Monday, October 24, 2011
Sukkot, a picture of the wedding of Yahoshuah to His bride, Israel. It is the Feast the whole book is about. Restoring His bride and returning all things to their place, once for all.
Lev 23:33 And YHWH spake unto Moses, saying,
Lev 23:34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto YHWH.
It is called the Season of Our Joy. It is agricultural in nature occurring during the fall harvest and pointing to the harvest of souls which is to take place at the end of days. During Sukkot we are called to be in temporary dwellings or tents/ sukkahs during this time which also reminds us that we are all in temporary dwellings because this earthly body is not our permanent home! We are strangers and sojourners here...just passin' through. Our earthly homes are temporary and life is fleeting.
We are called to willingly and obediently leave the comforts of our houses and live in temporary dwellings. We expose ourselves to the elements and place ourselves in a situation where we realize that true security and shelter are found only as we remain in YHWH's will and under His care.
Sukkot is also known as a time for hospitality, a time for inviting guests into your sukkah to dine and have fellowship. It is especially good to invite those in need.
It is the feast where we are called to rejoice:
Lev 23:40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before YHWH your God seven days.
All things that have taken place will bring us to the time of promised restoration that is soon to come in it's completion during the Feast of Sukkot!!
Friday, October 21, 2011
Most are familiar with the Aaronic blessing; (Numbers 6:24). We often read or say these words without really knowing what they mean. Here’s a look at the Hebrew meaning behind the words of this blessing...
This is how the Aaronic Blessing is read out of the scriptures;
Num 6:24-26 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
This is the ancient Hebrew meaning behind the words of the blessing;
Yahweh will kneel before you presenting gifts and will guard you with a hedge of protection,
(The LORD bless thee, and keep thee)
Yahweh will illuminate the wholeness of his being toward you bringing order and he will beautify you,
(The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: )
Yahweh will lift up his wholeness of being and look upon you and he will set in place all you need to be whole and complete.
(The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. )
The Hebrew word for "bless" is "barak" which literally means "to kneel". A berakah is a "blessing" but more literally, the bringing of a gift to another on a bended "knee". When we bless God or others, we are in essence, bringing a gift on bended "knee". A true king is one who serves his people, one who will humble himself and come to his people on a bended knee.
My favorite version is by Rico Cortes
Yeh-va-reh-cheh-cha Adoni veh-yeesh-meh-reh-cha
Ya-air Adoni pa-naiv ay-leych-cha vee-chu-neh-cha
Yee-sa Adoni pa-nahv ay-leyh-cha veh-ya-same leh-cha leh-cha Shalom
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Written by Dov Moshe Lipman
I have experienced Yom Kippur 39 times in my life. But I have never been as prepared as I am now for my 40th one.
And I have Steve Jobs to thank for it.
Steve Jobs, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple, Inc. as well as chief executive of Pixar Animation, died yesterday at the age of 56 from pancreatic cancer. As a result of his death, many of his speeches and presentations have been spreading like wildfire across the internet, and one has struck the most perfect of chords in me as a preparation for the Day of Atonement which is quickly approaching.
Jobs was the guest speaker at the 2005 commencement exercises for Stanford University and I want to focus on three things which he highlighted in his speech which he delivered after his cancer was diagnosed and also temporarily cured.
"AWFUL TASTING MEDICINE"
I often find myself upset with God on Yom Kippur. Last year I prayed all day and pleaded for all the things I wanted Him to give me and now, looking back, not only did I not receive everything I wanted but things oftentimes turned out worse. Jobs told stories of having to drop out of college and actually being fired from Apple, the company which he himself started. But, in both cases, what looked like something bad and even disastrous for him actually worked out for the best and were "the best things that could have ever happened." As he explains, "it was awful tasting medicine but I guess the patient needed it."
How can I, in my limited understanding of history, destiny, and the universe know what is best for me? How dare I approach God this Yom Kippur with complaints about this past year. Steve Jobs taught me that I must be willing to swallow even the most awful tasting medicine because the Doctor knows best and I, as the patient need it.
"AM I LIVING TODAY AS IF IT IS MY LAST?"
Jobs related that when he was 17 years old he read a humorous quote which made a lasting impression on him. "If you live each day like it will be your last, some day you will most certainly be right." Jobs said that he awoke every day and looked at himself in the mirror and asked himself if he was living the day he would want to live if it was his last. And if he went a few days with the answer being "no," he knew it was time to change course. As Jobs went on to explain, "Your time here is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."
Yom Kippur is THE day on the Jewish calendar when we confront our mortality. Those who passed away this past year had their fate sealed last Yom Kippur and this Yom Kippur God will seal our fates for the coming year. I always knew this and used the day to plead to God to bless me and my family and friends with life. I approached the prospect of death with fear and turned that fear into imploring God that it should not happen. But, as Jobs said it, "death is likely the single best invention of life." Therefore, instead of it simply hanging over me with fear, I must embrace it and use it to enhance my life.
Thanks to Steve Jobs I am now entering Yom Kippur not as the selfish person pleading with God to grant me life, but trying to internalize and apply in practice the message of the judgment which will be sealed on that day. God forbid, this could actually be it. This could be the last Yom Kippur. While spending the day in synagogue, I am going to ask myself: Am I living the life I want to lead if it is my last? Am I relating to my wife, my children, my parents, my siblings, my extended family, my neighbors and my friends as if today may be my last? Am I using my unique talents and skills to contribute to my country, my nation, and the world to the fullest as if today will be my last chance to do so?
As Jobs expressed it best, "Knowing that I can be dead soon helps me make the most important decisions in life based on what is real and true and not based on fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, pride, or any other external expectations." I am going to spend time on Yom Kippur analyzing my decisions and life through that lens of clarity.
And, amazingly, the laws of Yom Kippur will help me accomplish this. How so?
FOLLOW YOUR GUT, IT KNOWS YOU BEST
"Don't let the voice of other people's opinions drown out your own inner voice." One profound statement made by Steve Jobs, with shattering implications. He goes on to teach us, "You must have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" because "somehow you already know what you want and what you want to become." I now understand that Yom Kippur is all about removing all external distractions and trying to figure out who I really am at my core. No food. No drink. No time for socializing. No physical pleasures. Just me and my spiritual side, the real me. Time for me to figure out what the real ME wants with all distractions removed.
Thank you Mr. Jobs. Your life and words had a meaningful impact on one searching person at just the right time, and I have no doubt there are millions of others just like me who you have touched as well.
May you rest in peace and may all of us have a most meaningful Yom Kippur. (END ARTICLE)
That was a great article, much of which, I truly believe to be true for us a believers in YHWH.
How do we come before YHWH? Do we really believe He does know best and do we trust that it is He who leads us in "the way" we are to go even when the smooth road has turned rough?
Also, it is important to remember the words of Solomon: Ecc 11:9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.
YHWH will give us all we need in order to accomplish the desires HE has placed in our hearts to do, we need only remember that in all things we choose to do, we will one day stand before our Maker who will rightly Judge our works. I pray that I will not be inhibited by voices, by majority, by fear or by complacency but that I will allow YHWH be my strength so that I am able to see life outside my field of human vision where I am restricted to this worlds limitations. So that I can realize life for what He has created it for. I pray that I will see what is real and lasting and separate myself from what won't stand, at least as much as I am allowed to do that in this world.
What an amazing time of reflection Yom Teruah and Yom kippur have been. This is just the beginning of the journey of the coming year. May it be filled with devotion, meditation in His word, prayer, and focus and most of all..
May you be inscribed in the book of life and your heart filled with shalom as you set apart your time to YHWH in the coming year!