Open Letter to U.S. Governors

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Dear Governor,

I write because you represent the people of your state.  Your duty is to protect the lives of those people.  Their location should not matter, as long as their corpus is within the boundaries of your state.  I believe that deep down, you should understand this.  You did not get elected because you are ignorant, nor a fool.

In our country, there is one state that has chosen to defy human decency and common sense.  That state is New York.  In all likelihood, your state does some sort of business/commerce with New York.  That exchange should cease, until New York changes its new stance on killing newborn babies.  One of the first declarations of our rights in our founding documents is the declaration that every citizen has a right to LIFE.  That’s the FIRST one.  Because it is very basic.  When a state chooses to kill, or to sanction the killing of American lives, it is violating our Constitution in the most egregious way.

New York has chosen not to protect the lives of its citizens.  They have determined that the rest of America does not understand the very basic definition of “life” or “human being.”  Just for clarity, we [humans] define life this way: “the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.”  We define the human being as “a man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance.”  Lest one equivocate over the human infant’s capacity to reproduce, speak, or stand upright, no one doubts that given the chance to exercise its capacity to GROW, he will also eventually stand upright, speak, and have the capacity to reproduce.  Your reading this is itself proof of that premise.  Further, our federal government has chosen to protect the American Bald and Golden Eagles, to the extent that we protect the EGG as if it were an Eagle.  Are we NOT to apply the same logic to the HUMAN, who is simply removed from the potential place of death by a mere few inches?  Or worse, one who simply has not taken his first breath?  Do you not see the hypocrisy?

I come to you as a citizen.  I plead with you, and with your whole state government: speak out about this heinous new law that New York has just instated.  Call Governor Cuomo and reprimand him for his inhuman act of signing that bill into law.  Sanction that state for NOT PROTECTING ITS CITIZENS.

What is to stop a mother from simply killing a baby that is a day old, a week old, a month old?  Do you not, seriously, see the slippery slope this country is on since Roe V. Wade?

Do not think for a moment that a callous, hardened heart will somehow escape the reward of approving of, condoning, celebrating, or even ‘tolerating’ such thought.  Whether you believe in a G-d or not, most of us in America do.  And our Creator, mentioned in our Declaration of Independence, hates this new law, and I state that with absolute confidence. Not because I think myself a prophet, or better than any other man, but because the scriptures upon which our laws were founded, whether you’ve denied that fact or not, state: “There are six things which יהוה hates, yes, seven which are an abomination unto Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood…”  He clearly believes that the person who is residing in the womb of his mother IS a person.  He told the prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the belly I knew you, and before you came forth out of the womb I set you apart…”  The prophet, John the Immerser, leaped in the womb, when he sensed the presence of the Messiah in his cousin’s womb.  How dare anyone think to take the life of an infant, simply because he has not breathed his first breath. He is partaking of his mother’s LIFE while he is in the womb.  He is a person.  Ask any mother or father in this country whether they would have grieved at the loss of their child, before or after his birth.   Do NOT harden your heart to these infant citizens.

I am, along with as many as I can persuade, demanding that you and all U.S. state governors SANCTION the state of New York, and speak about the atrocity that is this new law, and rail against the murder of American Citizens, born and unborn.  If we do not, then eventually, simply passing through any door, real or imagined, will be cause enough for the death of any of us.  This wicked, perverted, heinous line of thought must be extinguished.  If it is not, this country will perish.  Mark these words.

Sincerely,

Daniel W. Crouch

Concerned American Citizen

[Feel FREE to copy and mail in.  Being mailed via post to all 49 other governors. Gov. Cuomo will get his own, personal letter soon]

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Have you considered my servant, Iyov?

…that there is none like him in the earth, a pure and an upright man, one that fears Elohim, and shuns evil?

Was taking my brief, mid-day walk, and praying for people who I know are going through things.  I relied on my having been through similar things, in order hopefully to pray aright for them.  Some that I had in mind are dealing with life-long sin issues, things from which they feel they cannot be free.  Some are dealing with substances that control them.  Some, near poverty circumstances.  Some, ill temperament due to personal circumstances and dealing with other people.  I petitioned Abba, not asking ‘why’, but wondering, ‘will they ever truly be free’?  Is it possible that You will, some day, deliver them.  Most of these folks already trust that Yeshua is the Son of G-d.  Some even give themselves over heartily to worship, and to fellowship, and to keep His appointed times [and not those of men who claim to speak for Him].  Yet, they suffer.

Then, the images of children born with disabilities, extreme disabilities, went through my mind.  It always breaks my heart to hear of children born without limbs, born disfigured, born without the capacity to think and interact with the world around them.  Why them?  Some of that, much of it probably, is likely because mankind has taken to embrace behaviors and substances inordinately, or behaviors and substances that G-d clearly directs us to stay away from, and as such, we, collectively, have begun to make being born without defect a bit of a crap shoot.  But, is being born in that condition worse than not being born?

Iyov, Job, came to the place where he began to rue the day he was born.  But, was that right?  G-d finally told him, “Can you thunder with a voice like mine?  Do you have an arm like mine?”  In other words, like Sha’ul said, “Who are you, O man, to talk back to G-d?”

In Iyov’s case, he was innocent.  He was not born with any condition whatsoever, no apparent hindrance in life.  He had succeeded, having great wealth, a beautiful, large family and a loving wife.  And Elohim allowed all of that to be taken from him, finally, all the way down even to His own health and complexion.  He became disgusting to every other human, and only three people deigned to speak to him, and all they did was lecture him about how unrighteous he was.

Yeshua spoke of the man born blind, as the folks around him wondered if he had sinned, or had his parents sinned, and this is why he was born blind.  Yeshua taught that it was neither, but that he was born in order to bring G-d glory.  We all assume the ‘glory’ that G-d got was when Yeshua gave the man back his sight.  But was that the ‘glorious’ part of this man’s existence?  Or was it, by chance, the ‘way’ the man went through his life as a blind man, and gaining his sight was simply the reward.  After all, Iyov went through what he went through with great composure.  And he continued to trust in and love G-d, in spite of his circumstances.

As I pondered these things, reflecting on many of those I love who suffer, I realized, Iyov was ‘chosen’ for that purpose.  It was the will of G-d that he suffer.  Should it matter whether that suffering is done from birth, or later in life?  Might Iyov have been grateful for all those years of health and bounty, while he went through lack and sickness?  Might he have been a rare bird, and really learned how compassionate יהוה  is, in appreciation for all those blessings, knowing from where they came?  It appears so to me.

Then, it dawned on me.  Iyov is the root word of ‘enemy’/’hated’.  The man who was like NO OTHER MAN on the earth, feared G-d, shunned evil, pure, and upright, his very name meant ‘hated one’.  The bi-line above reads, “Have you considered my servant, Iyov?”  Have you?  G-d asked that question of HaSatan, the ‘Adversary,’ the one meant to bring us trouble.  And we can rest assured, that at the beginning of every evil issue of life that we deal with is this ‘adversary,’ this embodiment of perdition.  If we are marked to be the children of Elohim, and have trusted in His Son Yeshua, then you can bet, your name could be placed in the question?  “Have you considered my servant, the hated one?”  The ‘world’ hates us.  Is it possible that in his day, Iyov was the “Enemy” of HaSatan, because he was so ‘different’ than the rest of mankind?  That appears to be born out in his discourse with G-d!

Is it possible then, that G-d, who knows the end from the beginning, ‘allows’ His upright ones, those He marked with His seal, to be ‘buffeted’ by the adversary, to show His Kavod to ‘the adversary.’  Is it possible that G-d, then is ‘proud’ of you?  Knowing that you have what it takes inside of you to endure whatever the hardship is?  Because He put it there [light].  Isn’t that exactly what Yokhanan said when he started his account of the B’sorah?  “And the light shined into the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it.”   Might that be why in Matti, when Yeshua began to teach the Torah, that He says, “You are indeed the light of the world; a city that is built upon a mountain cannot be hidden. [they do not] light a Menorah and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, so it gives light to all who are in the house.  So let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and glorify Avikhem [your father, plural ‘your’] in Heaven.”  The person who keeps the Torah is indeed ‘Iyov” to anything born of darkness.  Sickness, disease, affliction, perversion, dependency, conflict, hate, oppression, all of these things are born of darkness, and all of His children are subject to them.  The question is, how do we ‘bear up’ under them.  Do we remain faithful to G-d, as did Iyov?  If we truly are the ‘enemy’ of darkness, then we will.  And G-d KNOWS that.

He did not come to make us all strong.  He came to the weak, to confound the strong.  He came to the simple to confound the wise.  He came to the sick to confound those who are well.  He gives us of His strength, over, and over, and over again, as long as we are willing to fight.  “But we are not among those who shrink back.”

The man born blind, indeed, did receive his sight.  But, look how long he’d been blind.  Not everyone gets healed.  But, everyone who loves G-d and is consecrated from this world DOES glorify G-d, simply by continuing to be obedient, and to trust Him, and not to complain at whatever human ailment afflicts us, but finds His way to the merciful Elohim in spite of it.

Be Iyov.  Today, and every day, if need be.  Until HE is done getting glory from you.  Does He not deserve it?

Brotherhood of Messianic Peshitta Congregations!

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Shalom!

We are going to form a fellowship [brotherhood] of Messianic Peshitta Congregations.

Some years back, when my wife and family and I first moved to the Houston area, we were a bit alone in the faith.  We were frustrated after having joined ourselves to two congregations, both of which were full of discord and sin [at the highest levels].  I’m not talking ordinary, every-day sin, such that we all commit, but those sins that are not supposed to be present in the Body of Messiah for very long [Gal 5, 1 Cor 5-6].  We bowed out quietly and began just to pray.

During that time, in both those congregations, we were already keeping His Sabbath, and the feasts, but there was no local congregation close enough to warrant going each week for fellowship and assembly.  A friend from back home called one day, and I was telling him my frustration and spiritual ‘loneliness,’ but while I was telling him, I said, “I can’t find any real brothers, so I’m going to go out and make some…!”  He said, somewhat ‘prophetically,’ “Now you’re talking like your Father.”

For the last few years, as others have moved in, and as our congregants have travelled or moved away, and have looked for similar fellowship, we have found it difficult to find.  So, the same ‘unction’ came upon us, “We are going to make brothers.”  Are we not given similar power of ‘creation,’ and is not the B’sorah a life-giving event?

We know, by those who have communicated with us from remotest parts, that there is a need out there for help in establishing Messianic Congregations, especially those that differ from ‘mainstream,’ in regard to following the UNBELIEVING Rabbis who reject Yeshua, versus the Scriptures.  That is why we [Congregation Bat-Tzion] and our ‘affiliates’ who are remote, have begun to call ourselves “Messianic Peshitta Jews,” meaning we follow the PLAIN MEANING of the Text, and Yeshua ALONE is our Rabbi.  We happen also to use the Aramaic Peshitta texts as our primary source scriptures for the Brit Khadashah.  So, the name fits very well.

We have been working on liturgy that will help congregations get there feet on the ground a whole lot more quickly.   A Siddur for orderly Shabbat worship, a Madrikh for lifecycle events, a Haggadah for a Messianic Pesakh Seder, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Curriculum/Systematic Theology, a Megilah for a Messianic Purim celebration [about to publish], and finally “HaDavar”, an English translation of the Hebrew Masoretic text of the Tanakh and the Aramaic Peshitta text of the Brit Khadashah.  All of these will be available soon for public consumption.  And then, we will begin to help others form and shore up their Messianic Peshitta congregations.  Look for details soon, an upcoming website, that will help simply to develop fellowship, make each other aware of our existence, share our struggles, and pray for and support one another, as is fitting for the Body of Messiah.

Be in prayer about this, Bat-Tzion, and for those who ‘feel’ alone in the faith.  You are NOT!

Shalom!

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.

A Spoonful of Sugar!

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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/