The Power of Gratitude

This week’s Torah Portion Ekev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25 ) reminds us of the power and importance of gratitude.

Gratitude is in large part about recognizing where your blessings truly come from.

Moses warned:

“When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery … Do not say to yourself, ‘My power and the might of my own hand have gained me this wealth.’ (Deut. 8:11-17)

As Rabbi Sack’s relates:

“The worst thing that could happen to them, warned Moses, would be that they forgot how they came to the land, how God had promised it to their ancestors, and had taken them from slavery to freedom, sustaining them during the forty years in the wilderness. This was a revolutionary idea: that the nation’s history be engraved on people’s souls, that it was to be re-enacted in the annual cycle of festivals, and that the nation, as a nation, should never attribute its achievements to itself – “my power and the might of my own hand” – but should always ascribe its victories, indeed its very existence, to something higher than itself: to God. This is a dominant theme of Deuteronomy, and it echoes throughout the book time and again.[1]

As I wrote only a few months ago my wife and I have experienced our own escape to freedom (from tyranny and oppression) –

And every day (so far, praise Yah), I look around at my “Garden of Eden’ and am still stunned in the power of the Almighty and his great blessing to us. I never dreamed of the life I am now living – it is beyond my dreams – so fortunately gratitude is still coming easily to me. May it remain so!

There has been a great deal of research in gratitude over the years and again quoting Sacks:

“… we now know of the multiple effects of developing an attitude of gratitude. It improves physical health and immunity against disease. Grateful people are more likely to take regular exercise and go for regular medical check-ups.

Thankfulness reduces toxic emotions such as resentment, frustration and regret and makes depression less likely. It helps people avoid over-reacting to negative experiences by seeking revenge. It even tends to make people sleep better. It enhances self-respect, making it less likely that you will envy others for their achievements or success. Grateful people tend to have better relationships. Saying “thank you” enhances friendships and elicits better performance from employees. It is also a major factor in strengthening resilience.

One study of Vietnam War Veterans found that those with higher levels of gratitude suffered lower incidence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Remembering the many things we have to be thankful for helps us survive painful experiences, from losing a job to bereavement.  (mostly from ‘Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life’ at )”

In our case I lost my job (and my wife had already had to retire due to il-health) and so then we also lost our home. But while we went through a stressful time, the Almighty produced a miracle and blessed us enormously such that these painful experiences seem to be more a number of blessings as our life took a new direction and opened up new vistas of splendour!

Again, HaShem be praised and exalted!!


But I Have Promises To Keep And Miles To Go Before I Sleep

In discussing this week’s Torah Portion, Matot-Masay (Numbers 30-36 ) the late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sack makes some very profound statements about Life’s Journey:

After discussing some myths and their typical topology he states:

“… the Torah is not myth but anti-myth, a deliberate insistence on removing the magical elements from the story and focusing relentlessly on the human drama of courage versus fear, hope versus despair, and the call, not to some larger-than-life hero but to all-of-us-together, given strength by our ties to our people’s (or family/tribes) past and the bonds between us in the present.

The Torah is not some fabled escape from reality but reality itself, seen as a journey we must all undertake, each with our own strengths and contributions to our people and to humanity.

We are all on a journey. And we must all rest from time to time. …

In life, there are journeys and encampments. Without the encampments, we suffer burnout. Without the journey, we do not grow. And life is growth. There is no way to avoid challenge and change.

The late Rav Aharon Lichtenstein zt”l once gave a beautiful class on Robert Frost’s poem, ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,’ with its closing verse:

The woods are lovely dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

He analyses the poem in terms of Kierkegaard’s distinction between the aesthetic and ethical dimensions of life. The poet is enchanted by the aesthetic beauty of the scene, the soft silence of the falling snow, the dark dignity of the tall trees. He would love to stay here in this timeless moment, this eternity-in-an-hour. But he knows that life has an ethical dimension also, and this demands action, not just contemplation. He has promises to keep; he has duties toward the world. So he must walk on despite his tiredness. He has miles to go before he sleeps: he has work to do while the breath of life is within him.

The poet has stopped briefly to enjoy the dark wood and falling snow. He has encamped. But now, like the Israelites in Massei, he must set out again. … ethics takes priority over aesthetics. Yes, there are moments when we should, indeed must, pause to see the beauty of the world, but then we must move on, for we have promises to keep, including the promises to ourselves and to God.

Hence the life-changing idea: life is a journey, not a destination. We should never stand still. Instead we should constantly set ourselves new challenges that take us out of our comfort zone. Life is growth.”

My life has changed dramatically this year. Out of trauma and challenge due to making a strong ethical stand, the Almighty has blessed me most surprisingly and abundantly. My ‘tree-change’ has been beyond and better than my dreams.

And yet, I feel I have  ‘pause(ed) to see the beauty of the world’, despite the horror that I also see. I am loving this ‘pause’ but also wondering on this Shabbat (Sabbath) when my ‘sabbatical’ may be over and what new challenges may lie ahead.

I hope and pray that all who read this may be able to reflect on this life’s journey and whether you are currently ‘encamped’ or walking hard and facing new challenges, that you may see the hand of HaShem on your life leading you ultimately to being the best version of yourself and approaching all that He designed and planned you to be, this side of the Olam HaBah (the Coming Age).

Shalom and the Priestly Blessings

Peace isn’t merely the absence of war or strife. It means completeness, perfection.

This week’s Torah Portion (Naso: Numbers 4:21-7:89 ) contains one of the oldest prayers in the world still in continuous use and that is the priestly blessings.

And this is not just within Judaism, but also very common in all Christian circles as well.

22 YHVH said to Moshe, 
23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, and tell them that this is how you are to bless the people of Israel: you are to say to them,

24 ‘May YHVH  bless you and keep you.
25 May YHVH  make his face shine on you and show you his favour.
26 May YHVH  lift up his face toward you and give you shalom.’

27 “In this way they are to put my Name on the people of Israel, so that I will bless them.”
– Numbers 6:22-27

This amazing prayer informed the people of Israel that they were HaShem’s People, that He was placing His Name, His character, His strength and protection on them to bless them and give them shalom (peace). When used by anyone today (and not just the Levite priests) it also signifies a desire to bless the hearers with an attachment to the Almighty and with His Peace.

In an analysis of the blessing by the 15th century Spanish Jewish commentator Rabbi Isaac Arama he argued that shalom does not mean merely the absence of war or strife. It means completeness, perfection, the harmonious working of a complex system, integrated diversity, a state in which everything is in its proper place and all is at one with the physical and ethical laws governing the universe.

Read that again. What an amazing situation to live in if you could have such shalom!

Similarly, Isaac Abrabanel writes, “That is why God is called peace, because it is He who binds the world together and orders all things according to their particular character and posture. For when things are in their proper order, peace will reign” (Abrabanel, Commentary to Avot 2:12).

Peace though is easily damaged and hard to repair.

We seem to spend a fair portion of our lives seeking to restore peace and harmony in relationships. When the proper order of things is damaged it is very shocking and sad how far we can fall from peace and harmony! There is perhaps no more striking example than the loss of peace in a marriage where much love and joy first abounded. The quick and very harsh loss of this shalom that can lead to separation and possibly divorce is most saddening.

In reflecting again on this amazing and uplifting prayer, I think we need to speak it and seek it more often; first in our personal lives and also in our communities and nations.

And I suspect we should seek to better understand how to maintain peace within our relationships as well, so as not to fall too far from it.

I discuss some approaches to maintaining peace in a few of my articles such as these:

Restoring the Fallen Sukkah of David

A new (but really very old) translation of the Gospel of John will soon be published. This translation of Yochanan’s narrative from the very earliest extant copies is seriously significant and refreshingly different from the accepted, but tainted, versions.

The title of this new translation is ‘Restoring the Fallen Sukkah of David‘ and it really is about restoration!

I have already commented here a little in the past on some of the fascinating aspects of this translation.

See for example:

Please see my Foreword to the book here to get a sense of its relevance:

Also viewable via this link:

Our Passover of 2022

Passover is a celebration of the liberation of the Jewish people from tyranny and slavery in Egypt. So Passover is often described as the holiday of freedom.

Every year when we celebrate Passover we can see ourselves as metaphorically leaving ‘Egypt’, that is leaving slavery in all its forms, from tyrannical governments to our own personal slavery to our fleshly lusts and desires that are not in harmony with our Creator.

But in liberal democracies freedom is often misunderstood as the ability to do whatever you like with no oppressive authority telling you what to do. This is not how the Bible defines freedom though – Passover celebrates the freedom to properly worship and honour the Almighty and such freedom comes with many obligations and responsibilities.

Further, Passover is also a commemoration of the incredible interaction of the Almighty with humanity in a most visible and tangible way.

It led to the giving of the Torah on Mt Sinai, which is arguably the greatest event in mankind’s history to date as it gave us a moral code to live by and was one of the strongest and most enduring evidences of the very existence and character of the Creator of the Universe. The whole of the Bible, both the Tanakh and the New Testament are built on the foundational reality and truths of the Mt Sinai event. Without the Exodus and Mt Sinai, we would not likely have been sent our Messiah Yeshua ben Yosef. His whole existence and purpose flows out of the events and interactions that the Chosen People had with the Almighty.

I have written on all this in the past.

For example, here True freedom: free to pursue ultimate meaning-relationship with God and here 600,000 Traditions That Establish the Truth of the God of Israel and here The Passover and The Messiah.

I have celebrated Passover with many people over the years, from a number of Jewish gatherings to many family get-togethers.

But this year was different.

It was, without doubt our most powerful and important Passover celebration to date.

For my wife and I especially, this Passover gave us the opportunity to really celebrate an amazing few months where we have escaped from tyranny, faced many hurdles, doubts and fears but have seen the Almighty work out a most incredible miracle at the 11th hour!

This incredible miracle has seen us enter our ‘land of milk and honey’; our ‘Garden of Eden’. But even our garden has its serpent. We just saw a brown snake passing through between the houses today as I write this.

I wish to share a little of the story here in the hope that it might inspire many more and help others gain the strength to trust HaShem and to stand strong on His Word; His moral and ethical instructions, regardless of our fears and doubts.

The story really started early in 2020 with the news out of Wuhan, China about what sounded like a frightful new terror. From what followed by the end of 2021 it was clear our tyrannical government would look for more and more ways to generate fear and division in order to control us even more. Despite the evidence to the contrary, they called schools places of ‘high-risk’ for transmitting the virus and the ‘writing was on the wall’ (to use the Biblical saying). So by December, we were praying that the so-called Christian school I worked at would see fit to reject the enforcement of the government’s illegal vaccine mandate, but we began to prepare for the worst. I had already written an article in October about the unethical and immoral nature of the various mandates, from the masks, and lockdowns to the vaccine mandates[1].

With the likely expectation of being terminated from the job I loved, and not being able to afford the mortgage any more, December saw us looking across the State for a new home which we could afford once ours was sold and the mortgage paid out.

We looked and travelled far and wide. We saw many properties that were a ‘dog’s breakfast’, as one Real Estate salesman described them. By February after two months of looking and having now been terminated, we were getting a little desperate. At least our property had a great deal of interest and we were able to sell it for a great price, but it was looking like we might need to live in a caravan for a while.

On one of our trips up north (the cheapest properties within 500 km of Brisbane appeared to be either out near Warwick or inland from Bundaberg and Marybourough), we saw a place in Maroondan near Gin Gin that was 25 acres next to a river and was so reminiscent of our home in Kooralbyn that we had had to leave over 20 years ago. We put in an offer but eventually failed to offer a bid that was high enough for the owners.  

Next we put in an offer on a 5 acre property just out the back of Childers and this fell through as well.

We had set a budget based on our funds left after the sale of our Daisy Hill property and then late one night, one of my daughters sent through a listing of an 8 acre property that was also in Marrondan that was $50k over budget but that looked so incredibly good.  I couldn’t resist showing my wife, but said don’t look for too long as we can’t afford it! She just keep looking at each photo and saying ‘WOW!’.

So I spent the night in turmoil thinking can we? What if I use the little Super I have that I have saved over the last 3 years? So I called the Real Estate agents, asked some questions and decided to go for it. But due to the floods at the time we couldn’t even get to physically see the place!

After upping our offer a little, Sara, the amazing owner of the property, selected our bid even though it was not the highest. It was like we had won the lottery!

There were a lot of ‘co-incidences’ that I can’t detail here, but they all seemed to scream that this was meant to be.

What was meant for evil had been turned to great good!

Home in Maroondan, Qld.

Our Father in Heaven had smiled so lovingly on us and blessed us at the 11th hour with the most amazing property that has absolutely everything and more that we could have imagined. Baruch HaShem!

He took us out of slavery, through the Red Sea of fear and doubt, and rescued us at the last moment and gave us our very own paradise.

My wife and I have seen His Hands at work though all this. We have had our fears and doubts and at times it has seemed so much easier to go with the flow and accept the tyranny. So we certainly don’t judge those who have given in to the tyranny or who perhaps are not well enough informed to even recognize the evil being forced on them. But having stepped out in faith, He has abundantly rewarded us! His Name be praised for ever and ever. His mercy and grace endures forever!

Many may think they really have no choice, that there is nothing they can do to stand up against these unethical and immoral impositions being forced on them.

Many things in life seem impossible and unachievable when first sighted, yet we know from life’s experiences that if you work at something, repeatedly and over time, you can normally achieve great things. A baby learning to walk fails many times but just keeps trying until the skill and strength to stand and walk grows enough.

It is much the same with learning to stand on the ethical principles and Moral Instructions (Torah) that God presents to us. We need to practice them over time; in the little things; in the closet as well as in the public square, and then when the real challenge arrives, we may find we have the strength to stand and trust HaShem to deliver us.

The story is told of a great Rabbi many years ago in Russia who had a gun put to his head by a Russian soldier. Reputedly he laughed and the soldier asked why he had no fear of the gun and its power to end his life. His reply was that the soldier holding the gun had One World and Many Gods; but he has One God and Two Worlds. If the soldier pulled the trigger, he would simply go from this world to the next! What strength of faith and trust in HaShem! Be this Rabbi!

There is so much more I could share about how the Almighty has directed our path to paradise but I will close for now. If you really want to know more please feel free to get in touch.

[1] CovidEthics.pdf (

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good:

Some 12 months ago I reflected on the Torah Portion Vayechi (see here).

I started off with the comment that Yosef (Joseph) states to his brothers who had rejected and betrayed him, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.”

In my post I discussed how the Almighty worked through a very trying time for Yosef and ultimately placed him in an exalted position where he was able to help his brothers who had much earlier rejected and punished him.

But where are we now 12 months later in terms of the world-wide challenges facing us as a result of the Corona virus.

Many are now being, in a very real sense, ‘sent to prison’, as Yosef was. Who are these people?

In my opinion it is a great many of the most educated among us, but not only are these ‘outsiders’, these newly designated ‘unclean’, well educated but more importantly they are the ones who clearly have well-developed critical thinking skills and reasonable logical thinking skills as well.

Here in Queensland, these ‘outsiders’ include some 6000 teachers and 7000 nurses (according to the leading unions for these professions).  

These outsiders need to hear the prophetic and extremely powerful words of Yosef:

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.”.

These teachers, nurses, police, hospitality workers and others in allegedly ‘high-risk’ workplaces are being fired from their vital roles and facing the prospects of having to sell their homes and leave family and friends behind in pursuit of new ways of putting a roof over their heads and food on their tables.

There clearly is a lot of pain and serious financial hardship as we see a growing discrimination and segregation in our society that so easily and ignorantly accepts medical apartheid (erringly similar to what happened to the Jewish People in Germany in the 30’s).   

But despite the battles lost so far, and the set-backs being experienced at this time, we know who the ultimate winner is.

The Almighty will prevail!

He will somehow make it work for good.

As I stated 12 months ago, we really need to draw close to Yehovah and trust Him and know that He is at work through all this and He will find a Way where there seems to be no way.

We need to hold onto to Him as we continue to stand for truth and justice and against the increasing tyranny (both intentional and blind) of most of those in leadership over us.

I am doing something new; it’s springing up — can’t you see it?
I am making a road in the desert, rivers in the wasteland.
” – Isaiah 43:1

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

At this time, as the darkness and madness grows daily, we may not be able to see how we will be like Yosef and able to help the world when it wakes up and escapes into the Light, but we are called to #holdtheline and trust Him.

Repentance, Reconciliation, Rejoicing

A reflection on the Day of Atonement:

I have always felt that when a husband and wife have a disagreement an invisible emotional wall can begin to build between them. If the disagreement or argument is not ‘nipped in the bud’, this ‘wall’ can grow and grow and seem more impenetrable by the hour and by the day.

And it seems to me that someone, at some stage, needs to break down this wall that can seem so wide and deep and unbreakable. It takes someone to crack, to lose their anger or hurt and blaming attitude, and instead humble themselves in an attempt to break through with no guarantee that they will succeed. And sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the wall remains for hours or days and so their sense of humility and apologetic servitude needs to remain clearly seen.

And perhaps, if such walls have been built too often and too strong in the past, this time the wall may not crumble and fall and the relationship may be irreparably damaged.  I mourn to see this ending of marriages. How much more must it grieve the Almighty.  

As each person blames the other for the problems in the relationship, there needs to come a time when one of them makes the choice to accept their own weaknesses; and take responsibility for their own role in this discord. The alternative may be that they instead allow their arrogance to contribute to the slow breakdown of the relationship.

As long as both the husband or wife are in the blaming mode, they will find no common ground. Once they move from blaming to accepting responsibility, there is a hope of a move forward.

This is, in essence, what the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is about.

We may have drifted away from God over the past year. We have not taken pleasure in His world in the way we know we should. We have not moved ourselves into deeper levels of Godliness. We have not taken Him seriously enough.

But worse, perhaps we have been blaming Yehovah Himself for the things that are not working well in our lives.

Perhaps we blame Him for our pain; for our lack of closeness to Him or even for His appearing to be hidden from us. Perhaps we see a world of ignorance, division, evil and suffering and we wonder where He is in all of this, and so in a sense we blame Him.

But it is we who are the real problem in the relationship, not Yehovah!

Yom Kippur is about stopping the blaming and instead taking responsibility.

Yom Kippur gives us another opportunity to stand before Him, fisted hand against heart and say, “God: it’s not your fault.” I take responsibility. I am not who I should be, so life is not what it could be. I am the problem in the relationship, not You.

I will begin the process of reconciliation.

When the emotional wall is torn down and a husband and wife reconcile, there is great relief and joy that the closeness and intimacy has been restored and that they are ‘one’ again.

Yom Kippur can be a day when any wall that has been built between us and our Father in Heaven can be torn down and rejoicing can take place! This relationship, unlike the marital one, is always retrievable. We are always to blame. Yehovah is always ready to embrace us.

Yom Kippur involves three essential steps to successful repentance (teshuvah):

  1. taking responsibility for our actions,
  2. identifying the root cause of our wrongdoings, and
  3. realizing that, far from despising us for our transgressions, God wants us to come back to Him.

This is an opportunity to realign our lives with our goals, to rebuild ourselves, and to renew our relationship with our Creator. At its root, Yom Kippur is a day of true joy.

God wants to be merciful. He wants us to repent and come back to Him.

Your yetzer hara (evil inclination) may try to dissuade you and implant a voice of despair. “Look at you! You’ve strayed so far. You’re irredeemable. How can you even dream of returning? God can’t possibly want you back!”

But the whole narrative of the Bible is that the Almighty wants a relationship with us. He never gives up on us, no matter how far we’ve strayed. It’s never too late to begin again, to break down that wall and regain an intimacy with our Creator and Redeemer.

Repent (turn back) from your failures.

Reconcile – make peace with your Father through confessing your mistakes.

And then rejoice in the restoration of your relationship with Him!

Sheep Without a Shepherd

At this time as tyranny grows throughout the Western World under the direction and control of our political leaders and techno-fascists and as the MSM is complicit in hiding the truth from the great majority, it is clear that we are sorely in need of some real leadership.

But such leadership needs to devolve from Yehovah, it needs to be founded on Torah, on His Instructions and His Truth or it cannot lead us out from under this tyranny.

In this weeks Torah Portion, Pinchas, as Moses faces his impeding death and having already seen his brother and sister depart, he asks of Yehovah:

“… May the Lord, God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.” (Num. 27:15-17)

Moses recognized how important good leadership was. After-all the Exile itself called for exceptional leadership. And today as we are increasingly losing our freedoms; of speech, of movement, of health choices, etc., we are also in a very real sense returning to Egypt, to slavery imposed from world leaders who clearly lack moral and ethical character based on strong Biblical foundations.

But how to we develop these leaders, these shepherds if it is not already too late?

There is I think a hint in Isaiah 2 when Isaiah speaks of the last days and states:

Isaiah 2:3 “For out of Zion shall go forth the Torah,
    and the word of Yehovah from Jerusalem.”

We see immediately following in the very next verse:

Isaiah 2:4 “… and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
    and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
    neither shall they learn war anymore.”.

We could easily interpret this connection as teaching that by learning and living Torah, which includes teaching it (see the full text of the Shema for example), we can have a part to play in bringing true redemption and peace to the world.

And by ‘we’, I think the Bible is very clear that this can be anyone. It does not just mean the rich and powerful, the Kings and political leaders of our day, but anyone who heeds the call of Micah 6:8.

Yehovah Himself called for everyone to be lovers of His Way, His Torah:

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: Be holy, because I, the Lord your God, am holy'” (Lev. 19:2).

And it is also clear from 1 Samuel 2 that Yehovah can bless anyone who truly seeks Him:

“The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
He humbles and He exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
He seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honour.”
 (I Sam. 2:7-8)

But also there is a warning that any who seek to lead us, to be our shepherds need to retain the focus of Micah 6:8 and daily seek to heed Torah:

“He who keeps the fig tree shall eat its fruit” (Prov. 27:18). 

There is an implication here that a failure to keep Torah can lead to a failure to remain right with Yehovah and eat the fruit of eternal life. I discuss this in depth in my “Amazing Grace” article – see

The great Rabbi Maimonides wrote that:

… With three crowns was Israel crowned – with the crown of Torah, the crown of Priesthood, and the crown of Kingship. The crown of Priesthood was bestowed on Aaron and his descendants. The crown of Kingship was conferred on David and his successors. But the crown of Torah is for all Israel. Whoever wishes, let them come and take it. Do not suppose that the other two crowns are greater than that of Torah…. The crown of Torah is greater than the other two crowns.” – Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Talmud Torah 3:1.

And as the great Rabbi Sacks stated in reflecting on this ruling by the RAMBAM: In the world defined and created by Torah, everyone is a potential leader. We can all earn the right to wear the crown.”

So if you are wearing this crown, can you also seek to lead your world, your community, your family as the vice grip of tyranny grows daily?

May Yeshua, who is the Torah Dressed in Flesh, that is, who best epitomised how to live in right relationship with Yehovah, be your guide!

Pronouncing the Almighty’s Personal Name

The Aleppo Codex (see photo below) and apparently at least 90 Hebrew manuscripts have the vowels for the Tetragrammaton (YHVH) as per the introduction to the Chumash – Stone Edition

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You may note in the image from the Stone Edition of the Chumash below, (preface page xiv), that the Orthodox Jews are instructed by the author to NEVER pronounce His name as it should be pronounced!

You might ask why?

There are a great many issues with Orthodox (or Akiva) Judaism (as opposed to the true faith of Yeshua Judaism), but here I believe is a perhaps well-intentioned but mistaken and mis-guided attempt to avoid blaspheming the Name of the Almighty (some argue that this use of Adonai or HaShem, etc instead of  Yehovah started as early as the return from Babylon).

As explained in the ‘duolingo’ article (link below) these vowels are ‘shva’ (pronounced ‘e’), Cholam (pronounced ‘o’) and Kamatz (pronounced ‘a’), giving the pronunciation of the Almighty’s name as ‘Yehovah’.

While there are many who dispute this, having listened to Nehemia Gordon and after doing some research of my own, I am fairly persuaded.

In the linked article: “Because of Arab influence on Hebrew, some pronounce the vav letter as a W and call it a waw.”  That’s why you see the word Yahweh instead of Yahveh and the transliteration YHWH instead of YHVH.

Nehemiah Gordon’s recent research (2016-2017) proves that “It’s a Vav,” as one of his blog posts is aptly titled.

He shares evidence from the scrolls of Jeremiah, 1 Kings and Nehemiah that vet (always a V sound) and vav are equivalent because the word for “back” (gav) is written alternatively with either letter. Check out in the Hebrew Aleppo Codex Ezekiel 23:35 (“back”/gav spelled with vav) vs Ezekiel 43:13 (“back”/gav with soft bet/vet) and 1 Kings 14:9 (“back” gav spelled with vet). Nehemiah 9:26 (“back”/gav with vav).

He also debunks the idea that Arab or Ashkenazi/Yiddish influence led to the vav being pronounced as a W universally. He lists six Jewish communities (without European influence) who nevertheless pronounced the vav as a V: Kurdish Jews, Syrian Jews, Egyptian Jews, Persian Jews, Moroccan Jews, Algerian Jews. This is in contradiction to five communities who pronounce it as a W due to Arab influence: the Yemenite Jews, Baghdadi Jews, Libyan Jews, Tunisian Jews, Atlas Mountain Jews.”

I think His Name is important – at least according to the Tanakh:

Zechariah 13:9 “… They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say: They are My people, and they will say: “Yehovah is our God.”

Ezekiel 39:7 “So I will make My holy name known among My people Israel and will no longer allow it to be profaned. Then the nations will know that I am Yehovah, the Holy One in Israel.”

Of course, knowing Him and being obedient to Him is much more important than knowing how to properly pronounce His personal name.

If we truly know Yeshua as Mashiach ben Yosef, we will also be obedient to his Father and ours.

Some supporting links:

Below is a chart showing what the vowels  ‘shva’ (pronounced ‘e’), Cholam (pronounced ‘o’) and Kamatz (pronounced ‘a’) look like:

For much more detail see this link on Nehemia Gordon’s site:

Nehemia's Wall 

Yeshua: An ‘elevator pitch’

I was asked to give an ‘elevator pitch’ and answer a few basic questions on how I personally saw Yeshua.

Some of these questions were:

Who Yeshua was (is)?

What did he achieve?

What was his purpose?

Who was he?

Does he have a place/purpose now?

Will he have one in the future?

My short answers (with some links to articles where I have expounded in some ways on these questions and related issues:

Who Yeshua was (is)?

A man born naturally to Yosef and Miriam who has the credentials based on his genealogy to be Messiah – see

The Messiah ben Yosef and soon to be King Messiah ben David – see

The hope of the all who are aware of their heart’s longing for eternity (‘… He has put eternity into man’s heart …’ – Ecc 3:11) – see my discussion on the place and importance of the Resurrection here –

THE High Priest – see   – this is one of the few positions that I hold in one sense tentatively at this time.

My tentative position is whether Yeshua is not only the Kohein HaGadol (the High Priest) in the Olam HaBah (the Coming Age), but also the High Priest now and for the last 2000 years?

My understanding of the Bible is that his role is a future one, though spoken as if now (using the Prophetic Perfect tense – see

In many practical ways I would argue he is the High Priest now, even though the Torah would appear to argue that he can only take on the role in the Coming Age.

Also, the Second Adam (i.e. the first of the New Creation of humanity), the Advocate, the Judge on the Great Day, etc.

What did he achieve?

He managed to overcome his Yetzer Hara ( and fully live by the will of God so that he qualified to be resurrected and demonstrate the reality of eternal life. But his life, his example in many ways is more significant, as it led to the spread of monotheism and the belief in the God of Israel throughout the world. While his People were supposed to be the Light to The Gentiles, Yeshua lead the way so powerfully in this, that he can be considered to be Israel – see my commentary on Isaiah 49 –

There is also a sense in which he is the Goal of Torah and Torah is the Goal of Messiah – see

What was his purpose?

Luke 4:43, Mark 1:38 & 1 John 3:8 – to preach the Good News of the Coming Age.

Who was he?

An orthodox Jewish man, born in the lineage of King David and born with the destiny to be Messiah Ben David, the Redeemer of Israel and the whole world.

Does he have a place/purpose now?

Very much so – for starters, he offers atonement now (at least a definition of it that Rabbi Sacks and Kempinski explain so well), and also much more as the High Priest on THE Yom Kippur to come. See

This is just a very basic primer as no one can really do justice to this man, this extremely unique man so specially chosen by Yehovah to be the central figure of human history, yet with a humility and focus on His Father and ours, that all his actions and all his words pointed to and preached Yehovah –

But more than this, he is quite possibly the most mis-understood and maligned person in all history as well! To give some clue of how radically different to common expectations I would argue Yeshua was and is, it is my contention that the person with the greatest appreciation of who and what Yeshua was in living memory is an orthodox Jewish Professor from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the late Professor David Flusser, and NOT the leading scholars of Christianity who claim him.

Flusser even argues that in many ways Christianity ‘betrays Jesus’!

“… I know that it is not so easy for Gentiles to accept the thorough Jewishness of Jesus. Because then it would mean that they had received a foreign god and not their own ancient pagan gods. So they have to assimilate Jesus to the Greek gods.” …

“As far as you depart from the Hebrew background of the Gospels as far as you go farther from the Jewish origin of the Gospel and of the Jewishness of Jesus by this I would even say 
you betray Jesus himself.” – from

Will he have one in the future?

This is the most exciting if all questions! The time to come with Yeshua returns as Messiah ben David and the era of the Olam HaBah (The Coming Age) or the Kingdom of God arrives is something worth stopping the elevator for and spending considerable time studying and contemplating.

I have written and presented many times on what the future holds. I do not think we focus anywhere enough on it.

I introduce some of this work here:

When Yeshua is installed as our Messiah King, we will have a world where truth, justice and peace abound. A world that will fully express the love, joy and beauty of the Almighty and of His humanity made in His Image.