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Notes on Revelation

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life


John 6:31-58 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

G-d spoke to Moshe, saying, "Speak to the Children of Israel and tell them: When you come to the land to which I am bringing you and you eat the land's produce, you must separate an elevated gift for G-d. You must separate the first portion of your kneading as a Dough-Offering (Challah)" (Bamidbar[Numbers} 15:17-20)

To most, "challah" is that delicious bread we savor on Friday nights right after we recite Kiddush and drink the wine. However, to those who bake their own challos, it is also a term denoting the obligation to remove an olive-size piece of dough from each batch of dough that is about two pounds, ten ounces in weight. If the dough is at least three pounds and 10.7 ounces in weight, then a special blessing is recited at the time of the removal.

In Temple times, challah was one of the gifts given to the Kohen by the people. However, today, it is put into the oven and left there until it becomes inedible, after which it is disposed of in a somewhat honorable way...

This latter point is interesting because of the fact that this mitzvah appears in this week's parshah [interpretation], when considering the Talmud's explanation as to why this mitzvah has particular relevance to women:

Why [does a woman have the mitzvah of] Challah? Rav Chisda said, The Holy One, Blessed is He, said, "'First' I called you, and regarding 'First' I have warned you" (Shabbos 31b)

This explanation is somewhat vague, but when we learn the following, it becomes clearer:

Rebi Yochanan son of Chanina said: Twelve hours there were on that day (Day Six of creation); the first hour, his dust was gathered together; the second hour, he was made a lifeless form, the third hour, his limbs were shaped (Sanhedrin 38b)

In other words, when G-d set about making the first man, He did so in a manner that resembles the way we make bread. Into one location G-d gathered dust of the earth like flour being brought together from which to make a dough. And then, like the baker who pulls off an olive-size piece of dough from the batter as Challah, so, too, did G-d "extract" Adam from the ground, giving him the status as the "Challah" of creation.

Parashas Shlach: Heaven Sent, But Not Sent By Heaven
Rabbi Pinchas Winston
Perceptions
Mon, 19 Jun 2000

1 Cor 15:45-47 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.


Encyclopedia Judaica, CD ROM Edition (EJ)

HALLAH, a form of bread (II Sam. 6:19). The term also applies to the portion of dough set aside and given to the priest (Num. 15:1920). The etymology of the word is traced either to the Hebrew root for "hollow" and "pierce" (Heb. hll), suggesting a perforated and/or rounded loaf, or to the Akkadian ellu ("pure"), referring to the bread's sacral use.--(EJ)

Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

John 19:34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

John 19:37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

1 John 3:2,3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Hallah is one of the 24 perquisites of the priest (cf. Ezek. 44:30): "in order that the priests, who are always occupied with Divine service, should live without any exertion" (Sefer ha-Hinnukh, no. 385). Hallah must be eaten by priests in a state of ritual purity; the commoner who eats it deliberately is liable to the penalty of karet [punishment at the hands of heaven, permature death]...--(EJ)

1 Cor 11:27-30 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

For Sabbath and other holidays all sorts and shapes of hallah breads are baked. In most countries the Sabbath loaves are braided. The loaves are frequently sprinkled with (poppy or sesame) seeds to represent manna.

For Hoshana Rabba, the seventh day of Sukkot, the hallah loaf is sometimes marked with a hand, symbolic of reaching for blessings, or key-shaped, that the door of heaven may be opened to admit prayers.

Matthew 8:2,3 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Matthew 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;


Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem...

The precise origin of the name "Bethlehem" is not clear. It is generally interpreted as meaning "house of bread" but it may have once had some religious connotation similar to the name "Bethel," which meant "house of El" or "house of God"...It was the site of...the setting for the story of Ruth (Ruth 1:1-2, 19-22; 2:4; 4:11). But Bethlehem's greatest claim to fame during the OT period came through its association with David the king of Israel. Bethlehem was David's hometown (1 Sam 17:12) and the site at which he was anointed (1 Sam 16:1-13), and it is mentioned in other accounts about his life (1 Sam 16:14-22; 17:15; 20:6,28).

(Cities of the Biblical World, LaMoine F. DeVries)


Lev 24:5-9 And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes [challah] thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake. And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD. And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD. Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant. And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute.

Matt 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

Frankincense, an aromatic gum resin obtained from certain trees...To obtain the resin, a deep incision is made in the bark of the trunk and a narrow strip of bark below the incision is peeled away. The milklike juice extruded from the incision runs into the barkless strip where it is left exposed to the weather. After three months, the frankincense is gathered in semiopaque round, oval, or tear-shaped lumps. The purer form, gathered at the incision, is almost colorless; the less pure forms, from lower drippings, are shades of yellow...It has a balsamlike odor which intensifies on heating, and it burns with a bright, white light...

(Collier's Encyclopedia, 1963)


Two oval loaves of braided hallah bread are usually found on the weekly Sabbath table. On Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to eat round loaves of hallah bread, symbolizing crowns, as a reminder of the synagogue liturgy's emphasis upon God's kingship.

(The Feasts of the Lord, Kevin Howard & Marvine Rosenthal)

Matthew 27:29 And when they had platted [braided] a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

Revelation 19:11-15 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.


Moza

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