The Orthodox Jewish Brit Chadasha © 1996 by Artists For Israel International
New York, New York 10163. All rights reserved
MOSHIACH'S LETTER THROUGH THE SHLIACH SHA'UL TO THE BRIT CHADASHA KEHILLAH IN THESSALONIKA (I)
PEREK ALEPH (CHAPTER ONE)
From Sha'ul and Silvanus (Sila) and Timotiyos. To the kehillah of the inhabitants of the city of Thessalonika, the kehillah in Hashem, in Elohim HaAv and in Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Adoneinu Yehoshua. Chen v'Chesed Hashem and Shalom Hashem to you.
|2| Hodinu l'Hashem (We give thanks to Hashem) always for all of you, with zikaron (remembrance) during our davening, without ceasing
|3| in our tefillos recalling before our G-d and Avinu your work of emunah, your labor of ahavah (agape), and your perseverance of tikvah in Moshiach Adoneinu Yeshoshua,
|4| knowing, Achim b'Moshiach ahuvei Hashem (Brothers in Moshiach beloved of G-d), your bechirah (election).
|5| For our Besuras HaGeulah did not come to you in mere locution but indeed in gevurah (miraculous power) and in the Ruach HaKodesh and in full bitachon (confidence), just as you have da'as what sort of men we were among you for your sake.
|6| And you became imitators of us and of Adoneinu, having received the Dvar Hashem (the Word of the L-rd) in much redifah (persecution) with the simcha of the Ruach HaKodesh,
|7| with the result that you became a mofet (portent), even a role model for all the ma'aminim (believers) in the territory of Macedonia [trans. note: a Roman province in northern Greece] and in Achaia [trans. note: a Roman province of southern Greece].
|8| For from you the Dvar Hashem has resounded not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but also in every place to which your emunah in Hashem has gone forth, with the result that we have no need to say anything.
|9| For they themselves (the ma'aminim b'Moshiach in Macedonia and Achaia) are reporting about us, what sort of initial reception we had with you, and how you made teshuva, turning to Hashem from elilim (idols), from Avodah Zarah (Idol Worship), turning to worship the Elohim Chayyim and Elohei Emes (the Living G-d and the True G-d),
|10| and to expect [Moshiach] Ben Elohim from Shomayim whom Hashem made to
stand up in the Techiyas HaMoshiach from the mesim--Yehoshua, Moshieynu (our
Deliverer) from the chori af haba (the wrath to come).
PEREK BEIT (CHAPTER TWO)
But you yourselves know, Chaverim b'Moshiach, that our initial reception with you was not empty of result.
|2| On the contrary, having suffered before and having been shamefully persecuted (as you know) in Philippi, we had the chozek b'Eloheynu (strength in our G-d) to speak to you the Besuras HaGeulah of Hashem in the face of tzorrim rabbim (great and oppressive enemy opposition).
|3| For our appeal, our eidus (witness of testimony), does not spring from toyus (error) or meshuga delusion or from tum'a (uncleanness) or from remiyah (guile, deceit).
|4| On the contrary, in this way we speak: as persons examined and approved by G-d to be entrusted with the Besuras HaGeulah of Hashem, as striving to please not men but Hashem who tests, who examines, our levavot.
|5| Nor did we ever come with divrei chanuppah (words of flattery), as you know, nor with pretext for chamdanut (greed)-- Hashem 'ed! (G-d is my witness!)--
|6| nor seeking kavod from men, neither from you nor from others.
|7| Even though we had the samchut [authority] to be able to throw our weight around as Shluchim (Emissaries) of Moshiach, yet we became anav (humble) and eidel (gentle) among you, as a nursing imma (mother) might take care of her own yeladim.
|8| Thus having a tshuka (yearning) for you, it was our good pleasure to share with you not only the Besuras HaGeulah of Hashem, but also our very lives, because you became beloved chaverim to us.
|9| For remember, Achim b'Moshiach, our labor and toil yomam valailah (day and night) working for the purpose of not weighing down any one of you while we maggidim [for Moshiach] made the Hachrazah (Proclamation, Kerygma) to you of the Besuras HaGeulah of Hashem.
|10| You were edim (witnesses) and so is Hashem, with what kodesh and tzedek and tamim manner of shomer masoret (religious devotion) we acted toward you ma'aminim b'Moshiach,
|11| for you know how we treated you, as an abba treats his own yeladim,
|12| exhorting you with divrei chizzuk (words of encouragement) and comforting you, addressing you with solemn edut (testimony) that you let your derech (way of life), your hitnahagut (conduct), be to fier zich (comport oneself) in a manner worthy of Hashem, who summons you to His own Malchut and Kavod.
|13| And for this reason also we constantly offer hodayah (thanksgiving) to Hashem that when you received (as "Ani Maamin" authoritative teaching) the Dvar Hashem, the Word of Hachrazah (Proclamation, Kerygma) from us, you received it not as the dvar haBnei Adam but, as it actually is, the Dvar Hashem, which also is at work in you who have emunah.
|14| For you became imitators, Chaverim, of the kehillot Hashem in Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Yehoshua which are in Yehudah, because you also were similarly persecuted by your own landslait (countrymen), just as also they were by the ones in Yehudah,
|15| even the ones who caused the histalkus of [Moshiach] Adoneinu Yehoshua and killed the Nevi'im and persecuted us [Shluchim] severely. Indeed, they are not pleasing Hashem and are hostile to kol Bnei Adam,
|16| by hindering us from speaking to the Goyim in order that the Goyim might find Yeshu'at Eloheinu. Thus they always make complete their peysha'im (transgressions). So the chori af, the burning wrath, the furious retribution of Hashem has overtaken them at last.
|17| But you, Achim b'Moshiach, while we were separated from you for a short time (panim el panim, not b'lev), we made all the more effort in much desire to see your penemer (faces).
|18| For we wanted to come to you. Indeed I, [Rav] Sha'ul, did again and again;but Hasatan thwarted us.
|19| For who is our tikvah or simcha or crown to glory in before Adoneinu Yehoshua at His Parousia, at the Bias Moshiach--is it not you?
|20| For you are our kavod and simcha.
PEREK GIMEL (CHAPTER THREE)
Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we resolved to be left behind alone in Athens.
|2| Also we sent Timotiyos, acheinu (our brother) and fellow po'el (worker) of Hashem in the Besuras HaGeulah of Moshiach. We sent Timotiyos in order to give you chozek (strength) and to speak divrei chizuk (words of encouragement) to you on behalf of our [orthodox Jewish] Emunah [of the true Dat haYehudit].
|3| This was for the tachlis that no one be unsettled because of ES TZARAH. For you yourselves have da'as that we have a divine calendar date with ES TZARAH.
|4| For, hinei, when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were going to suffer redifah (persecution), just as also it came to pass, of which you have da'as.
|5| For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent in order to know your emunah, lest somehow [Hasatan Samma'el] HaMenasseh (the Tempter) had ensnared you by nissayon (temptation) and our labor should be for nothing.
|6| But, just now, when Timotiyos has come to us from you and has brought us good news of your [correct orthodox Jewish] Emunah and your ahavah (agape) and that you always have zochrim tovim (good memories) of us, yearning to see us, just as we yearn to see you.
|7| For this reason, Achim b'Moshiach, in all our tzoros and redifah, we received chozek because of you through your emunah.
|8| For now we have Chayyim if you have a firm standing and remain ne'emanot (faithful) in Hashem.
|9| For what hodayah are we able to return to Hashem concerning you because of all the simcha with which we rejoice on account of you before Eloheinu,
|10| as, yomam valailah, we are davening with all retzinut (earnestness) in order to see your penemer (faces) and to bring to shleimut what is lacking in your [orthodox Jewish] emunah?
|11| And may Eloheinu and Avinu, may Hashem Himself and Adoneinu Yehoshua direct our way to you.
|12| And may Hashem cause you to grow and to overflow and abound in ahavah (agape) for one another and for kol Bnei Adam, just as also we have ahavah (agape) for you,
|13| with this tachlis (purpose): to establish your levavot faultless in
kedushah (holiness) in the presence of Hashem and Avinu at the Bias Moshiach of
Adoneinu Yehoshua with all His Kadoshim. Omein.
PEREK DALET (CHAPTER FOUR)
Lemaskana (finally), Achim b'Moshiach, we ask and exhort you in Adoneinu Yehoshua, in order that, just as from us (Moshiach's Shluchim) you received (as authoritative halachic tradition, as the teaching to be followed) how it is necessary for you to be fier zich (comport oneself) in your derech (way of life) and to please Hashem (just as you in fact are doing), so you should abound more and more.
|2| For you have da'as what mitzvot (commandments) we gave you through [Moshiach] Adoneinu Yehoshua.
|3| For this is the ratzon Hashem (the will of G-d), your kedushah (holiness), your consecration, that you abstain from zenut (fornication),
|4| that each one of you [as kadoshim] have da'as of how to control your own k'li (vessel) in kedushah and kavod,
|5| not in the passion of ta'avah (evil desire/lust) like Goyim who do not have da'as of Hashem;
|6| that no man commit peysha and take advantage of one of his Achim b'Moshiach in this [sexual] matter, because Hashem is the Nokem (Avenger) concerning all these things, just as also we told you before and warned you.
|7| For [as far as our bechirah (election) is concerned], Hashem did not summon us for tu'ma (uncleanness) but in kedushah (holiness).
|8| Therefore, the one rejecting this mitzvah (commandment) does not reject Bnei Adam but Hashem who gives to you his Ruach Hakodesh.
|9| Concerning the matter of ahavah shel achvah (brotherly love), you have no need that we write you, for you yourselves are limudei Elohim (taught of G-d) to have ahavah (agape) one for another.
|10| For indeed this you do toward all the Achim b'Moshiach in all of Macedonia. But in this we exhort you, Chaverim, to abound more and more.
|11| And have as your ambition to lead a quiet life of shalom bayis, and to mind your own business, and to have a parnasah, working with your own hands, according to the mitzvot (commandments) we gave you.
|12| The tachlis (purpose) is that the way you fier zich (comport oneself) in your derech (way of life) be conducted properly toward outsiders and that you might not be nitzrach (needy).
|13| We do not want you to lack da'as, Chaverim, concerning those who have "fallen asleep." The tachlis (purpose) is that you not have agmat nefesh (grief) like the rest, who do not have tikvah (hope).
|14| For, if we have an Ani Ma'amin belief that Yehoshua had his histalkus and then stood up alive again in the Techiyas HaMoshiach from HaMesim, even so, Hashem will bring with him [Moshiach] those who have fallen asleep through Yehoshua.
|15| For this we say to you by the Dvar Hashem, that we who are alive and have been left behind until the Bias Moshiach Adoneinu, may in no way be kodem (preceding) those who have fallen asleep.
|16| For Adoneinu Himself, at the signal, at the bat kol of the Sar HaMalachim (the Archangel), and at the shofar blast of Hashem, shall come down from Shomayim, and the mesim in Moshiach shall stand up alive in the Techiyas HaMesim first.
|17| Then [next in sequence], we who are alive and who have been left behind simultaneously with them shall be snatched up in the ananim (clouds) to meet Adoneinu in the air. And so always with Adoneinu we shall be.
|18| Therefore, give chozek (strength) and speak divrei chizzuk (words of
encouragement), comforting one another with these words.
PEREK HE (CHAPTER FIVE)
But concerning the ittim (times) and the zmanim (seasons), Chaverim, you have no need for you to have anything in writing.
|2| For you yourselves know very well that the Yom Hashem comes like a ganav balailah (thief in the night).
|3| Whenever they say, "Shalom and Bitachon!" then sudden churban (destruction) will come upon them like the chevlei leydah (birth pangs) of the isha with a baby in her womb. And they can certainly not escape.
|4| But you, Achim b'Moshiach, are not in choshech that the Yom should overtake you like a ganav.
|5| For all of you are Bnei Ohr and Bnei Yom; we are not of the Lailah nor of the Choshech.
|6| Therefore, let us not "sleep" as the rest, but let us keep awake with zililut da'as (sober-mindedness).
|7| For the ones sleeping sleep balailah, and the ones indulging in shichrut (drunkenness) indulge in shichrut balailah.
|8| But we, being Bnei Yom, let us be bnei zililut da'as (sons of sober-mindedness), having clothed ourselves with the choshen (breastplate) of emunah and ahavah (agape) and as a KOVAH (helmet, YESHAYAH 59:17) the tikvah of Yeshu'at Eloheynu.
|9| Because Hashem did not appoint us to chori af (the burning wrath) but to the attainment of Yeshu'at Eloheynu through Adoneinu, Moshiach Yehoshua.
|10| He is the one who made his histalkus and died on our behalf in order that whether we are [living] and awake or [passed away] and sleeping, we may live together with Moshiach.
|11| Therefore, give chozek (strength) and encouragement, building up one another, as indeed you are doing.
|12| Now we ask you, Achim b'Moshiach, to have discerning binah (understanding) and discern the ones laboring among you who are your Mashgichim Ruchaniyim (Spiritual Overseers) in Adoneinu. I'm referring to the ones who admonish and warn you.
|13| And esteem them most exceedingly in ahavah (agape), because of their avodas kodesh work. Let there be shalom bayis (family peace) also in the kehillah.
|14| And we exhort you, Achim b'Moshiach, warn the batlanim (unemployed or lazy loafers, idlers), comfort the congregant who is pachdan (fainthearted), those who are weak take an interest in, have zitzfleisch (patience) with all.
|15| See that no one returns ra'ah for ra'ah, but always pursue haTov both for one another and for all.
|16| Have simcha always.
|17| Daven unceasingly.
|18| In everything offer hodayah, for this is the ratzon Hashem in Moshiach Yehoshua for you.
|19| Do not quench the Ruach Hakodesh.
|20| Do not reject nevu'ot (prophecies).
|21| But test kol davar (everything); hold fast to haTov.
|22| Abstain from every appearance of ra'ah (evil).
|23| And now Elohei HaShalom wholly set you apart as kadoshim and may your whole ruach and nefesh and basar be reserved without blame at the Bias HaMoshiach Adoneinu Yehoshua.
|24| Ne'eman (Faithful) is the One who summons you to your kri'ah (calling). He will do it.
|25| Achim b'Moshiach, offer tefillos also concerning us.
|26| Sheilat Shalom to all the Achim b'Moshiach with a neshikat kedoshah.
|27| By Adoneinu, I solemnly give you the directive that this iggeret hakodesh has to be read to all the Achim b'Moshiach.
|28| The Chen v'Chesed of Adoneinu, Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Yehoshua, be with you.