Tag Archives: Rosh Hashanah

2020 VISION: Short, Sweet #9

Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.

In Your name they rejoice all day long,
And in Your righteousness they are exalted.
For You are the glory of their strength,
And in Your favor our horn is exalted.

For our shield belongs to the Lord,
And our king to the Holy One of Israel” (Ps. 89:15-18).

The sun has set in NC, so the Feast of Trumpets and High Holy Days have begun. When Jesus was a boy, He would walk for 6 days to get to Jerusalem – that is how important it was for family and friends to make the journey.  10 days of worshiping the Father and listening for His voice. 

“But the LORD God called out to the man,“Where are you?” Gen 3:9

Jewish sages say that in the days leading up to the High Holy Days, Abba comes down to earth and wanders among His people as He did during the days of the Garden for this is the day of Creation.  5781 years ago – the Day He drew a deep breath and spoke, “Light Be!”  So He comes.  Calling to His children to return to Him.  Wanting them to seek His face.  Missing His friends and wishing they could walk together as they once did long ago.

“Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the Law.” Prov 29:18

Yeshua Ha-Mashiach brought us a vision 2000 years ago. He walked among us with power, signs and wonders or we would call them – miracles. A reminder that Abba’s desire is always to walk with us.  A reminder that as we look within, seek deep introspection, and find our knees in repentance that Jesus stands beside us, His hand resting on our head, and the Father doesn’t have to ask any longer, “Where are you?”

Blow the shofar. 

Light the candles. 

Eat the Bread. 

Drink the wine. 

Sing praises of Awe to Him who continues to seek us even in the dark of the night because He misses us and loves us beyond comprehension. 

Shofar

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BACK AND FORTH

Sooooo – the weekend started out like this on Friday morning: there was a snake languishing and being quite chill beside my bedroom door. With my eyes adjusting to the new light of day, and my bare feet just inches away from his head  —- what can I say? Some weekends are just like that. A little snake. A lab girl with two sores on her ears and a limp when she walks. A kitty that jumps on my stomach on a lazy Saturday morning to wake me up. My daughter’s old dog crossing the rainbow bridge. Curtains to hang. Furniture to move – a few times – and then a few times more. And, thankfully, many times when I get to go outside, sit on the swing, close my eyes and sing – – back and forth – – back and forth – –

“Sing God a simple song
Lauda, Laudē”

Writing hasn’t been a high priority the past couple weeks. Lesson planning. Glancing at e-mails. Cruising through FB. Sharing a bit of e-mail wisdom and then – read and read some more. Books piled on every table/desk. Stumbling my way through books on how to deal with chaotic storms that threaten to engulf a seemingly “normal” life. Reading and re-reading passages of prophecy or Biblical history. On-line reading on Jewish/Christian traditions. Head buried in oh so many, many books until the arthritic neck begins to ache more than I wish, and I reach for my essential oils once again..

Human wisdom.
Our Father’s wisdom.
Jewish wisdom.
Simple wisdom.
Swinging back and forth – – back and forth – –

Since it has been a few years since I read in-depth on Jewish traditions, I’ve been listening to podcasts and re-educating myself about the awe of the Jewish High Holy Days. Did you know that some Jewish theorists believe that time is a spiral? I’m still working on that in my head, but I do find it fascinating when I sit on my swing and swinging – back and forth – back and forth. Where is my spiraling tree swing when I need it?

Thinking about the 6th Day of Creation.
Thinking about how that is celebrated in Rosh Hashanah.
Thinking about the trumpet blowing: past – present – future.
Thinking about looking back at what was.
Thinking about the only Biblical recorded celebration of Rosh Hashanah in Nemiah.
Thinking about acknowledging my role in the past year(s)’s journey – good and bad.
Thinking about Yom Kippur.
Thinking about judgement and filling my lamp with oil.
Life – –
Joy – –
Song.

My thoughts tracing the tradition of the Jews…the tradition of the mass…the tradition of humans trying to find their way between the two gardens and back to the Father. A Father who walked with them in the first garden and waits to walk with them in the last one. A little snake that I almost stepped on in the dark. Things that I love. Things that make me cry. An old dog that now plays with her best friend in heaven. Things that make me laugh out loud. Things that I want to accomplish. Thinks that I have been thinking this weekend as I swing – back and forth – back and forth.

“Lauda, Lauda, Laudē
Lauda, Lauda di da di day…
All of my days.”~Bernstein’s Mass: Simple Song.

“The entire people assembled as one man in the square before the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the scroll of the Teaching of Moses with which the LORD had charged Israel. On the first day of the seventh month, Ezra the priest brought the Teaching before the congregation, men and women and all who could listen with understanding. He read from it, facing the square before the Water Gate, from the first light until midday, to the men and the women and those who could understand; the ears of all the people were given to the scroll of the Teaching. Ezra the scribe stood upon a wooden tower made for the purpose, and beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah at his right, and at his left Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, Meshullam. Ezra opened the scroll in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people; as he opened it, all the people stood up. Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” with hands upraised. Then they bowed their heads and prostrated themselves before the LORD with their faces to the ground. Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites explained the Teaching to the people, while the people stood in their places. They read from the scroll of the Teaching of God, translating it and giving the sense; so they understood the reading.”~Neh 8:1-8 

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RATIONS 100 DAYS! #57

Today is Tovah 5777. Rosh Hashanah. The Jewish new year. In the Bible it is basically a day “to sound the trumpets.” It is a day that Rabbi Yeshua observed and celebrated every year He remained on earth.
The Jewish trumpets aren’t the trumpets of marching band or orchestra fame. They aren’t the trumpets of some medieval kingship. It is a Ram’s horn called the shofar. On Rosh Hashanah it is blown three different ways to remind the Jewish people of three very important concepts to take forward into the new year.
I’m not going to bother to give you the names of each blast, but the Jewish people know from their traditions their names and why they are important. The first long blast on the shofar is to remind everyone that God is present in our lives and He is the King of our lives.
The second trumpet sound is to resemble a weeping sound. It reminds everyone that even at the point where their brokenness is the most raw and brutal, He is there as well – loving, comforting, and answering prayers.
The final sound is 9 short blasts. It is meant to awaken those who have been slumbering – ignoring – their purpose in this life — His purpose for us in this life. A reminder to wake up and walk forward with their Father.
Hence, for the Jewish people the new year has begun. With courage and humbleness, they have acknowledged that there is a King in their lives; that they have a brokenness that He is reaching out to help them heal; that they are awakened and ready to walk forward onto a new path – His path.
It is good to understand our roots. It is good to worship Our Father as His Son worshiped Him while He journeyed upon this earth. It is good to have a Father who loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to show us the way home.
1942 Daily Rations: “Suffer me to speak.”~Acts 21:39
“Read: Acts 21:27-39
“Fear is crossing bridges before we come to them. Courage does not consist in feeling no fear, but in conquering fear. Paul, facing an angry mob, may have had some inward doubts, but he was sustained by an unfaltering trust. Christianity has advanced through the courageous stand of her leaders. The Saviour crucified upon the cross was courageous as only the Son of God could be courageous. Others have followed his example. Stephen prayed for his tormentors as he was stoned to death. In our own world, religion has found strength in the courage of her martyrs. Latimer [**Hugh, c. 1487-1555], the aged Reformation preacher, even while burning at the stake, cried out, ‘We shall this day light such a candle…as…shall never be put out.’ We need men of courage and valor who are not intimidated by mob psychology and who dare speak courageously for Jesus’ sake.
“Prayer: Our Father grant unto us the selfless courage that comes to humble souls whose every purpose is dedicated wholly unto thee. Place within our finite minds the one truth of thine own infinite being. Teach us to be strong and courageous, through our dependence on thy strength. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.”

[google images] **my addendum to 1942 Ration for those who don’t recognize the name Latimer

DAYS OF AWE

Yom kippurThe Days of Awe are almost over.
10 holy days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Days spent in self-examination of the past year’s thoughts, actions, emotions.
Days of repentence.
I love Jewish traditions and wisdom. Many of you know that. I write about it often. This year’s Days of Awe have pulled at me. Maybe it is because I am beginning to understand Jewish tradition a little more. Maybe because I finally am feeling more like “me”. Maybe because I am listening a little harder for my Father’s voice.
“I must proclaim the Kingdom of God to other cities also; it is for this I am sent.” Lk 4:43b
Tomorrow at sunset Yom Kippur begins for the Jewish nation. Accoring to Jewish tradition, it is the day when Our Father God seals into His books that which He has written for the course of the year to come. It is also believed that the sincerity of one’s introspection and repentence can change what God seals in His books on Yom Kippur. No wonder it is called Days of Awe.
“Therefore faith is from the hearing ear, and the hearing ear is from the word of God.” Rm 10:17
 
I watched several videos and read some articles this week about the Days of Awe and Yom Kippur. The stories that had confused and baffled me with their wandering timelines and curious discourses shook with a slight breeze of clarity that sharpened and then quickly clouded over again. I sat in wonder, and wondered if I would be able to see through the clouds again. I beheld a nebulous concept for a half a second, and the Days of Awe straightened the rock upon which I stand..
“For by faith we understand that the worlds were fashioned by the word of God, and these things that are seen came into being out of those things which are unseen.” Heb 11:3
 
I really liked reading one article that talked about angels. On Yom Kippur, Jewish tradition calls for all people to become like angels whose main purpose is to serve God in all that they do.. Primarily, rabbis teach that to be like an angel, one should, above all else, stand upon their faith in all that they do. Angels are characteristically pictured wearing white, so they encourage their congregants to also wear white. Finally, since angels don’t need to eat or drink, they should fast. Actually, there is a whole list of things to do to become more angelic, but I think you get the point.
“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:” Deut 28:1-2
Tomorrow the sun will come up, and the world will twirl just a little bit more in its orbit. People will get up, stretch and never think about God. I will go to Bible study, pick up my miniature Captain America at pre-school, and then head off for a couple hours of tutoring where I am commonly referred to as, “Miss Grammie”. Yet – somewhere deep inside me – the Jewish day of fasting and repentance will begin to radiate, and I will see a seal being placed upon my book of life.
It is Yom Kippur.
Pope Francis arrives tomorrow.
yeshua high priestDecisions will be made tomorrow.
And if you believe, as Rabbi Yeshua believed, God will seal a new book of life.
A traditional Jewish greeting for this day is, “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.” Seems like tomorrow holds a promise. A promise written in a book. A promise given by the ultimate Promise Keeper who set his covenant in the sky for all to see. Baruch Hashem Adonai.SOT-timeline22

Commandment Series – Observances of Sacred Times

10-commandmentsYesterday was a rainy, dreary day in NC.  The after school program was hectic since we couldn’t let the kids go outside t0 run some off the squirrel energy that always accumulates during the school day.  Yet Light was awaiting me at sundown.  It was  my youngest Granddaughter’s sixth birthday.

When we are SIX – school becomes a reality, friends gain a little more importance, letters start to meld into words and sentences, money is a great way to learn math, days of the week become distinct items in life and also a great way to learn to add, but cuddle time with parents and grandparents still rank in that #1 spot.

We gathered our brightly wrapped pink and white polka-dotted packages and set off for #1 Daughter’s house.  We arrived to the exciting pandemonium that always reigns when special days occur on weekdays.  Granddaughter is beyond excited and shows all the signs of having gotten up way too early; the long school day is over; parents (and Grandparents) return from earning a day’s provision;  younger brother – tired, cranky, hungry (no presents in sight) – birthday girl still jumping around; and everyday chores waiting to be accomplished.  Pull in the trash cans, unload dishwasher, fix supper and – somehow –  expand time to blend a little extra into the birthday mix.

The smell of lasagna fills the house and is enhanced by the laughter, crying and love that is shared by all of us.  Finally, #2 Daughter and her husband joins us via skype and the celebration has begun.  You gotta love family celebrations.  They remind us of what is really  important in a world that seems to be spinning completely out of control.

“Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts.’” — Leviticus 23:24

As  we sat around the supper table, Skyping with #2 Daughter in AZ and her rosh hashanah bhusband, Love swirled over our heads and united us together.  It is no surprise that Jehovah-Shalom established commandments that would slow His children down a little and remind them of what His kingdom is like.  Yesterday, as we gathered around the supper table, Jews all over the world were also gathering around their supper tables to celebrate the birth of a new year – a new life.

Rosh Hashanah, according to Jewish tradition, is the day that God breathed into rosh hashanah aman’s nostrils the breath of life.  It is also considered the day that Issac climbed the mountain to offer his son as a sacrifice.  God bound Issac’s hand and a ram was offered instead.  From this ram two shofar trumpets were formed by Jehovah-Saboth, and one became symbol of Rosh Hashanah.  In fact, their tradition also says that the breath they blow through this shofar trumpet becomes the breath of God.   As the trumpet sounds over the nation of Israel on this holy day, so does God’s breath blow over their land giving it new life and strength.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”  Ex 20:8-11

A long way around but it all seemed pertinent to today’s commandment.  Our Father established holy days and years (Shemitah) for us – for Him – to join together an celebrate what is really important.  Love.  Forgiveness. Grace. Renewal. Repristination. Things that swirl around His illuminating kingdom everyday.  Things that we forget in our cloudy kingdom.  I know that I need – at least – one day a week to remember where I came from and renew my goal for where I want to be.  A day to become new and pure once again.

I don’t know about you, but it makes me think and ponder a little more deeply when you see the commandments as Rabbi Yeshua, perhaps, saw them.  Is it really so hard to follow His fourth commandment?rosh hashanah

 

 

 

“To one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” – James 4:17 NASB

Writer’s Block

writingWriter’s blocks are debilitating, demoralizing and just down-right depressing. Words get written, erased, re-written and erased again.  Sometimes the words don’t come at all, and the computer screen or paper remains blindingly white.  So after a week of Bronchitis – another week of “catch-up” (on all those things I ignored while I was curled in a ball coughing) and finally, a week of trying to get back on a  “normal” schedule, I decided the best thing to write about was the hidden gifts in all of this.

“Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding.”  Prov 3:13 

Writing has been my outlet since I was little.  When I was little and upset with my mom and dad, I would write letters and stick them where I knew they would find them (a bathroom magazine/book rack was a favorite spot).  Being the intelligent, loving parents they were, they never openly acknowledged the venting of their youngest child in a head-on confrontation, but they always found indirect ways to let me know that they had, indeed, found these rambling, often emotional, poorly written outbursts.  All the same, they gave credence to these fledgling expressions.  Sometimes it was in the topics that we discussed around the supper table.  Sometimes it was in the songs that writing nikethey sang to me as we said our prayers at night.  And sometimes, it was just that extra special hug or time spent doing things together that let me know they heard.  Needless to say, writing became one of the primary ways for me to communicate with them when topics were too scary to approach in conversation.  That’s why the past couple of weeks have been hard.  Not writing is almost as bad as a tummy ache…maybe worse.  But not being able to write however reminds me that these dry spells can be a gift in disguise.  While gifts may be wrapped in our physical DNA and propensity of traits (mom and dad were both writers of poetry, song lyrics, speeches and long, long letters), it is Our Father’s blessing that enhances those gifts and weaves them into a tight package that blesses those around us.

“All this,” David said, “I have in writing as a result of the LORD’s hand on me, and he enabled me to understand all the details of the plan.”  1 Chron 28:19

This time the gift was one of receiving.  I listened to lots of people talking via blogs, sermons, TED talks, books- even TV shows as I coughed my way back to health (thanks to the blessings science and the discovery of antibiotics). But mostly –  I spent a lot of time in quiet reflection.  It came at the perfect time (which is exactly the way God works in this crazy world), and while I didn’t realize it at the time (since I was coughing way too much for any kind of logical thought), I needed to be slowed down and reminded about the Author of our gifts.  Eventually, it also surfaced to the forefront of my spinning brain that Jewish month of Elul would start soon and in fact – starts yesterday (the 27th of August).  In Jewish tradition, this is the month of reflection – a looking back – a taking stock of the good and bad things/choices that have transpired over the past year.  The shofar echoes across the land as a physical reminder leading His people into the Jewish High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot.

“Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly.”  Deut 16:18  

mouth gateIn Hebrew this last verse is written in the singular tense.  Rabbis believe this is because it is not just written for the nation, but in fact, is written for the individual as well.  It is a reminder that as we reflect upon this past year, we should “appoint a judge” to evaluate our performance and also set “officials” over the gates that need protecting.  Common gates such as our thought processes, mouths, eyes, ears, etc. must be protected so that the next year will be much better than the previous year.  In other words, Our Father is encouraging us to “judge” ourselves and guard the gates to His temple that resides within each and everyone of us.

“I will not enter my house or go to my bed, I will allow no sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, till I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.” Ps 132:3-5  

As usual, David – the shepherd, the warrior, the king, the husband, the father, the sinner, the passionate, creative poet – says it best, and I wonder if he wrote it during the month of Elul because it is so reflective.  What better goal could I set for the coming holy days than this?  I [will] find a place for the LORD,  a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob…  

Writing-writing-31277215-579-612Nothing is more important than this – NOTHING.