Sukkot-Feast of Tabernacles
In this feast we commemorate the 40 years in the dessert after exodus from Egypt. We build a sukkah (booth) resembling the one from long ago, cover its roof with leaves from a palm tree. Sit in it for 7 days and at night look at the same stars our ancestors have, remembering all the wonders God has done in the past and present.
If you join us on this holiday you may notice the tabernacle is decorated with many fruits, this is for the harvest, 4 of these will stand out, those are the 4 species: the etrog (Citron tree), lulav (branch of palm tree), hadass (leaves of myrtle tree) & aravah (leaves of willow tree). Each of these has a symbolic significance and during sukkot with these each day is a ceremony performed.
Sukkot is one of the three high holidays from the bible, during which it was custom to ascend to the temple in Jerusalem. It was this holiday that brought the people back together after the distraction of the first temple, during this holiday Nehemiah and Ezra renewed the laws that would shape and help form the first century Jew returning from diaspora both in spirit and perception. During this holiday the high priest would perform prayers that would bless the rains to come, even back then each drop counted and so, may each drop of your tears and sweat count and be refreshed by new rain and bring harvest in the year to come. Just like Yeshua the Messiah did for us.
Yom Kippur, also known as the most important fast of the year. During the ten days leading up to the fast it is custom to ask for forgiveness for the sins of the past year. Those days are called Aseret Yemei Teshuva also known as 10 days of repentance. The first being the last day of Rosh Hashanah and 10th the day of Yom Kippur. It is a tradition to have a dinner on the evening of this fast and one after it is done. We do this to repent and that our names will be in the book of life, however lets not forget to repent during the other days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the other 385.
G’mar Chatima Tova, May you be inscribed in the book of life.
Rosh HaShanah, signifies the beginning of the Jewish New Year. It is custom to celebrate this holiday by dipping sliced apples into honey-so that the year ahead may be sweet. Another custom is eating pomegranates, in order that our fortunes may increase to many as the pomegranates seeds. Rosh HaShanah does bring newness and joy into the homes of many. You can practically feel it in the air. It is celebrated usually after August-Elul the hottest month in Israel, the heat is almost no more and new wind can be felt through the land. People greeting each other on the streets with “Shanah Tova-Happy New Year” and the response that usually follows “U’Metuka-and Sweet” can be heard and are music to our ears.
A Hebraic celebration of lights during the winter season. Commemorating the miracle of the oil lasting for 8 days in the Menorah (candelabra) at the holy temple on mount Moriah. And thus, successfully rededicating the temple in 8 days with a miraculously 1 remaining jug of undefiled oil.
Just at the dusk of Hellenic rule and the dawn of the Hashmonite period. A vicious ruler named Antiochus the 4th, who ruled the Jewish people with force and desecrated their temple. Had caused a revolt called “The revolt of the Maccabees” in which one Jewish family said “no” to brutality and rose an uprising. Bringing upon the rule of over 100 years of the Hashmonite family, so powerful it was even commemorated in coins found to this day, over 2000 years later.
Today, in 1948, Israel reborn 2000 years later, on the countries 70th birthday. We celebrate this feast of lights together young and old. Jews and gentiles from all over the globe, light these candles similar to a time when Yeshua was seen among the walls of the temple (John 10:22-3). Come, we invite you to join and light with us this first candle, followed by 7 more in a time when this beautiful tradition is revived and laughter is heard through the land of Israel. We sweeten this time with a bite from our sufganiyot (jelly doughnut) roll the dreidel and watch it spin, the letters turn and we know “Nes-Gadol-Haya-Po” A big miracle has occurred here!
“TuBiShvat He-Giah Hug LaIlanot” is the song that is heard in schools and kindergartens. TuBiShvat Translates into Tet Vav (15th) of the month of Shvat, which is the 5th month in the Hebraic calendar. So, what is so significant in this month? The ‘Hug LaIlanot’ naturally. Hug- Celebration, Ilanot-Trees. As be-WILD-ering as it sounds, we celebrate trees. You may think ‘what a bunch of tree huggers…after celebrating deliverance from slavery, victory in numerous wars, the Israelis have run out of things to celebrate…hence, trees.’ O Contraire!
It is unclear since when this holiday was celebrated, we know the Old Testament has references to how a human is to treat nature, crops and its seasons. We find similar reference in the ‘Gezer Calendar’ dated 3000 years ago and more evidence in ‘The Rehob Mosaic’ dated to the Byzantine period. During the Ottoman rule, most forests here in the land seized to exist, because of war, the construction of new railroads and taxation according to how many trees one had on his land. When the country was built many such as KKL took upon themselves to restore the lands beauty, understandably so, we see that since biblical times, nature and its elements were not to be taken lightly but respected.
The holiday is acknowledged by going into nature or sitting in the back yard and enjoying the sight of the first blooming trees. Nature waking up after winters sleep is something to behold. Many go and plant trees, in fact most of Israel’s trees, were planted, all the forests you see going up to Jerusalem are planted. Also, Israelis like to eat dry fruit during the holiday and many make citrus drinks. If you are in the land please, plant a tree, there is still a lot to be done. You know what is even more spectacular then planting a tree on your own? It’s planting a tree with some you love or almost like and then visiting the place and seeing how your little ‘Ilan or Ilanit’ have grown.
With this we finish with the Israeli saying ‘Adam Hu Etz HaSadeh’ or in English ‘the person is the tree of a field’. And we add ‘Yeshua is the tree of life.’
More holidays to follow soon
SCRIPTURES AND CAPTIONS FOR “YESHUA IN THE TANACH” And “JESUS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT” CALENDARS
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. Genesis 14:18 (KJV)
The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. Psalms 110:4 (KJV)
ומלכי-צדק מלך שלם הוציא לחם ויין והוא כהן לאל עליון: בראשית יד:18
נשבע יהוה | ולא ינחם אתה-כהן לעולם על-דברתי מלכי-צדק: תהילים קי:4
Abraham is returning from his victorious battle with the four kings, when he meets the mysterious Melchizedek, King of Salem (probably Jerusalem) and priest of the most high God. Melchizedek blesses Abraham, the “Friend of God,” first of the Patriarchs and father of the chosen people, and serves him bread and wine. Since the greater generally blesses the lesser, this Melchizedek must be greater than our Father Abraham, who tithes to him from the spoils. In Psalm 110, speaking of the Messiah, He is called “…a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” In commenting on these passages, the writer of Hebrews describes Melchizedek as “…without father, without mother, without descent…but made like unto the Son of God…” Who could this exalted King/Priest be but the Son of God Himself? The full passages are Genesis 14:1-24, Psalm 110:1-7 and Hebrews 7:1-28.
And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. Genesis 18:22 (KJV)
ויפנו משם האנשים וילכו סדומה ואברהם עודנו עומד לפני יהוה: בראשית יח:22
Abraham has met with three “men,” one of whom is continually referred to as the LORD (“Yahveh” in Hebrew). The other two, who are referred to as angels in chapter 19, leave to judge Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham continues to talk with the LORD, negotiating with Him over the fate of the two cities, and hearing His promise that a son will be born to Sarah. Since no man can look on God the Father and live, this visible LORD must be God the Son, the pre-incarnate Yeshua. The full passage is Genesis 18:1-33.
And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. Genesis 32:30 (KJV)
ויקרא יעקב שם המקום פניאל כי-ראיתי אלהים פנים אל-פנים ותנצל נפשי: בראשית לב:31
Jacob has sent his family across the Jabbok ford, and has sent herds of animals ahead in order to obtain the good will of his brother Esau. Then he spends the night wrestling with a “man.” This man is often thought of as an angel, but He blesses Jacob and gives him his new name, Israel, after which the whole nation is later called. After Jacob struggles with Him all night, He confirms that Jacob has “…power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Jacob is astonished that he has “…seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” If he had seen God the Father face to face he would not live, so it must be God the Son. Jacob, now Israel, calls the name of the place “Peniel” which means “Face(s) of God.” The full passage is Genesis 32:1-32.
Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. Exodus 24:9-10 (KJV)
ויעל משה ואהרון נדב ואביהוא ושבעים מזקני ישראל: ויראו את אלהי ישראל ותחת רגליו כמעשה לבנת הספיר וכעצם השמים לטהר: שמות כד:9-10
And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so. Joshua 5:14-15 (KJV)
ויאמר | לא כי אני שר-צבא-יהוה עתה באתי ויפול יהושע אל-פניו ארצה וישתחו ויאמר לו מה אדני מדבר אל-עבדו: ויאמר שר-צבא יהוה אל-יהושע של-נעלך מעל רגלך כי המקום אשר אתה עמד עליו קדש הוא ויעש יהושע כן: יהושע ה:14-15
Just before entering his first battle in the Promised Land–the siege of mighty Jericho–Joshua is confronted by a great warrior who calls Himself “The Captain of the LORD’s Host.” He commands Joshua to remove his shoes because he is on Holy ground. Angels do not demand worship–the only other time this happened in Scripture was when Moses met God the Father at the burning bush. The LORD then gives Joshua the incredible winning strategy for the coming battle and assures him of victory (Joshua 6:2-5). Who could this victorious LORD be but God the Son, the pre-incarnate Yeshua (Jesus)? The whole passage is Joshua 5:13—6:5.
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour…And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face. And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. Judges 6:12, 22-23 (KJV)
וירא אליו מלאך יהוה ויאמר אליו יהוה עמך גבור החיל: וירא גדעון כי-מלאך יהוה הוא ויאמר גדעון אהה אדני יהוה כי-על-כן ראיתי מלאך יהוה פנים אל-פנים: ויאמר לו יהוה שלום לך אל-תירא לא תמות: שופטים ו:12, 22-23
But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD. And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. Judges 13:21-22 (KJV)
ולא-יסף עוד מלאך יהוה להראה אל-מנוח ואל-אשתו אז ידע מנוח כי-מלאך יהוה הוא: ויאמר מנוח אל-אשתו מות נמות כי אלהים ראינו: שופטים יג:21-22
He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Daniel 3:25 (KJV)
ענה ואמר הא-אנה חזה גברין ארבעה שרין מהלכין בגוא-נורא וחבל לא-איתי בהון ורוה די רביעיאה דמה לבר-אלהין: דניאל ג:25
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has just thrown Daniel’s three friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace for refusing to worship his golden idol. When the King realizes they are not being burned, he sees a fourth being, like the “Son of God” in the furnace with them. Who could it be but Yeshua HaMessiach (Jesus the Messiah)? The full passage is Daniel 3:1-30.
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14 (KJV)
Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. Daniel 10:5-6 (KJV)
ואשא את-עיני וארא והנה איש-אחד לבוש בדים ומתניו חגרים בכתם אופז: וגויתו כתרשיש ופניו כמראה ברק ועיניו כלפידי אש וזרעתיו ומרגלתיו כעין נחושת קלל וקול דבריו כקול המון: דניאל י:5-6
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. Zechariah 9:9 (KJV)
גילי מאד בת-ציון הריעי בת-ירושלם הנה מלכך יבוא לך צדיק ונושע הוא עני ורכב על-חמור ועל-עיר בן-אתונות: זכריה ט:9
The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him…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. Zechariah 12:1,10 (KJV)
משא דבר-יהוה על-ישראל נאם-יהוה נטה שמים ויסד ארץ ויצר רוח-אדם בקרבו: ושפכתי על-בית דויד ועל | יושב ירושלם רוח חן ותחנונים והביטו אלי את אשר-דקרו וספדו עליו כמספד על-היחיד והמר עליו כהמר על-הבכור: זכריה יב:1, 10