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High Holy Days

Leviticus 23:1-2 ADONAI said to Moshe, “Tell the people of Isra’el: ‘The designated times of ADONAI which you are to proclaim as holy convocations are my designated times.

The High Holy Days are coming. As always, we get to choose to accept God’s invitation to meet in His Presence. Notice that all of the Designated Times belong to God. “My designated times”. The special times do not belong to Israel or the Jewish People. They belong to ADONAI our God. We should see each Holy Convocation as an opportunity to gather into God’s Presence. It is not for our salvation. Neither will God love us more for doing it. It should be seen just as a great opportunity.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 “I call on heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have presented you with life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore, choose life, so that you will live, you and your descendants, loving ADONAI your God, paying attention to what he says and clinging to him – for that is the purpose of your life!

Observing the High Holy Days is about choosing life and blessing. It is about enjoying God’s reality to speak directly into our lives. Come to each service with the expectation that God wants to bless you. The more expectation you have, the more you will receive from God. These times are to bless you, indeed, an opportunity to bless all of Israel.

Weekly Torah Portion – Shoftim

Shoftim
שופטים
“Judges”

  • Torah Reading:
    Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9
  • Prophets Reading:
    Isaiah 51:12-52:12
  • Brit Chadash Reading:
    Matthew 26:47-27:10
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The Month of Elul

This week, Wednesday, August 23, we enter into the new month of Elul. It is the 6th month; a month of preparation for the 7th month (where the High Holy Days exist). This is much like the day of preparation before the weekly Shabbat. “The week does not carry Shabbat … Shabbat carries the week.” You get out of Shabbat what you put into Shabbat. You will get from the High Holy Days what you put into the High Holy Days. Just like most of you would try to get cleaned up and put on your best clothes to welcome the Shabbat; so, we should all work on getting cleaned up and prepared for the High Holy Days.

Since Shabbat is a special Day of rest, preparations normally occur throughout the week. Likewise the month of Elul is usually focused on the upcoming 7th month of the High Holy Days. As it is important to wear your best clothes on Shabbat; the High Holy Days also have traditional special dress. It is a blessing to be aware of God’s calendar. If we approach Shabbat like any other day, we are not setting it apart as God instructed us. Likewise, if we approach the 7th month, Tishrei, like any other month, we are not following God’s instructions to us.

I encourage you to focus, more than usual, on God in preparation for a special Season with Him during the High Holy Days. As it would be wise to prepare for a special Meeting with Him each and every Shabbat. Never approach God’s Special Times as anything less than special. It is His choice to set apart the 7th day of the week (Shabbat) as He also sets apart the 7th month (containing the High Holy Days.

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The Appointed Times

“G-d called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So there was evening, and there was morning, one day.” Genesis 1:5

G-d created time. The natural beauty of the world declares the glory of G-d. “The heavens declare the glory of G-d, the dome of the sky speaks the work of his hands.” Psalms 19:1 G-d’s will is that we follow His directions. “May your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 The High Holy Days are a part of G-d’s plans for us as community. ”Tell the people of Israel: ‘The designated times of ADONAI which you are to proclaim as holy convocations are my designated times.” Leviticus 23:2 The High Holy Days should not be viewed from our perspective as having to do with our performance. As we all know “It’s all about G-d and the Messiah,” so we approach this season in His freedom and love. G-d is the Lord of time, since He created it. He knows best how we should use our time. “Use your time well, for these are evil days.” Ephesians 5:16.

It is imperative that we come into the High Holy Days with an attitude of appreciation and freedom that we have in the Messiah. “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is Messiah.” Colossians 2:16-17 It is appropriate, therefore, that we celebrate these festivals in a way that is consistent with our Messianic faith and exalts the Person of Yeshua. The Appointed Times all find their fulfillment in Messiah. “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17

G-d’s Appointed Times remind us that He is Lord of the calendar, the King of creation, and that He is to be worshiped every day. God’s Appointed Times have a great deal to teach all who have crowned Him Lord of their lives.

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Moedim

God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.” Genesis 1:5

G-d created time. The natural beauty of the world declares the glory of G-d. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky shows His handiwork.” Psalms 19:1. G-d’s will is that we follow His directions. “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10. The High Holy Days are a part of G-d’s plans for us as community. “Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, and tell them: These are the appointed moadim of ADONAI, which you are to proclaim to be holy convocations — My moadim (designated times).” Leviticus 23:2. The High Holy Days should not be viewed from our perspective as having to do with our performance. As we all know “it’s all about G-d and the Messiah”, so we approach this season in His freedom and love. G-d is the Lord of time, since He created it. He knows best how we should use our time. “Make the most of your time because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:16.

It is imperative that we come into the High Holy Days with an attitude of appreciation and freedom that we have in the Messiah. “Therefore, do not let anyone pass judgment on you in matters of food or drink, or in respect to a festival or new moon or Shabbat. These are a foreshadowing of things to come, but the reality is Messiah.” Colossians 2:16-17 It is appropriate, therefore, that we celebrate these festivals in a way that is consistent with our Messianic faith and exalts the Person of Yeshua. The moadim (appointed times) all find their fulfillment in Messiah. “Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass.” Matthew 5:17.

G-d’s Moadim (Appointed Times) remind us that He is Lord of the calendar, the King of creation, and that He is to be worshiped every day. G-d’s Appointed Times have a great deal to teach all who have crowned Him Lord of their lives.