Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Today and tomorrow have been set aside to honor Yom Kippur, and day of commanded fasting. I’m not writing anything original. I thought you might like to read the article recently printed in the Tikkun America RESTORE magazine. Here it is…
Toward A Deeper Understanding Of The Fall Feasts Of The Lord
by Rabbi H Michael Weiner
Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot are upon us. There is so much misunderstanding concerning these fall feasts both in the larger Jewish community and in the much narrower Messianic Jewish community. Most holidays celebrate or memorialize some historical event, something that has already happened. For example…Peach, Chanukah, Purim, even Shavuot all celebrate past history. However; these commanded memorials and celebrations in the fall of each year are intended to honor events yet to take place. Nevertheless, God commands and we obey.
The Bible uses the term Yom Teruah (the day of the shout) for what we call Rosh Hashanah (the head of the year). But what is the shout about? Why do we sound the shofar? The shofar is sounded to announce the coronation of the King. Psalm 47:2 Clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of joy! 3 For Adonai Elyon is awesome, a great King over all the earth…. 6 God is gone up amidst shouting, Adonai amidst the sound of the shofar.
Ten days later is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is also known by another name, Yom HaDin, the Day of Judgment. This is promised in Psalm 96. Psalm 96:12b Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy—13 before Adonai, for He is coming! For He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples in His faithfulness. But as followers of Yeshua, we have passed out of judgment. So we observe the holiday by interceding for our people who need to know the Jewish Messiah.
Four days after Yom Kippur, we start an 8 day celebration of Sukkot (except the 8th day is not actually Sukkot, but an added day called Shemini Atzeret, meaning eighth day celebration. Zechariah saw that day clearly when he wrote at the end of his prophetic book… Zechariah 14:9 Adonai will then be King over all the earth. In that day Adonai will be Echad and His Name Echad.
What events are there (in God’s plan for the world) which have not yet taken place? Let’s start by reviewing what has already happened. Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of time came, God sent out His Son, born of a woman and born under law— 5 to free those under law, so we might receive adoption as sons.
Yes, Passover, First Fruits and Shavuot (the spring feasts) all commemorate the events of Yeshua’s first coming. Now, we advance 6 months, in the fall of the year, God commands us to memorialize the second coming, which is soon, but not yet.
In the Talmud, the majority of the rabbis arrive at a false conclusion. They contemplate these two seasons with an understanding of their connection two different messiahs, Mashiach ben Joseph (the Suffering Servant) who comes in the spring and Mashiach ben David (the Reigning King), who comes in the fall. In the dialogue provided in the Talmud, one rabbi suggests, “What if these two Messiahs are really only One Messiah Who comes twice?” He got it right, but sadly, the majority voted him down.
To support their point of view, the rabbis recognize that these two Messiahs are even from different tribes. Mashiach, the Son of Joseph is from the tribe of Ephraim, while Mashiach, the Son of David is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Yet the Shema declares the oneness of God. It caused Maimonides such a “headache” that he refused to even mention Mashiach ben Joseph in his writings. Of course, this is not an issue for God, Who is in the loins of father Abraham, then Isaac, then Jacob.
All of history is summarized in three consecutive Psalms, Psalm 22, Psalm 23 and Psalm 24. They form a trilogy. Psalm 22 is all about the suffering servant of Passover. It starts with Yeshua’s words from the cross, spoken on the eve of Pesach. Psalm 22:2a My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Psalm 23 is all about the present ministry of Yeshua. Psalm 23:1b Adonai is my shepherd. Psalm 24 is about the future. Psalm 24:7 Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, you everlasting doors: that the King of glory may come in.
The meaning of Sukkot is captured in the use of the Lulav and the Etrog, known as the four species. They are waved before the Lord throughout the holiday. We are very familiar with 3 as representing Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These 3 are symbolized by the three types branches in the Lulav. The palm is tall and straight, representing God the Father. The willow is bent over representing Yeshua’s humility. The myrtle has leaves that look like lips representing the kisses of the Holy Spirit.
Then there is the Etrog which is chosen because it is the size and shape of the human heart. These four are held together on Sukkot and waived before the Lord as we recognize His promise to make us one with Him. My prayer is that we will all celebrate God’s appointed feast days with “Cavenah,” Hebrew for “intentionality.” May we all enjoy a sweet new year, a great day of intercession on Yom Kippur and the fullness of Sukkot when we are commanded to be joyful.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Wed 05-Oct-2022 10th of Tishrei, 5783 Yom Kippur
Lev 16, Nu 29:7-11, Isa 57:14-58:14, Lev 18 (PM), Book of Jonah 1-4 (PM), Mic 7:18-20 (PM) Jas 4:1-12, 2 Pe 3:9-14 (PM)
Memory Verse: 1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
201 10/3 Monday: 1 Thessalonians 3-5
202 10/4 Tuesday: 2 Thessalonians 1-3
203 10/5 Wednesday: Acts 18:18-19:41
204 10/6 Thursday: 1 Corinthians 1-2
205 10/7 Friday: 1 Corinthians 3-4