Posted by: Elena's Israel Blog | 08/10/2019

The 9TH of AV – a VERY SIGNIFICANT DATE


Tisha B’Av, the Fast of the Ninth of Av, is a day of mourning to commemorate the many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people, many of which coincidentally(?) have occurred on the ninth of Av. Tisha B’Av means “the ninth (day) of the Hebrew month of Av.” It usually occurs during August. This year it falls on August 10-11 (remember, the Jewish ‘day’ begins at sundown).

Specifically: Jewish Year 5779: sunset August 10 – nightfall August 11, 2019

Tisha B’Av primarily commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples, both of which were destroyed on the ninth of Av (the first by the Babylonians in 586 B. C., the second by the Romans in 70 A.D. Tisha B’Av is the culmination of a three week period of increasing mourning, beginning with the fast of the 17th of Tammuz, which commemorates the first breach in the walls of Jerusalem, before the First Temple was destroyed. During this three week period, weddings and other parties are not permitted, and people refrain from cutting their hair. From the first to the ninth of Av, it is customary to refrain from eating meat or drinking wine (except on the Shabbat) and from wearing new clothing. In synagogues, the book of Lamentations is read and mourning prayers are recited. The ark (cabinet where the Torah is kept) is draped in black.

There have been several incidents of blood red lunar eclipses on or around the 9th of Av, 3 years in a row as of 2011. Could this be significant?

“And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,. . ‘“ (Genesis 1:14)

The caption on this picture from the Library of Congress reads “Jewish beggar at the Wailing Wall reading.” He may have been a beggar, but if you show the picture to Jerusalemites, they’ll instinctively respond, “It’s Tisha B’Av, and he’s reading the book of Lamentations (Eicha).” A story is told of Napoleon passing a synagogue and hearing congregants inside mourning. To his question who they are mourning, he was told they were weeping over the destruction of the Jewish Temple 1,800 years earlier. Napoleon responded, according to the legend, “If the Jews are still crying after so many hundreds of years, then I am certain the Temple will one day be rebuilt.”

The Book of Genesis describes how Jacob mourned during the entire 22 years that Joseph was missing. Nothing consoled him. No one could comfort him. One would think that after 22 years the pain of the death of a loved one would somewhat lessen or ease with the passage of time, but in this case it did not. Why? Because there was no closure, no burial. Why? Because Joseph was not dead! For over 2000 years the Jewish people have been mourning the destruction of the Holy Temple. At every festive occasion its loss is remembered. No wedding takes places without the symbolic broken glass. Ashes of mourning are placed upon the forehead of the groom and a section of a new home is left unpainted or unfinished, all in remembrance of the Destruction and the Exile from Zion. One might ask, “Why are they still crying after 2000 years?” Why can’t they get over it and move on? Why? Because there was never any closure, no burial. Why? Because the Temple’s bricks and stone have been destroyed, but the Divine Promise still stands, the Temple will be rebuilt and until that day Zion will never be forgotten!

Here is a more complete list of significant events on this date in Jewish history and why it is a time of mourning for the nation of Israel:

Hebrew Year Common Year Event
2448 (1312) Spies return from 40 days in Israel with evil reports of the Land of Israel. Jewish people cry in despair, give up hope of entering the Land of Israel.
3340 (421) Destruction of First Temple by the Babylonians, under Nebuchadnezar. About 100,000 Jews killed during invasion. Exile of remaining tribes in southern kingdom to Babylon and Persia.
3830 70 Destruction of Second Temple by Romans, under Titus. Over 2,500,000 Jews die as a result of war, famine and disease. Over 1,000,000 Jews exiled to all parts of the Roman Empire. Over 100,000 Jews sold as slaves by Romans. Jews killed and tortured in gladiatorial “games” and pagan celebrations.
3892 132 Bar Kochba revolt crushed. Betar destroyed – over 100,00 killed.
3893 133 Turnus Rufus ploughs site of Temple. Romans build pagan city of Aelia Capitolina on site of Jerusalem.
4855 1095 First Crusade declared by Pope Urban II. 10,000 Jews killed in first month of Crusade. Crusades bring death and destruction to thousands of Jews, totally obliterate many communities in Rhineland and France.
5050 1290 Expulsion of Jews from England, accompanied by pogroms and confiscation of books and property.
5252 1492 Inquisition in Spain and Portugal culminates in the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. Families separated, many die by drowning, massive loss of property.
5674 1914 Britain and Russia declare war on Germany. First World War begins. First World War issues unresolved, ultimately causing Second World War and Holocaust. 75% of all Jews in war zones. Jews in armies of all sides – 120,000 Jewish casualties in armies. Over 400 pogroms immediately following war in Hungary, Ukraine, Poland and Russia.
5702 1942 Deportations from Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka concentration camp begin.
5749 1989 Iraq walks out of talks with Kuwait.
5754 1994 The deadly bombing the building of the AMIA (the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina) which killed 86 people and wounded some 300 others.

Amazing, isn’t it? There are no coincidences in God’s plan. What does it all mean??

Posted by: Elena's Israel Blog | 06/04/2019

SHAVUOT (or PENTECOST)

Reposting from 2012 – Shavuot (also known as Pentecost), (June 8 – 10, 2019) , is a Hebrew word meaning “weeks” and refers to the Jewish festival marking the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Shavuot, like so many other Jewish holidays began as an ancient agricultural festival, marking the end of the spring barley harvest and the beginning of the summer wheat harvest. Shavuot was distinguished in ancient times by bringing crop offerings to the Temple in Jerusalem.

Shavuot, also known as the Festival of the Giving of the Torah, dates from biblical times, and helps to explain the holiday’s name, “Weeks.” The Torah tells us it took precisely forty-nine days for the Jews’ ancestors to travel from Egypt to the foot of Mount Sinai (the same number of days as the Counting of the Omer ) where they were to receive the Torah. Thus, Leviticus 23:21 commands: “And you shall proclaim that day (the fiftieth day) to be a holy convocation!” The name Shavuot, “Weeks,” then symbolizes the completion of a seven-week journey.

Shavuot is a happy holiday, filled with lots of good food such as cheesecake, blintzes, and other tasty treats. Special customs on Shavuot are the reading of the Book of Ruth, which reminds Jews that they too can find a continual source of blessing in their tradition. Another tradition includes staying up all night to study Torah and Mishnah, a custom called Tikkun Leil Shavuot, which symbolizes Jewish commitment to the Torah, and that they are always ready and awake to receive the Torah. Traditionally, dairy dishes are served on this holiday to symbolize the sweetness of the Torah, as well as the “land of milk and honey”.

The Book of Ruth in the Bible chapter Ruth 1:1-22, tells the story of a woman who is dedicated to her mother in law after her husband dies. Ruth returns with Naomi, her mother in law, to Bethlehem, where she gleans barley and wheat for the entirety of the season. The owner of this field, Boaz, allows this for he has heard of her loyalty and because Boaz is a relative of Naomi’s it is right that he marry Ruth to carry on the family line. When Boaz and Ruth marry they have a son named Obed, who is the grandfather of King David. Because Ruth’s loyalty and hard work are expressed during the harvest season and because she desires to follow Naomi and become a Jew, there is much symbolic resonance to this short Biblical book. God honored Ruth in that she became a direct ancestor of Yeshua Hamashiach, Jesus Christ. She was a gentile with the heart of a Jew! Click here for another post on the Book of Ruth, written by a non-Messianic Jewish woman: https://graftedinelena.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/wisdom-of-the-book-of-ruth/.

The period from Passover to Shavuot is a time of great anticipation for Jews. Shavuot is also sometimes known as Pentecost, because it falls on the 50th day. The counting reminds Jews of the important connection between Passover and Shavuot: Passover freed them physically from bondage, but the giving of the Torah on Shavuot redeemed them spiritually from bondage to idolatry and immorality.

It is noteworthy that the holiday is called the time of the giving of the Torah, rather than the time of the receiving of the Torah. The sages point out that we are constantly in the process of receiving the Torah, that we receive it every day, but it was first given at this time. Thus it is the giving, not the receiving, that makes this holiday significant.

As a Christian I see a direct parallel between the giving of the Torah and the receiving of the Holy Spirit which happened on Shavuot (Pentecost) just after Jesus’ resurrection. Note also that Yeshua ascended into heaven 40 days after His crucifixion, yet he told his disciples to WAIT for the promised Holy Spirit. He knew that the coming of the Spirit needed to fall on the exact day of Shavuot, to correspond with the giving of the Torah. So, 10 days later, on the 50th day, The Holy Spirit descended as tongues of flame onto the believers celebrating Shavuot. 3000 people were saved that day!

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!’ Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, ‘What does this mean?’” (Acts 2:1-12)

Click  CalendarJewishFeast  to see a calendar of all the Jewish Holidays.

Posted by: Elena's Israel Blog | 04/10/2019

PASSOVER PARALLELS

Passover 2019 is from April 19 sundown through April 27 sundown: Re-posting about Passover for 2019: Most people have at least some knowledge of what the Jewish Festival of Passover (Pesach) is all about, even if it is only from watching Charlton Heston as Moses in the movie ‘Ten Commandments’. In the Bible book of Leviticus, God decrees that seven feasts are to be observed every year by His people (an eighth one is the weekly Sabbath).  “‘These are the LORD’s appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times:  The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month.  ***On the fifteenth day of that month the LORD’s Festival of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. For seven days present a food offering to the LORD. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.’” (Lev. 23:4-8). The Passover is basically to remember how God delivered His people from their 430 year slavery in Egypt. The Jews were told by God through Moses, on the night before their liberation, to paint the blood of a sacrificial lamb over the doorposts of their homes to avoid the angel of death to their firstborn. Christians believe that this event was a ‘shadow’ or ‘type’ of what was to come in the future when Messiah Jesus (Yeshua, the only sinless man in history) came to set people free from their captivity to sin and damnation by being the perfect Lamb who was sacrificed. The Passover in Moses’ day was celebrated by bringing a flawless lamb to the high priest to be slaughtered and have its blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle (“.. without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin..” Hebrews 9:22) The blood of Christ symbolically covering Jewish and gentile believers likewise avoids for us eternal damnation for our sins.

Being a ‘pilgrimage festival’, all the men of Israel were to come up to Jerusalem in the Hebrew month of Nissan 14-21. (Did you know that the Christian Last Supper was a Passover Seder?) Today, as then, at the family table there are symbolic foods, special songs and the story of deliverance is retold in detail with the youngest child asking certain questions of the father, beginning with ‘What makes this night different from all [other] nights?’ This liturgy is called the Haggadah (telling your son). Before Passover, houses are swept clean of all leaven (symbol of sin) and unleavened bread (matzah) is eaten for the entire week.

Matzah

The matzah is striped and pierced in appearance. This is such a picture of the striped and pierced body of Christ at the hands of the Roman guards who pierced Him with a sword, and scourged Him with whips.

Passover symbolic foods

The symbolic foods eaten at the Passover seder are these:

Beitzah – A roasted egg – symbolizes the cycle of the seasons and of the sacrifices in the Temple, and

  1. Karpas – Parsley (or vegetable) – symbolizes the renewal of spring
  2. Ze’roa – Roasted shank bone – symbolizes the pascal offering in the Temple
  3. Charoset – Chopped apples and nuts – symbolizes the mortar that the Israelites used to build the storehouses for Pharaoh
  4. Maror – Bitter herb (horseradish) – symbolizes the bitterness of the slavery that the Israelites endured in Egypt.
  5. Chazeret – Romaine lettuce – symbolizes spring
  6. Salted water — represents the tears the Israelites shed when they were slaves in Egypt.  The parsley is dipped in the salt water
  7. Four cups of red wine or grape juice — Each cup is related to a different Biblical verse that promises that God will redeem the Israelites from bondage in Egypt
  8. Matzah — the unleavened bread the Israelites baked before leaving Egypt

Finding the ‘afikomen’ (dessert) is part of the celebration of Passover. Three pieces of matzah are ceremonially set aside. The middle one is the afikomen. At one point during the meal, it is taken out, broken in half, wrapped in linen and hidden. Later in the evening the children are invited to search for it, and whoever finds it rejoices greatly as he/she receives a GIFT. Yeshua also was wrapped in linen and hidden in the grave. Three days later He rose again, a cause for great rejoicing by believers ever since because of the GIFT of Salvation! Our Christian celebration of Resurrection Day (Easter) commemorates the resurrection of Yeshua. Do you see the parallels? There are so many more but enough for this blog post. I will be attending a Passover Seder with the congregation of Mishkahn David this year. I also attended one in a Jewish family’s home in 2009. Remember, I am ‘GRAFTED IN’! and if you are in Christ, so are you!

***2017 update: Just learned another Passover parallel.  Exodus 12:1-3 states this – 1 “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 ‘This month (Nisan) is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.'” and 5 “‘The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.'” Note that the Lord commanded the Jews to take a perfect lamb into the home of the father and take care of it. This lamb became like a pet who was loved by the family, yet they were commanded to kill it on the 14th day. There was sacrifice on the part of the lamb and the people were sad. 

The Christian parallel is this, that on the 10th day of the same month of Nisan, Jesus was brought into Jerusalem to the house of His Father, and His followers loved Him and waved palm branches shouting ‘Hosanna – Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!” (Christian Palm Sunday) This is found in John 12:1 – Six days before the Passover (or the 9th day of Nisan), Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.” and John 12:12-13 –  12 The next day (the 10th daythe great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna – Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!” And, on the 14th day, He celebrated a Passover supper (the Christian ‘Last Supper’) leading to His crucifixion the next day where He paid the ransom for all sinners who believe on His Name! These two events, separated by centuries, are one and the same!

Posted by: Elena's Israel Blog | 12/03/2018

Two Forbidden Bible chapters

It’s amazing to me that two of the most important chapters in the whole Bible are ignored or forbidden to be read or preached on. These chapters are Isaiah 53 (‘forbidden’ in Judaism) and Romans 11 (‘forbidden’ in Christianity) – one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.

Why is this? For the majority of Orthodox, Conservative and Reformed Jewish rabbis, Isaiah chapter 53 is anathema since it so clearly points to Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth, one of their own, as the promised Messiah.

There are other verses which clearly point to Yeshua as well, such as Micah 5:2 “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” And Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

isaiah-iconThe book of Isaiah was written between 739 and 681 B.C.

Jesus of Nazareth was born in Bethlehem Ephrata to a virgin, fathered by the Holy Spirit.

In a seeming paradox, the book of Isaiah also presents the Messiah as one who will suffer. Isaiah chapter 53 vividly describes the Messiah suffering for sin. It is through His wounds that healing is achieved. It is through His suffering that our iniquities are taken away. This apparent contradiction is solved in the Person of Jesus Christ. In His first advent, Jesus was the suffering servant of Isaiah chapter 53. In His second advent, Jesus will be the conquering and ruling King, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Foreshadowings: As stated above, chapter 53 of Isaiah describes the coming Messiah and the suffering He would endure in order to pay for our sins. In His sovereignty, God orchestrated every detail of the crucifixion to fulfill every prophecy of this chapter, as well as all other messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. The imagery of chapter 53 is poignant and prophetic and contains a complete picture of the Gospel. Jesus was despised and rejected (v. 3; Luke 13:34John 1:10-11), stricken by God (v.4; Matthew 27:46), and pierced for our transgressions (v. 5; John 19:341 Peter 2:24). By His suffering, He paid the punishment we deserved and became for us the ultimate and perfect sacrifice (v. 5; Hebrews 10:10). Although He was sinless, God laid on Him our sin, and we became God’s righteousness in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

bethlehem ephrata

Bethlehem Ephrata

Practical Application: The book of Isaiah presents our Savior to us in undeniable detail. He is the only way to heaven, the only means of obtaining the grace of God, the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life (John 14:6Acts 4:12). Knowing the price Christ paid for us, how can we neglect or reject “so great a salvation”? (Hebrews 2:3). We have only a few, short years on earth to come to Christ and embrace the salvation only He offers. There is no second chance after death, and eternity in hell is a very long time.

Over 100 Psalms foretell the messiah in detail as well. Google it and see for yourself!

Here is the whole of Isaiah chapter 53: Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

53 Who believes our report?
To whom is the arm of Adonai revealed?
For before him he grew up like a young plant,
like a root out of dry ground.
He was not well-formed or especially handsome;
we saw him, but his appearance did not attract us.
People despised and avoided him,
a man of pains, well acquainted with illness.
Like someone from whom people turn their faces,
he was despised; we did not value him.

In fact, it was our diseases he bore,
our pains from which he suffered;
yet we regarded him as punished,
stricken and afflicted by God.
But he was wounded because of our crimes,
crushed because of our sins;
the disciplining that makes us whole fell on him,
and by his bruises* we are healed.

We all, like sheep, went astray;
we turned, each one, to his own way;
yet Adonai laid on him
the guilt of all of us.

Though mistreated, he was submissive —
he did not open his mouth.
Like a lamb led to be slaughtered,
like a sheep silent before its shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
After forcible arrest and sentencing,
he was taken away;
and none of his generation protested
his being cut off from the land of the living
for the crimes of my people,
who deserved the punishment themselves.
He was given a grave among the wicked;
in his death he was with a rich man.

Although he had done no violence
and had said nothing deceptive,
10 yet it pleased Adonai to crush him with illness,
to see if he would present himself as a guilt offering.
If he does, he will see his offspring;
and he will prolong his days;
and at his hand Adonai’s desire
will be accomplished.
11 After this ordeal, he will see satisfaction.
“By his knowing [pain and sacrifice],
my righteous servant makes many righteous;
it is for their sins that he suffers.
12 Therefore I will assign him a share with the great,
he will divide the spoil with the mighty,
for having exposed himself to death
and being counted among the sinners,
while actually bearing the sin of many
and interceding for the offenders.”
___________________________________________

PaulRomans 11

My whole blog is based on Romans 11 which clearly states that God has not rejected the Jewish people, but instead has temporarily blinded most of them to the reality of Messiah Jesus, for the sake of gentiles who would and do come to faith in Him. When the ‘church age’ is complete, He will open the eyes of unbelieving Jews and they will acknowledge Yeshua as their long awaited Messiah. There are many posts on this blog explaining the dangers of Replacement Theology, which teaches that God has replaced the house of Israel with the church. This is prevalent, unfortunately, in many mainline and evangelical denominations. God is not finished with the Jewish people – all the promises and prophecies about their punishments, restorations, final return to the LAND of ISRAEL, and their purification, are an everlasting covenant.

Here is the whole of Romans chapter 11:

Romans 11 New King James Version (NKJV)

Israel’s Rejection Not Total

11 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. [a]But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written:

“God has given them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes that they should not see
And ears that they should not hear,
To this very day.”

And David says:

“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
A stumbling block and a recompense to them.
10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see,
And bow down their back always.”

Israel’s Rejection Not Final

11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their [b]fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has cometo the Gentiles. 12 Now if their [c]fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!

13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and [d]fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, [e]goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has [h]committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?”
35 “Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”

36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

I pray that Jewish and Christian people will look into these two chapters and become unblinded!

Read about why God chose Bethlehem Ephrata as the place where Messiah would be incarnated/born at this link: http://www.diggingdeep.info/why-was-jesus-born-in-bethlehem-ephrata.html

 

 

Posted by: Elena's Israel Blog | 09/19/2018

TODAY IS YOM KIPPUR

YOM KIPPUR- the Jewish Day Of Atonement
Sep. 18-19, 2018, 9-10 Tishri, 5779

…In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and you shall not do any work … For on that day he shall provide atonement for you to cleanse you from all your sins before the L-RD. -Leviticus 16:29-30

Yom Kippur is probably the most important holiday of the Jewish year. Many Jews who do not observe any other Jewish custom will refrain from work, fast and/or attend synagogue services on this day. Yom Kippur occurs on the 10th day of Tishri. The holiday is instituted at Leviticus 23:26  The name “Yom Kippur” means “Day of Atonement,” and that pretty much explains what the holiday is. It is a day set aside to “afflict the soul,” to atone for the sins of the past year. In Days of Awe,  G-d inscribes all of our names. On Yom Kippur, the judgment entered in these books is sealed. This day is, essentially, your last appeal, your last chance to change the judgment, to demonstrate your repentance and make amends.

Yom Kippur atones only for sins between man and G-d, not for sins against another person. To atone for sins against another person, you must first seek reconciliation with that person, righting the wrongs you committed against them if possible. That must all be done before Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur is a complete Sabbath; no work can be performed on that day. It is well-known that you are supposed to refrain from eating and drinking (even water) on Yom Kippur. It is a complete, 25-hour fast beginning before sunset on the evening before Yom Kippur and ending after nightfall on the day of Yom Kippur. The Talmud also specifies additional restrictions that are less well-known: washing and bathing, anointing one’s body (with cosmetics, deodorants, etc.), wearing leather shoes (Orthodox Jews routinely wear canvas sneakers under their dress clothes on Yom Kippur), and engaging in sexual relations are all prohibited on Yom Kippur.

As always, any of these restrictions can be lifted where a threat to life or health is involved. In fact, children under the age of nine and women in childbirth (from the time labor begins until three days after birth) are not permitted to fast, even if they want to. Older children and women from the third to the seventh day after childbirth are permitted to fast, but are permitted to break the fast if they feel the need to do so. People with other illnesses should consult a physician and a rabbi for advice.

Most of the holiday is spent in the synagogue, in prayer. In Orthodox synagogues, services begin early in the morning (8 or 9 AM) and continue until about 3 PM. People then usually go home for an afternoon nap and return around 5 or 6 PM for the afternoon and evening services, which continue until nightfall. The services end at nightfall, with the blowing of the tekiah gedolah, a long blast on the shofar. It is customary to wear white on the holiday, which symbolizes purity and calls to mind the promise that our sins shall be made as white as snow (Is. 1:18). Some people wear a kittel, the white robe in which the dead are buried.

Info taken from Judaism 101
Click on Shouting Out to G-d  to watch a brief video of Yom Kippur prayers at the Western Wall.
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Yom Kippur traditions

Before Yom Kippur we perform the Kaparot atonement service; we request and receive honey cake, in acknowledgement that we are all recipients in G-d’s world and in prayerful hope for a sweet and abundant year; eat a festive meal; immerse in a mikvah; and give extra charity. Late afternoon we eat the pre-fast meal, following which we bless our children, light a memorial candle as well as the holiday candles, and go to the synagogue for Kol Nidrei services.

In the course of Yom Kippur we hold five prayer services: Maariv, with its solemn Kol Nidrei service, on the eve of Yom Kippur; Shacharit–the morning prayer; Musaf, which includes a detailed account of the Yom Kippur Temple service; Minchah, which includes the reading of the Book of Jonah; and Neilah, the “closing of the gates” service at sunset. We say the Al Chet confession of sins eight times in the course of Yom Kippur, and recite Psalms every available moment.

The day is the most solemn of the year, yet an undertone of joy suffuses it: a joy that revels in the spirituality of the day and expresses the confidence that G-d will accept our repentance, forgive our sins, and seal our verdict for a year of life, health and happiness. The closing Neilah service climaxes in the resounding cries of “Hear O Israel… G-d is one.” Then joy erupts in song and dance, followed by a single blast of the shofar, followed by the proclamation, “Next year in Jerusalem.” We then partake of a festive after-fast meal, making the evening after Yom Kippur a Yom Tov (festival) in its own right.

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                                           The Christian Perspective

Yom Kippur, or the “Day of Atonement,” is the holiest day of the Jewish year, and provides prophetic insight regarding the Second Coming of Mashiach, the restoration of national Israel, and the final judgment of the world. It is also a day that reveals the High-Priestly work of Yeshua (Jesus) as our Kohen Gadol (High Priest) after the order of Malki-Tzedek (Heb. 5:10, 6:20).

The term Yom Kippur is actually written in the plural in the Torah, Yom Ha-Kippurim (יוֹם הַכִּפֻּרִים), perhaps because the purification process cleansed from a multitude of transgressions, iniquities, and sins. However, the name also alludes to the two great atonements given by the LORD – the first for those among the nations who turn to Yeshua for cleansing and forgiveness, and the second for the purification of ethnic Israel during Yom Adonai, the great Day of the LORD at the end of days.

We gentiles who are saved through Yeshua Jesus the Messiah, do not need to participate in Yom Kippur but many choose to do so, in part. Our sins of the past, present and future are already atoned for in His death and resurrection, paying the price for our sin ONCE AND FOR ALL. May His Name be praised forever!!

May it be a year filled with blessing, peace and prosperity for Israel and the entire world.

Posted by: Elena's Israel Blog | 09/03/2018

The Holy Days and Yeshua (Jesus)

RockRoadRabbiI recently read a great book by Kathie Lee Gifford, who traveled to Israel under the teaching of Rabbi Jason Sobel, Ray Vander Laan, and others who are trained in the messianic rabbinical way. When she began studying the biblical texts in their original Hebrew and Greek and hiking the ancient paths of Israel, Kathie Lee discovered a deeper understanding of the Bible and of God Himself. This book helps us see Jesus’ earthly homeland with new eyes! The book is called The Rock, The Road and the Rabbi. It very plainly interestingly shows how every event in Jesus’ life occurred on a Jewish holy day.

Here is an overview, from the book, of God’s appointed feasts (ha moedim in Hebrew) and how they relate to specific events in the life of Jesus:

“Every follower of Jesus should be interested in the biblical holidays because Jesus Himself celebrated the Jewish festivals! More importantly, every major event in his life occurred on one of these Jewish holidays. For instance, Jesus is said to have been born around the time of Sukkot (Tabernacles), the festival that focuses on God’s presence, provision, and protection. Jesus’ death was on Passover, the holiday that promises redemption. As we saw in chapter 19, the Last Super of our Lord was a Passover Seder.

The biblical holidays are part of the inheritance of all followers of Messiah. Understanding the holidays gives us a deeper understanding and greater insight into the person and work of Jesus. Since much of Jesus’ life and ministry revolved around the Jewish festivals, a fuller revelation of Jesus can be ours when we grasp the significance of these appointed times.

On the lighter side, as you study the Jewish feasts, you will find that our God is not merely about fasting. He is also very fond of feasting. He is a God of celebration. He wants you to come and join His arty. Now let’s take a moment to briefly explore the spiritual meaning and transformative nature of these biblical holidays.

Lev23Leviticus 23 describes the calendar of yearly feasts for God’s people, breaking them into three cycles. The weekly celebration of the Sabbath (Shabbat in Hebrew) is the first holiday mentioned. This Hebrew word means ‘rest’. God rested on the seventh day and commanded Israel to do the same in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8). From the days of Moses to the present, the Jewish people have celebrated the Shabbat starting at sundown on Friday and ending at sundown on Saturday. God rested on the seventh day, so we do as He did.

The spring holidays are Passover, Firstfruits and Pentecost. These are holidays that reflect God’s work of the past and were fulfilled in the first coming of Messiah. If you’re scratching your head, let me explain briefly.

PASSOVER AND REDEMPTION

MosesReedSeaThe focus of Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) is redemption, which leads to freedom. The Lord redeemed the Israelites from Egypt, freeing them from the bondage of slavery. Centuries later, Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) died as the Passover Lamb to redeem us from death and break the bondage of sin. Redemption in the days of Moses was meant to mirror the future redemption through the death of Messiah. Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of the promise of redemption.

THE FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS AND THE RESURRECTION

During the celebration of Firstfruits (Yom HaBikkurim in Hebrew) the focus is on resurrection. This was an agricultural holiday that celebrated the firstfruits of the harvest, which were brought from the fields to the temple on the second day of Passover. Fittingly, thousands of years later, Jesus was brought back from the dead during this festival. In I Corinthians 15:20, Paul tells us “but now Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” Though Jesus fulfilled the promise of this holiday in His resurrection, there is also a prophetic fulfillment of this feast in which the firstfruits of the harvest symbolize the future resurrection of believers at the end of the age.

pentecostPENTECOST, SINAI, AND THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Feast of Pentecost (Shavuot in Hebrew) focuses on revelation. This holiday commemorates the giving of the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai. During Jesus’ time on earth, He gave the Holy Spirit to the disciples in Jerusalem on Pentecost. There is something significant about the fact that God chose the same day, both in the Old Testament and New Testament, to give the gift of Word and Spirit. In Genesis , the Spirit hovered over the formless surface of the watery earth, then God spoke the words ‘let there be light” and there was light (Genesis 1:3). Word and  Spirit combined to bring about new creation and greater revelation. During His lifetime Jesus fulfilled the focus and promise of all three spring holidays – redemption, resurrection, and revelation.

RoshHashanahTHE FEAST OF TRUMPETS AND THE RETURN OF MESSIAH

The fall holidays are Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). These holidays are awaiting their prophetic future fulfillment.

We believe that the return of Jesus will be ‘trumpeted in’ with the blowing of the shofar (a ram’s horn). This holiday points to repentance (changing one’s way of thinking and being), resolving to make a better life, and ideally returning or regathering to God. At the sound of the shofar in a day yet to come, God will gather all His people from the four corners of the earth to Himself at the return of Messiah (Isaiah 27:13, I Corinthians 15:52; I Thessalonians 4:16).  [ This year, 2018, Rosh Hashanah occurs on Sunday-Monday, September 9,10.]

YomKippurTHE DAY OF ATONEMENT AND THE REDEMPTION OF ISRAEL

Yom Kippur means ‘atonement’ or to repair a wrong so that we can be one with the Holy One. (Notice the word atonement can be broken down as at-one-ment). This feast also focuses on repentance and redemption and forgiveness from the sins of the previous year. In the future fulfillment of this holiday, all Israel, as well as all the nations, will look upon the One they pierced and recognize Him as the Messiah (Zechariah 12:10). This will result in the fullness of redemption being realized. In Jewish thought, this is the final redemption.

Sukkot

Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) is the original PENTECOST

THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES AND THE MESSIANIC KINGDOM

Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) is a time for rejoicing. This holiday commemorates the wandering of the Israelites in the desert. The shelters (sukkot in Hebrew) relate to the temporary structures in which they lived as they wandered. This holiday commemorates how God provided manna from heaven to feed them, water from the stones to quench them and a pillar of cloud by day and firs by night to guide them. Ultimately, it reflects God’s presence, provision, and protection. Many Messianic Jews believe that Jesus was born during this holiday. When the future promise of Sukkot is fulfilled, the kingdom of God will be established, and we will all rejoice. According to the prophet Zechariah, all the nations of the world will join the Jewish people in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. “Then all the survivors from all the nations that attached Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, Adonai-Tzv’ot, and to celebrate Sukkot” (Zechariah 14:16).

In addition to the fall and spring holidays, which are known as the major holidays and are found in Leviticus 23, there are two other minor but key Jewish holidays mentioned in Scripture: Purim and Hanukkah.

QUEENESTHER

Queen Esther (costumed)

THE FEAST OF PURIM, ESTHER, AND THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD

Purim is found in the book of Esther, intrigue, sabotage, fear, courage, romance and rising to one’s destiny may sound like a soap opera, but the story of Esther is a chronicled struggle between good and evil, where the hidden hand of God isn’t seen but is a work on behalf of His people. The story of Esther and the celebration of Purim is ultimately about od working all things together for the good (Romans 8:28). At Purim, we realize that when we cannot see the providential hand of God, we must trust the heart of God. Realizing the goodness of the Father stirs us to rejoice!

hanykkahTHE FEAST OF DEDICATION AND THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

Hanukkah is the Feast of Dedication found in both the book of Daniel and the gospel of John. It commemorates the miraculous rededication of the temple in Jerusalem after it was defiled by the Greeks. It honors and celebrates the miracles God did, such as one night’s cruse (jug) of oil for the menorah providing eight nights’ worth of light and the victory of the outnumbered Israelites over the Greeks. God delivered the many into the hands of the few, proving Zechariah 4?6, which declares “’not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit’ says the Lord Almighty”. Some believe that Jesus called Himself the ‘light of the world’ in John 8:12 during Hanukkah, while others believe He made this statement during Sukkot. In John 10, Jesus went up to Jerusalem with His disciples to celebrate the Feast of Dedication. This holiday’s prophetic fulfillment will occur when the light of the Messiah shines forth to all the ends of the world and we become the light that God calls us to be.

Why is learning about these Jewish festivals so important? It is in looking back at what God has done that we can see forward to His future plans for us. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).”

For more description of some of the feasts in this blog, click on  the following links:

https://graftedinelena.wordpress.com/2018/03/31/passover-parallels-5/ for Passover Parallels

https://graftedinelena.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/shavuot-or-pentecost-2/ for Shavuot (Pentecost)

https://graftedinelena.wordpress.com/2017/09/15/rosh-hashanah-head-of-the-year/ for Rosh Hashanah

https://graftedinelena.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/sukkot-past-present-and-future-2/ for Sukkot

https://graftedinelena.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/yom-kippur-what-is-it-2/ for Yom Kippur

https://graftedinelena.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/purim-2017/ for Purim

https://graftedinelena.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/festival-of-lights-of-miracles-2/ for Hanukkah

Posted by: Elena's Israel Blog | 07/28/2018

An Israeli Jew’s Request

RonitBenderTwice I have met this woman of God, Ronit Bender, who has a street ministry to the poor and homeless in Israel. She has given me permission to post this recent email: “It’s an exciting time for Messianic believers (Jews who acknowledge Christ as their Messiah) and for Israel. We’re seeing the fulfillment of Old Testament and New Testament prophesy every day. Jewish people are being regathered from all corners of the earth (Isaiah 11:11-12Jeremiah 31:7-8Ezekiel 20:34). The Hebrew language has been restored to the Jewish people (Zephaniah 3:8-10) and they are living in the city of Jerusalem (Zechariah 8: 4-8). The land of Israel is flourishing and agricultural efforts are thriving as far as the Negev desert (Jeremiah 33:13). The nations are using the political arena to oppose the State of Israel and its control of Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:1-3). It’s an exciting time to be a believer in Israel and perhaps a frightening time to be a non-believer in Israel.

Israeli Jews can be very different from Jews you may have met in your home country. Many have little to no relationship with God and still carry a lot of hurt and resentment towards the church for its past actions. It is difficult for them to hear and accept the news that Yeshua (Jesus) is their messiah.

StreetMinEvery Jewish soul saved is territory reclaimed from the enemy (the devil) and when the enemy is hurt, he fights back. Messianic believers in Israel are accustomed to many struggles. They face exile from their homes, denial to make Aliyah (move to Israel), difficulties finding employment, shelter, and food, and may be disowned by their families, religious groups, and social circles.

We know that God’s will is for the Jewish people to be saved and that he will provide the protection they need. Please join us in praying for:

  • Ha Shem (God) to send his messengers to the people of Israel, remove the veil from their eyes (2 Corinthians 3:16) and open their ears so they may hear and see the good news that their Messiah has come, has risen, and will come again.
  • Past hurt and resentment against the church to be healed.
  • Wisdom and guidance for Israel’s leaders and protection for the IDF soldiers so that the State of Israel may continue to thrive amongst persecution from its enemies.
  • An end to persecution of Messianic Jews by Orthodox Jews and government departments.
  • The protection of believers from physical and spiritual opposition and that those around them will be drawn to Yeshua (John 17: 11, 23).
  • Believers around the world to acknowledge the Hebraic roots of their faith, have a passion to see the Jewish people saved (Romans 10:1) and provoke them to jealousy (Romans 11:11).
  • Jewish people to call on the Lord and be saved and blessed (Romans 10:12-13).
  • Jewish people around the world to respond to the prophetic call to return to the land of Israel and for their safe return and protection as they travel and settle in to their new home (Isaiah 40:1-2).

The safest place to be is in the will of our God and it is exciting to be part of what He is doing in Israel.”

Posted by: Elena's Israel Blog | 07/21/2018

The 9TH of AV – a VERY SIGNIFICANT DATE


Tisha B’Av, the Fast of the Ninth of Av, is a day of mourning to commemorate the many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people, many of which coincidentally(?) have occurred on the ninth of Av. Tisha B’Av means “the ninth (day) of the Hebrew month of Av.” It usually occurs during August. This year it falls on July 20-21 (remember, the Jewish ‘day’ begins at sundown).

Specifically: Jewish Year 5778: sunset July 20, 2018 – nightfall July 21, 2018

Tisha B’Av primarily commemorates the destruction of the first and second Temples, both of which were destroyed on the ninth of Av (the first by the Babylonians in 586 B. C., the second by the Romans in 70 A.D. Tisha B’Av is the culmination of a three week period of increasing mourning, beginning with the fast of the 17th of Tammuz, which commemorates the first breach in the walls of Jerusalem, before the First Temple was destroyed. During this three week period, weddings and other parties are not permitted, and people refrain from cutting their hair. From the first to the ninth of Av, it is customary to refrain from eating meat or drinking wine (except on the Shabbat) and from wearing new clothing. In synagogues, the book of Lamentations is read and mourning prayers are recited. The ark (cabinet where the Torah is kept) is draped in black.

There have been several incidents of blood red lunar eclipses on or around the 9th of Av, 3 years in a row as of 2011. Could this be significant?

“And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,. . ‘“ (Genesis 1:14)

The caption on this picture from the Library of Congress reads “Jewish beggar at the Wailing Wall reading.” He may have been a beggar, but if you show the picture to Jerusalemites, they’ll instinctively respond, “It’s Tisha B’Av, and he’s reading the book of Lamentations (Eicha).” A story is told of Napoleon passing a synagogue and hearing congregants inside mourning. To his question who they are mourning, he was told they were weeping over the destruction of the Jewish Temple 1,800 years earlier. Napoleon responded, according to the legend, “If the Jews are still crying after so many hundreds of years, then I am certain the Temple will one day be rebuilt.”

The Book of Genesis describes how Jacob mourned during the entire 22 years that Joseph was missing. Nothing consoled him. No one could comfort him. One would think that after 22 years the pain of the death of a loved one would somewhat lessen or ease with the passage of time, but in this case it did not. Why? Because there was no closure, no burial. Why? Because Joseph was not dead! For over 2000 years the Jewish people have been mourning the destruction of the Holy Temple. At every festive occasion its loss is remembered. No wedding takes places without the symbolic broken glass. Ashes of mourning are placed upon the forehead of the groom and a section of a new home is left unpainted or unfinished, all in remembrance of the Destruction and the Exile from Zion. One might ask, “Why are they still crying after 2000 years?” Why can’t they get over it and move on? Why? Because there was never any closure, no burial. Why? Because the Temple’s bricks and stone have been destroyed, but the Divine Promise still stands, the Temple will be rebuilt and until that day Zion will never be forgotten!

Here is a more complete list of significant events on this date in Jewish history and why it is a time of mourning for the nation of Israel:

Hebrew Year Common Year Event
2448 (1312) Spies return from 40 days in Israel with evil reports of the Land of Israel. Jewish people cry in despair, give up hope of entering the Land of Israel.
3340 (421) Destruction of First Temple by the Babylonians, under Nebuchadnezar. About 100,000 Jews killed during invasion. Exile of remaining tribes in southern kingdom to Babylon and Persia.
3830 70 Destruction of Second Temple by Romans, under Titus. Over 2,500,000 Jews die as a result of war, famine and disease. Over 1,000,000 Jews exiled to all parts of the Roman Empire. Over 100,000 Jews sold as slaves by Romans. Jews killed and tortured in gladiatorial “games” and pagan celebrations.
3892 132 Bar Kochba revolt crushed. Betar destroyed – over 100,00 killed.
3893 133 Turnus Rufus ploughs site of Temple. Romans build pagan city of Aelia Capitolina on site of Jerusalem.
4855 1095 First Crusade declared by Pope Urban II. 10,000 Jews killed in first month of Crusade. Crusades bring death and destruction to thousands of Jews, totally obliterate many communities in Rhineland and France.
5050 1290 Expulsion of Jews from England, accompanied by pogroms and confiscation of books and property.
5252 1492 Inquisition in Spain and Portugal culminates in the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. Families separated, many die by drowning, massive loss of property.
5674 1914 Britain and Russia declare war on Germany. First World War begins. First World War issues unresolved, ultimately causing Second World War and Holocaust. 75% of all Jews in war zones. Jews in armies of all sides – 120,000 Jewish casualties in armies. Over 400 pogroms immediately following war in Hungary, Ukraine, Poland and Russia.
5702 1942 Deportations from Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka concentration camp begin.
5749 1989 Iraq walks out of talks with Kuwait.
5754 1994 The deadly bombing the building of the AMIA (the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina) which killed 86 people and wounded some 300 others.

Amazing, isn’t it? There are no coincidences in God’s plan. What does it all mean??

Posted by: Elena's Israel Blog | 04/11/2018

HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY TODAY

auschwitzRe-posting: Do not believe the HOLOCAUST DENIERS. There is so much evidence, even survivors who are still alive to tell about it, thousands of books and movies, photographs and letters to prove that the Holocaust certainly did happen! The Israel Video Network says this: “On this day, we remember the loss of 6 million of our people. We remember this loss that so profoundly defines our past, our present and our future. Especially today, and every Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, we resolve to remember this loss so that we may educate every future generation about this tragic chapter in our history. We remember these darkest days of the Jewish people. We remember how faith and hope led to the creation of the Jewish homeland. We remember the paramount importance of protecting and defending Israel’s existence. We resolve to never forget and to always proclaim “Never Again.”

brandToday, which is also the National Day Of Prayer in the U.S., let us “pray for the Peace of Jerusalem..” (Psalms 122:6a) and pray that the world will acknowledge the Holocaust and stand with Israel and the Jewish people.

Click on this link to watch a 3.5 minute video of the remains of Auschwitz, as filmed by a drone:

http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/a-drone-just-flew-over-auschwitz-and-captured-something-incredbily-powerful/?omhide=true&utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=A+drone+just+flew+over+Auschwitz+and+captured+something+incredibly+powerful&utm_campaign=20160505_m131279945_05%2F05+Today%27s+Israel+Connection%3A+A+drone+just+flew+over+Auschwitz+and+captured+something+incredibly+powerful&utm_term=Holocaust-aushawitz-drone-email_png_3F1462433246

Just go to https://www.google.com Images and search for ‘Holocaust Concentration Camps’ if you want to see photos too horrible for me to post here. Show them to people who try to deny this ever happened. And, if you are ever in Israel, or Washington, D.C., visit the Holocaust Museums there. You will be overwhelmed. I was.

If we held a moment of silence for every victim of the Holocaust we would be silent for eleven and a half years.

 

 

 

Posted by: Elena's Israel Blog | 03/31/2018

PASSOVER PARALLELS

Passover Seder

Passover 2018 is from March 30 sundown through April 7 sundown: Re-posting about Passover for 2018: Most people have at least some knowledge of what the Jewish Festival of Passover (Pesach) is all about, even if it is only from watching Charlton Heston as Moses in the movie ‘Ten Commandments’. In the Bible book of Leviticus, God decrees that seven feasts are to be observed every year by His people (an eighth one is the weekly Sabbath).  “‘These are the LORD’s appointed festivals, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times:  The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month.  ***On the fifteenth day of that month the LORD’s Festival of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. For seven days present a food offering to the LORD. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.’” (Lev. 23:4-8). The Passover is basically to remember how God delivered His people from their 430 year slavery in Egypt. The Jews were told by God through Moses, on the night before their liberation, to paint the blood of a sacrificial lamb over the doorposts of their homes to avoid the angel of death to their firstborn. Christians believe that this event was a ‘shadow’ or ‘type’ of what was to come in the future when Messiah Jesus (Yeshua, the only sinless man in history) came to set people free from their captivity to sin and damnation by being the perfect Lamb who was sacrificed. The Passover in Moses’ day was celebrated by bringing a flawless lamb to the high priest to be slaughtered and have its blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle (“.. without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin..” Hebrews 9:22) The blood of Christ symbolically covering Jewish and gentile believers likewise avoids for us eternal damnation for our sins.

Being a ‘pilgrimage festival’, all the men of Israel were to come up to Jerusalem in the Hebrew month of Nissan 14-21. (Did you know that the Christian Last Supper was a Passover Seder?) Today, as then, at the family table there are symbolic foods, special songs and the story of deliverance is retold in detail with the youngest child asking certain questions of the father, beginning with ‘What makes this night different from all [other] nights?’ This liturgy is called the Haggadah (telling your son). Before Passover, houses are swept clean of all leaven (symbol of sin) and unleavened bread (matzah) is eaten for the entire week.

Matzah

The matzah is striped and pierced in appearance. This is such a picture of the striped and pierced body of Christ at the hands of the Roman guards who pierced Him with a sword, and scourged Him with whips.

Passover symbolic foods

The symbolic foods eaten at the Passover seder are these:

Beitzah – A roasted egg – symbolizes the cycle of the seasons and of the sacrifices in the Temple, and

  1. Karpas – Parsley (or vegetable) – symbolizes the renewal of spring
  2. Ze’roa – Roasted shank bone – symbolizes the pascal offering in the Temple
  3. Charoset – Chopped apples and nuts – symbolizes the mortar that the Israelites used to build the storehouses for Pharaoh
  4. Maror – Bitter herb (horseradish) – symbolizes the bitterness of the slavery that the Israelites endured in Egypt.
  5. Chazeret – Romaine lettuce – symbolizes spring
  6. Salted water — represents the tears the Israelites shed when they were slaves in Egypt.  The parsley is dipped in the salt water
  7. Four cups of red wine or grape juice — Each cup is related to a different Biblical verse that promises that God will redeem the Israelites from bondage in Egypt
  8. Matzah — the unleavened bread the Israelites baked before leaving Egypt

Finding the ‘afikomen’ (dessert) is part of the celebration of Passover. Three pieces of matzah are ceremonially set aside. The middle one is the afikomen. At one point during the meal, it is taken out, broken in half, wrapped in linen and hidden. Later in the evening the children are invited to search for it, and whoever finds it rejoices greatly as he/she receives a GIFT. Yeshua also was wrapped in linen and hidden in the grave. Three days later He rose again, a cause for great rejoicing by believers ever since because of the GIFT of Salvation! Our Christian celebration of Resurrection Day (Easter) commemorates the resurrection of Yeshua. Do you see the parallels? There are so many more but enough for this blog post. I will be attending a Passover Seder with the congregation of Mishkahn David this year. I also attended one in a Jewish family’s home in 2009. Remember, I am ‘GRAFTED IN’! and if you are in Christ, so are you!

***2017 update: Just learned another Passover parallel.  Exodus 12:1-3 states this – 1 “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 ‘This month (Nisan) is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.'” and 5 “‘The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.'” Note that the Lord commanded the Jews to take a perfect lamb into the home of the father and take care of it. This lamb became like a pet who was loved by the family, yet they were commanded to kill it on the 14th day. There was sacrifice on the part of the lamb and the people were sad. 

The Christian parallel is this, that on the 10th day of the same month of Nisan, Jesus was brought into Jerusalem to the house of His Father, and His followers loved Him and waved palm branches shouting ‘Hosanna – Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!” (Christian Palm Sunday) This is found in John 12:1 – Six days before the Passover (or the 9th day of Nisan), Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.” and John 12:12-13 –  12 The next day (the 10th daythe great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna – Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!” And, on the 14th day, He celebrated a Passover supper (the Christian ‘Last Supper’) leading to His crucifixion the next day where He paid the ransom for all sinners who believe on His Name! These two events, separated by centuries, are one and the same!

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