Taste of Torah – Parsha Shemot – First Aliyah

Be encouraged by Rabbi Carol’s Taste of Torah on Parsha Shemot.  She encourages us that even when the enemy comes against us, we can be strong and powerful.

Counting the Omer – A season of anticipation

After the resurrection of Mashiach on Yom HaBikkurim, Yeshua spent 40 days appearing to His talmidim and teaching them from the Tanach.    The talmidim of Yeshua, being observant Yehudim, would have been counting the Omer with a renewed anticipation and excitement.  After all their Master, Messiah and King had just displayed to them the mighty power of G-d when He rose from the dead.  This must have injected the initially distraught band of talmidim with unbelievable joy, hope and emunah.  With that said, just imagine the excitement and renewed passion these talmidim had as they counted the omer each night.  They did not understand fully what was going to happen as a result of Mashiach;s rising from the dead, but they undoubtedly were very excited and charged with anticipation. As someone once said, “expectation is the breeding ground of faith.”  It is in this faith charged atmosphere that the talmidim of Yeshua spent the next 50 days as they counted the Omer and encountered the Risen Messiah. Like Yeshua’s talmidim, we can be expectant and filled with excitement about the Scriptures, our faith, and our role in the Malchut Elohim.

We have been counting the Omer since Saturday, April 16.   So let us talk about where we can focus in the next 40+ days of counting.  (This is an interactive Bible study post with questions for you to mediate on or discuss with a friend or family member.)

Anticipating the harvest

Naturally speaking counting the Omer is done with anticipation of the harvest of wheat that takes place at Shavuot. However, the talmidim of Yeshua would soon come to realize, albeit slowly, that the Mashiach was interested in a harvest for sure, but not of grain but of men.

“Yes, indeed! I tell you that unless a grain of wheat that falls to the ground dies, it stays just a grain; but if it dies, it produces a big harvest.”  Yochanan 12.24

“Yeshua said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers for men!”  Mattityahu 4.19

“Yeshua said to them, “Come, follow me, and I will make you into fishers for men!”  Mark 1.17  (make you become)

“Therefore, go and make people from all nations into talmidim, immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh,”  Mattityahu 28.19

What were the talmidim anticipating?

What were the results of their anticipation?  Read Acts 2:41

What attitude or element do you think contributed to their success?

Anticipating the power of Adonai.

We can see this very clearly as we investigate the scriptures. Yeshua was preparing His talmidim for the immersion of the Ruach Kodesh. This was prophesied through the Nevi’im (prophets). Yeshua was declaring that the day of what the prophets wrote about was upon them.

Act 1:8 But you will receive power when the Ruach HaKodesh comes upon you; you will be my witnesses both in Yerushalayim and in all Y’hudah and Shomron, indeed to the ends of the earth!”

What is the purpose of this power?

What is this immersion in the Ruach?

What pattern do we see in the first century kehilah in terms of the power of G-d in their midst?  Look at what happened in these chapters.

Acts 3 – Healing of the crippled man

Acts 4- Boldness of talmidim before Sanhedrin

Acts 5 -Discernment to Kefa concerning Ananias and Sapphira

Acts 9 -Raising of Tavita from the dead

Anticipation of Transformation.

Read what Yeshua Promised – Acts 1:8

This promise of power was a promise of transformation.

What had the talmidim been doing before Yeshua appeared to them after His resurrection?  Read John 20.19. 

How did things change once they encountered the Ruach HaKodesh? Read Acts 4:31, 33.  

Think of Kefa – we often speak of his transformation at Shavuot time.  What did he do when Yeshua was on trial – He denied Him three times.  Who did Yeshua use to preach that first message after the outpouring of the Ruach?  Kefa

What area of your life do you need transformed?  What promise in the Word can you stand on for your transformation as you count the Omer this year looking forward to Shavuot.  May there be great excitement and anticipation in your hearts as you count the Omer this year.


Rabbi Carol


Here is a link to our Omer calendar so you can count with us this year.

Don’t be silent!

March 17, 2022

Today is the holiday of Purim which celebrates the events of the book of Esther.   This story is filled with truths and principles that are still relevant for our world today.  While our celebration is light-hearted, we must always remember the courage of a young woman named Hadassah and her cousin Mordecai.

HaSatan has always sought to destroy the Jewish people.  In this story he worked through a man name Haman.  Haman’s plan to annihilate and kill all the Jews, plunder their property, and rid the Persian kingdom of all Jews was a plan repeated throughout history.  It is a story that reminds us of the evils of anti-Semitism, an evil we must stand against even in  our day.

Hadassah stands out for her bravery as she made a choice to put her life on the line and to speak up and not be silent.  In our world today, it is so easy to pull back and to stay quiet because of the immediate negative reactions we receive when we speak the truth.  I pray that you and I will stand in our generation as Hadassah did in hers.  I pray that we will put our lives on the line for the sake of the kingdom of G-d and be a voice for good in our world today.  May we never allow intimidation to shut us up.  May we always walk in grace and dignity while speaking the truth of G-‘d’s word.  May the evils of society and its pressures to conform never extinguish the light of Adonai in you and me.

There is always a cost to pay to be the light that stands in the darkness, but that is a cost you and I need to make.  For Hadassah, the risk was worth it.   She knew she needed to speak up for her Jewish people. She didn’t know if she would live or die, but she trusted Adonai to be with her as she went into the king.  Through this young woman, Adonai stepped into the situation and turned the evil into good delivering the Jewish people from annihilation.  She was a history maker, an agent of change. 

There is a lot at stake in our world today. Society is trying to marginalize the people of G-d seeking to keep us quiet.  Evil pervades every sector pushing against the truth of G-d’s Word.  May we rise in the spirit of Hadassah refusing to be intimidated, willing to risk everything in order to see righteousness restored and the kingdom of G-d manifested in our world today.  The words of Mordecai ring true today and I speak them to you as I end this post, “who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this and for this very occasion?”  You are where you are for a purpose. Choose to be the person Adonai can use to change the situation.  Be the voice right where Adonai has placed you.

Don’t be silent.


Rabbi Carol

Week of Prayer 2022 – Saturday Focus – The Incomparable Yeshua


January 8, 2022

The Incomparable Yeshua.  We sing several songs that focus on this truth.  We say it in the opening of our Torah services – Ayn Kamocha – There is none like you.  But sometimes we forget this truth in our day to day life.

No one and nothing compares to Yeshua.  I would encourage you to read some of the psalms that reflect on Adonai’s nature and character.  I was reading Tehillim 104 this  week.  Listen to the first few verses:

1 O Lord, my God, your greatness takes my breath away, overwhelming me by your majesty, beauty, and splendor! 2 You wrap yourself with a shimmering, glistening light. You wear sunshine like a garment of glory. You stretch out the starry skies like a tapestry. 3 You build your balconies with light beams and ride as King in a chariot you made from clouds.You fly upon the wings of the wind. 4 You make your messengers into winds of the Spirit, and all your ministers become flames of fire. 5 You, our Creator, formed the earth, and you hold it all together so it will never fall apart. (TPT)

As we close this  week of prayer, may we truly grasp in our kishkas who Yeshua is.  When we are able to walk in this understanding of His glory and power, we can face anything that life or haSatan throws at us.  We can overcome the darkness because His light is greater.

Remember there is no one like Him – in the heavens above or on the earth below.


Rabbi Carol

Week of Prayer 2022 – Friday Focus – The Preeminent Yeshua


January 7, 2022

What does preeminent mean?  One writer explained it , “has a variety of meanings, including: “above all others; excelling others; excellent; surpassing all others; supreme; superb; marvelous.” Preeminent is related to predominant, meaning: “having ascendency,” “dominating all others.”

As we pray today, let us allow Him to be first in our lives.  Yesterday we shared that no one will be able to dethrone Him because as G-d, He is L-rd of all.  However, as humans, we tend to try to take His place in certain areas of our lives.  We think it is okay that He is L-rd in my spiritual life, but He wants and should be L-rd in every area of your life.  That includes your family, your job, your relationships, etc.

He should be first in our minds.  We say it in the V’Ahavta every week – Talk about Adonai when you lie down, when you rise up, when you’re on the road, and when you’re at home.  Yeshua should not just be in our hearts and minds when we are in a service or in our devotional time.  He should be at the forefront of our minds in every aspect of our lives.

As we pray today, let us choose to make Yeshua preeminent in our lives.


Rabbi Carol

Week of Prayer 2022 – Thursday Focus – The Divine Yeshua

January 6, 2022

Yesterday we focused on Yeshua’s humanity.  Today we focus on His divinity.  This mystery is hard to comprehend, but we must hold firmly to the fact that Yeshua was fully God and fully man at the same time.

Rav Shaul wrote to the kehilah in Rome, “Messiah Himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise!” Romans 9:5  In Messianic Jews we are told, ““The Son is the dazzling radiance of God’s splendor, the exact expression of God’s true nature—his mirror image! He holds the universe together and expands it by the mighty power of his spoken word.”  Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 1:3 TPT  In Yochanan 10:30 Yeshua Himself declares, “I and My Father are one.”

Only G-d can save.  He is Immanuel – G-d with us.  He is L-rd of the Universe and we must allow Him to be L-rd of our lives.  Being L-rd over all means there is no power on this earth that can withstand Him.  He is seated on the throne of heaven and the powers of darkness and of the earth can NEVER overpower or overthrow Him.  That should give us confidence as we approach Him in prayer today.


Rabbi Carol

Wednesday Focus – Week of Prayer 2022 – The Human Yeshua

January 5, 2022

The fact that Yeshua became human should never be taken lightly.  It is through his humanity that He was able to offer Himself up as the once for all sacrifice that takes away the sins of the world.

The writer of the book of Messianic Jews (Hebrews) wrote, “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. . . . Hebrews 2:14–1 NLT Later in this same letter, more

Friends, how awesome that Yeshua died for you and me.  Our names are written in the Book of Life because of His sacrifice.  But not only did He make the ultimate sacrifice, but as He walked on this earth, He experienced the same things you and I experience.  That is why He understands our temptations and what we face every day because in His humanity He faced them too.  S.D. Gordon stated, “Yeshua is G-d spelling Himself out in language humans could understand.”

As we go into our time of prayer today, know that Yeshua truly gets it.  He is not aloof or unaware of our struggles.  Because He encountered the same elements we see in our lives.  He felt pain, He struggled with disappointment, He had to overcome discouragement. We can trust Him to intercede for us because of His empathy for us.

Trust Him today as you pray.


Rabbi Carol

Week of Prayer – Monday focus – The Awesome Yeshua

How awesome is Yeshua!.  Every week we declare in our Torah service – Ayn Kamocha – there is no one like you.  He is glorious, all powerful, full of grace and mercy.  He holds the universe in His hands and yet is focused on every detail of our lives.  May you be filled with a new sense of amazement as your reflect on this amazing G-d who loves you and is watching over you today!  As we pray, it is with the knowledge of who we are praying to – a G-d who does exceedingly abundantly beyond what we can imagine because He is awesome!


L’Shanah Tovah

September 6, 2021

L’Shanah Tovah Umetukah!

As we usher in the New Year of 5782 tonight, we want to take this time to pray over you.

We pray that Adonai will cover you with His presence in this New Year. May this be a year where you fall deeper in love with the Creator of your soul.  May you be filled with His shalom that will drive all fear and anxiety from you. May you know the vastness of His love and the strength of  His compassion in new ways.  We pray that you will receive His love that He desires to lavish on you.

We pray that out of the abundance of His goodness, blessings will flow into your life.  May great joy overflow into every area of your life; may it ooze out of your innermost being like those rivers of living water.  May the year 5782 be a year of freedom for you.  May the truth of G-d’s Word break every chain of darkness holding you in bondage.  We pray that shouts of joy and victory would be heard in your home.

May your homes be a place of refuge not only for your family but for the hurting in our communities.  May they be a place where the presence of G-d abides. May you walk in divine health, and may sickness and disease be removed from you and your family.

We bless you with Adonai’s favor in 5782.  We believe the best is yet to come.


Rabbi Michael and Rabbi Carol Calise

I Was Glad…

June 18, 2021 

Shalom mishpochah,

Tomorrow we return to one service (11 am) where we will be able to worship together as a congregational family.  I am excited and as I thought about our service tomorrow, this verse came to mind.  “I was overjoyed when they said, ‘Let’s go up to the house of the Lord’.” Tehillim (Psalms) 122.1.  I love to be in the house of G-d.  Many of you have heard my testimony.  I came to faith at six years old, and we lived around the corner from the congregation my family started to attend.  I often walked to service. As a teenager, I somehow had a key to the congregation.  I remember going during the week and letting myself in.  I just loved to be there in His presence.  I loved going to services with my family, and we always went whenever the doors were open, which included twice on Sunday, every Wednesday night, and on quite a few occasions every night of the week.

I know this past year was challenging for us.  Regulations imposed on us made it difficult at first for us to meet in person at all. Once we did meet, we had to face the challenge of social distancing, etc.  Habits developed and one of those was watching and participating in the services and ministries of Beth Emanuel online.  Trust me, Rabbi Michael and I are grateful for this technology.  But let me say, they are never a substitute for gathering together to worship and encourage each other.  We will continue to stream online and are asking Adonai to help us use this technology for his glory.  We know there are times when people cannot make it and having the ability to join online is a blessing.

At the same time, we pray that your hearts would be stirred to gather together with one another and to continue to build a strong community that would impact this island and beyond with the Good News of Messiah.  We need you and you need us!  Together we are stronger.  Adonai is still on the throne and He wants us to go forward advancing His kingdom among our Jewish people.  We do hope to see you in person tomorrow, and on Wednesday nights, and at holiday services, and at other special ministry events that Adonai leads us to hold.

Beth Emanuel, we love you and our hearts are filled with great expectation of all that G-d has for us.


Rabbi Carol