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Passover (Unleavened Bread)


The Messiah In The Passover

Passover and the Messiah Yeshua-Jesus


Feast of Firstfruits

Shavuot-Feast of Pentecost

Rosh Hashanah-The New Year 


Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur: Feast or Fast?

Day of Atonement




Shabbat or Sabbath 

The first three verses in Leviticus 23, which precede the list of appointed feasts, show the importance of what can be called the most important day of the sacred calendar, the Sabbath. Contrary to popular notions, the Sabbath was a day of delight. If you take the Sabbath from a Jew, you are robbing him of a precious jewel. The Sabbath was one of God's most precious gifts to Israel. It refers back to God's act of creation before man sinned. "God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done".   Genesis 2:3 & Leviticus 23:1-44.


That rest was the Lord's own refreshing rest, made known to man, to be shared in by man newly created. The eye of God rested on His holy creation, and was refreshed. (It is a Jewish remark that "whoever does any work on the Sabbath denies the work of creation."!


Hebrew Sabbath, day of holiness and rest observed by Jew from sunset on Friday to nightfall of the following day.   The time division follows the biblical story of creation: “And there was evening and there was morning, one day” (Genesis 1:5). Weekly observance begins with candle lighting Friday evening before sunset & ends Saturday at nightfall. In Jewish homes the woman of the house lights white Sabbath candles before sunset on Friday evening and pronounces a benediction. The Sabbath meal that follows is preceded by the Kiddush (blessing of sanctification).    Shabbat Shalom!


How about you? Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected?In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin. He, the Messiah is the way to Eternal Shabbat, Yom Shekulo Shabbat!


Reprinted for educational purposes from: ISRAEL’S Holy Days, In type and Prophecy, Daniel Fuchs, introduction Chosen People Ministries.​


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Hebrew Shabbat
Shabbat evening



Passover, Four More Questions
by Rachmiel Frydland




The Passover table was prepared and set for the Seder. In the center was the five branched candlestick with the holiday lights over which the blessings were pronounced by the mother of the household. The father had been busy for the last twenty-four hours removing the leaven and cleaning ritually in boiling water some of the utensils that had to be used all year round and on Passover.


The special utensils, kept only for these eight days of Passover, were taken out from hiding. The matzo was purchased and brought into the house along with the wine for this special season. Now it was time to prepare the ceremonial platter where the various additional items are placed into their proper place arranged in two triangular patterns: first the roasted shank bone, symbol of the roasted Passover lamb, is placed on the right. Opposite it, on the left, is the egg, roasted whole and symbolic of the Passover and the new life and resurrection. The bitter herbs are placed somewhat below and centered between the shankbone and the egg, to remind us of the bitter life which our ancestors endured in Egypt.


The next triangle consists of the haroseth, made of grated nuts and apples with a dash of wine to produce the color of mortar as it is written: "And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage in mortar" (Exodus 1: 14).  This item is placed on the lower right. Opposite it on the left is the vegetable called karpos, usually a stalk of petersilia or carrot to remind us of the low fare given to our ancestors in Egypt. It also is a symbol of the hyssop used for the sprinkling of the blood of the Passover lamb.  Then centered below them are the grated bitter herbs to complete the second triangle.


There is also a seventh item outside the large platter. This is a dish of salt water to remind us of tears shed in Egypt and of the crossing of the salted Red Sea.

The Four Questions


The four questions are to be asked by the youngest son as it is written: "And it shall be when thy son asketh thee ... What is this?" (Exodus 13:14).  The four questions which are really four responses to one question are:


Why is this night different from all other nights? (1) Any other night we may eat either leavened or unleavened bread, but on this night only unleavened bread (2) Any other night we may eat any herbs, but this night only bitter herbs (3) Any other night we do not dip even once, but on this night twice (the bitter herbs in the haroseth and the vegetable in the salt water) (4) Any other night we eat either sitting or leaning (on cushions) but on this night we all lean.


This is an opportune time for the father to begin the chanting of the Haggadah, the great story of the exodus from Egypt and the many miracles which accompanied it.  He performs actions symbolic of God's great miracles. At the recital of the ten plagues that God brought upon the Egyptians the wine in the cup is diminished.  This shows God's compassion on the very enemies of God and His people. Every person drinks four cups of wine during the Seder to symbolize the four "I wills" of redemption found in Exodus 6:6-7. The wine must be red to symbolize blood.

The Broken Matzo

Early in the ceremony the father uncovers the three matzot which lie in front of him in a three-pocketed napkin.  He takes out the middle matzo, breaks it in half, takes the larger half and wraps it in a napkin and hides it somewhere under his cushion.  One of the children will try to steal it away and claim a price if successful. Otherwise it will lie there "buried" until the service is over.  Then it will be taken out and broken into small pieces and distributed to the members of the family.  This, too, is a symbol of the Passover of which everyone was to participate.  This matzo, since it had been broken, has become the aphikomen, a word apparently derived from the Greek, meaning, "I arrive," or "I come to." (not epikomen which means dessert).

Four More Questions

The following questions are not in the Hagadah but should be asked nevertheless:


1.      Why do we place three matzot in one napkin? The usual explanation is that they represent the threefold division in Israel: Priests, Levites and Israelites. But the Priests and Levites are of the same tribe and the whole people of Israel are called a kingdom of priests in Exodus 19:6!


2.     Why is the middle matzo broken in the course of the Seder? Why is the larger half hidden away, buried under the cushion, taken out later and eaten by all in memory of the Passover lamb?


3.     What is our pesach today? Is it the roasted shank bone, the Zero'ah? It can hardly be so, for its blood was not sprinkled on the doorposts of the houses as prescribed in the Torah. It was not roasted whole either. Is it then the roasted egg on the Passover platter? An egg is surely not a sacrifice. Why are we advised to have wine red as blood on Passover? What or Whom does this represent?


4. What is the meaning of the verses we recite from Psalm 118:22-23: "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.  This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. “Who is the "Stone" and who are the "Builders?" 

Our Answer

Jewish believers in the Messiah are convinced that there is a connection in the Passover Seder with the Last Supper of our Messiah. Almost 2000 years ago, Jesus of Nazareth, Yeshua HaNotzree, who claimed to be Messiah, sat down with His disciples to celebrate the Passover Seder after accomplishing His teaching and healing ministries. On the table were probably the three matzot and red wine. When the time came to break the matzo and drink the wine, the Lord Yeshua gave the following explanation as we read in the Brit Hadashah (New Covenant): He took bread and gave thanks and broke it, and gave it unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:19-20).


From this we can make the following inferences:

1.      The three matzot may represent the triune nature of God: The Unity, His Shechinah, and the One who is concealed from most of the people, as we pray "Behold I am prepared and ready to fulfill the commandment of the first (second, third, fourth) cup. In the name of the Holy Unity, blessed be He and His Shechinah, through Him who is hidden and concealed."


2.     The middle matzo represents the One whose body was broken and given for us. It was hidden and buried, and then resurrected with the promise of aphikomen. I have come already and am coming again.

3.     The late Professor Solomon Birnbaum had the opinion that it was no longer possible for our people to offer the Passover lamb since the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. However, seeing the followers of Jesus of Nazareth celebrate Passover with matzo and wine to represent the sacrifice of Messiah, the Jewish leaders "incorporated it into the religion of the people ... [for it] completely answered the purpose." In other words, some of our ceremonies at the Seder Table are adapted from the practices by which the followers of Yeshua commemorated His sacrificial death. A Jewish believer, referring to Yeshua, declared: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29). He is our Passover sacrifice.


4. He, the Messiah, is the Stone, the Rock of Israel. Him, many of our builders, or leaders, rejected, and He has become the headstone, the most important Jew in the history of our people. But one day our people will accept Him, "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, there shall come out of Sion the deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob."


How about you?

Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected?

In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin.

Reprinted with permission of The Messianic Literature Outreach

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Passover seder plate








It was no coincidence that Jesus chose the Passover now celebrated as communion, the Lord's supper. For the story of the Passover lamb, Jesus the Messiah could best communicate the course he would be taking over the confusing hours that were to follow.


PASSOVER - Pesakh - Hag HaMatzot


The number four plays a significant role in Judaism.  There are the four species of vegetables for Sukkot; four kingdoms in the  book of Daniel; four Torah portions in the tefillin;* four Matriarchs. At Passover, we find this number in abundance. In the course of the Seder we have four sons, four cups of wine, four expressions of redemption (Exodus 6:6-7) and perhaps the most famous"Four" of all--the Four Questions.


As the Seder developed over the centuries, the Four Questions underwent many changes

and were altered as different situations arose.

1. For example, originally one question dealt with why we ate roasted meat.

2.  After the destruction of the Temple, that question was deleted and one about reclining was substituted.


Today, the Four Questions (phrased as observations) are asked by the youngest child in the family:


Why is this night different from all other nights?

1.  On all other nights, we may eat either chometz* or matzoh; on this night, only matzoh.


2.  On all other nights, we eat all kinds of vegetables; on this night, we must eat maror.


3.  On all other nights, we do not dip even once; on this night we  dip twice.


4.  On all other nights, we may eat either sitting or reclining; on this night, we all recline.
The father then explains the Passover story.

There are other questions that the rabbis could have chosen as well. In the spirit of rabbinical adaptation, here are some additional questions that both children and adults might ponder.

(* This and all other italicized Hebrew terms will be listed in a glossary

at the end of this article.)

Why do we place three matzot together in one napkin?


There are any number of traditions about this. One tradition holds that they represent the three classes of people in ancient Israel: the Priests, the Levites, and the Israelites. Another tradition teaches that they symbolize the three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Yet another explanation is that it is a depiction of the "Three Crowns": the crown of learning, the crown of priesthood, and the crown of kingship. 3

And a fourth option is that two of the matzot stand for the two weekly loaves of Exodus 16:22, and the third matzoh represents the special Passover bread called the "bread of affliction." 4  And if those are not enough to keep one's imagination running, here's another. Rabbi Abraham Isaac Sperling suggested that the three matzot stand for the three "measures of the fine meal" which Sarah prepared for Abraham's angelic guests (Genesis 18). The reason for this interpretation lies in the rabbinic tradition that this event occurred on the night of Passover.  Out of all these explanations, how can we decide which is the right one, or is there yet another?


Why is the middle matzoh, the afikoman, broken in the course of the Seder?

Are we breaking the Levites, or Isaac, or the crown of learning, or one of the guests' cakes, or the bread of affliction? Or are we symbolizing the parting of the Red Sea (another explanation)? 6 If any of these explanations are correct, why is the matzoh hidden away, buried under a cushion, and then taken out and eaten by all, as the Sephardic ritual puts it, "in memory of the Passover lamb?"

Where is our pesach, our Passover sacrifice, today?

The Torah prescribes that a lamb is to be sacrificed and eaten every Passover as a memorial of the first Passover lambs which were killed (Deuteronomy 16:1-8).  In reply, it is said that without a Temple we can have no sacrifices - yet some have advocated that the sacrifice still be made in Jerusalem even without a Temple. 7  Since the Passover sacrifice, like others, involved the forgiveness of sins, it is important that we do the right thing. Some feel that the pesach had nothing to do with forgiveness.


But in Exodus Rabbah 15:12 we read, "I will have pity on you, through the blood of the Passover and the blood of circumcision, and I will forgive you."


Again, Numbers Rabbah 13:20 cites Numbers 7:46, which deals with the sin offering, and then adds, "This was in allusion to the Paschal sacrifice." Clearly the rabbis of this time period regarded the pesach as effecting atonement, and Leviticus 17:11 confirms that "it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul."' Today, however, we have only a shankbone, the zeroah, as a reminder of the Passover sacrifice, and roasted egg, the chaggigah, in memory of the festival offerings. But nowhere did God say that we could dispense with sacrifice. So, where is our pesach today?


The answers to these questions can be found by examining how and why the Seder observance changed dramatically in the first century.


The Seder celebrated by Jesus and his disciples

The "Last Supper" was a Passover meal and seems to have followed much the same order as we find in the Mishnah.  In the New Testament accounts, we find reference to the First Cup, also known as the Cup of Blessing (Luke 22:17); to the breaking of the matzoh (Luke 22:19); to the Third Cup, the Cup of Redemption (Luke 22:20): to reclining (Luke 22:14): to the charoseth or the maror (Matthew 26:23), and to the Hallel (Matthew 26:30).

In particular, the matzoh and the Third Cup are given special significance by Jesus: And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.   Luke 22:19-20.

The Passover Lamb


The early Jewish believers in Jesus considered him the fulfillment of the Passover lambs that were yearly sacrificed. Thus Paul, a Jewish Christian who had studied under Rabbi Gamaliel. wrote, "Messiah, our pesach, has been sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:7).  John in his gospel noted that Jesus died at the same time that the Passover lambs were being slaughtered in the Temple (see John 19:14) and that like the Passover lambs, none of his bones were broken (the others being crucified had their leg bones broken by the Romans - John 19:32, 33, 36). The idea behind all this was that just as the Israelites were redeemed from Egyptian slavery by an unblemished lamb, now men could be freed from slavery to sin by the Messiah, the Lamb of God.

The cessation of the Temple sacrifices


The first Christians were considered a part of the Jewish community until the end of the first century when they were expelled by the synagogue. Until the temple was destroyed, these Messianic Jews worshipped regularly with those Jews who didn't believe in the Messiah. In fact, there were entire congregations that worshipped Yeshua and they continued in their observance of the regular Jewish festivals. In such a setting, much interchange of ideas was possible. Jesus declared over the matzoh, "This is my body." Since the Jewish believers of that time saw Jesus as the Passover lamb, it followed that they would see the matzoh as symbolic of Jesus, the Passover lamb. In turn, with the destruction of the Temple and the cessation of sacrifices, the larger Jewish community might well have adopted the idea that the matzoh commemorated the lamb, even if they discounted the messianic symbolism.

The Afikoman Ceremony


As mentioned earlier, the significance of the middle matzoh and the ceremony connected with it is shrouded in mystery.  The derivation of the word afikoman itself sheds some light. The word is usually traced to the Greek epikomion ("dessert") or epikomioi ("revelry").9 But Dr. David Daube, professor of civil law at Oxford University, derives it from aphikomenos, "the one who has arrived."10 This mystery clears further when one considers the striking parallels between what is done to the middle matzoh (afikoman) and what happened to Jesus. The afikoman is broken, wrapped in linen cloth, hidden and later brought back. Similarly, after his death, Jesus was wrapped in linen, buried, and resurrected three days later. Is it possible that the current Ashkenazic practice of having children steal the afikoman is a rabbinical refutation of the resurrection, implying that grave-snatchers emptied the tomb?


These factors strongly suggest that the afikoman ceremony

was adopted from the Jewish Christians by the larger Jewish community

which also adopted the use of the three matzot.  Jewish Christians contend that these three matzot represent the triune nature of God, and that the afikoman which is broken, buried and brought back dramatically represents Jesus the Messiah.





FOOTNOTES:  1. Daube, David, The New Testament  and Rabbinic Judaism (University of London, 1956), p. 187.  2. Klein, Mordell, ed., Passover (Leon Amiel, 1973), p. 69.  3. Rosen, Ceil and Moishe, Christ in the Passover (Moody Press,  1978), p. 70.  4. Klein, p. 53.   5. Sperling, Rabbi Abraham Isaac, Reasons for Jewish Customs  & Traditions, (Bloch Publishing Co., 1968), p.m 189.    6. Ibid.   7. Klein, p. 28.  8. Morris, Leon, The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross (Eerdmans, Third ed., 1965), pp. 137-732.   9.  Gaster, Theodor Herzel, Passover: Its History and Traditions (Abelard-Schuman, 1958), p. 64.  10. Daube, "He That Cometh" (London Diocesan Council for Christian-Jewish Jewish Understanding, no date).



chaggigah-roasted egg representing the festival offering; also symbolic of mourning for destruction of the Temple.
Charoseth-mixture of apples, cinnamon, nuts and wine representing the mortar of Egypt.
Chometz-any fermented product of grain, all leavening agents; hence, that which makes "sour."
Maror-bitter herbs, usually ground horse-radish.
Matzoh-literally "without leaven"; a flat wafer of unleavened bread ( plural matzot).
Pesach-the holiday of Passover; the Paschal lamb.
Tefillin-phylacteries consisting of inscriptions on parchment encased in two small leather cubicles attached to the arm and head when at prayer.
Zeroah-literally "arm"; the roasted shank bone on the seder plate representative of the Paschal sacrifice.

References & Quoted Material

a. Passover article written by Rich Robinson, Jews for Jesus, ISSUES vol. 3:2
b. The Messianic Passover Haggadah, Lederer Foundation, 1989

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The Messiah in the Passover

Passover meal tablesettings

P A S S O V E R    &    M E S S I A H






 Pesach The story of the Egyptian Passover is found in Exodus 12. The student of the Scriptures should not let the familiarity of this passage keep him or her from continuing to study it over and over again.

   Passover, a Sacrifice. The Passover was a sacrifice. Modern theologians dispute this but without any basis. It was an unusual sacrifice. In many respects, it differed from the later sacrifices of the Law, but in some aspects it was similar to what later became the sin offering, combined with the peace offering. It is very important to realize its sacrificial aspect.


    The proofs of its sacrificial characteristics are clear and abundant. The details of the selection of the lamb, "year old males without defect" (Exodus 12:5), the method of sprinkling the blood with hyssop (Exodus 12:22), and the disposal of the remains of the meal (Exodus 12:10), all testify to its sacrificial character.  ln fact, Moses himself says, "It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord" (Exodus 12:27).


   The purpose of this sacrifice was that the blood of the Passover lamb would be sprinkled on the doorposts and the lintels of the Jewish homes, so that the homes would be protected from the destroying angel. It is impossible for any theologian who takes the Scriptures seriously to come to any other conclusion. Exodus 12:13 says, "The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt."

  Whether or not one believes in the doctrine of substitution, an objective reader of Exodus 12 must admit that the doctrine is there. The lamb without blemish was carefully chosen and kept four days. Then the head of the family, Who was the representative, slew the lamb. When he sprinkled the blood of the lamb upon the doorposts and lintels, he confessed that the family stood imperil of the death angel. He and his family accepted God's means of safety. The result was that he and his family was delivered from bondage.


   In other words, the Passover is a gospel before the gospel. The Passover was not only a sacrifice, it was a festive meal. It later became the basis of what is known in the Law as the "peace offering." The peace offering was not an offering for peace; it was a meal eaten together by people who were at peace with one another. Later, in the temple days, the peace offering was shared with the priests, who represented God, and the offerer. It became a feast between God and man.


   The peace offering always followed the sin offering. It is a picture of our fellowship with our Lord. All of this is typified by the peaceful fellowship which the one who partakes of the Passover meal experiences. "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, & the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from every sin"(1 John 1:7).


   The Passover feast looked forward to "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). "Christ, our Passover lamb, [who] has been sacrificed" (I Corinthians 5:1), becomes "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27).


     Passover, a Commemoration All over the world, the   Egyptian Passover is remembered each year in Jewish homes. "This is a day   you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate  it as a festival to the Lord.....a lasting ordinance" (Exodus 12:14). It was celebrated for the first time before deliverance was accomplished. A new calendar was reckoned from it. "This month is to be for you the first month" (Exodus 12:2). The month of the Exodus, from then on, would be the first of the year.


   The Passover, a sacrifice; the Passover, a feast; the Passover, a memorial; all became the Passover, a prophecy. "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:1). For us, the past is crowned with His sacrifice. For us, we have fed on the bread of God, and we now live in communion with Him. For us, the memorial of deliverance is celebrated at His table. Here we now eat of the sacrifice as God spoke to the Israelites, "with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand" (Exodus .12:11).


We look forward, by His grace, to the time when we all eat with Him

in His kingdom. The past, the present, and the future are filled

with our Passover Lamb.


P R A I S E  G O D !


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The Feast Of First Fruits







THE FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS was the third feast Israel celebrated during the passover festival.


Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When you
enter the land I am going to give you a
nd you reap its harvest,
bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest, He is

to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf;

the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath'    Leviticus 23:10-11


Passover week, in the days of the Temple, originally consisted of three events: (1) the Passover lamb slain on the fourteenth of Nisan, (2) the Feast of Unleavened Bread beginning on the fifteenth of Nisan, and (3) the Offering of Firstfruits on the sixteenth of Nisan.


The Sadducees at the time of our Lord disagreed with this chronology. Some modem Commentators also disagree. The difference is due to a misunderstanding of the words "on the day after the Sabbath" (Leviticus 23: 11). The word "Sabbath" not only refers to the seventh day of the week; it also clearly refers to the day of the festivals themselves (see Leviticus 23:24-25, 32, 39). The Sadducees, however, believed that the first sheaf was always offered on the day following the weekly Sabbath of the Passover week.  The testimony of Josephus proves beyond a doubt that the word "Sabbath" in this instance is the fifteenth of Nisan, on whatever day of the week it fell.


But on the second day of unleavened bread which is the Sixteen day of the month, they first partake of the fruits of the earth, for before that day they do not touch them. (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 3, X, 5.)


Firstfruits: The Temple Service


The Feast of Firstfruits was not just a harvest festival it was an acknowledgment of God's bounty and providence to Israel. The order of service for the presentation of the firstfruits during temple days is fascinating and instructive.  Remember, the day began at sundown.  Alfred Edersheim details the order of service:


Already, on the fourteenth of Nisan, the spot whence the first sheaf was to. be reaped had been marked out by delegates from the Sanhedrin, by tying together in bundles, while still standing the barley that was to be cut down.  Though, for obvious reasons, it was customary to choose for this purpose the sheltered Ashes Valley across Kedron, there was no restriction on that point provided the barley had grown in an ordinary field in Palestine itself, and not in garden or orchard land and that the soil had not been manured nor yet artificially watered.  When the time for cutting the sheaf had arrived, that is, on the evening of the fifteenth of Nisan (even though it were a Sabbath), just as the sun went down, three men, each with a sickle and basket formally set to work.  But in order clearly to bring out all that was distinctive in the ceremony, they first asked of the bystanders three times .each of these questions: "Has the sun gone down?"  With this sickle?" "Into this basket?" "On this Sabbath (or first passover day)?" and lastly, "Shall I reap?" Having each time been answered in the affirmative, they cut down barley to the amount of one ephah, or ten omers, or three seahs, which is equal to about three pecks and three pints of our English measure. ·The ears were brought into the court of the Temple and thrashed out with canes or stalks, so as not to injure the corn; then “parched on a pan perforated with holes, so that each grain might be touched by the fire, and finally exposed to the wind.  The corn thus prepared was ground in a barley mill which left the hulls whole. According to some the flour was always successively passed through thirteen sieves, each closer than the other.  The statement of a rival authority, however, seems more rational-that it was only done till the flour was sufficiently fine, which was ascertained by one of the Gizbarim (treasurers) plunging his hands into it, the sifting process being continued so long as any of the flour adhered to the hands.  Though one ephah, or ten omers, of barley was cut down, only one corner of flour, or about 5.1 pints of our measure, was offered in the Temple on the second paschal, or sixteenth day of Nisan.? (Edersheim, Alfred, The Temple, Its Ministry and Services, pp. 223·224.)


By the consecration of the firstfruits, the people of Israel joyfully proclaimed that they not only offered the firstfruits to the Lord, but that the whole harvest belonged to Him.


Firstfruits: Its New Testament Fulfillment

The New Testament tells of another harvest.


But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him.

I Corinthians 15:20·23


"Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep."  We rejoice in the fact of our Lord's resurrection.  He is risen from the dead.  There is a vast difference between the teaching of the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the body.  Paganism gladly accepts the truth of the immortality of the soul, but that is not our hope.  Our hope is not in an immortal, disembodied soul.  It is in the resurrection of the body.  Our Lord really died; His body was buried; He rose from the dead.  The body of our Lord, which was resurrected, was the same body that died for us.  Since He is the firstfruits of the harvest, so also is the harvest: "But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him" (I Corinthians 15:23).  This truth gives us abundant comfort.


We should be clear in our thinking about the meaning of the word ‘resurrection" as it applies to the Lord Jesus Christ and as it will apply to believers.  It means more than to reanimate, to resuscitate, or to reinvigorate.  There were several resurrections before our Lord rose from the dead.  In. the Old Testament, the Lord heard Elijah's prayer and raised the widow s son from the dead (1 Kings 17:17.23).  In the New Testament, our Lord raised from the dead the daughter of Jairus (Luke 8:41·56), the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11·15), and Lazarus (John 11:43.44).


There is a remarkable study in contrasts concerning these three resurrections found in the New Testament.  The body of each was in a different condition.  The girl appeared to be sleeping; the young man was being carried to his grave, decay already begun in the warm climate; Lazarus had been dead four days and decay was advanced.  Our Lord used a different method in each case: He took the little girl by her hand; He didn't touch the body of the young man, He touched the bier which was bearing him to the grave; and He cried to Lazarus with a loud voice.  His care for each was different: He fed the girl; He gave the son to his mother; and He had Lazarus released from his grave clothes.  Here the contrasts end.  The comparisons are equally vivid: they were all dead, they were all raised from the dead, it was our Lord who raised them, and they all died again.  Our Lord’s resurrection was different.  He rose to die no more! "Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him."


The contrasts and comparisons between our Lord's resurrection and that of Lazarus are especially instructive.  The stone had to be rolled away to let Lazarus come out of the tomb.  The angel rolled the stone away from our Lord's tomb, not to let the Lord out, but to permit the disciples to enter: Lazarus "came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face" (John 11:44), and the disciples had to take off the grave clothes and let him go.  How different it was with the resurrection of our Lord!  He is the Prince of Life.  It was utterly impossible that He should be holden of death.  He arose.  And although His body had been bound by grave clothes, neither the grave clothes, nor the walls of the tomb, nor the walls of the room could confine His glorious body.  It is His resurrection that comforts us in our sorrow.  "Because He lives, we too shall live."


It was "after the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, [when] Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb" (Matthew 28: 1) and learned that the Lord Jesus Christ had indeed been raised from the dead and become the firstfruits of those who belong to Him.  The firstfruits were representative of the entire harvest.  There is yet to be another harvest: "Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him" (1 Corinthians 15:23). Our faith in the future is not in philosophical vagaries concerning the "immortality of the soul."  It is firmly embedded in the fact of our Lord's resurrection.  The resurrection of the believer is not patterned after that of Lazarus.  We shall be raised in our Lord's likeness.  It is human for us to wonder about the resurrection body of our loved ones.  With what body will they be raised?  He is the firstfruits.  Like Him, the resurrection bodies of our loved ones (and ours too) will be the same bodies that were buried in the grave, but with splendid differences.  They will be our loved ones; we shall see and recognize them. "He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Revelation 21:4).

How about you?

Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected?

In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin.

Reprinted for educational purposes

ISRAEL’S Holy Days, In type and Prophecy, Daniel Fuchs, chapter 3

Chosen People Ministries

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Wheat harvest


"The LORD said to Moses, From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD.  From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two· tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the LORD.  Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams.  They will be a burnt offering to the LORD, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings-an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering arid two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering.  The priest is to wave the two lambs before the Lord as a wave offering, together with the bread of the firstfruits.  They are a sacred offering to the Lord for the priest.  On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live." (Leviticus 23:9, 15-21).



climaxed the glad season of Israel's grain harvest.


The beginning of the grain harvest was marked by the sacrifice, at the sanctuary, of the omer, the first sheaf of the newly cut barley; fifty days later, at the close of the harvest period, two loaves of bread, baked from the wheat of the new crop, were offered as a sacrifice.  This bread offering was called the firstfruits of wheat harvest and the festival was therefore also called Yom ha-Bikkurim; the day of offering the first loaves of the new crop to God.   Schauss, Hayyim, Thejewish Festivals, pp. 86-87


The first omer, which was offered during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, on the sixteenth of Nisan, was of the sheaf as it was reaped from the newly grown plants, as described in Leviticus 23:15·21:


"From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of the new grain to the LORD.  From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two- tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the LORD.  Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams.  They will be a burnt offering to the LORD, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings-an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.  Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering and two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering.  The priest is to wave the two lambs before the LORD as a wave offering, together with the bread of the firstfruits.  They are a sacred offering to the LORD for the priest.  On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work.  This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live."


Pentecost and the Giving if the Law


The day after the Sabbath the sheaf of the first grain (Leviticus 23:10) was offered on the sixteenth of Nisan.  From that date, fifty days were counted and usually the sixth day of the Hebrew month Sivan is proclaimed as Shavuot (a Hebrew word meaning "weeks") or Feast of Weeks or Pentecost.  This chronology is fascinating because it is the basis of the rabbinic reason why Judaism now celebrates the giving of the Law on the Day of Pentecost.  Dr. Alfred Edersheim gives insight to this reasoning:


The "feast of unleavened bread" may be said not to have quite passed till fifty days after its commencement, when it merged in that of Pentecost, or "of Weeks."  According to unanimous Jewish tradition, which was universally received at the time of Christ, the day of Pentecost was the anniversary of the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, which the Feast of Weeks was intended to commemorate.  Thus, as the dedication of the harvest, commencing with the presentation of the first omer on the Passover, was completed in the thank offering of the two wave loaves at Pentecost, so the memorial of Israel's deliverance appropriately terminated in that of the giving of the Law, just as, making the highest application of it, the Passover sacrifice of the Lord  Jesus may be said to have been completed in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.  Jewish tradition has it, that on the second of the third month, of Sivan, Moses had ascended the mount, that he communicated with the people on the third, reascended the mount on the fourth, and that then the people sanctified themselves on the fourth, fifth, and sixth of Sivan, on which latter day the Ten Commandments were actually given them.  Accordingly, the days before Pentecost were always reckoned as the first, second, third, etc., since the presentation of the omer.  Thus Maimonides beautifully observes: 'just as one who is expecting the most faithful of his friends is wont to count the days and hours to his arrival, so we also count from the omer of the day of our Exodus from Egypt to that of the giving of the Law, which was the object of our Exodus, as it is said: 'I bare you on eagle's wings, and brought you unto Myself.'  And because this great manifestation did not last more than one day, therefore we annually commemorate it only one day."   Edersheim, Alfred, The Temple, Its Ministry and Services, pp. 225·226.


We can see that, even though Scriptures do not say that Pentecost is the actual anniversary of the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai, there is compelling evidence that indicates that "when the day of Pentecost came" as described in Acts 2:1, God's revelation on Mt. Sinai was probably in the minds of the apostles when suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  (Acts 2:2). A modern Orthodox Hebraist scholar describes the giving of the Law:


The Revelation on Mt. Sinai


Dawn of the sixth day of Sivan, in the year 2448 after the creation of the world ... thunder and lightning rent the air, and the sound of the shofar was heard growing strangely louder and louder. All the people in the camp of Israel trembled.


Then all was quiet again. The air was very still. Not a sound was to be heard. No bird twittered, no donkey brayed, no ox lowed.  Every living thing held its breath. Even the angels interrupted their heavenly praises.  Everybody and everything kept silent ... waiting ....


Suddenly God's mighty words were heard from one corner of the earth to the other: "I AM GOD THY GOD!"

One after another, God proclaimed the Ten Commandments.

(Mindel, Nissan, Complete Festival Series, P: 167.)


Pentecost: Its Old Testament Offerings


On Pentecost, many different offerings were presented in the Temple.  After the regular morning sacrifice, there was a burnt offering of "seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams  (Leviticus 23:18).  This was followed by a meal offering and a drink offering.  After that, there was a sin offering of one kid, and then the climactic offering of the day, a "fellowship" or "peace" offering of "two lambs, each a year old" waved before the Lord, together with the two loaves which had been baked with leaven. (See Leviticus 23: 17,19).  This peace offering was not offered on the altar; it was given to the priest.  It could not be placed on the altar, because the loaves were baked with leaven.


It is highly significant that the sin offering preceded the peace offering.  We will never understand the meaning of the peace offering until we grasp this truth.  The sin offering came first, then the peace offering.  The peace offering was not an offering for peace.  It is a heartfelt thank offering of one who has peace with his Lord.  It is a sacramental meal where God, who is represented by the priest, eats a meal together with His children, who have already been cleansed
from their sin.  It should be observed that the two loaves, together with the two lambs which were offered at Pentecost, were the only public peace offerings that were celebrated by Israel.  The peace offering of Pentecost was a feast of fellowship and peace between God and His redeemed people.


Pentecost: Its New Testament Fulfillment

Messiah Jesus’ coming to provide such. See: Jeremiah 31-31 Ezekiel 36:26 Romans 3:20 6:14-15 8:8-11 and

 Hebrews 9:15, 7:22 Ephesians 2:8-9 13-14 Matthew 5:17 Luke:22:20

Was Pentecost, like Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits, also prophetic?  The New Testament is abundantly clear that it was.


Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled the type of the passover lamb at Calvary, when the corn of wheat was planted in the ground, rose from the dead and became the "firstfruits," fulfilling the type of the wave sheaf on the "day after the Sabbath." Then fifty days were counted, and 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   (Acts 2: 1-2).


If Jewish tradition connected the "feast of firstfruits" with the "mount that might be touched," and the "voice of words which they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them anymore," we have in this respect also "come unto Mount Zion," and to the better things of the new covenant.  To us the Day of Pentecost is, indeed, the "feast of firstfruits," and that of the giving of the better law, "written not in tables of stone, but on the fleshy tables of the heart," "with the Spirit of the living God."  For, as the worshipers were in the Temple, probably just as they were offering the wave lambs and the wave bread, the multitude heard that "sound from heaven, as of a mighty rushing wind," which drew them to the house where the apostles were gathered, there to hear "every man in his own language" [proclaiming] "the wonderful works of God."  And on that Pentecost day, from the harvest of firstfruits, not less than three thousand souls added to the Church were presented as a wave offering to the Lord. The cloven tongues of fire and the apostolic gifts of that day of firstfruits have, indeed, long since disappeared.  But the mighty rushing sound of the Presence and Power of the Holy Ghost has gone forth into all the world.  'Edersheim, Alfred, The Temple, Its Ministry and Services, P: 231

How about you?

Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected?

In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin.

He, the Messiah is the way to Eternal Sabbath, Yom Shekulo Shabbat!

- The Messianic Age  Day of Total Shabbat -

Eternal Paradise/Heaven, of the world to come.

Is that of one long extended, unending eternal Sabbath Day.


Reprinted for educational purposes from:

ISRAEL’S Holy Days, In type and Prophecy, Daniel Fuchs, chapter 4

Chosen People Ministries

And other publication sources.

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Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts

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10 commandments shavuot

Shavuot-Feast of Pentecost

Rosh Hashanah 
New Year’s Day
_ Feast of Trumpets _

trumpet blower



NEW YEAR'S DAY for the Jews is not a holiday, it is a holy day, often called, together with the Day of Atonement, the "days of awe."  It is celebrated on the first and second days of Tishri.  It is not a time of frivolity but of introspection and prayer.  It is a solemn day when Jews believe that all people stand before the Creator.


The Orthodox Jew does not come to this season unprepared.  He knows the New Year is approaching.  During the preceding month, the month of Elul, which to the modern Jew is the last month of the year according to the civil calendar, the approach of Rosh Hashanah is heralded by the sounding of the shofar in the synagogue.  All year long the shofar, which is usually a ram's horn, lies hidden, probably in the holy ark in the synagogue.  It is not sounded on the Sabbath.  However, on the first day of Elul, it is taken from its hiding place to play a prominent role as Israel's days of awe approach.  The sounding of the shofar reaches its crescendo on Rosh Hashanah, when it is sounded after the reading of the Law.


The Sacrifice of Isaac


The reading of the Law on the second day's service is the story of the sacrifice of Isaac.  The rabbis believe that the sacrifice of Isaac, when a ram was offered in his stead, took place on New Year's Day.  Because of this belief, this story, together with that of Isaac's birth, is the basis of the liturgy of the second day's service in the synagogue.


Because of this, there is no Bible story more familiar to the Orthodox Jew than the story of Abraham offering up Isaac.  It abounds in spiritual truth.  This story is found in Genesis, chapter 22. It is helpful to study it together with Psalm 22 and Luke 22:42·44.


It is the story of Abraham's faithfulness: Some time later God tested Abraham (Genesis 22:1). We should realize that God did not tempt Abraham, as the Authorized Version states; God tested Abraham.  When Satan tempts, he tries to defeat us.  When God tests, He provides victory. Nor does God test everyone.


C. H. Mackintosh writes concerning Abraham's test:


However, it is well to see that God confers a signal honor upon us when He thus tests our hearts.  We never read that the Lord did tempt Lot.  No, Sodom tempted Lot. He never reached a sufficiently high elevation to warrant his being tried by the hand of Jehovah.  It was too plainly manifested that there was plenty between his heart and the Lord, and it did not, therefore, require the furnace to bring that out. Sodom would have held out no temptation whatever to Abraham.  This was made manifest in his interview with Sodom's king, in chapter 14.  God knew well that Abraham loved Him far better than Sodom; but He would make it manifest that he loved Him better than anyone or anything, by laying His hand upon the nearest and dearest object, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac."! 'Mackintosh, C. H., Notes on Genesis, pp. 225·226; Genesis to Deuteronomy, pp.


For many long years Abraham waited for his promised seed. Finally, the Lord gave him a son by Sarah and then commanded him to cast out Ishmael, the son of the bondwoman. That in itself was enough to test any man. It was a test of faith. But Abraham believed God and obeyed Him.


Isaac's birth was in a very real sense miraculous.  He was the seed of Abraham, born after his mother was past the age of childbearing (Genesis 18:11).  Perhaps Abraham even thought that Isaac was the Messiah. (This is one of the reasons why Jewish couples earnestly desire their firstborn to be a son.  They hope he may be the Messiah.)  But the promised Messiah was not only to be the seed of Abraham, but also the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15).  Thus we see Jesus, born of a virgin, Mary, who was herself of the seed of Abraham.


Isaac grew into young manhood. Josephus says that Isaac was twenty-seven years old when his father was told to sacrifice him.  The Scriptures don't give his exact age, however, but he had grown strong enough to carry the wood that covered the altar that was large enough to bear his body. Thus, he was not a young weakling.


Abraham Believed God


It was when Abraham's only son, the heir to the Abrahamic covenant, the son of promise whom he greatly loved, blossomed into manhood that God ordered Abraham to offer him up as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah.  This command did not come from within Abraham, it was not suggested by the human sacrifices of the Canaanites, nor did it come from Satan.  It came from the one true God, who was proving Abraham's faith!  The final issue dearly showed that God wasn't interested in the death of Isaac.  Rather, He wanted Abraham's complete surrender.


You and I know the outcome of Abraham's deep trial.  At the time, Abraham did not. He drank the dregs of the bitterness of his sorrow.  Imagine the pain these words must have brought to Abraham: Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love (Genesis 22:2).  He laid the wood on his son (verse 6).  He told Isaac, God Himself will provide the lamb (verse 8).  Then he "bound his son Isaac" and "took the knife to slay his son" (verses 9-10).


Luther remarked that it must have seemed as if God's promise would fail, or that this command came from Satan, not from God.  How beautifully Paul describes Abraham's faith in Romans 4:20-21.  Yet he did not waver through unbelief, [he] was strengthened in his faith, [he was] fully persuaded.  But the letter to the Hebrews shows the basic reasoning of Abraham, that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death. (Hebrews 11:19)


Abraham's answer to his great trial was he believed God.  Four centuries before any of the written Word came into existence, God spoke to him, and Abraham implicitly put his trust in God's Word.  God commanded Abraham to leave his kindred, Abraham obeyed; God promised him a seed, Abraham believed.  For long years Abraham waited for God to fulfill His promise.  Finally, Isaac was born. God had fulfilled His promise.


The same God who fulfilled His promise now demanded that Abraham offer Isaac, his beloved son, as a sacrifice. Abraham believed God and showed his faith by his works.  He knew that God honored His Word.  As previously mentioned, it is very possible that he even thought that Isaac was the promised Seed of the woman of Genesis 3:15, the Messiah.  In any event, Abraham knew that Isaac was his own promised seed. God had said that in his seed all peoples on earth will be blessed (Genesis 12:3). Abraham believed and obeyed God.


The key to Abraham's obedience was that he actually believed in the resurrection.  If Isaac was the Messiah and the Messiah had to die, then it was necessary for God to raise Him from the dead!


By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice, He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."  Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death" (Hebrews 11: 1 7-19).


Abraham actually expected God to raise up Isaac from the dead!


Enemies of the gospel complain that the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone is amoral.   Even some well· meaning friends of the gospel frequently teach a "faith-plus works" salvation.  They complain that if righteousness is by faith alone, apart from works of the Law, then a man who is saved by faith could still commit heinous crimes.  This could not be if he has the faith of Abraham.


Abraham's faith resulted in acts of obedience. Romans 4:20·24 says:


Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God,

but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness."  The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness-for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.


Abraham's trial stands out in history like a mountain peak whose height only one other Climber has been called upon to scale: "He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all" (Romans 8:32). Abraham is a beautiful type of God the Father. Just as Abraham had an only son, whom he loved, so did God and He gave His only begotten Son to be slain for us.


God stayed the hand of Abraham before Isaac could be sacrificed. When the Lord Jesus Christ was on the cross upon which He was to be sacrificed, God did not stay His hand! Isaiah 53:10-11 says:


Yet it was the LORD'S will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer,

and though the LORD makes His life a guilt offering, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in His hand. After the suffering of His soul, He will see the light of life and be satisfied; by His knowledge My righteous servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities.


Two thousand years after Abraham, One stood in the Temple that crowned Mount Moriah and said, Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad. (John 8:56). We believe that it was when Abraham received his son figuratively speaking ... back from death (Hebrews 11:19) that this prophetic rejoicing took place.


It is no wonder that Abraham called this place Jehovah-jireh, which means the LORD will provide (Genesis 22:14).  Some erroneously interpret this name to mean that God will provide for all our needs.  This is a comforting truth, but it is not the one taught in the name Jehovah-jireh.  The reason for this name is given in Genesis 22:14: On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."  What was it that Abraham saw after he had received Isaac as if from the dead? Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son (Genesis 22:13).  Years later, John the Baptist exclaimed in joy when he saw Jesus, the Messiah, Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29).


Thus, we see another truth in the offering up of Isaac.  It is a type of God's provision of a sacrifice.  But our Lord Jesus Christ did what Isaac could not do-He became our Sacrifice for sin.


Abraham was not the only one whose faith was tested on Mount Moriah. Isaac was a grown man and could easily have resisted his aged father, but he was obedient.  We have mentioned that he was not an infant.  It takes strength to climb mountains; it takes greater strength to climb mountains carrying wood.  How much wood Isaac carried, we do not know, but it was sufficient to bear his body.


Think for a moment of the important effect of this event upon Isaac.  From the account in Genesis 22, it seems as if Isaac was ignorant of the fact that he was to be offered up as a sacrifice.  Imagine then how he felt when he was actually tied to the altar and watched as his father reached for his knife!  Two thousand years later, One also bore the wood of sacrifice, but He knew what He was doing. He had been born for this very purpose.


The Scriptures do not tell us how Isaac acted when he was bound to the altar.  We have seen him as a robust youth who, as previously mentioned, could have resisted Abraham if he so desired.  But he didn't resist.  When he allowed himself to be bound and laid upon the altar, he fully entered into the spirit of Abraham; he joined in Abraham's faith.  In so doing, he showed himself to be the heir to the promises.  How much was the behavior of Isaac like our Lord, who was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth  (Isaiah 53:7).


In both Psalm 22 and Luke 22:42-44 we see parallels between the story of Isaac in Genesis 22 and the sacrifice of our Lord.  As Isaac lay on the altar and saw the hand of Abraham upraised, certainly he could have wondered, "Father, why have you forsaken me?"  But the record is silent.  The whole picture given of Isaac shows him in the same attitude as our Lord in Gethsemane, Not as I will, but as You will.  (Matthew 26:39).


The timing of Isaac's sacrifice is also symbolic.  When God commanded Abraham to offer up Isaac, he obeyed; and in Abraham's heart, Isaac was dead from that moment on.  We should realize that Abraham did not know for sure that God would also provide a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13), although he had faith in God's goodness.  It was three days later that Isaac was offered, and it was on this third day that Isaac was returned to his father.  To some this may seem to be an unimportant detail, but as we saw in Hebrews, chapter 11, Abraham, "figuratively speaking, did receive Isaac back from death."  Isaac is clearly a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, who rose on the third day, having yielded up His spirit to the Father.  Thus the Father also received His Son on the third day.


God not only "provided a way out" for Abraham; He also provided the lamb for the sacrifice. Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns.  He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. (Genesis 22:13). And thus God the Father has provided us a way of escape from the penalty of sin: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23).


This is why the shofar is sounded on Rosh Hashanah.


How about you?

Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected?

In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin.

He, the Messiah is the way to Eternal Shabbath, Yom Shekulo Shabbat!

- The Messianic Age  Day of Total Shabbat -

Eternal Paradise/Heaven, of the world to come.

Is that of one long extended, unending eternal Sabbath Day.

Reprinted for educational purposes from:

ISRAEL’S Holy Days, In type and Prophecy, Daniel Fuchs, chapter 7

Chosen People Ministries .

And other publication sources.

Return to

Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts

To return to 



Rabbi Mourning

By Rachmiel Frydland


According to Jewish tradition and the Talmud (Tractate Ta'anith 26b), Yom Kippur has

been one of the great Jewish Feasts celebrated annually.  In ancient times the people would

joyfully dress in white, anticipating their purification from sin.  It was only once a year, on

this day, that would allow the High Priest to enter behind the veil into the innermost court

f the tabernacle.  And this could be done only after sacrificial blood had been shed to cover

his own transgressions as well as those of the Jewish nation.  In the Holy of Holies, he

could then approach the mercy seat and receive assurance, that God had sanctified the

sacrifice for sin.  We read in the Hebrew Scriptures:


And there shall be no man in a tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the Holy Place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household and for all the congregation of Israel. And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the Lord, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about. And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times and, cleanse it, and hallow it; from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. For on that day shall the Priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord.   Leviticus 16:17-19,30


From Faith To Fear

If Yom Kippur was at one time one of the most significant feasts, why is it still not so today?
For what reason are the ten days between Rosh Hashanah (New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) called the Tamim Nora'im (Ten Days of Fear)?  Why do Jewish people now spend time fasting, weeping and pleading before God instead of rejoicing at His compassion as their forefathers once did?


The Talmud states that toward the end of the Second Temple period, certain distressing signs began to appear:

Our Rabbis taught: At first they used to bind a shining crimson strip of cloth on the outside door of the Temple.  If the strip of cloth turned into the white color, they would rejoice; if it did not turn white they were full of sorrow and shame. (Tractate Yoma 67a)


Hence, the problem: The people began to realize more and more that the sacrifice of Yom Kippur did not have the power to cleanse their sinful hearts.  They no longer experienced the release of sin's heavy burden that the Psalmist King David wrote about: Blessed ("Happy" in Hebrew) is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed (Happy) is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is not deceit. Psalm 32:1,2


It seemed that God no longer found the sacrifice acceptable.  However, God will never go back on His word. He has not canceled out the Torah principle of atonement for sin by blood.  Leviticus 17:11 states:  For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.


Jewish people who observe Yom Kippur will take either a rooster for a male or a hen for a female and turn it about the head.  They hope to obtain pardon as, they recite: "This is my substitute. This is in exchange for me.  This chicken will die instead of me, so I may obtain life instead of it."  Also a part of the Yom Kippur prayer is these words: "And may the diminishing of my blood and fat as a result of the Yom Kippur fast be accepted by God as though I would have offered it upon the altar of God in Jerusalem."

Something is missing. The people are left with apprehension and serious doubts as to whether God had indeed accepted their sacrifice. The rest of the day is spent in sorrow and fasting. If they knew beyond a shadow of doubt that they were forgiven, there would be no further need for tears. Instead, the hearts would be overflowing with joy for answered prayer.


Jewish tradition has also taught us that the reason for using a ram's horn or shofar on the Ten Days of Fear and on Yom Kippur is to remind God of Isaac's willingness to be a sacrifice when his father Abraham bound him to the altar an Mount Moriah.  As we read the account in the Tanakh (Genesis 22), we realize that God honored the faith of Abraham and the obedience of Isaac. Abraham said, "God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son."


They both rejoiced for a ram was found in a near by thicket!  God wanted to spare Isaac's life; He still has the same desire for each of us today.  Blood must be shed before there can be remission of sins, yet animal sacrifice is no longer pleasing to the Lord. Since God is faithful to His word and will not leave us without help, who will be our sacrificial lamb?


The prophet Isaiah speaks of the one who will give his life for us in chapter 53:7-10:

"He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth:

he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb,

so he openeth not his mouth.  He was taken from, prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation?  for he was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people was he stricken.  And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit

in his mouth.  Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when

thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong

his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand."


About 2,000 years ago, while our Jewish people were under Roman domination, Yeshua HaNotzree (Jesus of Nazareth) came to the people claiming He was the Messiah, the one sent by God to provide salvation.  The moment Yeshua died, the veil of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. (Matthew 27:50-51)  The earth quaked beneath men's feet.  The Talmud says that forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the gates opened of themselves.  This event is of utmost importance because it establishes Yeshua as being the new High Priest and Lamb of God.


No longer must there be an annual offering for sin on our behalf; instead, He has made restitution for us once and for all.  It is now possible for each of us to have direct access to God through the blood of Yeshua HaMoshiach.


One of the early Jewish followers of Messiah has expressed it in this way:


"But Messiah being come an high priest of good things to come,

by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say,

not of this building: Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood

he entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the, ashes of an heifer sprinkling the

unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood

of Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit (Ruach Hakodesh) offered himself without

spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"

Hebrews 9:11-14

In the same chapter, he further describes the holy place as being heaven itself where God dwells. Messiah is now at the right hand of God and continually makes intercession for us.  The Lord has made a new covenant with the house of Israel.

I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.

I will be their God, and they will be my people. For I will forgive their

wickedness and will remember their sins no more.  Hebrews 8:10, 12; Jeremiah 31:30-33


The choice is now left to each of us: Should we follow after sacrifices no longer prescribed by God or follow Yeshua HaMashiach, the eternal Yom Kippur Lamb and High Priest?


Here is the account of a Jewish man, one of the earliest and closest believers in Messiah, who still celebrated Yom Kippur in the traditional manner of having a feast of true simcha and gratitude:

"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver and gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Messiah, a lamb without blemish or defect.  He was chosen before t e creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake."

I Peter 1:18-20

Yeshua invites you to receive Him and the new life He has to offer you.

We encourage you to search your own heart and ask yourself,


"Where is my atonement of sins?  Is it in prayer and fasting alone?

Is animal sacrifice sufficient?  Or is it true that the blood of Yeshua the Messiah cleanses from all sin?"  Once you discover God's Lamb, He will give you His joy and peace which passes all understanding as your Yom Kippur fast truly becomes your Yom Kippur feast.

How about you?
Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected?
In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin.

Reprinted with permission of The Messianic Literature Outreach

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The Feast Of Tabernacles






"The Lord said to Moses, Say to the Israelites: On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Lord’s Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work.  For seven days present offerings made to the LORD by fire and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to the LORD by fire.  It is the closing assembly; do no regular work."

Leviticus 23:33·36


THE MOST JOYFUL of Israel's festivals was the Feast of Tabernacles.  It came at the end of the harvest when the hearts of the people were naturally gladdened,  The crops had been reaped.  As they looked around them, they remembered that six months before, at Passover time they had dedicated the entire harvest to the Lord by the offering of firstfruits, and now not only were their barns full, their heats were overflowing with joy and thanksgiving.


But that was not all.  As they looked around on the goodly land, the fruits of which had just enriched the they remembered that by interposition the Lord their God had brought them to this land and had given it to them, and that He ever claimed it as peculiarly His own.  For the land was strictly connected with the history of the people; and both the land and the history were linked with the mission of Israel.  If the beginning of the harvest had pointed back to the birth of Israel in their Exodus from Egypt, and forward to the true Passover· sacrifice in the future; if the corn harvest was connected with the giving of the law on Mount Sinai in the past, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost; the harvest thanksgiving of the Feast of Tabernacles reminded Israel, on the one hand, of their dwelling in booths in the wilderness, while on the other
hand, it pointed to the final harvest when Israel's mission should be completed, and all nations gathered unto the Lord.  ('Edersheirn, Alfred, The Temple, Its Ministry and Services, pp. 232·233).


The Feast of Tabernacles is two weeks after Rosh Hashanah.  It is always on the same day of the week as New Year's Day.  A pious Jew began his preparation for the festival as soon as the Day of Atonement was over.  He had only five days to erect a sukkah, a booth in which he and his family would dwell during the feast.


The Feast of Booths


Historically, Tabernacles looked backward to the Exodus when Israel lived in booths. "Live in booths for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in booths so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt.  I am the LORD your God"   (Leviticus 23:42-43).


Each family built a sukkah, which was actually a temporary outdoor structure.  It had a twofold purpose: to remind the Jews of their Exodus and to indicate the transitoriness of human life.  The roof was made of slats placed closely to one another so that the shade inside the sukkah was greater than the light.  The roof had to rest on the walls; it could not be fastened.  It was then thatched with green branches, and the entire room, walls, and ceiling decorated with flowers and fruit.


Every male who attends an Orthodox synagogue during Tabernacles (Sukkot) carries with him what is called "the four species": an etrog, which is a citron, in his left hand; the lulav, a palm branch, in his right hand; two myrtle twigs and two willow branches are bound to the palm branch.  The Scriptures state, "On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the LORD your God forseven days" (Leviticus 23:40).


Sukkot not only looked back into history, it also looked forward into the future when Cod's promise to Abraham will be fulfilled, when all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. (Genesis 12:3).


The Feast of Tabernacles was the last of the three festivals when all adult men of ancient Israel thronged Jerusalem. "Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place He will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles. No man should appear before the Lord empty-handed: Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you" (Deuteronomy 16: 16·17).


The Mishnah gives us a vivid picture of these pilgrimages.  From all over the land, all roads were thronged with gaily clad people keeping the holy days.  Everybody carried his offering to the Lord. There were olives, dates, pomegranates, wheat, barley, and perhaps a pigeon or turtledove.  The rich brought more, the poor less.  Those who could, brought their offering in carts, heavily laden with gifts; the poor carried theirs in wicker baskets; but each brought a gift in proportion to the way the Lord God blessed him.


As the pilgrims journeyed, they sang the songs of Zion, the psalms.  On one side of the road, a family would sing from Psalm 121: I lift up my eyes to the hills.  Across the road, the response would come: Where does my help come from?  And all together: My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.


Others would sing: I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD.' Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is built like a city that is closely compacted together.  That is where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, to praise the name of the LORD according to the statute given to Israel (Psalm 122:1·4).


It was Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles.  The tribes of Israel, their hearts with praise to the Lord, were going up to Jerusalem to render unto Him honor and praise and glory.


Every Sukkot service in the Temple. not only looked backward in history, it looked forward in prophecy.  God had spoken to Abram from Ur of the Chaldees and promised him, All peoples on earth will be blessed through you. (Genesis 12:3), and the temple service proclaimed this truth.


The services of the week were elaborate; in all there were seventy bullocks that were sacrificed. According to the Talmud, there were seventy nations in the world, and a bullock was slain each year during the Feast of Tabernacles for each of them. The ancient rabbis realized a wonderful truth about the prophetic message of Sukkot: Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles  (Zechariah 14: 16).


The seventh and last day of the feast is a very special day.  It is called Hoshana Rabba, "the great Hoshanah."  !n the synagogue during the morning service after seven circuits are made around the altar with the lulav (palm branches, they are beaten on the floor of the synagogue floor or its furniture while the worshipers are chanting, the voice announcing the coming of the Messiah is heard.  Succot (anonymous publication by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations Rabbinical Council of America) p. 10.


This beating of the branches is work which is illegal on the Sabbath.  It is for this reason that "the calendar was fixed in such a way that the New Year would not occur on a Sunday so that Hoshana Rabba should not fall on the Sabbath which would cause the taking of the willow to be cancelled.  The Encyclopedia Judaica, “Hoshana Rabba,” vol. 8, p. 1027


How Jesus Kept the Feast


One of the ceremonies of the Sukkot service was the libation of water procession each morning.  Abraham Millgram aptly describes this ceremony:


The water was brought in a golden flask from the fountain of Siloam and poured by the officiating kohen into the basin near the altar. This was the most joyous of the temple ceremonies. The Mishnah says that "he who has not seen the rejoicing at the place of water-drawing has never seen rejoicing in his life" (Sukkah 5:1). The ceremony was accompanied by a torch-light procession, dances, singing and chanting by the Levitical choir of the fifteen pilgrim psalms, the songs of ascents (Psalms 120-134), to the accompaniment of musical instruments.  It was a symbolic act performed in compliance with the prophetic verse, "With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation" ' (Isaiah 12:3).4    Millgram, Abraham, Jewish Worship, p. 204.


Picture this scene from the life of Jesus: It was Hashana Rabba, on the last and greatest day of the Feast.  See the crowds in the temple courts, watch the white-robed priests as they climb the steep ascent from Siloam to the Temple. They are carrying a golden vase of the water they just drew with joy from the well of Siloam. The water was poured into the basin near the altar. Then, as the priest stood with his empty flask, a Man who had been watching cried with a loud voice:  If a man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.  Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.  (John 7:37-38).


These were strange words to say, anywhere, at any time.  But in the Temple on Hoshana Rabba, they were not just strange, they were audacious.  The entire libation-of-water ceremony celebrated God's provision of life-giving water to the Israelites when they were dying of thirst in the wilderness.  "If a man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink."  Our Lord was claiming that the miracle in the wilderness, when the rock gushed forth water 'pointed to Himself!  This is one of the messages of John’s Gospel where we also find our Lord claiming to be the fulfillment of other incidents under the Law: Jacob’s ladder, the brazen serpent in the wilderness, and the manna:


There is a future Feast of Tabernacles that is described in the New Testament:


And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with ,them, and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!  Then He Said, write this down for these words are trustworthy and true." He Said to me:  "It is 'done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.  (Revelation 21:3-6).


Christ our Passover became Christ the Firstfruits from the dead. At Pentecost, the firstfruits of Israel's ripened harvest were presented to the Lord.  The first sheaves were reaped from Israel.  But Israel did not keep the harvest to herself.  The gospel, which was to the Jew first, has been proclaimed to the uttermost parts of the. earth.  It has been a long time since Pentecost, and we longingly listen for the sound of the trumpet, the return of our Lord.  Then after that we look for Israel's Day of Atonement and the nations of our Lord keeping the Feast of Tabernacles.


After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm, branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’  (Revelation 7 :9-1 0).


It's Hoshana Rabba, the great day of the feast!


How about you?

Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected?

In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin.

He, the Messiah is the way to Eternal Shabbath, Yom Shekulo Shabbat!

- The Messianic Age Day of Total Shabbat -

Eternal Paradise/Heaven, of the world to come.

Is that of one long extended, unending eternal Sabbath Day.


Reprinted for educational purposes from:

ISRAEL’S Holy Days, In type and Prophecy, Daniel Fuchs, chapter 11

Chosen People Ministries

And other publication sources.

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Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts

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Feast of Lights/Rededication

Hebrew Chanukah

Chanukah, while not being a feast given by God in Scripture, is mentioned in the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament):

Then came Chanukah in Yerushalayim/Jerusalem.  It was winter, and Yeshua was walking around inside the Temple area, in Shlomo’s (Solomon's) Colonnade. Yochanan/John 10:22-23


This Feast of Lights/Rededication is historically a time to rededicate oneself to God and His purposes.  Many Messianic Jews and Gentiles see this feast time, rather than the modern day of Christmas, as a unique factual Bible time event of miraculous deliverance to be a more fitting time to remember the birth of the Messiah, the Light which came into the world.  In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not suppressed it.  Yochanan/John 1:4–5


THE STORY   Under Syrian rule.  It was in the time of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, nearly twenty two centuries ago (165 b.c.e./c.e.), that the events took place which we commemorate each year at Chanukah time.  The Jewish people had returned to the land of Israel from the Babylonian Exile, and had rebuilt the Holy Temple.  But they remained subject to the domination of imperial powers, first, the Persian Empire, then later, the conquering armies of Alexander the Great.  Upon the death of Alexander, his vast kingdom was divided among his generals.  After a power struggle which engulfed all the nations of the Middle East, Israel found itself under the sway of the Seleucid Dynasty, Greek kings who reigned from Syria.


The 'Madman   Though at first, the rule of the Seleucids was rather mild and uneventful in Israel, there soon arose a new king, Antiochus IV, who was to wage a bloody war upon the Jews, a war which would threaten not just their physical lives, but their very spiritual existence.  Over the years of Greek domination, many Jews had begun to accept the Greek culture and its self-serving pleasure oriented, pagan/false god way of life.  These Jewish Hellenists became willing pawns in Antiochus' scheme to obliterate every trace of the Jewish religion.      The Holy Temple was invaded, desecrated, and robbed of all its treasures.  Vast numbers of innocent people were massacred and the survivors were heavily taxed.  Antiochus placed an idol of Zeus on the holy altar and forced the Jews to bow before it under penalty of death.  And he forbid the Jewish people to observe their most sacred traditions, such as the Sabbath and the rite of circumcision.   Antiochus went so far as to proclaim himself a god, taking the name 'Antiochus Epiphanes' --the Divine.  But even his own followers mocked him as 'Antiochus Epimanes' --the madman.


The Turning Point   In every city and town, altars were erected with statues of the Greek gods and goddesses.  Soldiers rounded up the Jews and forcibly compelled them to make offerings and engage in other immoral acts customary to the Greeks.  As Antiochus' troops tightened their grip on the nation, the Jews seemed incapable of resistance.  It was in the small village of Modi'in, a few miles west of Jerusalem, that a single act of heroism turned the tide of Israel's struggle and altered her destiny for all time.  Mattityahu (Matthew), patriarch of the priestly Hasmonean clan, stepped forward to challenge the Greek soldiers and those who complied passively to their demands.  Backed by his five sons, he attacked the troops, slew the idolaters, and destroyed the idol.  With a cry of  'All who are with God, follow me!' he and a courageous circle of partisans retreated to the hills, where they gathered forces to overthrow the oppression of Antiochus and those working with him (even many Jews).


Guerrilla Warfare   The army of Mattityahu, now under the command of his son Yehuda (Judah) Maccabee, grew daily in numbers and in strength.  With the Biblical slogan, Who is like unto You, 0 God, emblazoned on their shields, they would swoop down upon the Syrian troops under cover of darkness and scatter the oppressors, then return to their encampments in the hills.  Only six thousand strong, they defeated a heavily armed battalion of forty-seven thousand Syrians.  Enraged, Antiochus sent an even larger army against them, and in the miraculous, decisive battle at Bet Tzur, the Jewish forces emerged victorious.  From there, they proceeded on to Jerusalem, where they liberated the city and reclaimed the  Holy Temple.  They cleared the Sanctuary of the idols, rebuilt the altar, and prepared to resume the Divine Service.  A central part of the daily service in the Temple was the kindling of the brilliant lights of the Menorah.  Now, as Jewish legend has it, with the Temple about to be rededicated; only one small cruse of the pure, sacred olive oil was found.  It was only one day's supply and they knew it would take more than a week for the special process required to prepare more oil.  Undaunted, in joy and with thanksgiving, the Maccabees lit the lamps of the Menorah with the small amount of oil, and dedicated the Holy Temple anew.  And miraculously, as if in confirmation of the power of their faith, the oil did not burn out —and the flames shone brightly for eight full days.  The following year, Jewish Sages officially proclaimed the festival of Chanukah as a celebration lasting eight days, in perpetual commemoration of this victory over religious persecution.


Chanukah Traditional Kindling Blessings     * This 9 post ‘Chanukiah’ is not the biblical 7 post Menorah, Sh’mot/Exodus 25:31-37


 1 Bah-rookh Ah-tah Adonai Eh-loh-hay-noo Meh-lehkh Hah-ohlahm Ah-shehr Keh-deh-shah-noo Beh-mehtzoo-tahv Veh-tzeh-vah-noo Leh-had-leehk Nehr Shehl Khah-noo-kah.  Blessed are You Adonai our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments, and allowed us to kindle the lights of Khanukah.


2 Bah-rookh Ah-tah Adonai Eh-loh-hay-noo Meh-lehkh Hah-ohlahm Sheh-ah-sah Neh-seem Lah-ah-voh-tay-noo.  Bah-yah-meem Hah-hah-eem Bahzeh-mahn Hah-zeh. Blessed are you Adonai our God, King of the universe, who did miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season.


The following blessing is said traditionally only on the first evening:


3 Bah-rookh Ah-tah Adonai Eh-loh-hay-noo Meh-lehkh Hah-ohlahm Sheh-heh-kheh-yah-noo Veh-keh-yeh-mah-noo Veh-heh-gee-ahnu Lehz-mahn Hah-zeh.    Blessed are You Adonai our God King of the universe, who has kept us alive, and has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this season.      


After kindling the lights  recite:


We kindle these lights to commemorate the saving acts, miracles and wonders which You have performed for our forefathers, in those days at this time, through Your holy Cohanim/Priests.  Throughout the eight days of Chanukah,


Lessons For Today The Chanukah lights are more than simply a reminder of God's deliverance and miracles in days gone by.  They provide inspiration for us, in our times, to enrich our lives with the Light of Messiah Yeshua and in remembering the greatest miracle of all, His birth!  In ancient times, the Jewish people rededicated the Temple with the Menorah.  Today, we rededicate ourselves to the Lord and to the salvation of this world.  For I am not ashamed of the Good News, since it is God’s powerful means of bringing salvation to everyone who keeps on trusting, to the Jew especially, but equally to the Gentile.    Romans 1:16


Chanukah Festivities - Foods, Games, Fellowship


THE KHANUKAH DREIDEL  The Origin of the Dreidel


The Syrians decreed that the teaching or studying of Torah was a crime punishable by death or imprisonment.  But the children defiantly studied in secret; and when Syrian patrols were spotted, they would pretend to be playing an innocent game of dreidel.


Playing Dreidel   The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top, also called a svivon in Hebrew.  On each side is a Hebrew letter:  'Nun'  'Gimel' 'Hay' and 'Shin'.  The letters stand for the phrase "Nes Gadol Hayah Sham" --a great miracle happened there.  It is traditionally used to play a lively Chanukah game.   Each player places some raisins, candies, or nuts into a kitty, and the players take turns spinning the dreidel.  Nun means nothing --you win nothing, you lose nothing.  Gimel means you take all.  Hay means you win half of what is in the kitty.  Shin means you lose, and must put more into the kitty.


Thank God for sending Yeshua/Jesus ....


but when the appointed time arrived, God sent forth his Son.

He was born from a woman, born into a culture in which legalistic

perversion of the Torah was the norm, so that he

might redeem… Galatians 4:4, 5a

How about you?

Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected?

In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin.

He, the Messiah is the way to Eternal Shabbath, Yom Shekulo Shabbat!

- The Messianic Age  Day of Total Shabbat -

Eternal Paradise/Heaven, of the world to come.

Is that of one long extended, unending eternal Sabbath Day.

Return to

Biblical/Traditional Jewish Feasts

To return to 





By Rachmiel Frydland


PURIM is a Persian word meaning 'lots." Several hundred years before the Christian Era, Haman, a Persian Jew-hater, persuaded Ahasuerus (Xerxes), king of Persia, to have all the Jews in the king's realm destroyed.  The Persians of that day, including Haman, were fire-worshippers.  Their religion was founded by Zoroaster, an ancient philosopher who taught that there were two gods who ruled the world in opposition to each other, Ormuzd, the good or positive god, and Ahriman, the bad or wicked god.


The Jews living among the Persians could not accept this religion for they believed in one God only, Jehovah, who created the day as well as the night, the good as well as the evil.  As the prophet Isaiah said in the name of the Lord:


I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I,

the Lord, do all these things.  Isaiah 45:7


Therefore the Jewish people in King Ahasuerus' realm could not accept the Persian religion.




Haman, a court favorite of King Ahasuerus, was jealous of Mordecai, a Jew, and presented a reasonable case against the Jews to the king.  The kingdom of Persia had been kind to the Jews, and after the Babylonian captivity of seventy years, had given them permission to return to their ancestral land.  Should not the Jews now show their gratitude to the king by accepting the religion, the laws and the customs of their benefactors?


Haman's petition to King Ahasuerus against the Jews was presented in clear words which could not be contradicted:


And Haman said unto King Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws:therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them. If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed(Esther 3:8,9)




The Persian king, a pagan, agreed.  But Haman did not know the God of the Jews, Who long ago declared that the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (the Jewish people) could not be exterminated. God, Who is not dead but is living forevermore, decreed an everlasting blessing upon Abraham and his seed, saying,

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee,

and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.  Genesis 12:2,3


Moreover, God confirmed His decree with an oath:


And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord; for because thou best done this thing, and best not withheld thy son, thine only son; that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou best obeyed my voice. Genesis 22:15-18


How foolish of the Human's and the Hitlers to trust in a lot and ignore the Lord Who has decreed blessings upon the seed of Abraham! Haman put his trust in purim lots), but he forgot Pesach (Passover) when mighty Egypt paid a heavy penalty for its oppression of Israel.  Let this be a warning to all would be Jew-haters - in Russia, in Europe, in Asia, and in the world everywhere. God is on the side of His people. By blessing them, they who bless bring a blessing on themselves.


By the same token, they who curse the Jews, bring a curse upon themselves.


ISRAEL'S SALVATION,   In ancient Persia Israel's salvation came through a humble man named Mordecai, who was related to Esther, the Jewish queen of Persia. He and his people were destined to die by royal edict. Nevertheless, Mordecai was able to inspire his people to repent in sackcloth, in fasting and prayer.  Even Queen Esther joined her people in this act of humility before the Lord. God heard and answered. Mordecai was exalted and his people honored by the king while Haman was hanged and the Jew-haters were abased.


This was one of many episodes in God's dealing with His people.  The Jews were saved physically at this point in their history.  The time of their full salvation, and the complete fulfillment of God's prophecies given to Abraham, was drawing nigh.  It happened five hundred years later with the coming of adon Yeshua HaMashiach, (the Lord Jesus, the Messiah). He was the greater Mordecai. Condemned to die for His people, Jesus the Messiah became the supreme sacrifice of atonement for the sins of Jew and Gentile alike.  In Him were truly fulfilled the  prophecies of old, "In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 12, 22) Today we see millions of people in all parts of the earth who have received these blessings through Abraham's seed, the Messiah, flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone.


PHYSICAL OR SPIRITUAL SALVATION?  You ask, "What salvation did Messiah bring? There are still wars and hatreds among men." The answer is that salvation is two-fold.  There is the physical salvation, as it happened at Purim long ago, and spiritual salvation - redemption of a person's soul. Physical salvation is of value in God's sight only when joined with spiritual salvation, as expressed in the Book of Tehiliim (Psalms):

They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude

of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother,

nor give to God a ransom for him. (For the redemption of their soul is precious ....


Psalms 49:6-8

The same thought is found in the Brit Hadasha (New Testament) in the words of the Messiah:

For what shall it profit a man,

if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Mark 8:36


According to the Word of God we need spiritual salvation, and it should be explained clearly.  Spiritual salvation is:

Salvation from sin.  Disobedience to God by the first man, Adam,

and by his descendants, broke the oneness, the fellowship between

God and man, as the Word of God says:


But your iniquities have separated between you and your God,

and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2


Jesus, the Messiah, became the sacrifice for our sins, and by believing in Him, our sins are forgiven.  This is not a figment of our imagination but is based squarely on the Hebrew Scriptures, as Isaiah's prophecies about Him  state: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone

to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.  Isaiah 53:6


Peace and restored fellowship and oneness with God. Do you have perfect peace in your heart?  If you do not, it is because of this lack of oneness and fellowship between you and God, the result of unforgiven sin.  To have peace in your heart, you need the forgiveness of sins only possible through faith in Messiah Jesus.

Everlasting life with God. Death is not our destiny and is not our end.  Job says: For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. Job 19:25,26


Job, the sufferer, knew that after this life there awaited him everlasting life with God. He knew about his Redeemer who is alive, and who would bring him into oneness and fellowship with God forever.  Our appeal to you is to accept your Messiah now.  Your celebration of Purim will be a true one and a spiritual one. It will be not only a celebration of the physical deliverance, which is temporary, but also a spiritual one that will last forever.

A Drink From The Fountain
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Messiah Jesus unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Messiah Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;


To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness; that he might be just,

and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Romans 3:20-26


How about you? Have you received your Redeemer, the Stone whom the builders rejected?
In Him is life, light and joy and in His sacrifice is forgiveness of sin.

Reprinted with permission of
The Messianic Literature Outreach

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