Still Celebrating!

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(Yuri leading us in worship at our study center.)

Today is Hoshana Rabba, which is the seventh (final) day of Sukkot.  Tomorrow is Shemini Atzeret, which is a separate holiday, and therefore we no longer sit in the Sukkah.  In English, we know this holiday as the Eighth Day Assembly.  You can read about this in Leviticus 23:36, 39.  We read that on this day we should have a holy convocation, we should not do any work (it is a Yom Tov) and that it is a holy assembly.

Within Israel, we combine Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah into a one day celebration.  In the Diaspora (outside of Israel), it is a two day holiday.  The first day Shemini Atzeret is celebrated and then the second day, Simchat Torah is celebrated.  Simchat Torah is not a Biblical holiday.  Simchat Torah ends and begins the annual Torah reading cycle.

Outside of of Israel, the Torah reading for Shemini Atzeret is Deut. 14:22-16:17.  On Simchat Torah, they read V’Zot HaBracha and Genesis 1:1-2:3.  In Israel, we read on Shemini Atzeret what is read outside of Israel on Simchat Torah.

Recently, Baruch has taught twice at a newly forming congregation in our city.  Two men from our study center have begun this weekly meeting,  which is growing.  Many of attendees are not believers (yet).  Please pray for them as the hear the Word.  Baruch has gone a couple of times during these Fall Holidays to teach them about the holidays and to begin laying a foundation for this new work.  We are so glad to be of help.

Last night we had a great study during our Live Stream.  We studied Acts 10.  This passage is frequently misunderstood.  Here is a link to the study, which also includes an explanation about Shemini Atzeret.

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Shabbat Shalom!

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A sukkah in the parking lot.  Ashdod, Israel.

Yesterday Baruch and I went to Jerusalem, where we had a few meetings.  I was hoping to capture some photos of elaborate sukkahs, but it was very crowded and I didn’t really have the opportunity to walk through neighborhoods.  As this is one of the three holidays where it is commanded to go up to Jerusalem, the city is the epicenter for Jewish people around the world to visit at this time.

This was also the day that the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem held their yearly Jerusalem March.  Each year, people from all over the world come to march in solidarity with Israel.  These are primarily Gentiles who want to show their love and support for the people here.  It is quite a testimony and it is appreciated by a large segment of Israelis.  People carry flags from their own country to give out as well as candy for the children along the way.  It is very encouraging to see so many Charedi families come out to the event.

Please find below a short commentary below by Baruch for this week’s Torah reading, which is Chol HaMoed Sukkot.

Although there are many aspects to the Feast of Tabernacles, a primary one is to demonstrate dependence upon HaShem. This was the major lesson that G-d wanted to teach the people during the forty years in the wilderness. It was very clear that the faithless generation died in the wilderness and only those who trusted in the redeeming G-d entered into the Promise Land. When Israel did not demonstrate this faith and dependence upon G-d, the people went into exile. Despite what some teach today, exile did not end Israel’s relationship with HaShem; rather it was for the purpose of healing this relationship and maturing Israel to become G-d’s faithful servants.

A very critical chapter in the New Covenant is John 6. This chapter contains some of Yeshua’s most difficult teachings— the type of teachings that require a great amount of faith and dependence upon G-d. It is not a coincidence that in this section Yeshua spoke about Israel’s time in the wilderness. Yeshua taught about the Manna and how without it Israel would not have survived. Yeshua compares Himself to this Manna and that in the same way it was absolutely necessary to partake of the Manna to live, so too must one receive Yeshua to find life in the Kingdom.

It is very significant that in this chapter when Yeshua speaks about receiving Him, He says,

‘Amen Amem I say to you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life in you.” John 6:53

Please notice the emphasis on the word eat. This is not the common Biblical word for eating; rather, it relates more to an animal eating. According to Jewish culture, eating is more in regard to fellowship, while animals eat because of the necessity to survive. Yeshua chose this Biblical word to teach that without receiving Him one will not survive spiritually (or physically).

The Children of Israel observed the Feast of Tabernacles to remember their dependence upon G-d. Why not celebrate this Festival remembering the True Manna, the Bread of Life, Yeshua the Messiah and our absolute need to trust Him and depend upon Him for all things.

Our Spanish and Dutch Websites

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We have some great volunteers at LoveIsrael.org!  There are people behind the scenes who give of their time and talents to further the Kingdom through this ministry.

Our coordinators in the Netherlands, Dirk and Theresa, have been managing the Love Israel Dutch website for a few years now.  Our Spanish coordinator, Jose, built and now manages the new Spanish website which is now available.

We are very happy to announce that both of these websites are now linked to our main [English] LoveIsrael.org website  and we hope that this will bring more viewership to these specialized websites.  Won’t you promote them on your Facebook page and to friends and family who may benefit from them?  It is not only important to provide resources in different languages, but we need to work to promote their availability.

Midnight From Jerusalem

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Have you been joining us for our weekly Live From Jerusalem broadcast?  We are currently going through the book of Acts.  We broadcast LIVE at Midnight Jerusalem time, which is 5 pm Eastern time, USA, etc.  If you log into Youtube, you can join several of us who are watching it together.  Or you can join us on Facebook, the LoveIsrael.org website or BibleStudyCompany.com.

If you will subscribe to the LoveIsrael.org YouTube channel, you will get notifications when new videos are posted and also notification when the Live Stream is beginning each week.

Please join us!

Happy Sukkot! Chag Sukkot Sameach!

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May your Sukkah be filled with love and joy as you celebrate your dependence upon G-d.

Leviticus 23:33-44 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)

33 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord. 35 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. 36 For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred[a] assembly, andyou shall do no customary work on it.

37 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the Lord, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day— 38 besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the Lord.

39 ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest. 40 And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the [b]fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in [c]booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.’ ”

44 So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.

May I suggest also reading Nehemiah 8 tonight or tomorrow.

Chag Sameach!

“Political Trends and the End Times”

 

I want to encourage you to subscribe to the LoveIsrael.org channel on Youtube.  You will then be notified when new videos are uploaded!

We now have 5 videos from our LoveIsrael.org conference in San Diego on our Youtube channel.  I received many emails asking if this conference would be videotaped and we really appreciate the host arranging for the taping.  Please encourage your friends to subscribe so that they won’t miss out either!

Shabbat Shalom! Parashat Ha’azinu

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Here is a brief commentary by Baruch on this week’s Torah Portion–Ha’azinu.  Shabbat Shalom!

This week’s Torah portion contains statements about Israel’s history and information concerning Israel’s future. Even though many different subjects are addressed, there is a hint of a consistent principle that is present throughout Israel’s existence. This principle is the distinctiveness between male and female. Going all the way back to Genesis chapter one it is stated that HaShem created man, male and female He created them. The point is that the Torah clearly makes a difference between male and female and does not simply lump the two sexes together.

Today, it is more and more politically incorrect to make any distinction between the sexes. This is simply a small example of how Biblical truth is under attack by society today. In this week’s parashah one reads,

From the outside, a sword will bereave (the word denotes the sorrow from losing a child) and from the rooms (meaning the inside) is terror; also the young man- also the young woman (virgin); the nursing child with the gray hair man.”

Deuteronomy 32:25

This verse speaks of a dire situation where if one departs from the house he will die in battle, but the situation inside is not much better as terror seizes all those within. In speaking about those inside, the grammar is significantly different. When speaking about the young man and the virgin (a word that describes a young woman who is unmarried and therefore assumed to be a virgin), the Hebrew uses the same word to introduce the two (also). However, in the next section when discussing not the two sexes, but the young and the old, instead of introducing the young and old with the same word, there is another word (with) used between the two categories which actually serves to unite the two.

This same principle is also seen in Psalm 148 which has a similar phrase,

Young men and also virgins, old men with youths.” Psalm 148:12

Once again Scripture makes a distinction between the sexes in order to teach that there are differences between males and females which must be maintained. It is when these differences are ignored that the very foundations of society are challenged and decay is sure to follow. As believers in the New Covenant we should be aware that there are clear roles for men and women and positions in the local congregation which women are not to hold. Although these differences are becoming more and more ignored, G-d blesses those individuals and those congregations that hold to His Word without compromise.