful things that I’ve discovered about prayer is that Yah’s interest is in changing you, not just your son. Prayer is giving up our own power and claiming His to completely transform you, your son, and your entire household. The power of prayer isn’t given to manipulate, or to beat an unruly beast. It’s a gentle tool utilized by a broken and spilled out mother who longs to do right than to be right, and to give life more than to get even. It’s a way to invite Yah’s power into the life of your son for his greatest blessing, as His Ruach can go places within the soul and circumstances of your son that you can’t. The end result will be a great blessing to you as well.
I want to use myself as an example. At 16 I became involved with a man 6 years older than I. Family, I can’t tell you the wasted years of torment that I experienced as a result of my waywardness. As a result of making some bad choices, I wound up experiencing demonic oppression to a degree that I became an atheist and hated all things of Yah, especially music that uplifted Him! Mind you, I grew up with the knowledge that I was Israel, though it wasn’t as deeply embedded within me as it is now. I was born-again, filled with haRuach at 12. BUT I had a warrior mother! She wouldn’t let me go! She consistently fasted, prayed and interceded for me for years, even when I blasphemed her and her Yah she consistently modeled the love of Messiah which was both compassionate and severe when needed until I finally re-dedicated my life to the Elohim of Israel. This type of mothering is for the strong-hearted, for those who through prayer and practice have cast away the goat nature with all of her cowardly tendencies, her selfish ways. This mother has taken on the very nature of Messiah who lays down His life for His sheep. In raising my own sons, I come to those familiar places in my journey where I must ask myself the questions: how far are you willing to go for this boy? What are you willing to sacrifice? Yonatan, for example, is a good young man considering his worldly peers. But there are times when that Adamic nature likes to raise its ugly head. Let’s get real! Sometimes, sisters, he really gets under this black woman’s head covering! But I’ve learned to remove myself – even momentarily if time is constrained – just long enough to allow the power of HaRuach to minister to me. Surrendering during those times brings peace, focus, and a renewed sense of direction. If you can only remember during those times of high stress when he just won’t “do” right, when situations appear out of control, remove yourself, take a deep breath, and surrender to Yah and His Torah. Submission is a position that the enemy hates. Make no mistake about it. For in your submission you make a show of him openly, just as Messiah did when he ripped the keys of sin and death away from him. You show again that he is defeated, you expose and remind him of his original sin which was rebellion against the Most High; as a result he lost his first estate from the heavens to the atmospheric realm. It is from this lowest place that he battles for the soul of your sons.
Your estate as a mother to a son is one of high esteem as you are molding future priests unto Yah. No wonder the enemy has sought to, and unfortunately in many cases, deceive the woman by removing her from the home her place of covering, and power, and out of her sons’ lives. More on the place of the home later. Consistency in modeling Y’shua before them is key. The power wrought from such efforts is your willingness to again and again lay down your rights and pick up His righteousness. He is the Captain of the Host, and He has fought and won the battle for your son’s salvation. It is your response to that to now stand, stand, and stand some more! Standing is not an idle position. Standing or more correctly, occupying is a military stance which entails being on guard over that which has been given over to you. It also shows itself in diligence of watchfulness over your son’s affairs, watchfulness over prayer, standing guard over his life, being willing and able to lay yours down when the need arises. Occupying also shows itself as the ability to assert that authority given to you as mother as, contrary to popular belief, your son is not grown yet and needs the security that true authority gives.
Our last teaching briefly touched on the thought-systems that many Israelite women are brought up with which is to foster harshness, and an overall sense of being aloof for fear that the son will grow up soft and effeminate. My understanding of the roots of this notion and the fear that derives from it, comes through slavery. The enemy knows the power and dynamic of the male-female relationship in that our sons were created to rule with HaMoshiach. Threading the lie that harshness and aloofness begets strength is one of his main weapons that ultimately destroys the future relationships between a son and his offspring.
Having said that, and while still on the subject of proper authority, I must say that there is a difference between harshness and enduring hardship. B’rit Chadasha (the New/Renewed Covenant) in the book of Timothy states that we should endure hardness as a good soldier. A good mother, as she learns of the nature of her Abba, realizes that in order to build a proper foundation for her son, three foundation blocks must be accomplished. Within these three blocks, testings within each phase will prove to strengthen the character of the son.
Righteous Mothering – Hedges - Raising Sons the builders of the family name – Part 2
Let’s dive right in, shall we? What are your parenting goals in this particular phase of mothering? What do you hope to accomplish? What foundation blocks can you lay that are more solid than your personal ideas? What goals are simple enough to remember, yet comprehensive enough to provide broadly applicable direction?
Mishlei/Proverbs 1:7-19 provides you, emah, with such direction. There are three foundations of life in this precept: The fear of YHWH (verse 7), adherence to parental instruction (verses 8-9), and disassociation from the wicked (verses 10-19). Let’s read it together:
7The fear of HWHY is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline. 8My son, heed the discipline of your father, and do not forsake the Torah of your mother; 9For they are a fair wreath on your head, And chains about your neck. 10My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in.11 If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood, let us ambush the innocent without cause. 12“Let us swallow them alive like the grave, and entirely, like those going down to the pit. 13“Let us find all precious goods, let us fill our houses with spoil. 14“Cast in your lot among us, let us all have one purse,”15My son, do not walk in the way with them, keep your foot from their path; 16 For their feet run to evil, and they hurry to shed blood. 17 For in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. 18But they lie in wait for their own blood, they ambush their own lives. 19Such are the ways of everyone greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owners.
As was stated in my last post, in order to bring the sons of Jacob back home, we as mothers of Israel must be willing to lay down our rights and to put on His righteousness. In knowing and understanding what His righteousness entails, we also learned the vital and foundational role of prayer, and how when we learn and take His Covenant, speak it back to Him, and stand firm on those promises, knowing that a covenant is a two-way agreement, we have the confidence that Yah’s words will not return to Him void, but will accomplish where unto the thing that He sent it. [Yesh./Isa. 55:11] This is key, and is one in which hashatan will attempt to take away from you. Stand! We also understand that Yah’s power through prayer heals our souls so that we’re in position to see as Abeenu /our Father does, and thus, to pray with power and with results according to His Covenantal Agreement.
A wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength [Mish. 24:5]. The fear of YHWH is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. [Teh. 111:10] Now that we’ve purified ourselves through the Word, and have thus received our duties as handmaidens of Yah, how do we begin building these three foundations within our sons? How do we instill within our sons the fear of YHWH? The answer is both practical and spiritual. If our faith isn’t practical, it’s not faith. As Ya’acob says, “Show me your belief without your works, and I shall show you my belief by my works.” [2:18] The fear of Yah and obedience to parental instruction really go hand in hand. For as our sons learn the obedience of those elders in their lives whom they can see, they will be learning how to fear the Father of spirits Whom they don’t see as this brings delight to His heart and comes with much blessing. Shemot 20:12 says this, 12“Respect your father and your mother, so that your days are prolonged upon the soil which HWHY your Elohim is giving you.”
Take the time with your sons to instruct them in the Scriptures. As young men, sit down with them consistently in the mornings and the evenings, and throughout the day teaching them the purity laws in Leviticus. They need to have Torah impressed upon their spirits by consistently speaking to them the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of making the distinction between clean and unclean. Tell them the stories of our glories when we obeyed, and of our falls when we disobeyed in Tanak, show to them the wisdom of Solomon in Proverbs, the words of life of our Messiah, the letters of the apostles. Teach them from the writings of Maccabees, of Esdra, Susanna, Judith. It’s also very important to teach them the honor and discipline of communing with their Heavenly Father. Draw them into your prayer life. Show them the secrets that bring Yah joy as we light the incense of praise and worship. Show them how to watch Yah’s faithfulness as He answers their prayers. And as they’re learning of purity, continue to impress upon them that when they enter into the Heqal (The most Set-Apart Place) in prayer that it’s as important to come before Him with clean hands and a pure heart during that time as it is in living pure lives before Him in all other aspects – as our lives are to be lives of worship, which is a sacrifice unto Him. [Rom. 12:1; Teh. 24:3&4] Teach them the sweet beauty of the prayers in Tehillim/Psalms. Encourage them to compose their own tehillim to Yah. I know from personal experience that when this atmosphere of praise fills their hearts and takes root in their spirits, it’s amazing the fruit that will come forth!
In guiding our baynote back to Yah, we need to know as a mezuzah (doorpost) upon our hearts this scripture: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he’s old he will not depart from it. [Mishlei/Proverbs 22:6]
To train and to raise are two different methods. Raising employs giving the child food, clothes, and a roof over their heads. Training implies a more intimate relationship. Yah is calling us to do both. When we speak of training, we’re not just talking about the rudimentary tasks that involve chores and school work - though this develops character and is a foundation to more in depth form of training. We’re also speaking about those gifts and talents given to your son. At a very early age, when closely observed, a mother can usually discern a particular way that a child should go. We call it “a bend”. This is very important in obedience training as depending on the natural inclination, this is a clue as to the type of training that your son needs. Take a look at Iyob/Job with me: 8But truly it is the spirit in man and the breath of the Almighty that gives him understanding. [Iyob/Job 32:8] When we speak about training, we must also understand that Hebrews hold to a holistic view of life. All knowledge come from Yah and is for human good; there’s no vast division between secular and spiritual. “According to Duncan Ferguson there are four highlights of education in ancient Israel: 1. It was very practical in nature, often passed on in the home by the parents or acquired in guilds. It provided basic instruction in crafts and vocational pursuits (Exodus 35-36). 2. It gave guidance in worldly wisdom. The wisdom literature (Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes) provides direction for coping with life, especially in social and economic relations (Proverbs 1:2-3). 3. It provided instruction in an ethical way of life. The emphasis is often on learning the law of YHWH (Exodus 20: 1-17). 4. It was a vehicle to pass on the traditions that bind the community together, give it a common language, and provide the symbols for the celebration of a good and meaningful life. There is a special emphasis on remembrance of what Elohym has done (Deuteronomy 26:8-9).” [Heart of Wisdom – Ancient Israel Study]
Unlike Hellenic/Greek thinking whose focus was the mere transference of knowledge in the intellectual and technical areas such as music, art, reading or athletics. “In ancient Greek society, only the wealthy and leisure classes were enlightened through education. Indeed, our English words school and scholar derive from the Greek verb scholazo, to have leisure, to have spare time, to have nothing to do.” In contrast, Hebrew education was/is for all the people and concerns the whole person. “In summary, the Greeks learned in order to comprehend, while the Hebrews learned in order to revere.” [Heart of Wisdom – Ancient Israel Study]
‘…Who enclosed the sea with doors, when it burst forth and came from the womb; 9when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band; 10and assigned for it My law, and set bars and doors; 11 and said, ‘This far you have come, but no farther, and here your proud waves stop?’ [Iyob/Job 38:8] The Most High YHWH is an Eloah of order and boundaries. And in this written command He is showing us that He is mightier than we, and His wisdom, understanding and knowledge is something that we can never fathom unless and until He decides to open our understanding and share those gifts with us. Our flesh wants to buck against this, but it’s a truth that must be submitted to if we’re to live. But He gladly pours it upon us as we seek Him with our whole hearts. Mishlei/Proverbs instructs the sons, 11 My son, do not despise the discipline of HWHY, and do not loathe His reproof; 12For whom HWHY loves He reproves, as a father the son whom he delights in. [Mish. 3:11] Sisters/wives, your sons need to understand that you are the queen of your home. The queen sits at the right hand of the king to help influence his decisions. Being a righteous handmaiden who is guided by the instruction of Torah, you stand next in command to man in carrying out the plans, purposes and pursuits of the men-in-training of your home. If you’re single, you’re still carrying the mantle of Bride as Y’shua is your King, and though we can never stand in position to manipulate Him (nor the men in our lives!), we can stand in intercession for them in prayer, and leave the outcome in His hands! This is the strong position of any queen of her kingdom. She is a woman of wisdom, an intercessor par excelente. The righteous emah knows her place of power and influence, and stays content and confined within it; teaching her baynote the same.
The way a handmaiden/queen asserts her identity is also of utmost importance. As we discussed earlier, males are sight-oriented, and psychologically, how you dress, your habits, your speech, your demeanor are being encoded within them and when they are older it will be your spirit that they will look for and find in a eshet/wife. You have become the model of true womanhood for him, and their sharpened sense of discernment – with the help of Yah and your continued guidance – will guide them in this way.
What was lost by our disobedience, YHWH has restored to us through the Son [Matt. 16:19]. It’s not about rights, but grace-filled authority that we realize as we train our sons. It begins with your facial expressions and tone of voice that they learn to read what pleases you and what doesn’t. Saying a firm “no! or lo!” (if you’re teaching him Hebrew) when they press past the set boundaries and following up with the necessary chastisement consistently is a major foundation in establishing boundaries. As early as infancy your son should learn what’s loosed (allowed) and what’s bound (forbidden) for them. It’s better to have a bright, serene, simple home – one that’s family-friendly. If your home is highly-decorated and you’re too tense to enjoy it, something’s wrong. Your home has become a shrine and you need to repent. Scale back, get rid of those ornate items, and focus on training your sons in righteousness.
As they progress through middle and latter infancy and on into toddler hood – somewhere between 6 months to 2 years - as they begin to test boundaries, explore their world, what you do and what you say will have a direct bearing on how well they learn self-government. Enough can’t be said about consistency in this area. The reason parents fail during the toddler years is lack of consistency. I hear people say all the time, “Oh no! They’re into those ‘terrible-twos’” Believe it or not, this doesn’t have to be the case at all. It all depends on where you are in your knowledge at the time when you begin parenting. Some of us are further along than others, but that’s all right, there’s no condemnation, sisters. You’re returning to Yah, and through the blood of Y’shua as you continue to go forward, His grace will get you to your desired goal – restored sons of Yah. It’s never too late to start – whether they’re 2 or 20: modeling and training consistency in righteousness is the key.
Having a set place to play and a routine establishes boundaries beautifully. Knowing what to expect when instills security. When they’re older from middle childhood to teen years, having set boundaries and routine is still very much needed. Each family should have their own set of halacha that they live by. A halacha is a particular way that a person or family walks according to our Hebrew laws. Television viewing, what type, when, if, gaming boundaries, friendships, sleep-overs, clothing, makeup for girls, employment for our sons the list goes on, and will be covered in more depth at a later time.
Having set times for meals, school work, chores, family outings establishes a flow. This may be challenged in teen years as they begin to develop their own identity, but instead of it becoming a battle ground, use it as an opportunity for growth in training unto righteousness. As your teen son displays faithful maturity in showing himself responsible in any given area, letting him in on some of the wisdom behind your commands and negotiating somewhat on your rules may be in order; this depends on what the nature of the appeal is. This is a testing and trying time, especially if your son has been rebellious. Remember modeling and training consistency in righteousness.
One last thing I’d like to say before closing. This teaching has been focused on the mother, but please don’t think you’re alone in parenting even though it may either appear to be that way, or very well may be your reality. Maybe you are single and you’re going it alone, what do you do? Well, for starters, Y’shua is your Help. He promised in His Word that He would never leave you nor forsake you. He sent His Ruach/Spirit to be your constant Companion, Comforter, and Teacher. Mother, Yah is faithful and is always a very present Help in times of need. Just trust in Him and He’ll never fail you. No matter what form His help may come in, just receive it knowing that He hears your every cry, and is there to meet your every need before you even ask Him. He’s a good Eloah!
Nava Nashama Michaels is the wife of Rabbi Ian Kalev Michaels, joyful mother of children, and homemaker. She's the founder of Daughters of Zion, Israelite Sisterhood, a Yahoo! internet portal ministering to the women of both houses of Israel for four years. She also serves as Rebbetzin for the women and children of Congregation Beth Menuchah in Richmond, Virginia.
You may contact Nava at email@example.com
Greetings in our Lord Yeshua!
Spring is here, ladies! After a long, hard winter, I am sure we are all welcoming it's warmth and colors! I know that it's always a song to my ears to hear the snow melting and leaving for the season! :)
In this addition, I would like to share some kosher vegetarian recipes. I think it's quite appropriate considering it's time to start digging into those gardens. :)
Until next time.......
INGREDIENTS: 1 1/2 pounds (800 grams) frozen broccoli 4 eggs, beaten 3/4 cup mayonnaise 1 onion, chopped 1 Tablespoon garlic powder 2 teaspoons salt 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
Preparation 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9x12 inch baking pan with non-stick spray. 2. Boil water. Add frozen broccoli. Cover pot and simmer. When broccoli is soft enough to mash with a fork, drain. Mash with fork. 3. In a mixer, mix together eggs, mayonnaise, onion, and broccoli. Add salt, garlic powder, and flour. 4. Pour mixture into the pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Creamy Eggs and Carmelized Onions
Ingredients 8 eggs 2 large onions 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons flour 2 cups milk salt and pepper paprika parsley
Preparation Bring the eggs to a boil in water to cover. Boil 5 minutes, remove from heat, and let stand 20 minutes. (This technique avoids the green ring around the yolk.) Drain and peel and cut into 1/2-inch slices.
Slice the onions into rings. Melt the butter in a very large skillet over low heat and add the onions. Salt them lightly, stir to coat with butter, cover the pan and cook for about 10 miutes. Stir, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Uncover and let most of the liquid cook away. Onions should be very tender and browned.
Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir until no dry flour is visible. Whisk in the milk and cook, stirring or whisking, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the sliced eggs and heat through.
NOTE: TO SERVE TO GUESTS -- sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and/or paprika, because this dish is a little bland-looking. ADVANCE PREP -- the eggs can be boiled and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance. The onions can be caramelized 3 days in advance and refrigerated.
Grilled Balsamic Portobello Mushroom Burger
4 large portabello mushrooms, 5" inches in diameter 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup water 1 tablespoon sugar 1 garlic clove, minced 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) 2 tablespoons olive oil
Preparation Clean mushrooms with a damp cloth and remove their stems. Place in a glass dish, stem (gill) side up. To prepare the marinade, in a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, water, sugar, garlic, cayenne pepper and olive oil. Drizzle the marinade over the mushrooms. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, turning mushrooms once. Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or broiler. Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source. Grill or broil the mushrooms on medium heat, turning often, until tender, about 5 minutes on each side. Baste with marinade to keep from drying out. Using tongs, transfer the mushrooms to a plate and serve immediately.
Arts & Entertainment
The Sons of Encouragment
The Sons of Encouragment is a five book series written by Francine Rivers on the lives of five men who were often in the shadow of YHWH's chosen leaders, but despite their seemingly less important position, they strove for the right relationship with YHWH and endeavored to serve Him faithfully. The five men whose lives Mrs. Rivers chronicles are Aaron, Caleb, Jonathon, Amos, and Silas.
I have not completed the series, but I intend to. Theses are excellent books, full of encouragment and faith. Mrs. Rivers brings these men to life as we read how they dealt with the circumstances in their lives, their doubts and fears, and their strong stand for the Most High. My favorite so far is The Warrior, which chronicles the life of Caleb. Not an Israelite or a slave himself, Caleb recognizes the plagues brought upon Egypt were judgements from the One True God. He influences his family to join with Israel as they leave Egypt, and seeks to identify himself with the tribe of Judah. Caleb often stands alone. His family doesn't understand him, and his fellow tribesman do not easily accept him, but his heart is on fire for the Living God and he not only became an example of faith for the tribe of Judah, but the entire nation.
I could not put this book down. It was so inspiring to me, and would be an excellent book for the young men in your family. I would consider it for ages 16 and above. Of course I would reccommend that parents read the book first to determine whether their children should read it.
In the back of Mrs. River's books is a study guide which can be used for a group or individual.
To read or listen to excerpts from the books in this series visit http://www.francinerivers.com/books.asp To purchase these books from Amazon.com and save almost $5, click on the picture of the book to go directly to it's page on Amazon.
This article is in MS Word format. If you don't have Word you can download the Word Viewer from Microsoft's website, here: Word Viewer
Children's Corner will return for the summer 2008 edition of Sara's Tent. However, while you are counting the omer leading up to Shavuot, we have some tools to make it fun for the whole family. Visit the Children's Corner section of the Spring 2007 issue for print outs to use with your children for counting the omer. Also, the Summer 2007 Edition contains activities and printouts for your children to celebrate Shavuot.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of Sarah's Tent. We would love to hear your comments and ideas, so please don't hesitate to email. I pray that everyone has a blessed Shavuot. Look for our next issue in July.
Until then - Shalom!
Hadassah Veirs, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Listen to me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek Yahweh: look to the rock whence you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for when he was but one I called him, and I blessed him, and made him many.