Biblical / Jewish and Israeli Holidays
- Rosh HaShanah (ראש השנה) – Head of the Year/(Traditional) Jewish New Year
- Yom Kippur (יום כיפור) – Day of Atonement
- Sukkot (סוכות) – Feast of Tabernacles
- Hanukkah (חנוכה) – Feast of Dedication
- Tu B’Shv’at (ט”ו בשבט) – Fifteenth of Sh’vat (New Year of the Trees)
- Purim (פורים) – Feast of Lots
- Pesach (פסח) – Passover
- Yom HaShoah (יום השואה) – Holocaust Memorial Day, Martyrs’ Remembrance Day
- Yom HaZikaron (יום הזיכרון) – Israel Memorial Day
- Yom HaAtzma’ut (יום העצמאות) – Israel Independence Day
- Shavuot (שבועות) – Feast of Weeks
– – – – –
- Yeshua (ישוע) in the Tanach” and “Jesus in the Old Testament”
- The Astounding Prophetic Significance Of “Aliyah”
- HaTikvah (התקווה) – Israeli national anthem
- Judaica items
Rosh HaShanah (ראש השנה) – Head of the Year/(Traditional) Jewish New Year
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.
Find items for Rosh HaShanah here
Yom Kippur (יום כיפור) – Day of Atonement
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.
Sukkot (סוכות) – 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.
Hanukkah (חנוכה) – Feast of Dedication
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!
Tu B’Shv’at (ט”ו בשבט) – Fifteenth of Sh’vat (New Year of the Trees)
“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.’
Purim (פורים) – Feast of Lots
“Chag Purim, chag Purim, chag gadol l’Yeladim!” – “Purim holiday… a great holiday for children!”
Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, who was planning to kill all the Jews. This took place in the ancient Persian Empire, around 2,500 years ago. The story is recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther (Megillat Ester in Hebrew). It is also known as the Festival of Lots.
According to the Book of Esther, Haman was the royal advisor to King Ahasuerus (presumed to be Xerxes I or Artaxerxes I of Persia, and he planned to kill all the Jews in the empire. His plans were foiled by Mordechai, and Esther, his cousin and adopted daughter, who had been selected among young women from across the empire, to become the new Queen of Persia. The day of the Jew’s deliverance from Haman’s evil plot became a day of feasting and rejoicing.
According to the Scroll of Esther, “they should make them days of feasting and gladness, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.”
Other customs include wearing masks and costumes, public celebration and parades and eating “hamantaschen” (“Haman’s ear”); in some cases adults are encouraged to drink wine or any other alcoholic beverage.
Purim is celebrated annually according to the Hebrew calendar on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar (and on Adar II in Hebrew leap years that take place every two to three years), the day following the victory of the Jews over their enemies.
In cities that were protected by a surrounding wall at the time of Joshua, Purim is celebrated on the 15th of the month of Adar on what is known as Shushan Purim, since fighting in the walled city of Shushan continued through the 14th day of Adar. Today, only Jerusalem and a few other cities celebrate Purim on the 15th of Adar.
God has a plan of deliverance, Yeshua – “Salvation” is His plan for us.
Chag Purim sameach! — happy Purim holiday!
Pesach (פסח) – Passover
One of the High Holidays during which it was custom to go up to Solomons Temple in Jerusalem. Some even think it is during this season that our Messiah was born and also died for our sins, giving us the option for eternal life.
According to Jewish tradition and Biblical references (Exodus 12, verse 14-15) during the Passover holiday no Hametz (yeast) which represents sin in the Bible is allowed in the house. Consequently you can find most Jews in the land of Israel clean their house zealously towards the Passover Holidays.
There are two days of Passover holidays which are observed, children and adults stay home from school and work. Cleaning and cooking foods such as: Matza bread, lamb, Kneidlach soup.
On the eve of the first Holiday, families read together the ‘Hagaddah’ “telling” the story of Passover in which God delivered the children of Israel from slavery of Egypt. Important characters to know in the story are Moses, his brother Aaron, his sister Miriam, mother Yochevet, Pharoahs daughter and Pharoah himself. 2nd Passover Holiday is a week after the 1st and gives a fine closure for this event.
The synopsis of the story of Passover is this: After Josephs triumphs in Egypt, a glim period has began for the Israelites. They were enslaved and God send a deliverer ‘Moses’ to free them. Pharoah refused several times to free them and God send Plagues, after the 10th and final one “The Death of The First Born” Pharoh releases the Hebrews. This decision is made so fast that they have no time to spare and pack minimally to the point that they do not put yeast in their flour to make their bread rise, hence the word ‘Matza’ for such a concoction of a bread. Even though his first born dies, Pharaoh changes his mind again and sends an army after “his slaves”. The Israelites in the mean time cross the Red Sea which parts miraculously. Pharohs army come after them in to the sea. And it swallows them whole.
Now that you know the story of Passover you can have your own “Seder Pesach” (organization of Passover).
Have a happy, Yeastless;) Passover Holiday from our Team at GCL.
Yom HaShoah (יום השואה) – Holocaust Memorial Day, Martyrs’ Remembrance Day
Don’t let matches burn you out and take the existence of your memory away…
Today we remember and don’t forget, all the fallen by injustice and malice and all those who found in themselves courage to stand against evil.
We are yet to name one Jewish family who was not effected by the death of 6 million and many more Heroes that fought against the Nazi regime. We hurt for the lost and recognize all Israel has accomplished despite all the obstacles it faced.
The Holocaust, the Ghettos and Hitlers final solution brought the world to a new low and left its mark. Hence we try to remember by visiting the extermination camps and look this part of history in the eye and examine ourselves.
This Holocaust and Martyrs Remembrance Day we stand in silence and remember the fallen.
If you feel to be a part of this, stand with Israel for a little while at the call of the sirens in recognition and silence: 10:00am, 2-May-2019 Israeli time.
“I don’t like pain and want to remain, but they say there is no ‘I’ and insist my eyes, my hair, my hands, my lips, fingers and toes will go away and then they close my sound and never let me speak and all that can be done is watch them hit repeat, repeat, repeat.
Repeat for seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, years. In my dismay, looking at them, their eyes, their hair, their fingers, toes and lips. No difference between them or I.
I silently object… and they object to my existence and hit repeat 6 million times. Until I open my eyes and see white and blue, white and blue. Those colors clear and sound of numerous objections and my existence is no longer brushed away 6 million times.”
Yom HaZikaron (יום הזיכרון) – Israel Memorial Day
‘Yom HaZikaron LeHalalei Ma’arakhot Yisrael ul’Nifge’ei Pe’ulot HaEivah’ also known as ‘Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism’
In our home in Israel we say that this land was born thanks to the blood and sweat of many who have fallen protecting it.
As much as its true. And though the tears of sadness were many, so were the tears of joy in the process of completion of every milestone.
Many soldiers sat together on the eve of battle singing possibly their last song, laughing at jokes only brothers in arms would understand. Brothers that possibly would not be with them the next day. Battle or not, or a mundane day, a loved one is gone, in battle or victim of a terror. Today, when we stand and remember the fallen on the day before Israel’s Independence day, we sing HaTikva – The Hope, the national anthem of Israel. We see a country and remember the good and the bad.
Today we Remember all the brave soldiers old and young who have fought against all odds, not to raise swords, but to defend their country and bring hope to Israel.
We thank the families of the fallen for their sacrifice. And pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
One of the prayers said on this day is:
May the nation of Israel remember its sons and daughters, faithful and courageous—
The soldiers of the Israel Defense forces, and all members of the undergrounds and brigades, the warriors in the battles at sea, members of the intelligence community, security personnel, policemen, and those in the prison service—
Who gave up their lives in war to ensure the existence of Israel. And all of whom that were killed within Israel and outside of Israel at
the hands of murderers and terrorists.
May the nation of Israel and the Exalted one remember the radiance of the youthfulness, the delightfulness, heroism, purity of their will, and the selflessness of those who fell in the costly wars. May the fallen of the wars of Israel be crowns of victory and may their names be inscribed upon the hearts of Israel for all generations.
Yizkor am Yisrael et banav u’bnotav hane’emanim v’ha’amitzim— Hayyalei Tzva Hagana l’Yisrael, v’khol lohamei ha’mahtarot v’hativot halohamim b’ma’arakhot ha’am, v’anshei kehillot hamodi’in, habitahon, hamishtarah, v’sheirut batei hasohar, asher herfu nafsham b’milhama al t’kumat Yisrael, v’khol mi she nirtzehu b’aretz u’mihutza la bidei mirtatzhim m’irgunei haterror.
Yizkor Yisrael v’Yitbarakh b’zar’o v’yiabel al ziv ha’alumim v’hemdat hagvura v’kedushat haratzon u’mesirut hanefesh shel han’sapim bama’arakha hakveida.
Yihiyu hallalei ma’arakhot Yisrael aturei hanitzahon hatumim b’lev Yisrael l’dor dor.
יִזְכֹּר עָם יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת בָּנָיו וּבְנוֹתָיו הַנֶּאֱמָנִים וְהָאַמִּיצִים,
חַיָּלֵי צְבָא-הַהֲגָנָה לְיִשׂרָאֵל,
וְכָל לוֹחֲמֵי הַמַּחְתָּרוֹת וַחֲטִיבוֹת הַלּוֹחֲמִים בְּמַעַרְכוֹת הָעָם,
וְאַנְשֵי קְהִילוֹת הַמּוֹדִיעִין, הַבִּטָּחוֹן, הַמִּשְׁטָרָה וְשֵׁרוּת בָּתֵּי הַסֹּהַר,
אֲשֶׁר חֵרְפוּ נַפְשָׁם בַּמִלְחָמָה עַל תְּקוּמַת יִשְׂרָאֵל,
וְכָל מִי שֶׁנִּרְצְחוּ בָּאָרֶץ וּמִחוּצָה לָהּ בִּידֵי מְרָצְחִים מֵאִרְגּוּנֵי הָטֶּרוֹר.
יִזְכֹּר יִשׂרָאֵל וְיִתְבָּרַך בְּזַרְעוֹ וְיֶאֱבַל עַל זִיו הָעֲלוּמִים
וְחֶמְדַת הַגְּבוּרָה וּקְדֻשָׁת הָרָצוֹן וּמְסִירוּת הַנֶּפֶש
שֶׁל הַנִּסְפִּים בַּמַּעֲרָכָה הַכְּבֵדָה.
יִהְיוּ חַלְלֵי מַעַרְכוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲטוּרֵי הַנִּצָּחוֹן
חֲתוּמִים בְּלֵב יִשְֹרָאֵל לְדוֹר דּוֹר.
Yom HaAtzma’ut (יום העצמאות) – Israel Independence Day
How we celebrate: it all begins with the Torch – Lighting Ceremony on Mount Herzl, with this gesture we finish the Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers and Terror Victims and commence with the Independence Day Festivities. Each city throws down a main event, children and adults flood the streets in the evenings and CELEBRATE.
Certain streets even close off, with no entrance to cars, so drivers beware. And we walk the streets, listening to the finest music. And just have a really, really good time.
This years Independence Day collocates with the 9th of May Victory Day during which our fellow friends from the former Soviet Union, now Russia and its neighbouring countries have helped Win the 2nd World War and make this country even more of a possibility. Be Blessed Precious Veterans!
After an evening or night of much partying on the next day people sleep in..NO NOT IN ISRAEL. Israelis and friends make their way out of bed to the windows or balconies and witness the most amazing Aerial Demonstration put on by no other then the Israeli Air Force, BIG SHOUT OUT TO THEM!
So please come and enjoy with us! And Be Blessed!
Shavuot (שבועות) – Feast of Weeks
Or ‘Pentecost’ from Greek is the first reason we as believers in the Messiah celebrate this holiday. During the 49 days after Yeshua (Jesus) has risen from the dead after Passover. Are also known traditionally as the days of the count of Omer (ancient unit measurement). During these 40 days He taught His disciples and then went up with them to the ‘mount of olives’ (Eleona) where he was taken on the cloud from them. Guiding them to heed the Holy Spirit which ascended on the disciples on the 10th day after His ascension, during the Holiday of Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) 50 Days after the Holiday of Passover.
Shavuot is the 3d and last of the high holidays in the Hebraic Calendar. The literal meaning of the word ‘Shavuot’ is ‘weeks’ (plural) marking 7 week since its predecessor Pesach (Passover) was celebrated, total of 49 days of Sfirat HaOmer (Leviticus 23:15-16). This has several meanings, one being that during the Shavuot Holiday the Torah was given on Mount Sinai, it is tradition for the Jews to prepare themselves for 49 days in commemoration of this event and to measure ourselves to see if there is room for improvement. Then celebrate on the 50th day the ‘Matan Torah’ aka giving of the Torah, Shavuot. The 2nd and more earthly meaning, is the harvest that was gathered during the period of 49 days. Passover marked the beginning of spring and on the 50th day we celebrate the completion of the harvest, Shavuot.
It was custom during the time of the Temple to go up to Jerusalem and celebrate this holiday with the community, instead today we decorate our house and our table with the 7 species found in the land and celebrate it at home or with the congregation. These species could be found here 3500 years ago, they include: Grapes, olives, figs, wheat, barley, dates and pomegranates, after all this is the holiday of harvest. However, though there is no temple, many still follow tradition and go up and celebrate this holiday in the Old City of Jerusalem, by the Kotel (Wailing Wall). A more modern custom is the custom of eating dairy products during this holiday, so if you are joining a Jewish table this holiday, feel comfortable and bring a cheesy cake.
חג שמח!!! , Chag Sameach!!!
More holidays to follow soon
Scriptures And Captions For “Yeshua (ישוע) In The Tanach” And “Jesus In The Old Testament”
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
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
And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.
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
And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
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
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.
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.
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 (
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The Astounding Prophetic Significance Of “Aliyah”
“Aliyah” is the Hebrew word for “ascent,” coming from the same Hebrew root as the word “la-alot” (“to ascend”) or “ma-alot,” as in the “Psalms of Ascent” (Psalms 120- 134) which were recited by pilgrims on their way up to Jerusalem for the great feasts.
Today, in modern Hebrew, Aliyah is used to refer to Jewish persons returning home to their Promised Land in Israel from the nations where they have been scattered. He or she is going “Up to Zion,” fulfilling the many prophecies in God’s Word. A typical prophecy is found in Amos 9:14: And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. Aliyah means the physical return of the Jews to their Land, the restoration of that Land and the rebuilding of the Jewish nation in the Land of Israel (Aretz Israel).
When God repeats Himself and says something more than once, we want to take note, because it clearly concerns something of special importance to Him. God, in His Word, declared His intention to bring His people home from all the nations where they were scattered 64 TIMES!!!
If we look at the history of the last 2,000 years, from a Biblical perspective, clearly the event of the greatest historic and prophetic significance was the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Yeshua haMashiach). The second most significant event was surely what took place on the Day of Pentecost (Shavuot) when the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) fell on the disciples and the church (kehilah) was born. We believe the third most significant event has been the return of the Jewish people to their Land—Aliyah—foretold in God’s Word 64 times.
The modern movement of Aliyah began in 1881, accelerated with the First Zionist Congress in 1897 and the Balfour Declaration of 1917. It began to realize its full
potential when the nation of Israel was reborn in 1948 and Jerusalem was re-united under Jewish control in 1967. Today, over 1/3 of all the world’s Jews live in Israel, more than any other country in the world. In spite of incredible opposition, challenges and difficulties, Israel is today a strong and prosperous country. Aliyah continues to this day. The 64 prophecies are being fulfilled before our very eyes.
But much more is involved in Aliyah than the physical return of the Jews, the restoration of the Land and the rebirth of the nation. In the 64 passages of Scripture proclaiming God’s intention to bring His people home, 7 other amazing things are described which happen in conjunction with Aliyah.
1. Spiritual Restoration Of The Jewish People
Will there be a “Great Jewish Revival” when “All Israel will be saved”? God’s Word says “YES!” and that it happens AFTER they return to the Land. For example we see in Ezekiel 36:24-26: 24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 THEN will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. The restoration happens both in Israel and outside of Israel, in conjunction with Aliyah.
This theme is stated 14 times in Scripture: Jeremiah 23:3-6; Jeremiah 24:4-7; Jeremiah 32:37-41; Jeremiah 33:7-9; Jeremiah 50:1-5; Ezekiel 11:14-20; Ezekiel 20:40- 42; Ezekiel 28:25-26; Ezekiel 36:22-28; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Ezekiel 39:25-29; Zechariah 8:7-8; Zechariah 10:8-12; Joel 2:17-18, 27-32.
2. POURING OUT OF GOD’S SPIRIT ON ISRAEL AND ON THE NATIONS
Will God pour out His Spirit on Israel and on all flesh? YES! and it happens in conjunction with the return of His people to their Land. We see an example in Joel 2:28-29; 3:1:
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit… 1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem…
This theme is stated 4 times in Scripture: Ezekiel 37:5,6,8,9,10,14; Ezekiel 39:25-29; Zechariah 12:10; Joel 2:17-18, 2:27–3:2.
3. WORLDWIDE SPIRITUAL AWAKENING
Do God’s plans for the earth include a worldwide spiritual awakening? YES! And it comes as a response to Aliyah! For example, in Jeremiah 33:7, 9 we see: 7 And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first….9 And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.’
This theme is stated 8 times in Scripture: Jeremiah 33:7-9; Ezekiel 20:40-42; Ezekiel 28:25-26; Ezekiel 36:22- 29; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Ezekiel 39:25-29; Zephaniah 3:19- 20; Zechariah 8:20-23; See also Romans 11:1, 11-12, 15.
4. RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST (YESHUA HAMASHIACH) TO EARTH
Is the very return to Earth of our Messiah preceded by Aliyah? Is the return of the people of Israel to their Promised Land a pre-condition to His return? YES! We see this theme developed clearly in Jeremiah 23:3, 5-6:
3 And I will gather the remnant of
my flock out of all countries whither
I have driven them, and will bring
them again to their folds; and they
shall be fruitful and increase… 5
Behold, the days come, saith the
LORD, that I will raise unto David
a righteous Branch, and a King
shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
This theme is stated 4 times in Scripture: Jeremiah 23:3-6; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Micah 2:12-13; Micah 4:6-7; see also Zechariah 12:1-2, 10 and Zechariah 14:2-4a, 5b.
5. ROLE OF THE GENTILES
Does God have a role for the Gentiles in this amazing prophetic process of Aliyah? YES! A clear example can be seen in Isaiah 49:22: Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
This theme is stated 8 times in Scripture: Isaiah 11:11-12; Isaiah 14:1-2; Isaiah 43: 5-6; Isaiah 49:22- 23;Isaiah60:4-5;Isaiah60:8-9;Isaiah61:4-7;Jeremiah 16:14-16.
6. JUDAH AND ISRAEL
Is God bringing back only the Jews (descendants of the southern Kingdom of Judah)? What about the Israelites (descendants from the northern Kingdom of Israel–the so-called “Lost Tribes”)? Whenever the names “Judah” and “Israel” appear side-by-side in Scripture, “Israel” refers to the northern kingdom. In many passages, the Lord indicates that He is also bringing back the Israelites (the true genealogical descendents of those northern tribes). For example, in Jeremiah 3:18: In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers. The tribes of Manassah and Dan have already started to return.
This theme is stated 12 times in Scripture: Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 3:14-18; Jeremiah 23:5-8; Jeremiah 30:1-3; Jeremiah 30:4-11; Jeremiah 31:8-9; Jeremiah 31:18-22; Jeremiah 33:7-9; Jeremiah 50:1-5; Jeremiah 50:17-20; Ezekiel 37:15-28; Zechariah 10:6-12.
7. THE VALLEY OF DRY BONES
In Ezekiel 37:1-14, the Lord takes the prophet into “the valley of dry bones” and has him pray over the dead bones. They are at first physically resurrected; then they are spiritually resurrected. We can’t help being reminded of the physical restoration of the people of Israel to their Promised Land, which is followed by a spiritual restoration. In verse 12, He says: Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. This is repeated again in verse
21. In fact, the whole of Ezekiel 37 is clearly about Aliyah!
This picture of Aliyah takes place in “THE valley”–a specific valley. Could it be the Jordan Valley? Historically, many of the building blocks of the nation of Israel began in the Jordan Valley, including the kibbutz, the moshav, the Histadrut (the labor organization which represented 85% of the workers and owned 25% of the industry), the first health fund, the first department store, the largest bank, the largest construction company and much, much, more. Also, many Biblical events took place in the Jordan Valley, including Moses’ looking into the Promised Land; the entry of Joshua and the children of Israel into the Land; the immersion of Jesus (Yeshua) and the start of His ministry; the center of Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) ministry and much more.
If so much happened here in Biblical times, and in a very real sense the modern physical restoration of the people and nation of Israel began here, is it possible that the Spiritual restoration—thegreatJewishrevivalwhen“AllIsraelwillbe saved”—will also begin here?
THE 64 Aliyah SCRIPTURES
1. Deuteronomy 30:1-5
2. 2 Chronicles 30:6-9
3. Nehemiah 1:6-9
4. Psalms 14:7
5. Psalms 106:44-48
6. Psalms 107:2-3
7. Psalms 126:1
8. Psalms 147:2
9. Isaiah 11:11-12
10. Isaiah 14:1-2
11. Isaiah 27:12-13
12. Isaiah 35:10
13. Isaiah 41:8-10
14. Isaiah 43:5-6
15. Isaiah 49:11-12
16. Isaiah 49:22-23
17. Isaiah 51:11
18. Isaiah 52:7-9 (NKJV)
19. Isaiah 54:6-8
20. Isaiah 56:8
21. Isaiah 60:4-5
22. Isaiah 60:8-9
23. Isaiah 61:4-7
24. Isaiah 66:20-22
25. Jeremiah 3:14-18
26. Jeremiah 16:14-16
27. Jeremiah 23:3-4
28. Jeremiah 23:5-8
29. Jeremiah 24:4-7
30. Jeremiah 29:10-14
31. Jeremiah 30:1-3
32. Jeremiah 30:4-11
34. Jeremiah 31:10-14
35. Jeremiah 31:15-17
36. Jeremiah 31:18-22
37. Jeremiah 31:23-25
38. Jeremiah 31:26-33
39. Jeremiah 32:37-41
40. Jeremiah 32:42-44
41. Jeremiah 33:7-9
42. Jeremiah 50:1-5
43. Jeremiah 50:17-20
44. Ezekiel 11:14-20
45. Ezekiel 20:34-38
46. Ezekiel 20:40-44
47. Ezekiel 28:25-26
48. Ezekiel 34:11-16
49. Ezekiel 36:7-12
50. Ezekiel 36:22-38
51. Ezekiel 37:1-14
52. Ezekiel 37:15-28
53. Ezekiel 38:8
54. Ezekiel 39:25-29
55. Hosea 11:10-11
56. Joel 2:32–3:2
57. Amos 9:14-15
58. Micah 2:12-13
59. Micah 4:6-7
60. Micah 4:10
61. Zephaniah 3:17-20
62. Zechariah 8:7-8
63. Zechariah 10:6-12
64. Zechariah 12:6-10
HaTikvah (התקווה) – Israeli national anthem
Hatikvah is a 19th-century Jewish poem and the national anthem of Israel. The theme of the romantic composition reflects the Jews’ 2,000-year-old hope of returning to the Land of Israel, restoring it, and reclaiming it as a free and sovereign nation
HaTikvah – The Hope
The national anthem of Israel
כּל עוד בַּלֵּבָב פְּנִימָה
Kol ʻod balevav penimah
As long as in the heart, within,
נֶפֶשׁ יְהוּדִי הוֹמִיָּה
Nefesh Yehudi Homiyah
A Jewish soul still yearns,
וּלְפַאֲתֵי מִזְרָח קָדִימָה
Ulfa’atey Mizrakh Kadimah
And onward, towards the ends of the east,
עַיִן לְצִיּוֹן צוֹפִיָּה
ʻAyin letzion Tzofiyah
An eye still looks toward Zion;
עוֹד לֹא אָבְדָה תִּקְוָתֵנוּ
ʻOd lo avdah tikvatenu
Our hope is not yet lost,
הַתִּקְוָה בַּת שְׁנוֹת אַלְפַּיִם
Hatikvah bat shnot alpayim
The hope of two thousand years,
לִהְיוֹת עַם חָפְשִׁי בְּאַרְצֵנוּ
Lihyot am chofshi be’artzenu
To be a free nation in our land,
אֶרֶץ צִיּוֹן וִיְרוּשָׁלַיִם.
Eretz Tziyon v’Yerushalayim
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.
Music: Samuel Cohen, 1888
Lyricist: Naftali Herz Imber
Composers: Samuel Cohen, Paul Ben-Haim
Courtesy of Wikipedia.com
The words of Israel’s national anthem were written as a nine-stanza poem by poet Naftali Herz Imber and were first published in 1876 or 1877 (the exact date is unknown). It served as the anthem of the Zionist Movement at the 18th Zionist Congress in 1933. When the State of Israel was established, the first stanza and refrain were adopted as the national anthem. Until 2004, Hatikva was not officially the national anthem when it was rooted in the “Flag and Emblem Law” of 1949 which then became the “Flag, Emblem, and National Anthem Law, 5709-1949.”
Courtesy of Knesset.gov.il.com
The original poem had nine verses.
The first two, with revisions, became the song we know today.
Tallit – Prayer Shawl
“Speak to the Children of Israel and bid them to affix fringes (“tzitziot”) to the corners of their garments, so that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord.” (Numbers 15:37-41)
The “Tallit” was created as a garment to hold the fringes. Four-cornered garments were common in ancient days but the development of clothing not having four corners would have rendered the commandment obsolete. To prevent the total disappearance of a mitzvah (commandment) with such great symbolic significance (since it serves as a reminder to observe all the commandments), the sages encouraged the wearing of specially-made four cornered garments so as to provide the opportunity to observe and implement this commandment. The “Tallit”, a four-cornered shawl with the required fringes has thus become the traditional garment worn by Jewish men during prayer services. In English, it is commonly called a “Prayer Shawl.” The more orthodox wear a smaller four-cornered garment under their regular clothing, so they can observe the commandment at all times. It is believed that the woman who touched the hem of Yeshua’s (Jesus’) garment as mentioned in Matthew 9:20-21, had actually touched the fringes of His prayer shawl.
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Shofar – Ram’s horn
In English, the word trumpet appears many times in scripture and many times it is referring to the ram’s horn (“Shofar”) as opposed to the “Chatzotzrah,” a long, straight trumpet made usually of silver or gold. At Mount Sinai when the Jewish people received the law of Moses, it was accompanied by several miraculous signs (Exodus 19:16) among which was the shrill blast of a “shofar” that emanated from the sacred mountain. Later on when Joshua led the Israelites in the siege of Jericho, it was the blast of the “shofars” (Joshua 6:20) that triggered the collapse of those impregnable walls. Still later, in the time of Gideon, it was a band of only 300 men (Judges 7:15-23) which at God’s command scattered the mighty Midianite army of 120,000 by smashing pitchers and blowing “shofars.”
A “shofar” is a curved horn taken straight from a male sheep commemorating the sacrifice of Isaac when at the last moment God provided a ram that had its horn caught in the thicket. Horns of cows were rejected because these animals were associated with the worship of the Golden Calf by the Children of Israel in the desert, a sin vigorously condemned by Moses. The “shofar” blown at the Feast of Trumpets (“Rosh Hashanah”) (Leviticus 23:24) marks the start of a 10 day period of spiritual self-examination and repentance, which culminates with “Yom Kippur,” the Day of Atonement.
Longer “Yemenite” shofars are made from antelope horns.
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The seven branched Menorah (Candelabra) or Channukiah
Chanukkah is observed for eight days and it commemorates the historic victory of the Jewish patriots called Maccabeans. This followed a three-year long uprising against the ruling Syrian-Greek regime and their Jewish Hellenistic supporters who conspired to impose restrictions against Jewish religious practices and values. The struggle culminated with the recapture of the Temple in 165 B.C. and the restoration of its traditional Jewish worship. The victory also restored Jewish political sovereignty over the land. “Channukah” means “Dedication” and refers to the rededication of the Temple to the service of God after it had been defiled with pagan images.
The Talmud explains that after the Syrian-Greeks defiled the Temple, only one small undefiled jug of oil for the Menorah still bearing the seal of the High Priest could be found. The jar only contained enough oil to burn for one day, and it would take 8 days to make more. Nevertheless, the High priest kindled the menorah and a miracle happened: the menorah flame continued to burn for eight days! To commemorate the event, it was decided that henceforth, the holiday would be observed annually by kindling one new light each day for eight days. Thus Channukah became known as the Feast of Lights. The Channukah menorah has nine branches, one for each of the 8 days and the middle stem, called the “Shamash,” or servant candle, which is used to light the other candles. By the eighth day, every window in Israel and in Jewish homes elsewhere is aglow with the nine candles—one for each of the eight days, plus the servant candle.
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“And these words which I commanded you this day you shall write them on the doorpost of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:9) Although the “Mezuzah” is the Hebrew word for doorpost, the parchment scroll (“klaf”) which is placed upon the doorpost is also referred to as a “Mezuzah” after the place where it is put. The “Mezuzah” is a small scroll of parchment on which are written two Biblical passages: “Hear 0 Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one….. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), and “And if you will carefully obey my commandments… (Deuteronomy 11:13-21)
The parchment scroll is rolled up, enclosed in a case of wood, metal or plastic and attached to the doorpost. The “Mezuzah,” is in a protective case, which can be made of any material and be almost any shape. This case, which is also often referred to as a “Mezuzah” is then nailed to the right side of the door frame at the beginning of the upper third of the doorpost. The “Mezuzah” is tilted at an angle with the upper part of the “Mezuzah” slanted inward toward the house or room, and the lower part away from the house. The Hebrew letter “Shin” ( ) usually appears on the outside of the “Mezuzah” case symbolizing God’s name “El Shaddai.”
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To anoint means to pour oil or ointment onto a person or object in a ceremonial fashion. The Hebrew word for anoint first appears in Genesis 31:13, where it refers to Jacob pouring oil on the stone in Bethel (Genesis 28:18-19). When anointing Israel’s first King, the Prophet-Judge Samuel (1 Samuel 9:25) took Saul aside for instruction, then “took a vial of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him and said: ‘Has not the Lord appointed you to be prince over His people Israel?’” (1 Samuel 10:1). For anointing the Tabernacle and its priests, a special oil was compounded and used for that sacred purpose.
Oil is symbolic of healing. When the Good Samaritan helped the man who had been attacked by robbers on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, he poured oil and wine on his wounds. In the New Testament, anointing with oil accompanied by prayer for healing by local church elders is required when praying for the sick (James 5:14-15). Anointing with oil was also part of the Apostles’ healing ministry (Mark 6:12-13).
Oil is associated with God’s gift and the outpouring of God’s Spirit. The word for “anoint” is MASEIAI-I. The Hebrew word “Messiah,” translated “Christ” in Greek is from the same Hebrew root and really means “The Anointed One.”
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Shabbat (Sabbath) candles and candle holders
Lighting the Sabbath candles formally ushers in the Sabbath for the members of the household. The minimum number of candles lit is two representing the two forms of the fourth commandment: “Zachor” Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy (Exodus 20:8) and “Shamor” Observe the Sabbath and keep it holy. (Deuteronomy 5:12). In Jewish homes it is traditional for the woman of the house to light the candles before the sun sets on Friday evening, and to recite a special Prayer: “Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who sanctified us through His commandments and who has commanded us to light the Sabbath candles.”
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Challah (Shabbat bread) cover
The table set for the Sabbath should contain, in addition to the candles, two loaves of unsliced bread known as “hallah” which are covered with a special cloth or napkin specially decorated to beautify the Sabbath table. The word “Hallah” usually translated as “cake” or “loaf” is mentioned in Numbers 15:20. The children of Israel were commanded to set aside, from the bread they had baked, a small portion of dough for the sustenance of the priest. The word “Challah” was first used in the Bible in Leviticus 24:5 to describe the 12 showbreads that were arranged in the Tabernacle. According to most authorities, this is the origin of the use of “Challah” on the Sabbath and on holidays.
Two loaves are used to commemorate God miraculously sending manna from heaven enough to meet the needs for one day at a time. However, so that the Israelites would not have to collect manna on the Sabbath (which would have constituted work) on the sixth day a double portion was sent and it did not spoil. According to tradition, the two loaves of bread for the Sabbath commemorate this event. A cover is placed over the loaves until the time comes to break one and pass pieces around the table as part of the Sabbath blessing: the blessing over the bread and the fruit of the vine. The blessing over the bread is “Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.”
Kiddush cup – Cup of blessing
The Biblical term “Fruit of the Vine” includes both wine and grape juice. Wine, being a symbol of joy and of a festive occasion, was a beverage in daily use in Talmudic times. A blessing was recited whenever the fruit of the vine was taken. On the Sabbath a special prayer, called the “Kiddush”–meaning “sanctification”–was recited with the wine for the sanctification of the holy day unto the Lord. At home, Jewish families recite the Kiddush before the Sabbath begins on Friday evening, and during holiday meals. A special “Kiddush cup” is usually set aside for this purpose. The head of the household recites the traditional blessing over the cup— “Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, creator of the fruit of the vine.”
Many “Kiddush” cups have inscribed on them the Hebrew words “Boreh pri ha gefen”—“Creator of the fruit of the vine.” Yeshua (Jesus) was pronouncing the special Passover “Kiddush” at the Last Supper, and this became the basis for Communion.
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Passover seder plate
The Passover commemorates the Exodus from Egypt. The “Seder” is a Jewish religious service which includes a festive meal on the first night of Passover. The word “Seder” means Order (of service). It is so called because it is a liturgy accompanied by a specific order of service unlike any other festive meal of the year.
A “Seder” tray or plate–which usually has six circular indentations– is placed on the festive table so that the various symbolic foods can be displayed individually:
1. Bitter herbs symbolize the bitterness endured by the Israelites during their bondage
2. Haroshet (apple and nut mixture) represents the mortar used by the Israelites in the building of Egyptian cities
3. Salt water represents the tears shed by the people in their misery
4. “Harpas” (a vegetable—usually celery or parsley) is a symbol of spring, fruitfulness, and of ever-renewed hope in the future even as it is being dipped in the salt water of tears
5, 6. shank bone and egg both recall the destruction of the Temple by symbolizing respectively the Paschal (Passover) offering and the festival offering which were brought when the Temple was in existence.
This special Passover meal is one of the major highlights of the Jewish sacred year. The “Seder” was celebrated in New Testament times, and in fact was the occasion of the Last Supper of Yeshua and His disciples.
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Matzah cover and plate
“Matzah” (unleavened bread) is also used in the Passover meal, and during the entire Feast of Unleavened Bread which follows immediately after the “Seder” meal. It recalls the haste with which the Children of Israel had to leave Egypt as the “dough did not have sufficient time to leaven.” It symbolizes “The poor bread which they ate in the land of Egypt” and commemorates the Paschal (Passover) offering which the “Matzah” came to represent after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple.
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“Cover your head, so that the reverence of Heaven be upon you” (Rabbinical writings). Kippa is the Hebrew word for skullcap (“yarmulke” in Yiddish). Though never legislated by the sages or Scripture, the custom of not going about bareheaded at anytime, at home, in the Synagogue and outdoors, extend back several thousand years in time. In many ways, it has become a mark of Jewish piety. To wear a head covering was an ancient Roman stigma for a servant. Free men went bareheaded. The Jews adopted this custom in the House of God and in prayer or whenever God’s name was mentioned in blessings (such as during meals which are preceded and followed by blessings) to emphasize that they were the servants of the Lord. Gradually the practice was extended to wearing a head covering also under the open skies. It became a Jewish way
of showing reverence to God. A white skullcap is preferred for the High Holy Days as well as weddings and other celebrations, because white is a sign of purity. Otherwise there is no special significance to the wide array of colors and designs in which they are now made. Plain black kippas, however, tend to be worn by more orthodox Jews.
Magen David – Star of David
The six-pointed star is called “Magen David” in Hebrew–generally translated as the “Star of David.” It literally means “Shield of David.” In early times, it was used on Roman mosaic pavements as a decorative design without special significance. Its earliest surviving use in a synagogue dates back 1,800 years, when it appeared on a frieze in the Synagogue of Capernaum. The earliest known example of its use on a tombstone was in sixth century Italy. Today the Star of David is an expression of Jewish identity. God told Abraham in Genesis 15:5, that He would make Abraham’s descendants as numerous as the stars in heaven, thus associating stars with the descendants of Abraham.
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“Chai” is a Hebrew word meaning “Alive,” or “Living” and is worn today as a symbol of Jewish identity.
Early Messianic Symbol. This sign has reportedly been discovered, in recent years, on pottery in The Jerusalem area, believed to date from the 2nd century A.D. Some experts have concluded that it was an identifying mark of the early Jewish believers in Yeshua (Jesus) that tied together their traditions and their faith. Surely more facts will come to light as more archaeological evidence emerges.
We at the Galilee Experience call this three-part design the “Grafted-in” symbol as it beautifully illustrates the truth of Romans 11:17-18. It has also been called “The Messianic seal of the Jerusalem Church.”
The “Menorah” (candelabra) at the top reminds us of God’s Torah and His fulfillment of the promises to Abraham in calling out the People of Israel. The Magen David (Star, or shield, of David) in the middle recalls the Nation of Israel and the establishment of the Davidic monarchy in the Land of Israel. The Fish at the bottom was a symbol for Yeshua used by the early Christians (from the Greek word for fish, “ichthys,” which was used as an acronym for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior”). Here it shows that the gentile has been grafted into the Jewish root through faith in Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel–the One who fulfilled the Torah and the rightful King in the line of David. Note that the symbol is one, completely fused together. With this fusion the “Grafted-In” symbol demonstrates that Jew and gentile are truly one in the Messiah, reconciled through His atonement. In Him the middle wall of partition has indeed been broken down. It is our prayer and desire that this symbol will inspire you as you meditate on the Scriptures, which in turn will lead you to share these truths with others.
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