CHANUKAH -

FEAST OF DEDICATION

Kislev 25 - Tevet 3

Yeshua - The True Shamash


An Unusual Chanukah - It is common (at least in Messianic congregations) to hear sermons about Chanukah. The Chanukah story is re-told (for the umpteenth time) and we draw the conclusion that the L-rd always protects His covenant people. Then, we remember that Yeshua celebrated Chanukah and then, we go home. But, perhaps more natural for us, as followers of the Messiah, is to begin with Him and proceed from there. Let's remember one Chanukah that Yeshua celebrated...

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John 10:22-30

22 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” (NIV)

TU BISH'VAT - 

NEW YEAR OF TREES

Sh'vat 15

Jewish communities in Israel and abroad observe the Festival of Tu BiSh’vat—(The Jewish New Year of Trees) by eating different kinds of fruit: apple, orange, grapefruit, prickly pear, fig, pear, and carob, cherry, avocado, and olive. Also used to celebrate the festival is a variety of nuts such as walnut, pecan, peanut, pine nut , brazil nut, pistachio, and almond [sometimes coconut as well]. In Israel,
celebration of Tu BiSh’vat involves planting of trees as part of a commitment to re-forest the land.

In the Torah (Deuteronomy 8:8), G-d promised to bless Israel with abundant fertility of crops. Seven species were specifically identified: Wheat, Barley, Grapes, Olives, Figs, Pomegranates, Dates & Honey.  Today, Israel is one of the most agriculturally productive countries in the world. Its land produces an even larger variety of crops than those
listed in the Torah. The L-rd is faithful to keep His covenant promises to His people.

Ezekiel 34:27 The trees of the field will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the L-RD...

PURIM - LOTS

Adar 14

Purim (based on the Book of Esther in the Bible) is the noisiest holiday of the year. It celebrates G-d's deliverance of Persian Jews through Esther, a beautiful Jewish girl. As winner of the king's beauty contest, Esther became the queen of King Ahausuerus of Persia. Esther later risked her life to prevent Haman, the king's prime minister, from carrying out his plot to kill all Jews.


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YOM HASHOAH - HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY

Nisan 27

The mere mention of this word "Holocaust", stirs up an incredible whirlwind of emotions. This is particularly true of those of us who have lost family members in the gas chambers. But, in fact, the Holocaust has become synonymous with the worst sort of cruelty committed by man. How do we, in a Messianic Jewish congregation, integrate the Holocaust into our thinking and feeling?



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YOM HAZIKARON - 

ISRAEL MEMORIAL DAY

Iyyar 4

Yom Hazikaron is the day on which Israel honors its fallen servicemen and women. National memorial services are held in the presence of Israel's top leadership and military personnel. The day opens with a siren the preceding evening at 20:00 (8:00 pm), given that in the Hebrew calendar system, the day begins at sunset. The siren is heard all over the country and lasts for one minute, during which Israelis stop everything (including driving, which stops highways) and stand in silence, commemorating the fallen and showing respect. Many religious Jews say prayers for the souls of the fallen soldiers at this time. The official ceremony to mark the opening of the day takes place at the Western Wall, and the flag of Israel is lowered to half staff.

YOM HA'ATZMAUT - 

ISRAELI INDEPENDENCE DAY

Iyyar 5

Yom Ha'atzmaut ( lit. "Independence Day") commemorates Israel's declaration of Independence in 1948. It is celebrated on 5 Iyar according to the Hebrew calendar.


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