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!...continue reading this devotion.
Throughout the United States today, everyone will be celebrating the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence -- a document through which leaders of the colonies in the New World broke free from the King of England....continue reading this devotion.
As Scotland was declaring its independence from England in the 1300's, the English were hunting for Robert Bruce of Scotland in an attempt to prevent his accession to the Scottish throne. In the search, the English put Bruce's own bloodhounds on his trail. As they grew closer to apprehending him, Robert the Bruce found a small river, and he said to his foster-brother who was with him, "Let us wade down this stream for a great way, instead of going straight across, and so these unhappy hounds will lose the scent; for if we were once clear of them, I should not be afraid of getting away from the pursuers."...continue reading this devotion.
In 2nd Samuel Chapter 9 we read of the story of King David and Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan and the grandson of the first king of Israel, King Saul. After Jonathan's death, David went forth to show kindness to Saul's house. Mephibosheth had become lame at the young age of five -- he had lived his entire life as a cripple....continue reading this devotion.
I heard a story about a man who was imprisoned during Napoleons reign. While sulking in his dungeon one day, he etched on the wall the words "Nobody Cares"....continue reading this devotion.
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)....continue reading this devotion.
We came across this story, about a man who was slowly losing his memory. After a lengthy examination, the doctor said that a risky operation on his brain might reverse his condition and restore his memory. However, the surgery would be so delicate that a nerve could be severed, causing total blindness....continue reading this devotion.