Providing for Ones Family and Rabbinate
By Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr
I Tim. 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
In First Timothy chapter five, Rav Sha’ul (Paul) talks about giving respect to and not correcting an elder but giving them equal honor as a father, linking honoring an elder with the mitzvah (commandment) of honoring ones parents. Then the passage points out the necessity of grown children of widows to provide for their parent and not to leave that responsibility solely to the Natsari Jewish community. This sets us up for verse eight. Here is my personal amplified paraphrase based on what I could gather from the Greek:
“But if anyone (Male or Female) does not consider in advance how to provide necessities for his relatives (parents and close extended family members) but especially for his own immediate family (Wife and Children), He has denied what the Torah and his faith clearly teaches and is more evil than a Torahless heathen.”
The word in the King James, “infidel,” comes from a Greek root word meaning “faithless;” so in this context meaning one who does not keep or adhere to the covenant faith of Torah.
The HRV (Hebraic Roots Version) supposedly taken form Aramaic and Hebraic texts translates the verse this way:
“For if a man who does not take care of those who are his own, and especially of those who are the sons of the house of trust, this one has denied the faith and is more evil than those who do not believe.”
This seems to tie in the previous seven verses regarding caring for the Natsari Jewish Community and treating others as that of your own flesh and blood. Indeed it has been said that blood is thicker than water and dare I say that the blood of Messiah that links believer to believer is thicker and stronger than tainted biological, mortal, human blood? After all, who did Yeshua tell us who His true family was? Those who keeps the will of the Father which is the Torah.
Matthew 12:46-50 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
So a priority list is given as far as providing provisions and the staples of life for ones family:
1. Wife and Children
2. Parents and Grandparents
3. The Body of Believers
Acts 6:1-2 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
This speaks of a scholarly Rabbi whose job it is to teach the Tanak to the congregation and that his ‘deacons’ minister on his behalf as well as that of Messiah’s, by giving to the poor, providing for the widows, visiting the sick, etc. This assumes that a Rabbi is compensated by donations from the community NOT tithes.
The Termination of the Tithe
It’s ironic to me how Modern Day Christianity can say the Torah has been done away with or at best revised and yet they choose to adhere to a Torah Command that is currently not in effect or incumbent upon us at this time. Kenneth Copland, Rod Parsley, and Creflo Dollar will boldly claim we are no longer under the Law, but Grace and yet they will put their congregation and TV viewers under the Law by attempting to coax a Tithe from them. They’ll tell you its okay to live high on the hog and to even eat one, but they will tell you tithing is a law that is still in effect. This is clearly an example of picking and choosing which commandments to and not to keep. Here is what Rav Shofar has to say about the issue, and he pulls no punches:
“I know that this is going to be an 'ouchy', but please don't tithe. It is unscriptural for any believer in Messiah Yeshua to 'tithe'. The Tithe is for the Levitical Priesthood, a covenant of salt that cannot be broken or modified. You must understand that these so-called ministers of the Gospel, who are pushing their tithe doctrine, are nothing but thieves and liars. Let me break it down for you.
The Tithe is of the Law, Yeshua Himself said to the Pharisees that it was good that they tithed the mint dill and cumin but that they had left out the 'weightier provisions of the LAW'. He did not say 'it’s good that you tithe… but you left out the weightier provisions of the tithe of Abraham.' No He made it very clear unless you’re going tell me that Yeshua didn't mean what the text plainly says.
If something is of the Law, and if you do it, then you are under the Law. Ouch! I know that has to hurt for all you 'were not under the law' group. If a TV preacher or your local rabbi or preacher tells you, or your family member tells you, ' you must tithe or you’re cursed' tell them, ‘No!’ In fact I have challenged and continue to challenge all they that think they have this tithe thing in a bag. The only out they ever come up with is ' well I know that this is g-ds will for me and I’m doing it' or 'well maybe you just can’t see it' as though I’m still partially blind cause I’m Jewish. The Truth is that those who have been brainwashed into believing this have just been, and are deceived. You've been lied to; there is no pot of gold at the end of the tithe rainbow. You can't please HaShem by giving the tithe to a non-Levite. In Fact unless you're a farmer in the land you can't tithe at all. Now, the tithe must be brought to where? Jerusalem. That's the place that HaShem caused His name to dwell. If you're in the land and still think you must tithe, think again. There is no Holy of Holies standing, so you can’t bring the tithe into the temple and give it to priest. Yes I know the tithe is HaShem's but He has given it to the Levites and you can't change that.”
As Rav Shofar began to say, the Tithe was for the Levitical Priests and in fact they had to Tithe a 10th for the Tithe they received from the people, whether animal of grain.
Then what is the purpose of the animal sacrifices and Tithes?
- It was to be a physical object lesson that pointed to the coming Messiah and what He would do. It acted as a credit card that covered, did not take away, and rolled back the sin debt until someone, Messiah, could come along and pay it. In the time of the Third Temple the sacrifices will be a reminder of the Messiah who came and what He did (Is. 56, 66; Zech. 14:16-21). The sacrifices that took place before Yahshua came, only pointed to the Messiah which was to come. The sacrifices that will take place after Yahshua, and that will take place in the Millennial Reign, point back to Messiah’s atoning work.
- It provided and will provide food, materials and income for the Priests and their families (Leviticus 5-10).
And as Rav Yoshi stated above; One, there is no Temple currently standing to bring our tithes too, and no active Levitical Priesthood to receive them. Third we are not residents or farmers in the land of Israel, so the Tithe does not apply to us in exile, and it especially doesn’t apply to the modern day Christian church! So Tithes, Faith Seeds, etc. are just modern day manipulation to give to the church for fear if they didn’t have this “Scriptural” mandate, no one would give. I know of a local Church that requires members via contract to not tithe 10% but 20%! And if they don’t they will lose their membership. This is one of those churches that affectionately call their Pastor “Big Daddy,” has a school, high vaulted ceilings, chandeliers and a spraying water fountain, and that is just in their foyer! In and of themselves these things are not “wrong” but without the 20% required tithes from the membership more than likely they wouldn’t have those flashy extras in their church.
Rav Yoshi continues by saying:
“Changing the Sabbath or the appointed feast, or the Tithe, it doesn't matter. If anyone touches a holy thing so as to change it they are not true followers of YaHWeH. No they are against HaShem, they are anti Messiah. Wow, see what I did? If any religious organization claims to have the authority to change any part of the Word of Yah, they are liars and the truth is not in them. By telling you to tithe and I don't care if it’s Creflo Dollar or Rod Parsely, or John Hagee. If you follow them you’re not following the Scripture or HaShem.
I mean this in love, stop tithing, if you want to give, give, but do not call it the Tithe. If you give it's not the tithe, and the only promise is that HaShem will bless your vats and barns to overflowing if you give with a hilarious heart. Money was never the Tithe, only certain animals, produce of the trees and ground.
Some people want to tithe because they have been falsely convicted or made to feel guilty into tithing. Let me say this. HaShem will not curse you, you're not robbing YaHWeH, and this is not why your finances are messed up. Stop being a spoon-fed follower. Get your scriptures and study it for yourself. You want blessing? You want prosperity? You want HaShem to be your waiter? Then follow Mr. Copland, but don't say you’re following Scripture or Yeshua cause your not. Your hearts desire should never be for the material, it should only be for Yeshua. He will give you your hearts desire. If it pleases you, to please Adonai, then do as you please. Follow the Torah and Blessings will over take you. Reject the Torah, and curses will overtake you (Deut. 26-28).
Some will once again call me a Juda-iser, okay so be it. But don't tell me you're a faithful tither when, you're not in the land there is no temple, and you pay by check or credit card. I know this may sound harsh, but it is the truth. You don't owe HaShem your tithe; you owe Him your life. If you belong to a local kehilat or assembly then you should contribute on a regular scheduled basis. After all share all things material with them that watch over your soul. You want your 'religion' to be pure? Then give help to the widows and orphans and the poor.
HaShem is more concerned with you paying your bills then saying your tithing. If you have to learn to budget then do that. But don't let them fool you anymore. You're only making them rich, and violating the Word of HaShem at the same time.”
When Moshiach comes and the 3rd Temple is rebuilt and we are all gathered together in the Land of Israel, then you can worry about giving a Tithe, until then don’t let anyone manipulate you into giving a “tithe” to them, their ministry or their church and or denomination. If you want to give a “gift” a weekly or monthly “offering” or a “donation”, fine, but it is not a tithe, and it is not required to be 10%. Although that is a good percentage to start at as a rule of thumb, we are talking ten cents off of every dollar. But if you can’t afford it, don’t sweat it, give what you can, what you feel comfortable with, what you believe the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) is prompting you to give, but don’t call it, or think you are practicing Tithing. – Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr
In Judaism when a young man goes to Yeshiva for the Rabbinate, he is, and his family (if married) is supported by benefactors and donors so the student wouldn’t have to work but put himself fully and wholly into his studies and therefore becoming the beats Rabbi he can be. Traditionally it is believed that the tribe of Issachar was Torah scholars who were supported by the work of Zebulon’s fishing and shipping trade (Gen. 49:13-14, Deut. 33:19).
“Zebulon and Issachar made a partnership between them, Zebulon dwelled at the seashore and would go out in his ship to engage in trade and make a profit, and support Issachar, who sat and occupied himself with the study of Torah.” – Rashi on Deut. 33:19; Midrash Tanchuma, Vayechi 11
Some Rabbis had a trade and thus had a “secular job” and was a Rabbi. Rav Sha’ul was this way. When He couldn’t be supported regularly by donations he had his trade as a “tentmaker” (a tallit/prayer shawl maker) to support himself (Act 18:1-4) and at this point in his life he had no wife or children to worry about sustaining.
Today, times have changed but the Word has not. It is rare that children or grandchildren have to fully provide for their parents and grandparents due to pension and retirement plans or governmental assistance and volunteer programs; Medicare, Meals of Wheels, etc. although its not all that uncommon for children and grandchildren may somehow supplement their parent or grandparents income and provide for them on a minimal basis, or they assist them by sharing a household. Also the man, in Biblical Times as well as today was not always the soul breadwinner in the family. The wife sometimes worked also:
Proverbs 31:10-31 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
The matter of I Tim. 5:8 boils down to what must financially go out to provide food, clothing, shelter and meet various modern day financial obligations? Is what’s coming in able to cover this as well as provide necessities for yourself when you are older and for grandchildren?
Prov. 13:22 A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
Sadly sometimes even for a bio-vocational minister who has a working spouse, this is not the case. Rav Sha’ul told his Talmid Timothy in the same book and chapter of our text:
I Tim. 5:18 For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
My desire, my calling from YHWH is to share, teach and preach His Torah and His Messiah to the world in a fulltime capacity. Will you help me first through prayer and secondly if you can, through your financial donation? Can you be my Zebulon?