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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Enter in!

As we close out the fall feasts here in Israel I’m meditating on the deeper significance of this season. I’m realizing how God’s ordering of the festivals contains a deeper meaning than one might see at first glance. It’s not just about apples and honey and building tabernacles. The Lord gave the Jewish people these feasts as a beautiful picture of His ultimate plan; repentance, faith, atonement, forgiveness and joy. He carefully ordered these feasts to call us to a profound internal reflection designed to lead us from sin and alienation to reconciliation, fellowship, freedom and great joy.

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Draw from the Springs of Yeshua!

During the Feast of Sukkot, the Jewish people took part in a water drawing ceremony on the last day of the feast. They would go down to the Pool of Siloam, draw water and bring it to the Temple Mount. Then they would pour out the water and recite Isaiah 12, "and with joy you shall draw water out of the wells (springs) of salvation." In Hebrew, the word salvation and Yeshua (Jesus, in Hebrew), are the same.

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Crown Your Mind!

The high priest of Ancient Israel wore a crown of pure gold on his head called a Nezer, which comes from the word “nazar”. This word "nazar" means to dedicate, consecrate and sacredly separate. The word “nazarite” comes from this root, and describes someone who has taken a vow to be separated from the world.

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What is that awful smell?!

As we celebrated Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) and are in the midst of "Yamin Noraim" or the days of awe, the days between the Feast of Trumpets and Yom Kippur, it is the season of repentance.

This is the season that the shofar (rams horn) is blown to heed the call of warning to repent from our sins and be clean. The shofar's unique sounding blast is a wake-up call to all who will hear.

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