Taste of Torah – Parsha Terumah

Week of Prayer – January 1 – 7, 2023

This week we join other believers across this nation and around the world in prayer for an awakening to take place in our personal lives, our communities, our nations and the world.  Our theme verse is “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (Acts 4:31, NIV)

Below are the daily prayer prompts.

 

High Holy Day Schedule 2022

2022 Week of Prayer – Tuesday’s Prayer Focus

Too often our minds and emotions are hijacked by the chaos of the world and the challenges of life.  What if today, we take time to focus on the beauty of Yeshua?  What if we choose to reflect on all the good things He has done in our lives and the glorious creation that surrounds us?  Perhaps this change in perspective will encourage our hearts.  Perhaps it will break through the darkness trying to encroach on our minds and emotions. It will certainly strengthen us as we pray today.  May you see His beauty in even the most minute of details.

Blessings,

Rabbi Carol

Sukkot Celebration

J

2021 Omer Calendar

Here is a copy of our Omer calendar for 2021 for those who want to count with us.

 

Counting the Omer – Expect now is the time

March 28, 2021

Tonight we start the counting of the Omer.  For the next 50 days we will count each night as we look forward to Shavuot.  The counting is to be done with great expectation.  It is a season of reflecting on the promises of Adonai as we look to their fulfillment in our lives.  The talmidim (disciples) of Yeshua counted the Omer.  In Acts 2 when we read they waited in the Upper Room, it was during the counting of the Omer.  Yeshua told them to go to Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Ruach.  On Shavuot that year the Ruach was poured out just as Adonai had promised and they received power to be His witnesses. 

We encourage you to wait on Adonai during the next fifty days.  Wait with anticipation of what G-d is going to do.  The verse I choose for tonight says, “This is why I wait upon you, expecting your breakthrough, for your Word brings me hope.”  Tehillim 130.5

Expect breakthrough in your life.  At the set time, Adonai always fulfills His word.  Don’t be discouraged by the wait you have gone through.  As those who have gone before us, believe He is a promise keeping G-d and that now is the time for your breakthrough.  Look to His word.  Meditate on His promises and on who He is – a faithful G-d who will not let you down.

Expect G-d to act!

Blessings,

Rabbi Carol

For Such A Time As This

February 25, 2021

Shalom Chaverim,

Tonight we began celebrating Purim, which commemorates Adonai’s deliverance of our Jewish people from the hands of those who sought our annihilation.  Most of us are familiar with the story.  Our heroine is a young Jewish woman named Hadassah (Esther).

As the news of Haman’s plot to kill all the Jews is brought to Hadassah, she is not sure of what her role should he.  Her cousin Mordecai challenges her with these six simple words, “For such a time as this.”  When Hadassah hesitates to her cousin’s appeal that she needed to speak to the king to save the Jewish people, Mordecai responds, ” For if you fail to speak up now, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from a different direction; but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows whether you didn’t come into your royal position precisely for such a time as this.”

These words provoke thoughts of courage and bravery for that is certainly what Hadassah needed as she entered into the throne room of the king on that day.  Too often we fail to understand that she really didn’t know if she would make it out alive or not.  Yet, she knew she had been placed in the palace for that moment.  She knew she could not be silent.

I believe Adonai would encourage each one of us with those same six words – for such a time as this.  Our world is in a mess.  Evil and wickedness press hard against the kingdom of light seeking to extinguish it.  We have been called for such a time of this.  It is not time for us to shrink back in fear.  We cannot give in to intimidation.  We cannot think we can sit in our homes doing nothing and think we and our families will be safe from it all.

Each one of us must rise up in this hour saying to G-d. Hineni – Here I am!  Each one of us can make a difference in our world as we cooperate with Adonai by making ourselves available and standing up for truth and righteousness.  Courage is needed in this hour. 

Is there a risk?  Yes! Absolutely! But the consequences of doing nothing far outweigh that risk.  It is time we take our place in this generation and stand boldly in the face of evil and say enough is enough.  Let us rise up in the face of darkness using the authority and power Adonai has given us and stand against the forces of evil that seek to rule and overpower the kingdom of light. We know that through G-d we will prevail.  It is through Him that we will have the victory.

Friend, you have been called for such a time as this.
 

Blessings,

 

Rabbi Carol Calise

End of Year Encouragement

December 31, 2020

Shalom Chaverim,

As we end the year 2020, I wanted to take a few moments to encourage you to have hope and expectation in 2021. None of us could have imagined on January 1, 2020, the year we are finishing today. From a virus to government shutdowns, the year unfolded with many new challenges and concerns. There is a push like never before to bring socialism into our society as many seek to undermine the democracy and republic of the United States of America. The threat of anti-Semitism looms over us as we see this vile attack on Jewish people at pre-Holocaust levels. When I recount this (and there is so much more I could say about what is happening in our society today), it could make one feel hopeless and despair. BUT G-D…

I want to remind us all that G-d is still sitting on the throne. Through all that has happened in 2020, He never abdicated His authority. While we may not fully understand all the twists and turns this past year took, I can tell you that Adonai never left us. Through the pain and uncertainty, He remained our Rock and Stronghold. He is the Anchor of our souls who lovingly girds us with His strong right arm of victory.

While men may plan evil and devise plans to control our lives, G-d has plans to forward His kingdom over all the earth through people like you and me. Our focus must always be on Adonai. When we take our eyes off Him, like Kefa, we begin to sink in the stormy seas of life. However, when my hope is in Adonai and Him alone, there is a peace that passes understanding that captivates my heart, and I have confidence in my future in Him. Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 40.31 (my father’s favorite verse) gives us this incredible promise of G-d to encourage us as we enter into 2021. 

But those who wait (hope) for Adonai’s grace will experience divine strength. They will rise up on soaring wings and fly like eagles, run their race without growing weary, and walk through life without giving up.

G-d promises you and me strength beyond our human capabilities. This supernatural strength of Adonai is what enables us to rise above every situation thrown our way, to soar like an eagle over the storms of life.  The word renew actually means exchange.  We are exchanging our human strength for His supernatural strength. It gives us the ability to run and not get tired and to persevere through every circumstance in which we find ourselves. I want to encourage you – do not lose hope and do not give up. Fix your eyes on Yeshua. Put your hope in Adonai – wait on Him with great expectation. The Jewish people Isaiah addressed with this promise were facing hopelessness. In fact, they even felt G-d had given up on them. They could see no way back to their beloved homeland and no way out of Babylonian captivity. They felt great despair and discouragement. BUT G-D… He speaks clearly through the prophet declaring His commitment to the Jewish people. Read verses 28 – 29:

28 Haven’t you known, haven’t you heard that the everlasting God, Adonai, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not grow tired or weary? His understanding cannot be fathomed.

29 He invigorates the exhausted, He gives strength to the powerless.

G-d is not tired or weary. He is not defeated by anything going on in our world today. One commentary shared, “The victories of Assyria, Babylon, and Persia made it look as though the false gods of the Gentiles were stronger than the God of Israel, but Isaiah reminded the people of the greatness of Adonai. When you behold the greatness of God, then you will see everything else in life in its proper perspective.”

Look to G-d. Renew your hope and expectation in Him. Do not look at the circumstances you find yourself in; focus on the Almighty G-d you serve and who loves you tremendously. Isaiah encourages us that Adonai is ready to invigorate us – giving us strength that we never thought we could have.  

2020 is behind us, and we now face 2021. My prayer for you is that you will receive the power and strength Adonai wants to impart to you for this new year. I pray that expectation will rise in your heart as your partner with G-d to see His kingdom go forward in a greater anointing in 2021. May it be a year of a great revival and awakening as the body of Messiah centers our focus on G-d, continuing to make Him the priority of our lives. May you personally experience the strength of Adonai as you run the race set before you exchanging your strength for His supernatural strength. May we all mount up with the wings of eagles soaring above the challenges and difficulties of life to that place He has prepared for us.

 

Blessings,

 

Rabbi Carol Calise 

Thanking Adonai in 2020

November 25, 2020

Shalom mispochah,

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, I wanted to encourage us to really take time to give thanks.  2020 has not turned out to be anything like anyone imagined.  Our lives were turned upside down and inside out. Tragically some people struggled seriously with the virus, and, yes, some of our loved ones even died this year.  Jobs were at jeopardy for some while others worked overtime to keep up with new technology and demand.  Life became harder as we were restricted and confined to our homes.  Our government began to control the basic aspects of our daily life.  At the moment in America there is a dispute over who has done the election.  Anarchy and riots took to the streets of our cities this year. What is there to be thankful about in the midst of all the chaos that is going on in our world today, Rabbi Carol?

Our daughter, Abigail, loves to tell a story of Corrie and Betsie Ten Boom. When they arrived at the concentration camp, Betsie tried to encourage Corrie to be thankful even in the concentration camp. She walked Corrie through thanking G-d for everything around them – the crowded room they lived in, the Bible in their hands, the mere pittance of food, and the fleas.  When Betsie came to the fleas, Corrie insisted there was no way she was going to thank Adonai for fleas.  Betsie gently encouraged her sister that they must give thanks to Adonai in all circumstances as the Bible said and yes that even meant the fleas.  Life went on in the camp. They worshipped in their barracks and had Bible studies and were never bothered by the guards. They didn’t understand why until one day Betsie and a group of women asked a guard to come into to help them with something and the guard and his captain refused because of the fleas. Betsie glowed as she shared this news with Corrie. Adonai had use the fleas to protect them from the guards interrupting their worship and Bible study.

Like Betsie and Corrie, we must learn to give thanks to G-d in every situation, yes even in 2020.  As you look to celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, reflect on who G-d is and all that He has done in your life. He loves you and gave His son Yeshua to die for you.  As we say at Passover, Dayenu. That would be enough to give thanks for, but if you and I take the time there is so much more that we could express gratitude for.  Take the time to talk to G-d and thank him for 2020. Thank Him for all that has happened even in you don’t understand it. Thank Him most importantly for being the one who has sustained you throughout this year.

Rabbi Michael and I love you and we wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving holiday.

Love,

Rabbi Carol