Sound Bites - 3 minutes or less
Recently while listening to a teacher we enjoy, he stated that modern followers of Yahweh are too impatient. You see, because we are so used to instant gratification with TV, cell phones, internet, and other forms of technology, many people feel that what they need to learn or know should be given to them in 3 minutes or less. I am impatient, too, at times, but there is also that other side of me that enjoys taking more time to study things out. I learned how to do this and also how important this is many years ago as a young mom.
When the kids were younger, I got used to sitting and waiting while they went to sports practices, music lessons, and even doctor appointments. Before I had a cell phone with social media and all the games and APPS that come with it, I had to check things out from the library and do it the old fashioned way. There were even times I would bring an art project I was working on at the time, and listen to scriptures or talks on CD or cassette tape while I worked on it. This gave me the extra time I was seeking to put into studying and even into my relationship with Yahweh through prayer, which I very much appreciated. I knew at these appointments there was often a large amount of uninterrupted time scheduled in that I could use for building my own spirituality. So, although I can be impatient, I also very much appreciate putting time into studying and learning as much as possible about something, especially if I have to teach it to others.
There are things that I am inspired to share with Torah for Women, yet it takes days, weeks or even months to discover and assemble everything that can be found on the topic. I may want to sit and write a post right away but there are things that need to be confirmed through The Word so that when we are challenged we can provide resources and scriptural evidence to back up what we have taught. We just can’t get away with “Because it sounds right” or “but it feels right” when it comes to teaching others. The warnings are very clear in scripture what the responsibility is upon the heads of those who take on the role of teaching others. (James 3:1)
Often times we need more time to explain properly, doing all we can to avoid error, and 3 minutes or less will not work. There have been many times we have seen others jump up with memes they grabbed from someone else, or one little verse taken out of context that was used to develop an entire doctrine around. These unverified teachings can end up being spiritually dangerous if others are lead away from Yahweh’s truth, or His truth is distorted. Even worse is if these sound bites people teach bring someone to sin.
Having come out from another religious system, you may find that there are teachings you need to un-learn, doctrines you need to prove or disprove to yourself, new teachings that you need to discover that were never taught. The desire to learn everything instantly can sometimes be very strong, and this can encourage us to desire “sound bites" of information. Yet it is very important to take your time and study things out to prove them with Scripture. This will take more time than just a few minute sound bites.
Busy women may find fault with what I am saying, by stating that they only have a few minutes here or there to read and we understand this, very much. What we are saying is, don’t let that be the ONLY time you spend studying a topic. Expand, stretch, dig, study, all while using the scriptures, reliable resources, and even the good old fashioned library if you need to. You will likely find, as we introduce more and more teachings online for you to build your faith, that many of our teachings may be short messages, yet each one will be a jumping off point to encourage or guide you into a much longer study to strengthen your walk with Yahweh.
Having a strong foundation in the scriptures, and following Yahweh’s teachings will help write the word on our hearts and in our minds, which will help us when the temptation arises to avoid using our words idly. We will have access to great wisdom and knowledge that will be embedded in our memory for us to recall as needed.
The scriptures teach, Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” This same exact counsel is mentioned at least 3 times in the Tanakh and one thing is certain, it must be important. I find it interesting that this is used to get a point across, as is done many times in scripture. One topic is covered repeatedly so that we can grasp the concept. You see, it is an interesting tidbit to find that it was common practice for ancient Hebrews to not raise their voice in making a point as we often do these days - in other words, no CAPS LOCK. Instead, they would keep repeating the teaching so that it was clear and its importance was made known.
The question is, what is meant by “fear of Yahweh?” The fear mentioned is not a frightful fear as one might be afraid of a bear in the wilderness, but a respect or reverence. Restating this verse would mean that respect of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom. We can get a very basic level of respect and wisdom by grabbing those sound bites I mentioned above. Yet how much more wisdom and knowledge would we all grab and hold onto if we spent more time listening to and studying teachings that we need to have written on our hearts and in our minds? Maybe even hearing them over and over again until we glean all we can from that teaching.
Let me use an example that might help make it more clear. You buy a new cell phone. Besides the phone, you get a cord and a couple of other accessories with it, and then you find that great piece of paper that everyone looks for, that's almost always right on top called “The Quick Start Guide”. It is one page long, and with it you can immediately figure out how to charge and use your phone. BANG! YOU'RE Done. . . .Right? Then your 10 year old says, “Hey, mom, did you know that with your phone you can...?” What is your response? Mine might actually be, “What???” Or worse, “No, it doesn’t!” as someone much younger than me proceeds to show me that my phone not only does that one thing, but also will do a thousand other things that I never knew a phone was capable of doing.
Now, how could I have found this information out? One, I could utilize this new teacher that has agreed to show me every little tiny thing that my phone can do; or number two, I could just read the other book inside that has 200 tiny little pages called the "Owners Manual". Either way, it is definitely going to take me more than that 3 minute sound bite, aka: " The Quick Start Guide" to get the full potential out of my phone.
Personally, I would do both simply because I have had a couple of young people show me things to do with my electronics that in the end would have actually voided the warranty on my product! So, I needed to be careful to look up and verify what these young teachers are teaching me about my phone - a great example of how it is YOUR responsibility also to test every word that springs forth from teachers, or meme's, videos, "revelations,” and especially from sound bites.
It's your responsibility to take more than 3 minutes of your time to understand fully and search out the full truth before you adopt it and follow it in your life. Don't be lazy when it comes to things that may have eternal consequences.
I hope this will help you see more clearly that if you cannot learn all the ins-and-outs of your new cell phone in a few minutes or less, how can you expect to learn all the ins-and-outs of your faith, His love, His teachings in sound bites?
Will you take the time to study and reverence (fear) the lord so that you will be filled with the wisdom and knowledge that Yahweh has freely given you in His word? Read it, search it, study it, confirm it and adopt the truth.
Our prayer is that some how, some way, you will find the time and have that reverence for His word so that you will not be amongst those who only feed on 3 minutes or less of the word.
"It is written, people shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God". Matthew 4:4
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Guilty as charged. I have done it. Said something or posted something that I believed was correct only to find out later that it was either distorted or completely wrong. I have learned. There is much more to learning The Word than just reading a few articles here or there or studying the newest translation of the Bible and running with the words written there. One good example of this is a new version of the Bible that includes questionable additions to The Word that border on or are heresy. Is this what we want for ourselves or our families - to be teaching from false teachings or urban legends? Or do we want to be sharing the truth?
I remember a few years ago watching this woman speak about her journey into being more Torah observant and following Yahweh's Feast Days. I laughed out loud when she said, “At some point you will find that you see EVERYTHING as being pagan,” and she went on to explain that you will find yourself saying to people “I can’t do that - IT’S PAGAN!!” I laughed at how she calmly said the first part, but then distorted her face and almost yelled, “IT’S PAGAN!” Then one day it happened - I heard myself saying it to someone I have known for years. I almost choked on my own words as they just rolled off my tongue. I knew at that moment that I needed to take a step back and truly look at my new beliefs.
Most of us have come from some other organized religion and have had to undo, forget, or clear our minds of dogmas, doctrines, or baggage so that our thoughts are not tainted by what we have been indoctrinated with for years or even decades. These false teachings must be put aside to make room for truth and old teachings from ancient writings that we may have never fully understood before. It’s a careful balance between saving what we learned that was truth and what we need to relearn or unlearn is truth. Yet often times we jump on board a social media bandwagon that includes the newest and latest creative meme without even questioning the truthfulness behind the creation.
It seems in our desire to be “right” and Torah observant, we get over zealous sometimes, especially with certain topics, and forget that we are carrying His message to His people, so we better get that message right.
Recently I was asked why a website and ministry called “Torah for Women” was created - after all, why is it necessary to teach the LAW for Women? Many believe that only the males need to learn Torah. While others wish to proclaim “The LAW is dead!" The easiest way to answer these questions is to simply state that the purpose of Torah for Women is to share Yahweh’s TEACHINGS for Women.
Using the word “Law” gives a wrong impression to the modern mind. Many liken it to what is present in modern society - the law of the land, also known as statutes. People picture God’s law as being judging and condemning, a list of restrictions and binding rules that are made to control men and women. The word law gives a clear picture these days of being controlling, restrictive, oppressive, and even of being tyrannical, unjust, and burdensome. Yet Yahweh’s teachings are not to be burdensome at all, in fact the teachings are meant to be freeing.
Matthew 11:28-30 KJV “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is EASY, and my burden is LIGHT.”
Torah for Women has already published several free e-books which explain our position of the role women hold in the church, based on the Torah. (Read More) We would invite you to read them for a clear picture of what the Teachings say about women in the church and in homes. To summarize, while many believe and teach that women must remain silent and the Word should only be taught by men, the Torah teaches that women should study the Torah, and even teach the Torah to each other as well as where ever they may be called to teach.
So what exactly IS “Torah for Women", then? The scriptures give clear and proper definitions so that we can better understand. The Torah describes the first five books of the Old Testament, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, in the Bible. It is the foundation of His assemblies and where the majority of His teachings can be found. While that is a practical definition or explanation, there is much more. Many may already know the origin of the word Torah from the Bible, but for review and refresher or those who wren’t aware, the word Torah can be traced back to the root word “yarah,” and this root word is defined as “to throw, shoot”. It is also translated as archer, archers, shoot, teach, and instruct. Why does it mean to teach or instruct? Because when you teach or instruct, you expect the one who is learning will hit the mark or target, get a bullseye, being spot-on, hit where they are aiming, understand exactly what is being given for wisdom and understanding.
This gives a much different picture than the modern mind interprets. If Torah isn’t just a bunch of words assembled together to show rules and regulations or statutes that we must follow, and it means to get a bullseye or hit the mark, how does that apply in studying the Words of Yahweh? When you study the Torah, teachings, you are working toward being on target for who and what Yahweh wants you to be. If you are following his wisdom, you will hit where you are aiming. When you understand what is being given for wisdom, you will be applying the Teachings He has laid out for all time - teachings that can be applied 5000 years ago, 2000 years ago, 500 years ago, today and in the future. The teachings and Yahweh do not change.
Isaiah 40:8 WEB “. . .The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God stands forever."
Psalm 33:11 WEB “The counsel of Yahweh stands fast forever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.”
Another way to look at things might be like this: When you are aiming anything at a distance, whether using a gun, catapult, spear, or bow and arrow, to hit that target, to hit the mark, you will need to know how to compensate for variables. Cross winds may blow and try to push that arrow off its path, making it difficult to hit the target. Rain or other obstructions may affect how the arrow flies. Without the proper teaching and instructions, the archer may not be able to hit the target correctly, if at all. If we do not study the Teachings of Yahweh, and learn to apply them to the variables that happen in this imperfect, fallen world, then we will be less likely to be “spot-on” when we try to hit the mark.
Yahweh covers so many different topics and aspects, from what to eat, to how to behave morally; from how to deal with household mold, to how to deal with health issues. It isn’t just “The Law”, it is filled with messages to cleanse, purify, encourage, strengthen, lift up, celebrate, guide, direct, and even enjoy. Suddenly the Torah does not look much like many of the statutes that are created today by our American legal system, or denominational legalism, does it? Does it still look like a burdensome “The Law For Women” that enslaves?
Now, imagine yourself reading and studying the word of Yahweh and likening it to your journey: you are grabbing your bow and arrow, practicing, compensating for the negative aspects that are tossed at you, all the while standing firm on what you have learned, and suddenly you are more able to hit the target and get a bulls eye with that bow and arrow than ever before. Because of the teaching you have been given and your personal study, you have learned to hold true and to resist or compensate for all those things people or influences placed in your way to stop you from following the path Yahweh wants for you to follow.
Another thing that we hear often is the belief that “The Law is dead". What does it mean to be dead? Automatically, your mind probably creates a picture of something or someone being completely void of life. Apply this now to the word of Yahweh, is His teachings: void of life - lifeless; no longer living, or inanimate? When someone is alive in our lives, they make us laugh, smile, bring joy to us, talk with us, encourage us, bring us peace, challenge us. We may find they also might rebuke, correct, and lead us to a better path. Even if we might appear to be following them resisting, kicking and screaming down that path. Yet, one thing is certain, they are alive - the opposite of dead: they are filled with life, full of energy and spirit, active, lively, vivid, vibrant in our lives.
If we are going to conclude that “The Law is Dead”, then we are really saying the Torah [the first five books of the bible] are dead. Torah, is more accurately described as “teaching” or being on target. Therfore, if we state “The Law is Dead” then we would have to be willing to declare that the TEACHING OF YAHWEH is DEAD - that Yahweh’s lessons in the word, his teachings, are completely inanimate, void of life, no longer living. The teachings have no energy, no spirit, are not active. It means it can bring you no joy, no encouragement to live by, it is not going to help you, in any way, to be spot on when aiming at a target and you will not be able to use it to get a bullseye.
It makes you think of the verse where it says to eat and drink for tomorrow we die (1 Corinthians 15:32), doesn’t it? If the Words of Yahweh brings nothing that helps us to stay straight on the path to a target, then why don’t we just do as we wish, enjoy life, and wing it because nothing matters? This theory would make you believe there is no benefit or reward in hitting the mark, no consequence for missing the mark. However, we know this is not true:
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
As you can see, Yahweh’s Word is living, it is vibrant, it is Teaching. It can be piercing to correct, direct, and rebuke, but it is not a prison where we get nothing but bread and water til the day we die. It is instead, filled with promise, hope, love, life and encouragement that will help us to understand how to adjust to the variables which present themselves on a daily basis. We can teach that it keeps us on the straight and narrow pathway, and that now, with it’s presence in our life, we can hit the target.
Aim for a bullseye, ladies, and don’t miss the mark!
Philippians 3:14 KJV
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Matthew 7:13-14 KJV
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Blessings and Shalom!
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Lead Author (Bio)
Jim, (Judi's husband), has Sephardi Jewish ancestry and is a minister and head of Shofar Productions. Jim was a denominational pastor, hospital chaplain, and former director of a non-profit community organization.
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