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  Tsiyon News

Tsiyon Messianic Radio Newsletter  - Vol 8.11 -  01/07/6013 TAM  -  03/19/13 AD

Eliyahu ben David Bet Midrash

Abraham's Other Sons

Genesis 25

On the road to Tsiyon Hidden in Plain Sight Focus on Israel Tsiyon Reading Room Criggarious

Abraham's Other Sons

Ancient ArabiaNow Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac; but to the sons of his concubines, Abraham gave gifts while he was still living, and sent them away from his son Isaac eastward, to the land of the east. Genesis 25:5+6

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The Cave of Machpelah
Tomb of the Patriarchs

By: The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise

The Cave of MachpelahThe Cave of Machpelah is the world's most ancient Jewish site and the second holiest place for the Jewish people, after Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The cave and the adjoining field were purchased—at full market price—by Abraham some 3700 years ago. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah are all later buried in the same Cave of Machpelah. These are considered the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people. The only one who is missing is Rachel, who was buried near Bethlehem where she died in childbirth.

The double cave, a mystery of thousands of years, was uncovered several years ago beneath the massive building, revealing artifacts from the Early Israelite Period (some 30 centuries ago). The structure was built during the Second Temple Period (about two thousand years ago) by Herod, King of Judea, providing a place for gatherings and Jewish prayers at the graves of the Patriarchs.

This uniquely impressive building is the only one that stands intact and still fulfills its original function after thousands of years. Foreign conquerors and invaders used the site for their own purposes, depending on their religious orientation: the Byzantines and Crusaders transformed it into a church and the Muslims rendered it a mosque. About 700 years ago, the Muslim Mamelukes conquered Hebron, declared the structure a mosque and forbade entry to Jews, who were not allowed past the seventh step on a staircase outside the building.

Upon the liberation of Hebron in 1967, the Chief Rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces, the late Major-General Rabbi Shlomo Goren, was the first Jew to enter the Cave of Machpelah. Since then, Jews have been struggling to regain their prayer rights at the site, still run by the Muslim Waqf (Religious Trust) that took control during the Arab conquest. Many restrictions are imposed on Jewish prayers and customs at the Tomb of the Patriarchs despite the site's significance, primacy and sanctity in Jewish heritage and history.

Over 300,000 people visit Ma'arat HaMachpelah annually. The structure is divided into three rooms: Ohel Avraham, Ohel Yitzhak, and Ohel Ya'akov. Presently Jews have no access to Ohel Yitzhak, the largest room, with the exception of 10 days a year.

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From Eliyahu

Happy New Year! ..Time to get ready for Passover!

The years have been speeding by as we move swiftly toward the end of the age.

Now, another year has come. The Biblical New Year began at sundown of March 13, 2013. That day in Biblical time can be expressed as Month 1 (also called Abib or Aviv), Day (Yom) 1, 6013 TAM. "TAM" is an adaptation of another calandrical term, "AM" which stands for Anno Mundi, which means "year of the world." In other words, the year numbered from the creation of man. TAM then means "Torah year of the world" - the new year being year 6013 since the creation of Adam.

Realize that this is not the same as the (Rabbinical) Jewish Year, which is acknowledged by Jewish scholars to have shorted the actual time count by some 260 years. That means that time is getting shorter than many think, though there still remains just enough time for every word spoken through the prophets to be fulfilled. Indeed, we watch many of these prophetic events unfolding daily before our eyes.

Another difference between the (Rabbinical) Jewish Year and the actual Biblical year is that the Jewish year begins in the fall. However, the Bible calendar begins with this month of Abib, as YHWH stated to Moses; "This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you." What month? Exodus 14:4 names this first month as Abib. (Exodus 12:2, 14:4)

It seems very appropriate that Passover is the big event of this first month. The latest Torah Midrash announced in this newsletter airs on the 7th day of this 1st month, leaving just 6 full days thereafter until Passover! That begins at sundown of March 26, on the common calendar. Passover, of course, is the day YHWH freed Israel from Egypt AND the day Messiah freed us from the scourge of sin and death, by offering Himself as our Passover Lamb. Our year - and our everything - must begin with an acknowledgment of that most self-sacrificing of all events. As you make your preparations for that special day, the hearts and prayers of all of us here at Tsiyon are with you.


Eliyahu ben David 

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