To promote an understanding of the Jewishness of the Scriptures which were written by Jewish men, about the Jewish Messiah, within the context of first century Jewish culture in Israel.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Shavuot: Feast of Weeks

Shavuot is the celebration of the latter fruits of the spring harvest.  It’s also called the Feast of Weeks, because Adonai commanded the Jews to count 7 weeks, or 50 days from the Feast of First Fruits.  This year Shavuot begins at sundown on Wed., June 7. 

Shavuot is the second of the three feasts God commanded all men to go up to Jerusalem to celebrate.   They were to bring 2 loves of leaven bread (as opposed to the unleavened bread of Pesach), to wave before the Lord.  One loaf represent the Jewish people and the other one represents believers in Yeshua, because all of us have sinned (hence the leaven).

Shavuot was the day Jehovah gave Moses the Law on Mt. Sinai 3,300 years ago (Exodus 19). 

Shavuot was also the day Yeshua poured out the Ruach HaKodesh on the early believers 2,000 years ago, in the Upper Room in Jerusalem (Acts 2:1-5), fulfilling the prophecy of the Prophet Joel (Joel 3).  It is also referred to as Pentecost (Greek for 50).

Prophetically, Shavuot may also be the day of the 'Later Day' outpouring and the beginning of the revival of the nations. 

Today, at Shavuot, Jews set their tables with their best dishes and linens, and decorate their homes with greenery and fresh flowers.  After dinner, the family gathers for the reading of the book of Ruth from the Tanakh.  The setting of the story was during the wheat harvest, or at Shavuot.   There is also a tradition of eating dairy products on this day.

During the Six Day War in 1967, the Kotel, or the Western Wall, was opened to the Jewish people on Shavuot.  That day, 200,000 Jews walked to the Wall to pray and celebrate the recapture of Jerusalem.  This 'pedestrian pilgrimage' is still observed in Jerusalem today.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Yom Yerushalayim: Jerusalem Day

Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), Wednesday, April 1, marks the 44th anniversary of the capture of the Old City by the IDF forces on the first day of the Six Day War in 1967.   This resulted in the reunification of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The traditional Rikudgalim (Flag Dance) March takes place every year in Jerusalem on Jerusalem Day with the participation of close to 100,000 people. The route has always been down Jaffa Rd., leading to the Old City.

This year, however, because of the new light-rail system that has taken over the street, marchers will march down Route 1 and on HaNeviim (Prophets) St., to the north of Jaffa Rd.. Some of the marchers will enter the Old City via Damascus Gate, while the others will march around the Old City Walls to the north and enter through Dung Gate.

Other events include remembering the Ammunition Hill battle, the unfurling of an Israeli flag on the Temple Mount, and the liberation of other areas in Judea and Samaria.

Jerusalem became the capital of Israel over 3,000 years ago when it was captured by King David in 1,000 BC.  Since that time, Jerusalem has been and will remain the eternal, undivided capital of Israel.

According to the Hebrew calendar, May 1 is the 28th day of the month of Iyar in the year 5727.

Happy Birthday Jerusalem!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Nakba Day

Pray for peace and protection for the Israeli people this weekend, May 13-15, as the Palestinian people commemorate Nakba Day.
Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe) is an annual event, held every May 15, marking the creation of the State of Israel. The Arabs believe this was the beginning of the “occupation.”
On May 15, 1948,  approximately 725,000 Palestinian Arabs fled from their homes during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the Civil War that preceded it.
During the 1949 Lausanne conference, Israel proposed allowing the return of 100,000 Palestinians as a goodwill gesture.  The Arab states rejected the proposal on both moral and political grounds.
Nakba Day has been marked each year by rallies and protests which at times develop to clashes between Palestinians and the Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
For 2011, activists have called for new uprisings all weekend, which would see thousands of Arabs holding marches, rallies and demonstrations in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, all in solidarity with the Palestinians.  These activities will peak on May 15, with outbursts both inside and outside of Israel, probably much more than any year before.
Israel celebrated the 63rd anniversary of its re-creation on Tuesday, May 10, which was 2 Iyar on the Hebrew calendar.   & Wikipedia

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Yom Ha'atzmaut: Israel's Independence Day

Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day, is May 10, 2011, which is 5 Iyar 5771 on the Hebrew calendar.

The 5 Iyar, 5708, was the Hebrew date of the re-establishment of the State of Israel, 63-years-ago.  The corresponding date on the Roman calender is May 14, 1948.  The declaration of the State of Israel was authorized by Great Britain in 1917, under the British Mandate.

The British Mandate included the West Bank of the Jordan River all the way to the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the landmass on the East Bank of the Jordan River, an area known as Trans-Jordan. The British held sovereign control of this region and re-named it “Palestine.”

The name Palestine was coined by the Romans after their destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, which they re-named Aelia Capitolina.  The Jewish people were dispersed from their ancient homeland by the Babylonians is 597 CE, knows as the Disporia.

Israeli Statehood was declared by future Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, one day before the end of the British Mandate of Palestine, which was due to end on May 15, 1948, thus ending British control of the region. The new State was quickly recognized by the Soviet Union, the United States, and many other countries, but not by the surrounding Arab states.

Their Arab neighbors launched an aggressive campaign against the newborn Jewish state to eliminate them.  This became known as the War of Independence.  The Arab coalition was defeated by the Jews.

The Arab nations surrounding Israel today are still trying to figure out a way to get rid of the Jewish nation. They have failed time-and-time again, yet they refuse to acknowledge the Jewish State.  How can we expect them to live peaceably with the Jews in a Palestinian state?

This Yom Ha'atzmaut, may we remember the State of Israel, and God's miracle that explains her existence.

Mazel Tov Ysrael,

Friday, April 29, 2011

Yom HaShoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day

Yom Hazikaron L'shoah V'l'giborah, or Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day, takes place on 27 Nisan (May 1).  This is a day to remember the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany under the leadership of Adolph Hitler.

Although there are many today who deny the Holocaust ever occurred, history proves herself as a silent witness to the truth.

Inaugurated in 1953, by Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion and Israeli President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, Yom HaShoah was established because education about the Holocaust (Shoah - meaning catastrophe) emphasized the suffering inflicted on millions of European Jews by the Nazis.

But surveys indicated that young Israelis did not sympathize with the victims of the Holocaust, since they believed that European Jews were 'led like sheep for slaughter.'

The Israeli educational curriculum changed the emphasis to document how the Jews resisted their Nazi tormentors through passive resistance, while retaining their human dignity in the most unbearable conditions.  They also resisted by fighting the Nazis in the ghettos and by joining underground groups who fought against the Third Reich.

Yom HaShoah opens in Israel at sundown in a somber state ceremony held at the Warsaw Ghetto Plaza at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. Holocaust survivors light six torches symbolizing the approximately six million Jews who were killed. 

As we take a moment of silence to remember those who are no more, let us also take our stand and declare 'Never Again!'

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No One Knows the Day or the Hour?

"No one knows the day or the hour."  Really?

This is one of the most oft quoted verses in the Scriptures that Yeshua spoke.  He meant what He said and said what He meant ... but what exactly did He mean? 

There is a first century Jewish idiom that will shed much light on what Yeshua was saying to His followers 2,000-years-ago, and to us today.

The Hebrew calendar is based upon the lunar cycle and consists of twelve 30-day months; with the month officially beginning with the sighting of the first sliver of the new moon.

All Jewish holidays always fall on the full moon of the month - except one.  Rosh HaShanah (Head of the Year) is the only holiday that occurs on the first of the month, during the month of Tishri.

Before science understood the cycles of the planets and the solar system, the Jews knew that there was a two-day window for the sighting of the new moon. 

The new month could not officially begin until two witnesses reported to the High Priest that they had seen the sliver of the new moon.  Once the first two sightings were confirmed, the priests would sound the shofar to declare the start of Rosh HaShanah.

Watch this amazing video from El Shaddai Ministries. It shows Revelation 12 coming to life in the night sky over Jerusalem.  This only happens on one night of the year - on Rosh HaShanah.  (Full Screen)

But until these two witnesses came forth, the response from the priests would always be "no one knows the day or the hour" of when the holiday would begin.  Thus the words of Yeshua become significant here with this understanding.  (Matthew 24:36)

Yeshua was saying that He would come for His bride at Rosh HaShanah (Feast of the Ingathering or Feast of Trumpets).  His disciples would have understood immediately what He meant.  But the meaning has been lost over the centuries as the Scriptures have been separated further and further from its Hebrew roots.

Yeshua was saying that we would not know which [of the two] days or at what hour [which watch during that night (Mark 13:35)], or which year that He would come.  However, He did insist that we know the times and the season.  This is why He gave us so many signs to look for. 

Yeshua said to 'Watch!'  (Matthew 24: 42-43)  Are you?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Feast of Our First Fruits

Over two thousand years ago, on a particular Sfirat Haomer, or Feast of First Fruits, all time and eternity was changed forever.  Because it was on the third day that Messiah Yeshua rose from the dead as the First Fruits of the resurrection. 

On that third day of Passover, on the Feast of First Fruits, the Jews had a thanksgiving celebration to the Lord for the early harvest.  The people would bring a barley offering called the Omer, or sheaf.  The priest were to wave the sheaf before the Lord as a first fruits offering that would allow for the consumption of the recently-harvested grains.

There was a first century Jewish idiom said 'if God has been faithful to bless us with this early harvest, He will most certainly provide the latter harvest.'

Indeed He has.  Because Adonai has given Yeshua as the First Fruits of the resurrection, He most will most certainly come for His own as the latter harvest.  It is in this truth that we place our hope.

Until He comes,