Sunday, 9 September 2018
Question of the day: Chapter 26 ends with these words: Matthew 26:75b "And he (Peter) went away and wept bitterly." Have you ever wept bitterly?
Answer: If you're human and honest it's most likely your answer is "Yes". We are getting ready for the High Holidays, which begin tonight.
Rabbi Trail: The fall Feasts of the Lord are described in Leviticus 23:23-44. Jewish people calls the first two the High Holidays. End RT.
The liturgy of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is very solemn. The first of the month is the day when the moon first begins to show itself again (called a new moon). This means every month starts our dark, then brightens to the middle of the month and gradually darkens again until the cycle begins fresh.
Rabbie Trail: Rosh Hashanah is the name for the feast on the first day of the 7th month but this is not the name for this holiday in Scripture. In Scripture it is called Yom Teruah (the day of the shout), or the day of the sounding of the shofar (ram's horn). Rosh Hashanah means "head of the year" which is our way of saying new year. End RT.
One of the prayers is a long list of repentable (I just made that word up) offenses. Each line starts with the words "Al Chet". A Chet is a type of sin; Al means "on" or "regarding" or "about". For instance, the first line is "Regarding the sin" which we have sinned under duress and by our own desire.
Let me take this in a different direction. God does want us to repent, but He does not want us to "weep bitterly" (feel bad) under condemnation. He wants to heal us from our sins and turn our mourning into joy.
Psalm 30:11-12 "Hear, Adonai, and be gracious to me. Adonai, be my help. You turned my mourning into dancing. You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy."
Zechariah 8:19 "Thus says Adonai-Tzva'ot, The fast of the fourth, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth month will become joy, gladness and cheerful moadim. Therefore, love truth and shalom!"
The fast of the 7th month is Yom Kippur. Because we have been forgiven by the One who heals us (we are restored), we devote this special season to intercession for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. May the Scriptures be fulfilled, and "all Israel shall be saved." May every Jewish person experience freedom through faith in Yeshua HaMashiach who loves His own.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,