Monthly Archives: September 2009

Sukkot: The Whole World in God’s Tabernacle

If you are unfamiliar with Sukkot (Tabernacles), I have at the bottom of this post a quick primer on the holiday. If you don’t know the basics of Sukkot, I recommend reading the Quick Start Primer first. …………….. Seventy Nations, … Continue reading

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SUKKOT: Qohelet (Ecclesiastes)

In my “spare” time, which has been much diminished lately, I have been working on a Sukkot Haggadah. I will be releasing it later this week as a free PDF download. Just as was the case for my Shavuot Haggadah, … Continue reading

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A Yom Kippur Statement

The road to the New Jerusalem lies before us, always long and difficult, but with such a sought-after destination at the end. No amount of striving and desire could ever be too much for such a destination. No amount of … Continue reading

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CLASSIC REPRINT: Reflections on a Yom Kippur Noob Experience

I posted this reflection for last year’s Yom Kippur (2008). I think it is one of my best stories. ………………………… I have been on the path of Judaism for about seven years. Before that, I was learning about Judaism, but … Continue reading

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Yom Kippur: A Prayer Banned by the Nazis in 1935

In his Yom Kippur Anthology, Philip Goodman comments on the following prayer: In 1935, when anti-Semitism was clearly evident throughout Germany, Rabbi Leo Baeck (1873 – 1956), who was president of the representative organization of German Jewry, wrote a prayer … Continue reading

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PODCAST: Yeshua in Context – Signs and Sabbath

In Mark 2:23 – 3:6, what is the meaning of Yeshua comparing his situation to David? Why did Yeshua deliberately seek out the Sabbath as a time to heal? We began last episode to examine the symbolic meaning of Yeshua’s … Continue reading

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Yom Kippur: Assurance of Forgiveness

The first time I saw men beating their chests and prostrating themselves on Yom Kippur, I was scandalized. At the time I was in a Christian setting and I was used to an entirely different attitude towards sin and forgiveness. … Continue reading

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The Neglected Haftarah: A Resource Review

If you don’t read the whole article, please skip to the end to find a free resource on Haftarah Bereshit (the prophetic reading for the first week in Genesis) being offered only on Messianic Jewish Musings. ………………… Haftarah. That must … Continue reading

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Yom Kippur: Philo on the Sabbath of Sabbaths

Philo lived in the days of the New Testament (20 B.C.E. to 50 C.E.) in the city of Alexandria, Egypt. Alexandria had a huge Jewish population, about half of the city, and was also one of the largest cities in … Continue reading

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The Tashlikh We’ll Never Forget

It was a dark and stormy Rosh HaShanah. On the second day, we tried to get a few families together for tashlikh, the ceremony of casting bread crumbs representing sins into a river or similar body of water accompanied by … Continue reading

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Rosh HaShanah: Spiritual Empowerment

When I was a new student of the Hebrew Bible, I marveled time after time when I would find what I considered to be a New Testament concept in the Hebrew Bible. I concluded that there is little new in … Continue reading

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PODCAST: Yeshua in Context – Enactments of a Prophet

When you decide to get behind your assumptions and the images you are used to and seek to know Yeshua as he appeared to his own generation, it’s not easy and it’s not as if it all happens at once. … Continue reading

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Rosh HaShanah: Yeshua & the Apostles on Repentance

This High Holiday season, Messianic Jews should not be surprised to find that the theology of repentance in the Siddur and in rabbinic literature follows similar lines to what Yeshua and the apostles had already said. The apostolic message flows … Continue reading

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Rosh HaShanah: Maimonides on Repentance

Moses ben Maimon (1135-1204) was a Spanish rabbi, physician, philosopher, and commentator on the Talmud. Better known as Maimonides or Rambam, he fled Spain when a Muslim conqueror offered the choice of conversion or death. He eventually became the physician … Continue reading

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Ways of Reading Torah

Last week’s reading was Nitzavim, which begins in Deuteronomy 29:9 (10 in Christian Bibles). Moses has gathered the second generation, all of them, before entering the land. Gathered are the men, the women, the children, and everyone from the woodcutters … Continue reading

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Resources for the Rhythm of Torah

How do you study or interact with Torah? What about learning Hebrew? What about learning to chant the tropes? There is a rhythm to the Torah in Jewish life. It is a rhythm that has all Israel together week after … Continue reading

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PODCAST: Yeshua in Context – Caesar, Yeshua, Kingship

Rosh HaShanah is coming, a time when we remember the kingship of God. Kingship is an unusual topic in our modern world, but it was the reality of Yeshua’s world. In considering the context of Yeshua’s life and message, we … Continue reading

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High Holidays: Should we mourn and repent?

I hear the sentiment often, and from many points of view, that it is not fitting for Messianic Jews to mourn and repent in the High Holiday season. The argument goes something like this: Yeshua died to end the curse … Continue reading

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The Rabbi of Nemerov (A Rosh HaShanah Story)

This is my favorite Rosh HaShanah story. The author, Isaac Lieb Peretz (1852 – 1915), was a Yiddish playwright and author who is said to have prepared the way for Shalom Aleichem. It helps in understanding the story if you … Continue reading

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Elie Wiesel’s Rashi (and Nextbook Press)

Rarely do an author and a subject converge so invincibly to make a book such compulsory reading. Anyone who loves both Jewish history and the study of Torah should not pass through the days of this world without having stopped … Continue reading

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PODCAST: Yeshua in Context – Common Judaism and Yeshua

What were the common and most important ideas in Judaism in the time of Yeshua? How did Yeshua position himself toward these ideas? Was he a Jewish teacher as many interpretations of his life now claim or was he a … Continue reading

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A Friend’s Question About Rosh HaShanah

I have a friend who lives rather far from our congregation. I hope she doesn’t mind me describing her for a moment. I think her story is an interesting one. She is intermarried and from a religious Jewish background. In … Continue reading

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The Shofar in Elul and on Rosh HaShanah

Saadiah Gaon was a 10th century scholar in Babylon (born in Egypt) who pioneered writing in Judeo-Arabic and whose rulings became very important in the chain of Jewish tradition. In examining the tradition of blowing the shofar (ram’s horn trumpet) … Continue reading

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