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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Greenberg

Understanding the Jewish Holidays: Living Rhythmically with God

Celebrating Shabbat with your family during the High Holy Days – From Rosh Hashana all the way to Simchat Torah is a glorious and exhausting season. And much like the end of summer into the new school year, or from the Day after Thanksgiving to the American New Year, it includes plenty of family gatherings, food and decorating.  

God-Ordained Rhythms and Cycles

When God created the earth and set the heavens in place, He put order to chaos and gave us appointed seasons to rejuvenate us and refresh us. We are eternal beings, yet we live inside time and that is the challenge. We need daily routines, weekly respite, monthly cycles, and yearly reflection. This is what balances our current reality with what the Bible assures us – that God has set eternal things in the hearts of men.

Simplifying the Biblical Feasts

In living a Messianic Jewish lifestyle, I have learned to be content thinking of the seven Biblical feasts in Leviticus 23 in a very oversimplified and genuinely reverent way.

The Fall Feasts: Attention, Reflection, and Thanksgiving The Spring Feasts: Forgiveness, Resurrection, and Hope Weekly Shabbat: Shalom in your Home Monthly Observance: Rosh Chodesh – a new month

This yearly cycle has hundreds of songs and prayers and recipes and codes of conduct that are unique to each faith community. A lot of these are available on our new TLV Bible App to learn and sing-a-long with. These important rituals and services unite us as a global people that follow the God of Israel. Remember also, that these appointed times give height, breadth, and depth to our faith journey in Messiah, Yeshua!

With every passing year, amidst the bustle of putting these holidays together, our lives march on. Our children grow, our parents age, we pray for strength in the trials and we celebrate the joys of new life. God is in the room with us. He is watching us laugh and sing and argue over temporal things like whether your pie really is better than Grandma’s used to be. Whatever season it may be, I pray that you find joy in it! •

Introducing The Family Altar Initiative

The Tree of Life Bible Society is building 700 Family Altars in homes across the United States of America by Thanksgiving 2019.

That is 700 families making the decision to love God and love one another.

Since 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first President to declare the week of Thanksgiving as National Bible Week. At the time, the National Bible Association read passages on the air as NBC between radio broadcasts. Since then, every President has declared the week of Thanksgiving National Bible Week.

By joining the Family Altar Initiative, you can be 1 of the 700 families that will be gathered together around God’s Word during their Thanksgiving meals.

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