How to Read the Bible (sequel 2)

When going to read and trying to study the bible it is best to make a plan beforehand, with the knowledge that it is not so useful to just read the book in one go once in a lifetime.
It is a library of 66 books which demands repetitive reading, not confusing or taking additional human notes as being part of God’s Words.

In the previous article in continued to show the dangers when people continue thinking in the tradition of their philosophers and theologians who do not keep to the proper Word of God, given to us by the many chosen people of God.

Too many people coming to read the Scriptures forget that the notes in those printed books are notes presented by human beings and that when reading and studying the Holy Scriptures we should only concentrate on the biblical words and not on the added thoughts by other men than the ones chosen by God and presented in the original manuscripts.

When reading the Bible we always should concentrate on what is said by whom and about who or what. We also should wonder if what is said about specific situations or actions would still apply for today. To get to know that you shall need to read all the 66 books which together form the Holy Scriptures.

A page from the Aleppo Codex, Deuteronomy 32:50-33:29. Parashah breaks visible on this page are as follows: {P} 33:1-6 (right column blank line 8th from top) {S} 33:7 (right column indentation line 23) {P} 33:8-11 (right column blank line 2nd from bottom) {S} 33:12 (middle column 1st indentation) {S} 33:13-17 (middle column 2nd indentation) {S} 33:18-19 (left column indentation at top) {S} 33:20-21 (left column space in middle of 6th line) {S} 33:22 (left column 13th line indentation) {S} 33:24-39 (left column 17th line indentation).

It is impossible to read the Bible in one go on one day. You are best to take it easy, by going from one parshah or passage (literally, section, division) to another. In the near future I also shall offer such bible reading on this site and therefore I shall start with the first parshah of the Holy Writings, the Parshat Bereishit, which covers from the beginning of Genesis to the story of Noah.

When you go to a service you may find that in the synagogue service, the weekly parshah is followed by a passage from the prophets, which is referred to as a haftarah. Contrary to common misconception, “haftarah” (or haftoroh, plural haftarot or haftoros) does not mean “half-Torah.” The word comes from the Hebrew root Fei-Teit-Reish and means “Concluding Portion”. Usually, haftarah portion is no longer than one chapter, and has some relation to the Torah portion of the week.

The Artscroll Chumash

The most important part of the Holy Scriptures which too many Christians do seem to miss, is the “chumash” or Pentateuch, (a vowel alteration of ḥomesh, meaning “one-fifth”, alluding to any one of the five books – or a Torah or Five Books of Moshe in printed form (i.e. codex) as opposed to a Torah scroll), which shows the world how everything started and why we are in a such a mess today. The name for that assembled work of literature comes from the Hebrew word meaning five, and refers to the five books of the Torah written by the former Egyptian prince who later in life became a religious leader and lawgiver.

Philippe de Champaigne - Moses with the Ten Commandments - WGA04717.jpg
The man, Moshe, chosen by the Almighty Elohim to lead the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, after which they based themselves at Mount Sinai, where he received the Ten Commandments.

We always should remember that though Moshe (or Moses) wrote all those words for next generations to remember, he only was the authorised scribe in the Name of God. In later years we also might find lots of other Hebrew or Jewish scribes, Soferim (Jewish scholars and teachers) and scriveners from other religious groups, but who were not especially selected by God to write down His words. For such, their writings we always should consider as human thoughts not words from the Holy Scriptures. Often they are just penman for religious groups, from one or the other denomination, writing to have people to come to believe in their views, which are not always the biblical views. though we must know that it is by the meticulous work of many copyists that those works Moshe and other men of God wrote down, came to us.

Sometimes, a chumash is simply refers to a collection of the five books of the Torah. But often, a chumash contains the entire first five books, divided up by the weekly parshiyot, with the haftarah portion for each week inserted immediately after the week’s parshah.

https://media1.britannica.com/eb-media/57/26957-004-0FB35126.jpg
Yad or ritual object made of silver, used for eliminating the necessity of touching the sacred manuscript with the hand.

When one is afraid to forget where one is with reading, whilst saying the text out loud, one can use a little stick or yad (literally, “a hand”), usually a six to eight inch piece of silver fashioned in the shape of a finger, to point to the words of the sefer Torah as you read them. This is done so the reader does not obstruct the vision of the person honoured with the aliyah and does not mar the dignity of the Torah by touching it. In Sephardi congregations, the Torah is carried inside a large wooden cylinder that stands erect when open, and the Torah parchment is in an upright position when it is read or like in Ashkenazi congregations, and by using a book version the Torah lying flat.

Today you should not be afraid to take up a printed book, a computer or even a tablet or smartphone to read the set apart Scriptures. Better to come to read the Torah than not reading it.

When going to read the set apart books you should put your mind at rest and leave out all the worldly thoughts, including all possible dogmatic teachings brought in by generations of ancestors or by churches or clergy.

Before starting the reading and study work you should always remember the first blessing God having created human beings in His image, but by man having chosen to go an other way, the Elohim chose Israel to receive His Torah and referred to the giving of the Torah at Sinai. Not bad is to do your Bible reading and study with somebody else. Than you should also bring a second blessing referring to the Oral Torah.

When before you start reading the bible you engage in judging yourself or bringing l’hitpalel or ‘praying‘, you offer yourself to the Elohim showing Him your willingness to open your mind. Without opening your mind to God He shall not be able, or better, will not be so prepared to touch your inner heart. In a way you have to petition God to give you what you need according to the Plan and time-set of Him. Also you should show your gratitude for the Words He presents to you. You should thank Him for whatever good was granted, or extol Him for His awesome attributes. All prayer is intended to help make us into better human beings.

When you do not know how to pray:

A Hasidic tale illustrates the spirit of this ruling.

A boy from a small rural village where there were few Jews and no synagogue, one day accompanied his father to the city to do some marketing. While there, they went into a synagogue. The boy had never been in a synagogue before and he was impressed and moved by the sight of the congregation at prayer. He, too, wanted to pray. But he did not know how. His father had taught him only to say the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, but no more than that. So a thought occurred to him. He began to recite the alphabet over and over again. And then he said,

“0 Lord, You know what it is that I want to say. You put the letters together so they make the right words.”

That, too, was a Jewish prayer.

English: Mishne Torah in 1 volume עברית: משנה ...
Mishne Torah in 1 volume עברית: משנה תורה בכרך אחד, מנוקד ומדויק על פי כתבי יד, בהוצאת מפעל משנה תורה (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Always remember that reading from a prayer book does not mean that one is praying. Any person may read a prayer book as one reads any other kind of book — to find out what it says or to relish the beauty of the poetry. Such reading does not qualify as prayer.
To transform reading into prayer, there must be at least a sense of standing in the presence of God and the intent to fulfil one of His commandments. It is opening your heart to the Voice of God, loving it to enter your body and mind – your body and soul – to fill you with inspirational thoughts which are much higher than the thoughts of people of this world.

Having said prayers before reading the Book of books you also may conclude such reading and studying with prayer, expressing your thankfulness for the Hashem wanting to be close by you and giving His Words to study.

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Preceding articles:

How to Read the Bible

How to Read the Bible (sequel 1)

Called Immanuel does not mean to be Jesus being God

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Additional reading

  1. Priest, scribes and others with authority
  2. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  3. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  4. Own Private Words to bring into a good relationship
  5. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  6. Being sure of their deliverance
  7. Walking alone?
  8. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  9. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  10. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  11. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  12. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  13. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  14. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #12 Prayer #10 Talk to A Friend
  15. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  16. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  17. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment
  18. Praise Jehovah

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Further reading

  1. The Time I Got In Trouble For Studying In Class
  2. Midrashim & History
  3. Sticking To Our Leaders 
  4. With or Without a Comma: How to Tell Love from Passion
  5. Books every Jew(-to-be) should have
  6. Help: the Prayer Book is Too Heavy for Me!
  7. Scripture as Fuel for change

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A beginning by the 2016 Chanukah celebrations

By the beginning of the 2016 festival of Chanukah presenting a new blog on the net. Looking at mankind and seeing so many religious groups I wonder what their relation might be to the worshipping of the real Creator or Maker of the universe.

On Yom Vav, 23rd Kislev 5777 or in the common calendar 2016, December 23, remembering that the 25th of Kislev, 5541 (1780) and 5560 (1799) were the first Day of Chanukah, the day and the day before Chassidim joyfully celebrate the Rosh Hashanah (“new year”) of Chassidism , with an assemblage addressed by a Rebbe for the farbrengens (Chassidic gatherings) and an increased commitment to the ways and teachings of Chassidism. Tachnun (supplication) and similar prayers are omitted whilst they begin anew the yearly cycle of the daily study of the Tanya, Rabbi Schneur Zalman’s major Chassidic work (as part of the “Chitas” daily study program) with its explanation of Chumash, the first five books of the Torah.

English: Hanukkah menorah, known also as Hanuk...
English: Hanukkah menorah, known also as Hanukiah. Česky: Chanukový svícen chanukija (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few hours before we have the Shabbat Mevarchim (“the Shabbat that blesses” the new month) and we come to the eight-day festival of Chanukah lighting at nightfall the first Chanuca candle of the Menorah (seven-branched candelabrum) and the one of the Hanukkah menorah, to start our wintertime “festival of lights,” celebrating the rededication of the Holy Temple, I as a young wanderer, a Benjamin in the darkness of this world, wants to look for more light and spread also myself some light, giving out my hand to those who are also looking to come closer to the Most Almighty Divine Creator of heaven and earth.

Also many Christians may be looking at some light, but lovers of God should question if they are looking for the right light. In this world of darkness lots of pagan activities seem to lure people in for them pleasant festivities and many honoured traditions which for the Creator or not so appreciated. And I think we should do our utmost best to please the Almighty Creator of all things, and therefore should be careful in which activities of the world we would like to become partakers.

Looking at mankind and seeing so many religious groups I wonder what their relation might be to the worshipping of the real Creator or Maker of the universe. Seeing that since the times there came change in the blackness, nothingness and the void the world has not evolved for the good, I wonder how long it still shall take before we might see the Messiah bringing an end to all this ‘shit’.

I am convinced the Maker Himself gave humankind His Word to have them see what is going to happen and to come to know the Plan of This Master Maker. Therefore there is the necessity to come to know that Word of G’d. Wanting to get to know about that marvellous Plan I start my journey with this blog, trying to come to find some clarity in teachings of those who are called the people of that maker, the People of Israel.

Not being a rabbi or rebbe, having respect for those who want to and can teach, I would love to look with you (my readers) what mentors might have to tell. I do hope I shall be able to find some good masters of Torah and shall have enough thoughts to share with them and you to grow up in faith, finding more light in my and your life.

As I look forward to tonight’s commemoration of the miracle of the oil, all the Temple’s oil which was been defiled by the pagan invaders, the Chosen People of G’d having found only one small cruse of ritually pure olive oil and this one-day supply miraculously burning for eight days, until new, pure oil could be obtained, I not only want to recall and publicize that miracle, but want to look at the many miracles the Master Creator and Provider offered to those who were willing to worship Him and Him alone.

I am pleased you have found this site and have read this article. I do hope you will come to visit this site and the other site where I shall present views on Jewish faith. It is not that I shall write very regularly on my own site nor on From Guestwriter, but perhaps and hopefully those little sprinkles shall also be able to shed some more light on Judaic and Christian views and the Way the Elohim wants us to walk

May the Most High Maker bless those who come along this path and guide me to come closer to Him and to bring others also closer to Him.

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Additional reading

  1. Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures
  2. Creation of the earth and man #19 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #3 Beholding image and likeness of the invisible God
  3. Blackness, nothingness, something, void
  4. Accommodation of the Void
  5. Dark Times and Dry Places
  6. Winter and Spring wonders of nature showing the Master’s Hand
  7. A darker and stranger place
  8. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  9. Echo
  10. After darkness a moment of life renewal
  11. Helping each other with prayer to start the new academic year
  12. Contemplation for the month of April……Falsehood darkens the pure knowledge of God!
  13. Path/Walk/Sink
  14. You Need Light for Your Path
  15. He who beams never walks in the dark
  16. Roman, Aztec and other rites still influencing us today
  17. Remember the day
  18. Not holding back and getting out of darkness

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