Sabbath Requirements As Per Tanakh (The Old Testament)

Sabbath Requirements As Per Tanakh

https://www.facebook.com/CenterforTanakhBasedStudies

By: William and Danielle Jackson (thank you for all your help and input on this article, Danielle).

Isaiah 56:2 tells us “not to desecrate or profane the Sabbath”. The Hebrew word that could mean either desecrate or profane is “chalal” which means to pierce. So we need to protect the Sabbath from those things that would depreciate it. When each of us started off on our faith journey, we usually followed those that had been doing it longer. “Why not, right?” they seem to know more. But; we all need to get to the point in our walk that we look to His answers in Torah/Tanakh on our own; rather than always depending on what others tell us His word says. One reason to do this is, if we are to protect the Sabbath, we must know the rules outlined in Torah/Tanakh for keeping the Sabbath, for ourselves – personally.

Sabbath, one sunset to the next sunset?

In Genesis 1:5 it states, “there was evening, and there was morning, one day.” Basically, HaShem’s day begins when the preceding day closes, at sunset (1). This is confirmed in Leviticus 23:32.

Preparation:

We should always prepare for Sabbath. Like getting ready for a date, or an important meeting, everything needs to be ready. We don’t want distractions during our Sabbath rest, like not having groceries, or getting telephone calls, a lawn that needs mowing, or a house that’s not kept, and anything else that would prevent us from enjoying His holy day and being able to rest in Him. A good example would be in (Exodus 16:22-23,29-30), where we’re told to make sure we’ve prepared food in advance. 

Let’s explore more instructions for Sabbath Day:

1. Do not work: Ex. 20:9-10, 34:21, Leviticus 23:3, Numbers 15:32-36, Deuteronomy 5:13-14

Exceptions are as follows: 

a. Financial Reasons:

Ancient Israel was an agricultural society (2). Thus sowing seed and harvesting would have been critical to their culture. So when Exodus 34:21 tells us to rest in spite of “plowing time and harvest season” it says a lot. As a farmer, by resting on planting and harvesting day, you would have to have a lot of trust YHVH.

b. Self Preservation:

When it comes to national defense there are exceptions for observing the Sabbath in History and the Tanakh. One example is Jehoiada, the Temples chief priest around 841 BCE (3). He put a third of the priest and Levites on guard duty during Sabbath (2 Kings 11:6, 2 Chronicles 23:4). Also, about 700 years after that (during the Maccabean rebellion), Jews not defending themselves against Syrian attacks on the Sabbath were killed and greatly defeated. This changed in 1 Maccabees 2:39-41 where Mattathias, a Jewish priest, and his friends decided to defend themselves against attacks during the Sabbath (4). It appears only situations on preserving human life would allow us to violate the Sabbath.

2. Do not make anyone else labor: Exodus 23:12, Deuteronomy 5:14

3. Do not do business: Nehemiah 10:32, 13:15-21

4. Do not kindle a fire: Exodus 35:3

5. As mentioned above, do not prepare food: Exodus 16:22-23,29-30

6. Do not pursue or speak about your own interests: Isaiah 58:13

7. Rest: Exodus 16:29-30, 23:12, 31:15,17, 35:2, Leviticus 23:3

8. Sing and Praise YHVH: Psalm 92

9. Although some might say “Do not leave your home” quoting from Exodus 16:29.  If you read all of Exodus 16 you will find out that Moses was telling people not to leave their homes to gather manna.  Likewise, this was a guideline before the commandment to observe the Sabbath was actually issued (Exodus 20:10).  

10. Read His word: In Leviticus 23:3 it states we are to have a “holy convocation or assembly. What does that mean? Holy Convocation is made up of two Hebrew words; “qodesh” which is apartness or sacredness and “miqra” which is a convocation or a reading. Studying Torah would meet this requirement.

Conclusion:

For those that keep the Sabbath,

Isaiah 56:7 I will bring them to my holy mountain

and make them joyful in my house of prayer;

their burnt offerings and sacrifices

will be accepted on my altar;

for my house will be called

a house of prayer for all peoples.”

Shabbat Shalom.

References

(1) By Emily Thomsen, When Does It Start? SabbathTruths.com

(2) By Jenny Phillips, ANCIENT ISRAELITES AND AGRICULTURE, American Bible Society

(3) JEHOIADA, Jewish Virtual Library

(4) SABBATH, The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, JewishEncyclopedia.com

Non-Jews Keeping the Sabbath

Non-Jews keeping the Sabbath pic

https://www.facebook.com/CenterforTanakhBasedStudies

By: William Jackson

This is an emotionally charged topic amongst Tanakh (Old Testament) believers. Should those of us that are non-Jewish honor the Sabbath as outlined in Tanakh? Many Rabbinics would say “no”, and those that say “yes” qualify their answer by saying that the non-Jews are not to keep it completely. Let’s delve into HaShem’s word where we will gather answers to this question.

HaShem identified to the Jews that the Sabbath serves as a special “sign” or symbol between Himself and the people of Israel (Exodus 31:13, 17, Ezekiel 20:12, 20). Not only that, in Deuteronomy 5:15 the Jews are ordered to keep it. Many Jewish sources, like the Talmud, believe that the Sabbath is exclusive to the Jews only. In the Babylonian Talmud, Maharsha (Sanhedrin 58b) compares Shabbos to the bride of the Jewish people, and compares gentiles observing it to adultery (1). In the Mishneh Torah, Rambam pushes it further and writes that gentiles are not allowed to rest during any day of the week, be it Shabbat, Sunday, or even Wednesday (2). The Talmud takes the privilege of Sabbath handed down by HaShem, and builds in its restrictions.

Conversely, over and over again, in Torah, it states that there is only one law for the Jew and the “Ger” (foreigner), Exodus 12:49, Numbers 15:16,29, Leviticus 24:22. Yes, the Jews have the requirement to observe Sabbath, as before mentioned, and HaShem also tells us, who are not Jewish, to look toward the Jews for the concepts of worship (Deuteronomy 4:6-7, Isaiah 2:2-3, 45:14, 55:5, 60:3, Malachi 1:11). Additionally, the Torah never tells us that the Sabbath is exclusively for the Jews.

Isaiah 56:3, 6-7 tell us that the foreigner who joins himself to Adonai and keeps the Shabbat will be accepted by Adonai. In the Babylonian Talmud (Rashi on Yevamot 48b) adds what he thinks on this matter by saying, “Every non-Jew who renounces idolatry, needs to keep the Sabbath; because every act that desecrate the Sabbath, is itself, a species of idolatry.” An example of this would be the holy anointing oil. In Exodus 30:32 it talks about how the oil is “sanctified” and “restricted” for HaShem’s designations. In Genesis 2:3 Adonai sanctified the Sabbath, and a millennium and a half later, He extended it to the Israelites to honor. But we need to remember, He never gave restrictions against anyone else honoring it. Like with the anointing oil, HaShem has no problem identifying His restrictions, and we need to remember that the Sabbath was not restricted from the foreigner.

For those of us that honor HaShem’s word, we honor His 10 Commandments also, and honoring the Sabbath is one of them. If we just apply what the Tanakh tells us about His wishes for us on Sabbath, we will be honoring the Sabbath as HaShem requires us to, therefore; we should do those things specified by Torah pertaining to Sabbath… such as;

Not working: Exodus 20:10

Not Leaving Home: Exodus 16:29

Resting: Exodus 23:12; 34:21

and focusing on study and prayer.

This Thursday (April 30th) we will publish a list of Sabbath requirements, as per Tanakh only. 

Even though Talmud goes on both sides of the isle about who is and isn’t allowed to honor Sabbath, we need to always remember that HaShem Himself never restricts the Sabbath to only the Jew. As well, if we look into Leviticus 23 we will see the seven feast and Festivals. It never says that the nations or the foreigners are to participate; but in other areas of Tanakh they are encouraged (Numbers 15:13-16, Isaiah 66:18-23, Zechariah 14:16-19, Malachi 1:11, Psalm 86:9). I personally am grateful that the Master of the universe allows me to dedicated one day a week, on His Sabbath, to rest in Him and to honor Him. 

References

(1) Why shouldn’t Gentiles keep Shabbat?, Mi Yodeya

(2) By Noel Rude, Should the Goyim (Gentiles) Remember the Sabbath?

(3) RABBI DR. H. FREEDMAN, B.A., Ph.D., SHABBATH

Rise and Shine! On Yourself

11157944_1433181790329305_1271206059_n
Rise and Shine…on Yourself
BY: TCLeach at http://throughanewlens.blogspot.com

Welcome to the “Rise and Shine” column, I’m glad you’re here! Without question, The Father would have us go about shining His light into this dark world. Being light is the best witness we can offer others who do not know HaShem (The Name). Being light may not come naturally, it’s a deliberate decision and it takes practice! Being light adds a new perspective to any situation. It is very important, though, for us to start with ourselves. We can’t shine if our own spirit is filled with shadows. Since this is the very first post for this column, it’s a perfect opportunity for us to take a look at some of the ways we can make sure we’re filled with The Father’s light. I made a simple checklist, because it’s easy to become complacent. It’s easy to think that just because we love our God, our light is always lit. It can be, but it takes effort on our part. As many times a day as I need to, I go over my list, to be sure I have enough light to share.

 

  • Repent
  • Prayer
  • Scripture Study
  • Gratitude
  • Shalom

 

We must repent of the sin we are ensnared in. If you’re like me, even as you read that sentence, the sin you need to repent from fluttered through your mind. Some of them are big and noticeable. More often, though, they are the subtle ones. The ones we may not even realize we’re doing. Quieter, but no less deadly. Repenting is a decision, followed by an action. When we find ourselves repenting of the same thing over and over, it’s time to stop and focus on that particular issue, and be rid of it for good! If we lie, steal, gossip, complain and cause strife, we are casting shadows, not shining light.

 

Prayer is essential to going about being light. When we achieve a genuine connection with our Creator, things happen in the spiritual realm we can’t begin to understand. Giving The Father our undivided attention and reverence is essential. Make sure to take some time during prayer to listen. Be still, and know that YHWH is God. You may find during this silence that He has something to “say” to you! We must never say that we don’t have time to pray! The Father knows that we will make time for that which is most important to us.

 

There is no doubt that we are changed from within through Scripture Study. This is also something we must make time for if we want to live the life HaShem intends for us to live. In Scripture, HaShem allows us to get to know Him better. As we progress in our reading, we begin to see a wonderful plan emerging! Torah is so much more than a list of dos and don’ts, it is a set of instructions that keeps us walking in light. There are so many wonderful sites that offer the weekly Torah Portions! It’s an easy way to make sure we’re getting enough spiritual food. But don’t stop there! Look up verses your friends are talking about, ones you hear on the radio, or ones The Father lays on your heart. When we fill ourselves with The Father words, they will be quick to be on our own lips.

 

Perhaps you know a person who exhibits no gratitude. Do you find yourself hurrying to not be around them too long? What energy drainers people with no gratitude are! If we started listing the things we could be grateful for, we would run out of time before we were done! In these tough times, there are a lot of us who are living with little. Being grateful for what we have will make the little seem like so much more! I don’t have a car, and am so grateful to have family who will cheerfully share theirs. I can’t shop retail for new clothes, and am grateful I love searching the local Goodwill for unique pieces. I don’t have a phone that goes online, or will even take a photo, and am grateful that my old girl still dials. How about you? Can you counter all of your “have-nots” with gratitude for the things you have?

 

Shalom is a word that means so much more than peace! It also encompasses wholeness or completeness. Peace, though, is the outward manifestation of the Shalom HaShem bestows within us. This was a tough one for me in the beginning of my journey. The world runs on drama and stress, something all too easy to fall into! Shalom requires our attention. If being peaceful isn’t natural for us (for some it is) we will learn it best through practice. My bird taught me a great lesson about being peaceful. He loves sitting on my shoulder and preening my hair for me. He will stay there until an unexpect noise startles him, or an unexpected movement by me, and then he’s gone! My shalom can be like that too. It can fall like rain and cover me like a blanket. If I’m not mindful of this great peace, it can be shattered by someone who has none, or a situation that can bring out the very worst in me. When I feel like I’m losing my shalom, I know it’s time to check the checklist!

 

Once we address all the lighting issues within ourselves, we are ready to shine The Father’s light outward, towards others! Next week we will take a look at brightening up our homes and our family by being light. Until then, let’s continue looking up, and looking within. Know that I’ll be praying for you as we sojourn through this world together.

In HaShem, ~T

Coming Soon!!

11157944_1433181790329305_1271206059_n
Coming Soon!!

Center for Tanakh Based Studies is very excited to announce that author TC Leach is going to be doing a column called “Rise and Shine!” for all of us!!

We were blessed to get a sneak peek at this weeks article to come, and you don’t want to miss this!!

Be sure to look for the “Rise and Shine!” columns ever Monday!!

Moving Closer to Torah, Passing the Test

59983_318558331589430_529492245_n
https://www.facebook.com/CenterforTanakhBasedStudies
By: William Jackson

Does HaShem test us? The answer is “yes“, I think you remember the story of Abraham sacrificing his son (Genesis 22:1-18). HaShem never intended us to be put on Earth with no challenges, as if on auto pilot. It’s these test that develop and shape us. Even the Psalmist David said “Examine me, God, and know my heart; test me, and know my thoughts” (Psalm 139:23). Deuteronomy 13 gives us guidelines to pass His test, have you applied them?

Deuteronomy 13:1-4

“Everything I am commanding you, you are to take care to do. Do not add to it or subtract from it. “If a prophet or someone who gets messages while dreaming arises among you and he gives you a sign or wonder, and the sign or wonder comes about as he predicted when he said, ‘Let’s follow other gods, which you have not known; and let us serve them,’ you are not to listen to what that prophet or dreamer says. For Adonai your God is testing you, in order to find out whether you really do love Adonai your God with all your heart and being.

(Read more; Deuteronomy 13:5-6)

“Do not add to it or subtract from it (Torah)”.

HaShem forbids people to add to His word (Deuteronomy 4:2, Joshua 1:7, Proverbs 30:6). So anything added to the Torah would be incorrect, right? What about the other books that make up the Tanakh (Old Testament)? If we skip forward five more chapters in Deuteronomy we come to Deut 18. In verses 15-19 Moses states “Adonai will raise up for you a prophet…” and “You are to pay attention to him”.

Now we have in Deuteronomy 13 certain prophets we are not to follow, and in Deuteronomy 18 we have certain prophets we are required to follow. Maybe we should start with this question; “what is a prophet?” We do know that “no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses” since his time (Deuteronomy 34:10) .  So Moses serves as a model for the prophets (1). It appears that Moses’ chief purpose was to be a spokesman for YHVH to talk to His people. Thus a prophet is a conduit for Adonai. In addition to the garden verity prophets, there were some who saw visions, these were “Seers”. In 2 Chronicles 9:29 it hints at the deferent types of prophets (2). So when Moses and HaShem talk about the prophet they are referring to the prophets that will pen their respective books in the Tanakh (3). But, what about the other authors in the Tanakh? How did they end up there?

Let’s start with King David. Now he was a poet, and the rabbis believe that David wrote the Book of Psalms, or at least edited it (4). Also David’s son, King Solomon, wrote the Song of Songs, the Book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes (5). Although these great figures in Israel’s history used prophets they were not prophets. So, how did their books make it into Tanakh? Their books come under a category called “writings” (3) . The writings do not add to or take away from the law of Torah, they heighten it. These are mostly poems and hymns. If you were to compare Torah to a movie the “writings” are comparative to a “sound track”. Although a sound track can enhance a movie it doesn’t change it’s storyline.

As stated in Deuteronomy 13:1-4 Adonai warns us against following certain prophets, ones that cause you to “follow other gods“. Then in Deuteronomy 18:15-19 Adonai tells use to follow certain prophets. In these verses there are two qualifiers for the prophet that we are to follow: he will be like Moses, and he will be a Israelite. The Islamic religion points to this and says it’s Mohammed, whereas the Christian religion points to this and says it’s Jesus/Yeshua. We need to remember Mohammed was not an Israelite and Jesus was not a prophet, actually Jesus claimed to be a deity.

Conclusion

Have you ever been in noisy building without windows, like a factory, conference room or bowling alley? Did you notice the feeling when you opened a door to go outside? Your disorientated, it’s like the day light is blinding and the silence is deafening. Even being by yourself, at first, feels weird after leaving the noise and the crowd. Yet, it has a peaceful quality once you soak it in. This is the feeling I had when I left my previous faith and dedicate my life to just being Tanakh centric. It’s like you can see truths you haven’t seen before and you realize how bewildering the world you left was. Following the One Elohim (G-d), makes a lot more sense and if we do so we passed the test. Notice how everything got calm and tranquil.

Reference

(1) PROPHETS AND PROPHECY, The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, JewishEncyclopedia.com

(2) What was a seer in the Bible?, GotQuestions.Org

(3) The Tanakh, My Jewish Learning

(4) By Cohen, Barbara (1995) King David, Jewish Virtual Library

(5) King Solomon, Jewish Virtual Library

6 Weeks Past the Cross (Identity)

10455699_1402156020098549_6056467703209048330_n
6 Weeks Past the Cross (Identity)
BY: TCLeach at
http://throughanewlens.blogspot.com

The name I am writing this blog under “TC Leach” does not match the name on my driver’s license. The name on my driver’s license has been changed twice since I obtained it with my “maiden” name so many years ago. When I worked managing a restaurant, my crew called me “Miss Theresa”. Those who know me on a friendship level call me “Terrie”. My biological mother calls me Teri-Jo, and she does so because she put much thought into what my name would be when I was born. At that time, she had no clue that after one short year, another set of parents would have me christened “Theresa Jean”, leaving me with the nick-name “Terry” to not confuse me after the adoption. I changed the spelling to “Terrie” when I was twelve. I didn’t know the psychology of it then, but I was already struggling with my identity, often the case with children who were adopted. When I got married at the wise age of fifteen, my initials became “TC”, and they stayed the same after my second marriage. At eighteen, I decided that when I wrote for a living, my pen-name would be “TC Leach” a combination of  “TC”  what I call myself during internal dialogs, and the name I inherited when I first opened my eyes here on this earth, Leach. Have I confused you yet? Good, I wanted you to have an accurate glimpse into my heart, and into my own questions regarding who I am and where I fit into this world. I will be fifty-one this summer, and am still learning whether or not what I call myself, or what others call me, has anything to do anything regarding the eternal things.
Before I proceed, please allow me to share something you may not know about me. Six weeks ago, I opened a second Face Book page with the name I was born with. Many of you are my friends there. It’s important to me that you know I did not do this with a deceptive motive. I did it because my original page is under my “Christian” name, the name that most closely matches my driver’s license. I opened a second page because The Father has drawn me back to the beginning of His Story, and I thought that it would be appropriate to go back to my own beginning identity at the same time. From there, I can grow in Him, and hopefully grow within my own sense of self, as well. My original page is still up and active, only because I’m still figuring out how to handle all the changes in my life. It’s not just personal, it’s professional, too. I published my first book under my xtain name. Because it was my testimony, I didn’t want to use a pen-name. Until I stepped away from the cross, I had a flourishing online ministry with hundreds of people with whom I interacted. I “closed” my ministry site with a post that simply said I had reached a fork in my path, and was moving forward from there. I did not feel led by The Father to suddenly begin making Jew-ish posts on a page that began as a Christian inspiration, and evolved into the Hebraic roots aspect of my faith. I am not trying to convert anyone, and I am certainly not qualified to teach things that I am just now learning myself!  I just had to close that chapter of my life completely.  The page that almost matches the name on my driver’s license will remain for now, because it is a great avenue for old friends and family to find me, and it’s a place where I can make posts that are invitations and opportunities for my current friends there to start forming some questions of their own. Trying to shove the revelations HaShem has granted me down my friends’ throats would only turn them away from truth, not draw them near to it. Instead, I try to get them to search out their own beliefs in Scripture. This approach is producing good results, and so I have not integrated my two pages yet. I consider my second page as my “fellowship” page. A community where I can explore all things Jew-ish, without debates or long threads about who is “right” or whether or not Jesus is “The  One”.  My second page is my “gathering place” since I don’t have one yet here on this side of my keyboard. (Finding fellowship in the flesh just might be next week’s post!)  My second page is a place I look forward to visiting every day! The two different pages have never been about deception.

That being said (in my usual long-winded style), walking away from the cross led me to some brand new identity issues! “Believing on Jesus” eliminated any concerns about the Twelve Tribes of Israel, or where I might fit, if none of their blood flowed through my veins. When I grasped the concept of the lost sheep and of a re-gathering in my “Hebraic Roots” days, I was incorrectly taught that it was a re-gathering to The Father. A spiritual journey; not a physical event. Now that I’m looking through this new lens, it DOES matter to me to learn where I came from. Who wouldn’t want to know? But where do I begin? Having been adopted, there is much I don’t know about my earthly father’s bloodline, and the few people I could have asked have passed on. I came to the point of wondering if I would ever know where I belonged or with whom. It finally occurred to me to ask The Father, the very One I should have asked in the first place. He answered immediately! “You are Mine alone, and that is enough!” Those are the words He dropped into my spirit. Do you wonder how I know that the words were from Him? I know because in that moment, every issue I have carried with me my whole life concerning my identity vanished. Gone…poof! I am His, daughter of HaShem, and that is enough! As I walk with Him, He will reveal the attributes of my birthrights and bloodlines, of my place in this world and my place in the Kingdom to come.  Perhaps I won’t know my assigned seat in that Kingdom until the day HaShem’s Messiah establishes it. My soul imagines the scene already: Music these ears have never heard will be playing as I step up to the Set-Apart place to worship my Redeemer. Two Heavenly Messengers will sound their shofars in perfect unison, followed by a third who will announce my Tribe or Position in YHVH’s perfect Kingdom. “Oh how I wonder if you’ll be in the same group as me!” And at last, they will pronounce my name in the Pure Language, which, most likely, won’t have a “T” a “C” or even a “Leach” in it!

Until then, I will be content being called Theresa, Terrie, Teri-Jo, Mom, Grammy (my favorite) Honey (by my honey) Sister, Auntie, Cousin…the list goes on and on! When I hear any of them, in my spirit I will hear the words “Daughter of The Most High” behind each one!

“See” you next week and until then remember: You don’t need all of the answers to your questions today…you only need to know The One who holds them! I’ll be praying for you…

Prayer, the Spiritual Aspect

27b7578df4f4e593bf06a46f32be728b

https://www.facebook.com/CenterforTanakhBasedStudies

By: William Jackson

Prayer is something we are to do several times a day (Psalm 55:18, Deuteronomy 8:10, Psalm 119:164); but has anybody taught us how? Funny, this being so instrumental to our faith, yet nobody seems to expound on it. Well HaShem has, in His word, the Tanakh. Here we will be addressing the 5 Ws and the How in prayer.

Who: Us

What: Paragraph, 1 below

When: Several times a day (1)

Where: Public or private, situational dependant (1)

Why: Paragraph 2, below

How: Paragraph 3, below

We will see how the Tanakh (Old Testament) explains the “what” “why” and “how” in prayer today.

  1. What is prayer

The Hebrew word Tefilah is generally translated into English as the word “prayer.” It comes from the verb “pallel” which is “to judge”. In this context it means “to judge oneself.” Thus, the time of prayer is the time of self-judgment and self-evaluation. This is not an inclusive translation, for to pray also means to beg, beseech and implore (2). But, prayer probably should start with a self evaluation.

2. Why:

As King David said, “My sacrifice to God is a broken spirit” other versions of Psalm 57:19 say, a “repented heart“ instead of “broken spirit.” Prayer replaces the temple sacrifice (Psalm 50:8-9, 14-15). HaShem desires our prayers in worship, through them He hear us (Jeremiah 29:12, 33:3, Psalm 141:2, Proverbs 15:8). Hosea crystallizes it in Hosea 14:3, “Forgive all guilt, and accept what is good; we will pay instead of bulls [the offerings of] our lips”. Shall we not forget another good reason “why” we pray is because it’s a sin not to (1 Samuel 12:23, Isaiah 59:2).

  1. How:

But how are we to pray? In Judaism, originally, prayer did not include any specific times, nor was there a defined text. After the destruction of the Holy Temple, we started to see prayer specifications being developed. By the 2nd century CE, the Jewish prayers, the way we know it today, were formulated (4) . But Isaiah 29:13 tells us not to give rote prayers, these are prayers that are memorized and given without feeling. HaShem wants us to pray from the heart (Genesis 24:45, 1 Kings 8:48, Job 11:13, Psalm 119:145), not from memory.

An example that reveals either side of the spectrum are two Kings; King Hizkiyahu and King Saul. HaShem had a prophet tell King Hizkiyahu he was going to die. So upset was Hizkiyahu, that he cried and pleaded with Adonai. Adonai reprieved his death sentence by giving him an extra 15 years to live, and as a bonus He rescued the city. Conversely, King Saul was disingenuous in commitment and prayer to HaShem. This caused him to loss his kingdom (1 Sam 15:10-11, 24-26), and his life (1 Chronicles 10:13).

Above, under paragraph 2 (the “Why“), scriptures portrays that prayers have taken over for the Temple sacrifice. If we use the idea of sacrifice as a model for prayer, we would atone first before praising Him and/or pleading a request. If you remember in Leviticus 1, an atonement sacrifice is offered before the grain offering (Leviticus 2). What was a grain offering? It was a voluntary act of worship; recognition of YHVH’s goodness and provisions; devotion to YHVH (3). Additionally; the peace/ thanksgiving offering was given after the grain offering (Leviticus 3).

As for the format of our prayers, many righteous men, who prayed to HaShem, have came before us. Their words are penned in the sacred pages of the Tanakh.

Repentance: Psalm 51:12-15

Justice: Habakkuk 1:2-4

Mercy: Jeremiah 14:7

Guidance: Psalm 25

Health: Exodus 23:25, Jeremiah 17:14, Psalm 30:3

Protection: Psalm 91

Strength: Nehemiah 1:11

Conclusion:

Prayer is calling on the Father, YHVH. Without a personal relationship with our heavenly Father we would still live; but it would not be a life worth living. We reach out to Him not only through the rough patches; but to praise Him for the good things and for life in general. The goal is to have Him work with us to make us a better person for tomorrow. In the words of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov “If you are not a better person tomorrow than you are today, what need have you for a tomorrow?”

“Thank you for searching with me in Tanakh for references on this topic, Yoshiyahu Ben Asher!!”

References

(1) By William J Jackson (April 20, 2015) Prayer, The Physical Aspect, Center for Tanakh Based Studies

(2) By Nissan Mindel, The Meaning of Prayer, Kehot Publication Society, Chabad.org

(3) By Stephen Tam, The Five Offerings in the Old Testament, Moses’ Tabernacle

(4) By Dovid Zaklikowski, What Is Jewish Prayer? Chabad.org