זה יום ההולדת שלי, בסדר, בסדר (in Matthew McConaughey voice)

The day that will live in infamy.

My father was a military man, through and through.  Career Navy he was.  From a long line of American warriors, all the way back to the Revolution.  He married my mother on 9/11.  His first son was born on D-Day, the next on VJ-day, and myself on Pearl Harbor Day.

That’s always been a shadow of a thought on my birthday, especially after realizing my parent’s anniversary related to the little phenomenon.

Anyone who walks in true “Emunah” in Messiah Yeshua knows that His people are a ‘warring’ people, in the realm of His Ru’akh.  Last week, my drash [teaching message] in the Synagogue was about the “Matzliakh”, the ‘prosperous’ man.  One who ‘succeeds’ in this life, spiritually.  If I’m not mistaken, Yosef was the first one in scripture called a matzliakh; and he was a servant, a slave, when he was so called.

But, as Friday was the anniversary of my birth, I prayed that day, as I do each day, for all I know, especially those whom I hold dear, to have ‘shalom’ each day..

My birthday started very, very special.  I woke up, and read a second email concerning someone who had been studying our congregation’s website, http://www.battzion.org , and had come to repentance.  My last post was about the JOY in HEAVEN concerning ONE SOUL doing Teshuvah, so much so that the Malakhim REJOICE in HIGH PRAISES….. FOR ONE SOUL!  So, when I read that second email, and learned that the person who had repented, whose name is in our Torah portion this week!, is going to come to the synagogue this Shabbat, then I ‘heard’ the echo of that rejoicing in Heaven…. it sunk in. [the first email had came in thur night, after my family and I began celebrating my birthday.. with cake…can’t help it, biblical days start at night! and I’d briefly read it, but it didn’t sink in; then another came in through the night].

I cannot express how much joy that brought me, considering all the labor we put into the website, into the congregation, investing in people’s souls, versus the number of times people actually do ‘return to G-d in obedience to His Instructions’ [biblical repentance].  when I wrote that last blog post, I asked G-d for that experience again, that deep joy of knowing His Malkhut is truly advancing because of our efforts.  Et voila.

Friday, I decided to drive to work, versus riding the bus, because I took a half day off.  My jam came on when I got in the car, but it was my whole playlist.  I wanted to focus on worshipping and thanking Him, so I switched it just to play Miqedem’s last album.  I’ve noticed this before, about that album.  But I’ve only shared this with my wifey.  I don’t know if Jamie and the rest of Miqedem intended this, but it has certainly caught my attention, what I am about to try to explain:

Friday morning, when I switched it over, I set it to play the album, Volume II, in order, and not to shuffle, because it’s been a while since I just listened to the album straight through.  I finished listening to it this morning, and remembered this compelling theme I will try to explain here, starting with the first song, to the last, in order.

“Khanun V’Rakhum’ is the first song, “Gracious and Merciful”.  That is the last phrase in the 4th verse of the psalm…. The music starts with a very distinct Hebrew, Middle-Eastern sound, very upbeat, and the first words are “I will thank יהוה “…. [I say/sing His Name… I hope Miqedem can forgive me, as I simply cannot edit His Word when reading/singing it, nor blot out His Name as quoted in scripture with another word].  The first verse of this song is actually the first four verses of Psalm 111.   I have the great pleasure of understanding them in Hebrew…. and this phrase, “Khanun v’Rakhum’, is an echo of Moshe’s encounter with G-d that so few people consider, when He said, יהוה   יהוה  El RAKHUM V’KHANUN…. Merciful and GRACIOUS G-d… this is ‘old testament’, and is describing יהוה  as MERCIFUL and GRACIOUS….  the whole description there flies in the face of the xtian idea that the ‘god of the old testament’ was a ‘hateful, mean/angry god.’  Those first verses of 111 expound on His works of mercy and grace as WONDERFUL.  Then, the second verse of the song, from Ps 112, tells of the works of a Tzadik, a Righteous One.  This is a foreshadowing of Messiah, but also describes one who actually trusts in obedience, delighting in the Mitzvot of G-d.  This echoes the fb post I made yesterday, asserting that we, as believers, should strive to be like G-d!  Khanun V’Rakhum V’Tzadik, echoing Khanun V’Rakhum יהוה !  Ultimately, it is HIM whom we emulate.

I won’t have time to detail each of the psalms on this album.  But, I pray the psalms every Shabbat in the Synagogue during our prayer hour, with a numerical pattern that gets me through all 150 of them about 5 times in a year.  And this pattern is in such a way that I sample each type of Psalm [praise, ascent, imprecatory, etc] each Shabbat.  And each week, I think about how this mimics the life and experience of believers.

The Tehillim [praises/psalms] are Tefilot [prayers] and SONGS.  And they are FULL of EMOTION.  ALL emotions.  Happiness, sadness, sorrow, pain, rejoicing, anger, bitterness, hurt, the list goes on.  They run the whole gambit of the human experience.  And so do my Shabbat morning prayers.  And so does Miqedem Volume II.  They sampled almost every type of Tehillah.  This one starts very upbeat, rejoicing and thanking G-d for His MERCY AND GRACE, the way a believer starts his life of faith, and the way he SHOULD start EVERY DAY!

It is followed with B’tzet Yisra’el, ‘When Yisra’el Went out of Mitzrayim’, which is a mini Pesakh Psalm, a recalling of the MIGHT of Elohim, who delivered Yisra’el and brought them into The Land.  The psalmist almost seems to mock the natural barriers to Yisra’el’s ‘going out,’ reminding us that He Goes BEFORE us, IN MIGHT.  This, too, ought to be a theme of our minds as we begin our days.

The next is Ba’erev Yelin, and has been my favorite for a while, though I think it got edged out of late.  But, the tone changes, becoming very mellow.  This one is a KHANUKAH song!  It is the “Dedication of the House,” or “Khanukat HaBayit.”  Nothing causes a believer in Messiah more sorrow than for the ‘House’ of his heart to be defiled with sin.  “Weeping WILL linger for the night”, as long as the believer walks in self-induced darkness,’ but REJOICING comes ‘la’boker’…. yes, ‘in the morning,’ but, ‘boker’ can imply ‘early,’ and the prefix is ‘for’ in this conjugation…. the earlier ‘light’ comes back to the ‘house,’ the sooner the believer can REJOICE!  This one is Psalm 30:4-6.

Then, we get even more contemplative, meditating on the “Compassions of יהוה  ” .  from 89:2-3, 12.  Here, we confess that His compassions are worthy of our declaring them. So much so that the mountains will cry out rejoicing in Him [if we don’t].  I seem to remember Yeshua alluding to this?  We stay contemplative, and ‘sing,’ “I love that יהוה will hear the voice of my supplications….”  Ps 116:1-2; And then we can say, “Because He has turned His ear toward me, I will call on Him all of my days…. “In the courts of His HOUSE, in the midst of you, O Yerushalayim, HALLELU YAH!”  [v19].  We who are believers in Messiah Yeshua do this in such a literal way, because we have a House that is fashioned by Messiah!  I can’t EVEN get into all the depth of what is revealed here!

And now it’s time again to REJOICE!  The next melody is a complete Tehillah, 117, which is only two verses long.  It has a very middle-eastern flare, and a driving beat.  Hallelu Et יהוה  , kol Goyim, Shabekhuhu kol HaUmim; Ki gamal aleinu khasdo, v’emet יהוה  l’olam.  That’s it!  Praise Him, all nations, Worship Him all peoples!  For His compassion upon us is abundant, and His Truth is FOREVER!

The next melody is again quiet and meditative; its all piano and vocal, and is simply one verse; but, it’s not from the Tehillim.  It is from “Eikha”, or “Lamenations”: “Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; pour out your heart like water before the face of Adonai; lift up your hands toward Him for the life of your young children, that faint for hunger at the head of every street.”  Our life indeed should be about praise, and Abba is certainly deserving of all our praise, but the world is deserving of our supplication, our standing in as the royal Kohanim we are, pleading on behalf of the innocent.  In our day and age, there is probably no better verse to express how desperate children today are for our intercession.   And sometimes, it ‘seems’ as if Abba is not responding to our plea.  “Ad Ana,”  “Until when?” is the next lyric, from chapter 13.  We left our rejoicing, and in the middle of the night got up to pray for the children, and now we ask, “Until when?  How long will our enemy rejoice over me?   But then, in spite of the waiting we must do, we yet say, “But as for me, in Your compassion do I trust; my heart shall rejoice in Your Salvation.  I will sing unto יהוה , because He has dealt bountifully with me.”  And we begin to leave our sorrow behind, returning again to our trust that HE IS going to move, and give justice, and compassion.  And the music picks us back up again at this point.

The next melody seems to us to be a blend of Hebrew with Appalachian Mountain music.  It’s bluesy, “Shir LaMa’alot,” from 121:1-5.  It is a reminder that we have to return ourselves to this world, in our journey of ascent [Shir LaMa’alot means “Song of Ascent”]; along the way, there are many perils, but HE is our help!  The Maker of Heaven and Earth.

The next song is another deviation from the book of psalms, taking us to Yesha-Yahu 40:31, again a single verse.  And the tempo picks back up again, returning to a very authentic, Hebrew sound.  Those who wait/hope in יהוה will renew their strength, they will soar in the air as eagles!  They will run and not be weary, they will walk and not faint.  This is like the second wind of life.  It is a reminder, especially for one in my stage of life, that it is WORTH waiting on and hoping in HIM.  And that ONE DAY, He is going to ‘lift us up’.  And HE strengthens us to get through this life.

And having that in mind, knowing that one who ‘waits for’ and ‘hopes in’ Him, we are HAPPY!  And Tehillah 1:1-3 begins with a very upbeat, modern guitar rif, “Happy is the man!  And this one has, at least for a season, become my favorite, as I have come to know that my happiness is completely rooted in HIM, and being OBEDIENT to His Tzedaka.  And it is not a drummed up, temporary happiness.  It is permanent, and completely  independent of my circumstances.  It is typically a more mature person who really discovers this truth.

And the last song, I don’t know if it was intended this way, but it certainly seems well placed, and seems to fit this theme of the album, that of our journey through life, whether that theme was intended or not as well.  Tehillah 23 is read often upon the departure of a loved one; but, it is not written in the voice of the 2nd person, but of the first person:  He leads ME beside still waters; he restores my soul… The melody starts very subdued, in contrast to the previous “Ashrei Ha’Ish, and takes us through the first three verses.  Oddly enough, the tempo picks up when we get to the valley of Tzal Mavet…  EVEN THERE we can PRAISE HIM!  Passing through this life into the next! Though I walk through the valley of Tzal Mavet….  All of us are going to do it.  But, HE sits us down and feeds us, while our enemies watch!  He covers our heads in oil, protecting us.  I will dwell in Beit   יהוה  FOREVER!  What else could be so comforting for one ‘crossing the Yarden,’ going into Paradise?  

Oddly enough, it almost doesn’t seem to matter in what order one listens to these particular scriptures, the message is the same.  And this is true of the book of Tehillim; our ‘worship of David.’  I wish everyone who trusts in Messiah could come to understand the power of restoration and life that is in these songs.  Not Miqedem’s, but David’s.  Miqedem does a phenomenal job of bringing life to the lyrics, and giving us a taste of Yisra’el in our worship, and we at our congregation are very grateful.  But, it is because the words are the very words of His Ru’akh [breath], expressing the very heart of Elohim THROUGH us, if we let them, that we sing them with such passion.  I wish I had more time to elaborate, but I hope the reader has ‘seen’ what I have so many times when listening to this album; and so many times when praying these prayers in silence on Shabbat.

This ‘book of prayer’ is a mechanism that could restore the congregations to UNITY in Messiah.  Singing them is wonderful.  But inwardly meditating on them is even more wonderful, and powerful.  I hope someone in inspired to do just that.

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The REAL MIRACLE of khanukha….

 

Khanukah celebrates DEDICATION.

It is what the word khanukah means.  But, the season of this celebration of the dedication of the house happens to be a celebration of LIGHTS, held at the DARKEST time of the year.

One thing I am ever more certain of, is that we are certainly at the darkest time in history, right before Messiah returns….

And this year, even though our Khanukah celebration at home has been a bit muted [just me and the wife so far], what I have determined to celebrate  is HIS LIGHT.

Yeshua was conceived on the first night of Khanukah, some 2,000 years ago.  This was the beginning of true LIGHT coming to the world, in flesh.

And of course, if Yeshua is that light, and we learn that He tells us to be ‘born anew,’ and then says that those who are born anew are those who ‘come to the light’; then we are recipients of that light.  But, that receipt is predicated upon true “repentance,” which means turning to G-d by turning to His mitzvot.

So, one who repents by turning to His Mitzvot, is then born ‘anew’, and is given light.  And He is told to share that light with everyone.

In the day we live in, there are precious few people who will turn to that light.  The Light is the Torah, which is the purity of G-d that manifested in Yeshua’s obedience, even to the point of death.  All of us are reluctant to die.  But every single one of us are completely resistant to spiritual ‘death’, which is REQUIRED, in order to be truly ‘born anew.’  This is the GREATEST MIRACLE that we can EVER experience or witness.  I have had the joy of witnessing it a few times in my life, and even the great and humbing honor of participating in it, if only by declaring Yeshua’s death to someone who’s never truly ‘heard’ it before.  I remember those occasions with perfect clarity.  There truly is NOTHING more miraculous than for a sinner [everyone sins] to actually be broken and contrite over offending G-d, and TURNING, accepting G-d’s offer of atonement through Yeshua, imparting HIS perfection to us, and then beginning to seek how to OBEY G-d in HIS TRUTH, Yeshua’s way.  That is truly the biggest MIRACLE EVER.  When one considers the miracle of Yeshua’s conception, is that really so ‘spectacular’?  It was unseen for nine months.  When His birth finally occurred, no one really noticed, except some shepherds, who heard Malakhim rejoicing in Heaven.  The same is true of our birth into His family.  Very few ever really notice on earth.  As in Yeshua’s conception, only Miryam, Yosef, Elisheva, Yokhanan HaMatbil [an unborn baby who LEAPED at the sound of Miryam’s words] and perhaps Elisheva’s husband, really ‘rejoiced’ in the conception of our Messiah; so, only those BELIEVERS who really know us and can perceive a change can rejoice in our new birth; and as at Yeshua’s birth, only Miryam and Yosef and a few unnamed shepherds took note.  AND SOME MESSENGERS OF HEAVEN.

But, just as they rejoiced at HIS birth, so do they rejoice about the new birth here on earth:

“I say to you that such will be the joy before the Malakhim of Elohim over one sinner who repents.” ~Yeshua, Luka 15:10

Yeshua was conceived at this time.  As I am likely writing only to believers, I can draw attention to His conception and birth with some meaning.  But for one who does not yet trust in His Word, it is HIS DEATH that must be declared.

“And I, my brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech, nor did I declare to you the Sod [scriptural mystery/counsel] of Elohim in wisdom. For I did not pretend to know anything among you except Yeshua HaMashi’akh, and Him executed on the stake.”  Kor Alef 2:1-2

Death is darkness and LIFE is light.  In order for one to be at Shalom with himself and with Elohim, both here and eternally, one must face his own sin, admit to sinning, confess it, and die, to be reborn into the Ru’akh of Elohim, by confessing the truth of Yeshua the Messiah, and his atonement for us as individuals.  And only then, but then, HE gives us of His Ru’akh, and the Messengers in heaven REJOICE!  Like they did the day Yeshua was born.  Like Miryam did herself at her conception of Yeshua; like Yokhanan did when he sensed Yeshua in Miryam.

Oh, how I LOVE to rejoice with those Messengers in heaven over ONE person coming into light.  How I grieve that so many, who have heard this word, yet walk in darkness, fellowshipping with this world rather than with Him and His people, in truth.  In the same fashion, the FATHER rejoices HIMSELF when a SON comes home.  Oh, how a father who is a Tzadik REJOICES THE MOST over a son who will serve G-d in truth.

So, I hope someone, somewhere, finds the LIGHT of Messiah in this dark world, amidst all those competing for religious attention, whose eyes are off the prize: SALVATION.  We all seem to be to worried about our own comfort, and not the salvation of our own lives, much less those who have not yet heard the TRUTH of Yeshua’s gift.

As one who received that knowledge and that light forty-one years ago, I am truly ‘dedicating’ this ‘house’ of my heart, and rejoicing in the miracle of the OIL of His Ru’akh being given in this DARK TIME.

Ma’oz Tzur, Yeshua-ti ::  What a STRONG ROCK is MY YESHUA!

Khanukah Channukah Chanuka Hanuka Hannukahh Honiekie

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Just like there are many variations on how to spell Khanukah, there are a few variations on when to observe it.

We do not start our observance until tonight.  The reason?  Khanukah is a FIXED-DAY feast, and is celebrated on the 25th day of the NINTH Biblical Khodesh.

Many Messianic people, in fact most, do NOT follow the correct calendar.  They think it is their duty to unify with the Jewish Sages, who rejected Messiah.

For some reason, so many people who SAY they follow Torah, actually follow the Rabbinc community that has DENIED that Yeshua is the Son of G-d.  Just ask ANY writer of Talmud, and they will tell you [if they were alive, but they tell you in their writings] that Yeshua is NOT the Son of G-d!  They now even deny that the Messiah would EVER be “Ben HaAdam,” or “Ben HaElohim”; but they certainly deny that Yeshua, HaNatzri, Ben Yosef, is in fact the Son of G-d.  And yet, so many Messianic people follow THEM!

Sha’ul is largely misunderstood today, as he was back then.  As was Yeshua.  The Rabbinic community THOUGHT Yeshua came to do away with Torah.  His repudiation of them made them THINK He meant to overturn ALL Jewish customs.  Yeshua, however, was even a participant in Khanukah!  BUT, what He did NOT do is MOVE THE FEAST DAYS, just because the Pharisees did!  At that time, they had only moved the Pesakh.  They observed it then, as they do now, on the 15th evening of the fisrt Khodesh, whereas Yeshua, who CLEARLY observed it the day BEFORE the P’rushim did, observed it on the 14th evening of the first Khodesh.  As yet they had not moved Khanukah.  That did not occur until nearly the 7th century AD, when Hillel the 2nd created a Babylonian solar/lunar calendar, versus the lunar Biblical calendar, in order to unify the RABBINIC community, which had rejected Yeshua for more than 500 years.  And today, most of the Messianic community follows them.

We know how ‘lonely’ our Messianic walk can be.  And we know how we are looked down upon by the majority of the Messianic Jewish community because we will not unite with Rabbis.

But, it is a form of hypocrisy, ‘you say and DO NOT DO’, to ‘say’ you follow Messiah, and yet adhere to Rabbinic error, IN MANY, MANY WAYS.

Messianic Jews seem to forget that Yeshua was not ‘in favor’ with the Rabbis.  Neither was Kefa, nor Sha’ul, nor Tzefan-Yah [Steven], or any of the TRUE followers of Messiah, who were NOT AFRAID to break ranks with the ‘majority,’ that had REJECTED the Son of G-d.

Being Jewish DOES NOT SAVE YOU.  Being Jewish DOES NOT MAKE A RABBI correct!  Just because he is Jewish and calls himself “Rabbi,” “My Great One,” clearly seeking a title of his own, more than lifting up Messiah Yeshua, our ONLY RABBI [Matti 23], does NOT mean that he is ‘right.’  Yet so many people who SAY they want to follow Messiah and the Torah more closely, simply trade one set of liars [Constantine and the xtian world] for another [Rabbis who reject Yeshua].

It is clear to me that most people who SAY they do things for the sake of unity, do not want to unify with Messiah Yeshua, who would NEVER move the calendar of His Father, not for Pesakh, and not even for Khanukah, but would rather unify with Rabbis who say they have authority over G-d, to move His feast days, to CHANGE HIS mitzvot, and to negate HIS WILL.

Being a TRUE Messianic person is being one who follows the ONLY RABBI who is ‘certified’ by HEAVEN.  Yeshua HaMashiakh!  Yet, so many look to the Talmud for ‘halakhic rulings,’ in a desire to ‘unify’ with the Jewish community, who have REJECTED THE MESSIAH!  Yokhanan shows us this is ERROR!

“Hereby we know that we are in Him: he who says “I am in Him” ought himself also to walk His halakha.”

Yet most Messianic people walk the Halakha of those who follow Sheker HaMashia’kh, the very spirit that DENIES Messiah Yeshua!

Our take is very simple.  “Peshat” interpretation.  We are truly walking out Yeshua’s Halakha, who would not DARE to move the feasts of Elohim.  He was killed by people who were keeping the Pesakh a full 24 hours late!  They did not recognize Him, the Pesakh Lamb, because He did not DO AS THEY DID.  He did ONLY WHAT HIS FATHER TOLD HIM.  And His Father told Him to observe Pesakh on the 14th evening of the first Khodesh.

To move Khanukah, which is indeed not a commanded feast, but is nonetheless a legitimate, Messianic observance [Yeshua taught a very Messianic theme during the season, Yokhanan 9-11], is to equivocate, and to unify with a community of Jews who are NOT true Jews.  [Rom 2:29]  NOT EVERYONE who has Jewish blood is Jewish! [Rom 2:28]  ONLY those who TRUST IN MESSIAH are actually Jewish, in the eyes of Elohim!  And in the eyes of HIS Messiah!

Messianic people who consciously CHOOSE to walk according to Talmudic ‘law’ versus simply doing what Torah says, the way Yeshua does, are in a very, very dangerous ‘way.’  Yet they ‘trust’ in the comfort of ‘numbers’, versus TRUTH.

So, to those Maccabees who are BRAVE enough to DO WHAT TORAH SAYS, and to STAY THE COURSE of truth: KHAPPY KHANUKAH!  We will start night one TONIGHT, on the actual 25th evening of the ninth month, when the Maccabees actually lit the Menorah for the first time, after the Greeks contaminated His House.

HaDavar is coming! HaDavar is coming!

Boy, do I wish that were a prophecy about Yeshua; and it is, but that is not the purpose of the declaration, in this context…

B'reshtHitgalut

This is the requested update concerning the timing of the publication of “HaDavar יהוה “, the new edition of the sacred Jewish Scriptures of the Tanakh and Brit Khadashah.

The English file is complete, and ready for publication.  The Hebrew file is complete, but as we are hoping to use the best edition of the Hebrew Brit Khadashah [and the only one we are aware of sourced from the Aramaic Peshitta texts], which is still under copyright, we are asking permission from the copyright owner to allow us to put it side by side with our English text in this new publication.  We have been in touch with the copyright holder, and our request is under review as I write this update.  We can only pray that he respects what we have done in the English, and that he is given to helping us get His Davar out into more hands and hearts.

If for any reason we are not permitted to use this version, we are going to go ahead and publish an ENGLISH ONLY edition, while I then begin to translate the Aramaic Peshitta directly myself.  At that point, the full English/Hebrew edition would be released.  I do not know how long that will take, or whether I will further delay my other writing pursuits to do it.  I am praying about that.

Many of you know that I have another novel in the works, and I have delayed that for this project.  Should Abba not sway our friend in Yisra’el to allow us to go forward with the English/Hebrew version, then I have to wrestle with whether or not to delay my own pursuits further.   That is a real struggle for me, as I have many reasons for wanting to finish that other work too.

We have asked for his review to be complete by 03/19.  Whether he will be able to oblige us is unknown at this point.  But, should he delay further, and simply ask for more time to review our material and request, we’d be happy to oblige.

I am beginning to be of the mind to just go ahead and publish the ENGLISH ONLY version while we await his decision.  But I still pray earnestly about that.

It would cost MANY THOUSANDS of dollars to publish it ourselves.  On-demand presses cannot handle the size of the two-language version.  If anyone is aware of a publisher who might be interested in fronting the cost for this work, please send them my information!  I’ve thought of contacting “Messianic” publishers, but their dogma would stand in the way of this work, I’m afraid.  Other major Bible publishers do not have my respect.  As usual, we walk a very narrow road, up hill.

If a decision is made to self-publish the English version, I will notify everyone as soon as possible of that.

Please continue to pray that Abba keeps His hand in this project, and it goes exactly as HE planned, large or small, as it has every step of the way up to this point. I truly believe He has afforded me the opportunity to make this a very worthy rendering of His Word into English.

A Spoonful of Sugar!

Sufganiyot1

This time of year is great for me.

Last Friday was my ‘Hebrew Birthday,’ the 14th day of the 9th “Khodesh,” or renewed crescent cycle, the ‘biblical month.’  I was the only one who ‘celebrated’ it, as I was the only one really aware of the disparity in the dates.

Next week is my ‘gregorian’ birthday, when most of the celebrating of my making it through another year is done.  But, also next week, on Monday night, Khanukah begins.  We will celebrate the conception of Messiah Yeshua, the Jewish defeat of Greeks and their imposition of greek culture and language, through oppression, and the Miracle of Oil for the Menorah and the Dedication of His House.  We will eat TONS of fried food, some of my favorite foods altogether, for EIGHT NIGHTS.  These are the things that make this time of year wonderful for me.

But, sometimes, over the last fifteen or so years, there is a bit of contrast with all the celebrating we attempt.  Because many, who ‘knew’ me before I turned to begin to do His Torah the way Yeshua does, do not understand why I no longer participate in that other holiday, you know, the one EVERYONE knows about, that the whole world ‘celebrates’?  Yeah, that one.

And periodically I have chosen to attempt to explain my reasons.  But, as a very upfront, even blunt person, I have simply stated facts, in my view, and have lost ‘friends’ over this very thing.  And I don’t think it is anything that should drive anyone out of my life, even if that relationship is only digital in this space-time continuum.

So, before I try to summarize things, I want to say this: I do NOT hold anyone in derision for celebrating christmas, or any other holiday.  Before I began to walk His Walk, I also celebrated it.  And as much zeal and affection as the most avid celebrants have for it, I also had, to the point of having written a very beautiful hymn about it while on board a U.S. Ballistic Missile Submarine during the season, some thirty-one years ago.

Did I ‘turn my back’ on Yeshua?  Of course not!  I turned more fully toward Him.

I always knew He is Jewish.  And I always suspected I was, even before I knew for certain how much Jewish blood is actually in my veins.  But, it was not about ‘becoming Jewish’ that caused me to turn away from this widespread holiday.  It was about seeking TRUTH. [I emphasize, I do not yell.  Here, my stubborn nature emerges, as I refuse to bend to the new convention].

Most people know Yeshua could not be born on Dec 25.  But, as a student of History [and eventually a Historian, an M.A. in History], I cannot overlook plain and simple facts.

No shepherds guard their flocks at night in the very dead of winter.  Anywhere.  Beit Lekhem is cold and grassless on Dec 25.

This simple fact alone gave me pause. It didn’t make sense.

But, further study of scripture itself revealed SO MUCH OTHER information concerning the timing of Yeshua’s conception and birth.

I am only summarizing, for brevity’s sake, but the scriptures are rife with facts, clues, and overtones that make all this very, very plain to me.

First, the birth of Yokhanan HaMatbil is directly related to Yeshua’s birth.  He was conceived exactly six months before Yeshua was conceived, and therefore we deduce rightly that he was born exactly six months before Yeshua.

We have some very key timing information concerning Yokhanan’s conception.  His father was a Kohen, serving in the Beit HaElohim when he saw the Messenger, who told him his wife would conceive and bear a son.  We are told the timing of his cycle of duty, by our learning his father was a Kohen in the order of Avi-Yah.  This is the EIGHTH course of the priestly courses established by King David in the books of Chronicles.  This puts him in the temple in June [Gregorian timing, for ease of understanding; I will refrain from confusing people with the biblical months in this post].  This means that Yokhanan was born during Passover, in March, and since Yeshua is born exactly six months later, He is born on the 1st of Sukkot, in late September.  Due to the biblical calendar, these dates float/change on our Gregorian calendar.  But, they are always the same on the Biblical Calendar: the 14th  of Khodesh 1 and the 15th of Khodesh 7.

Yeshua was born during Sukkot, which most know as ‘tabernacles.’  He ‘tabernacled’ among us, many say.

Since he was born at that time, based on facts of Scripture, we can see hints and overtones as well that affirm it.

The “Light of the World” is lit in the Beit HaElohim only during sukkot.  It is lit in the court of the women.  It is ‘high’ above the walls of the “House”, and can be seen from Beit Lekhem.   Miryam was a virgin, giving birth to the Light of the World, without the help of a man.  Sukkot is “The Season of Our Joy!”  And is the most exuberantly celebrated of all the seven feasts of G-d.  It is also the only feast to which all the nations of the world are invited, and in which offerings are made for all the nations.  “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy, which will be to the entire world. For this day is born to you in the city of David [Beit Lekhem], a Moshiah, who is יהוה HaMashi’akh.”  The light of the world, which was shining over the shepherds, is lit before sundown, and the Kohanim used ‘swaddling’ to make the torches in order to light those huge lights; ‘swaddling’ was strips of cloth used on the ends of torches; the kohahim made them from the old robes of the Kohanim.  But, all torches had ‘swaddling’ on the ends of them to hold the oil that creates the fire.  And thereby the light.   “And this is a sign for you: you will find the babe wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a sukka.”   So, the torch cloths would be wrapped around the “Light of the World”, who would be lying in a Sukka.  A Sukka is a booth that all Jews built in order properly to celebrate Sukkot.  The Jews built ‘booths’ in the desert in which to live during their wanderings.  The Sukka commemorates that time.  This is the time during which a great pillar of fire ‘lit up’ and warmed the Jewish people for forty years; the very Presence of יהוה .  Yeshua was placed in a sukka, because there was no room for them in any ‘inn’.  This is NOT because of the tax…  The Jews were given over a year to pay that tax; they did not all do it at once.  Yosef used the timing of Sukkot in order to go from Natzrat to Beit Lekhem to pay his tax, but ALSO to keep the feast!  Sukkot is a feast that all Jewish men must make pilgrimage to Jerusalem for.  He was killing two birds with one stone. Beit Lekhem is walking distance to Jerusalem.  Sukkot is seen throughout the Prophets as the time of the Shalom of יהוה on earth.  [Zekh 14, and other places].  “And suddenly there appeared with the Malakh a host of heaven, praising Elohim and saying,  “Glory to Elohim in the highest, and on earth Shalom, and good hope for the sons of men.”

So, with this information, [and more, but time does not permit] I was convinced that Yeshua’s birth COULD NOT happen in mid-winter.  As a historian, and a literalist, based on that information alone, I could no longer celebrate His birth on the wrong day.  Also as a historian, I wanted to learn ‘why’ did they pick that day?

I’ve given you the sugar.  Now here’s the medicine.  I hope you don’t throw up, or kick the nurse.

December 25th was and is the universal pagan day of celebrating the birth of the sun-god, whose ‘father’ is married to the second part of a trinity, a female goddess, and they copulate in the spring, and give birth to the ‘inconquerable sun’ on dec25. The three deities in this trinity go by different names in the many cultures that celebrate it. To celebrate, the pagans slew babies under evergreen trees.  They died eggs in their blood and hunted for them during the spring Equinox, to create the fertility necessary for the December births, to keep the cycle of fertility going.  The spring day is the day of Ishtar.  It only very rarely coincides with the actual Passover.  During Roman times, in their version of this pagan, winter season, for twelve days, they celebrated with fertility rituals [sexual deviance], giving gifts, drunkenness, and persecuting/killing Jews.  The most heinous rites were common among all pagan communities, though they went by different names.  EVERY ancient western and near-eastern society participated in this, including Israel in their time of disobedience.  These rites are seen condemned by the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.  By the time of Yeshua, Israel had been purged of these rites, through great suffering in the form of punishment from G-d: conquered by foreign armies, starvation, slavery, expulsion from the land, and more.  Khanukah actually celebrates being freed from having these rites again forced on the Jews.

And that is the main reason I re-write this explanation this year.

I do NOT set myself up as one who would infringe your right to celebrate your holiday.  Neither to greet someone with whatever greeting you wish.  You are indeed free to do whatever you want.

But, I ask for mutual respect of my right NOT to celebrate it, and TO celebrate Khanukah, and my desire not to be wished well on a day or for a day that holds no value to me whatsoever, but in fact is offensive to me.  It is being portrayed as the day of Yeshua’s birth: it is NOT the day of His birth, and facts prove that.  And, even those who say they are celebrating His birth are blending that celebration with rites of pagans who did the most abominable things with those rites.  Most people do so in their ignorance.  And I certainly am alert and judicious enough to know that NO ONE that I know would advocate the slaughter of babies under evergreen trees; but, I cannot commemorate it, even with a hint.  Never mind the facts that led me away from it in the first place; now I loathe to see a tree.  For my own reasons. Especially since so many babies die every day in this country, and no one blinks.  But, many, who now know the information, persist in perpetuating the abominations that יהוה Himself speaks against.  Some may choose to equivocate, and say that “Jesus is God” but then deny that He said NOT to do those things, when G-d said:

“You shall surely destroy all the places, wherein the nations that you are to dispossess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every evergreen tree. [The Kananite version is Molekh and Asherah] And you shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their Asherim with fire; and you shall hew down the graven images of their gods; and you shall destroy their name out of that place. You shall not do so unto יהוה your Elohim.”

Israel went into the land, and was to purge it of peoples who celebrated these pagan fertility rites.  They did not completely rid the land of those peoples, and those rites, and they ended up celebrating them themselves.  The same is true of America.  The original founders made this holiday ILLEGAL, in every colony.  It remained so until the 1840s; but then, people started giving in, and now the season practically consumes 95% of the population for a whole quarter-year.  It’s so very disappointing.

Do yourself a favor: LOOK FOR THE MESSIAH in it?  How prevalent is HE in the rites and celebrations?

His birth was indeed a momentous event; but, the MIRACLE of it happened at Khanukah.   Which happened to fall on the 25th day of the ninth month, which coincided with the tenth month of rome [deca-ember], our Gregorian 12th month.  Yeshua was CONCEIVED at this time of year: the ‘candle’ of the Light of the world was stoked by the Ru’akh causing Miryam to conceive at this time.

If anything has pricked your heart, I ask you to consider it prayerfully.  Again, everyone is indeed FREE to do what they will. Everyone is also free to reject G-d and His Truth, but that does not mean that He wants them to.  I believe what I believe with my whole heart, and I pray for all of you to come into His Truth.  I do see this as error against His Word. And I do believe it needs to be corrected by HIS PEOPLE,  AGAIN!

Now, for some more sugar.

If I did not love people, I would not risk losing their friendship/approval for telling them these things.

This is the last I will think of that other holiday this year.  I am so looking forward to Khanukah.  The purity of it, symbolized in the oil, is such a balm against what I know about what everyone else is doing, and the sadness it would otherwise bring me.  I KNOW that HE is calling HIS PEOPLE out of these behaviors, as HE does in EVERY GENERATION.  I just pray that those I love respond.  Soon.

“You therefore, my beloved, seeing that you know these things beforehand, beware, lest you follow the error of those without Torah, and fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in compassion and in the knowledge of Adoneinu and Moshi’einu, Yeshua HaMashi’akh, and of Elohim HaAv. To Him be glory both now and forever, and through all eternity. Amein.”

 

http://www.battzion.org/resources/glossary/