Celebrate!

Though the new cycle of Israel's feasts has concluded, I'd like to share one more observation about last week's high holy day, Yom Kippur. It is a day on which adults are afflicting themselves by fasting, abstaining from all pleasures, and repenting. But for the children, Yom Kippur is a very different holiday. This day is my son Obi's favorite holiday! Why? Because the kids are not fasting or recalling their sins or suffering at all – they are celebrating freedom!

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Embrace the Paradox and Rejoice!

Tonight, Jews throughout the world will solemnly “afflict” their souls during Yom Kippur. However, most kids in Israel look at Yom Kippur as “ride your bikes in the streets day!” You see, Yom Kippur in Israel is the one day when TV and radio stations are completely shut down and the streets are almost completely void of vehicles of any kind. Ironically, some of the only fully operational locations in Israel on Yom Kippur are the hospital emergency rooms – since kids who finally have no restraints on their bikes, skateboards, and roller skates tend to take risks they wouldn't normally take – it's Yom Kippur – they have the streets to themselves!

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Our Goel Lives!

As we continue our study in Ruth during this Shavout season, the theme of redemption is prevalent. We read that Boaz became Naomi and Ruth's "kinsman redeemer", or "goel" - from the Hebrew, "lig'ol", to redeem, receive or buy back. In the Torah, a provision had been made for the poor person who was forced to sell part of his property or even himself (into slavery).

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Understand the Lord's Part in the Salt Covenant!

Yeshua (Jesus) said He is the "bread of life". It was His body that was broken on our behalf as the substitutionary sacrifice for our sins. Notice that He never once called us to be the "bread of life"! He is the ONLY "Bread of Life" – the true bread who came down from Heaven which anyone may eat and not die. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is His flesh, given for the life of the world.

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Celebrate Freedom!

Last night began Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day) as Israelis remember the over 23,000 soldiers who've perished in various wars fought throughout the course of Israel's short history. Even right now, as we write this devotion, again the sirens ring aloud. Everyone in Israel can hear the sirens at this moment and just about all of them will stop what they are doing in remembrance of those who've laid their lives down for this country's freedom.

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