Well, I certainly meant to journal more than twice this Sukkot. A period of 48 hours of straight rain and the demands of life together with about 15 other families thwarted my plans. Sometimes vacation can be a lot of work! But it was also a lot of joy.
As a wrap-up, I want to cover two things: what Sukkot was like for us and a little about “Anonymous” and his diatribe against Jewish devotion to Yeshua (Jesus).
SUKKOT UNDER THE STARS
Wow, were there ever a lot of stars visible from the mountains of North Georgia! One night was sat around the campfire and used the Smartphone app that makes interactive star charts. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. You point it in a direction and it shows the names of key stars and constellations in that direction. So you can look up from the phone and match the screen image to what you see. You can even point it down and see what stars are under the earth.
Not only did we confirm that the huge object we saw in the sky was Jupiter, but we also learned how to find Vega and Polaris (give us a break, we’re city folk).
But the wonder of sitting that night under the stars in front of our Sukkah was a symbol of the whole event. The religion that God promotes in Torah is a community of sharing, rejoicing, and unity. It’s not hard to be religious the way God teaches religion.
Electric moments for me included Friday night, as we packed the picnic pavilion with people and sang to the angels (“Shalom Aleichem”) and chanted our Sabbath prayers to God. Havdallah was equally charged with holiness as my daughter led us in a contemporary melody for the ceremony. Bringing the prayers to the wilderness is oddly fitting, that the Creator should be praised in a place so obviously his creation and not man’s.
The week definitely fit with the theme of Deuteronomy 16:15, nothing but joy (You shall hold a festival for the Lord your God seven days, in the place that the Lord will choose; for the Lord your God will bless all your crops and all your undertakings, and you shall have nothing but joy).
ANONYMOUS & HIS DIATRIBE
While I’ve been strangely separated from internet access, Anonymous has been using my blog as his media outlet. I apologize for the wearying comments from him that have colored Messianic Jewish Musings with negativity instead of joy.
While Sukkot has a theme of unity and togetherness (see Zechariah 14, and especially vss. 9 and 16-17), Anonymous is busy thinking that only his little crowd of a few million people fall under the Oneness of God (i.e., only Orthodox Judaism). His arguments are simple and boil down to two:
(1) Orthodox Judaism is the only valid form of Judaism.
(2) Messianic Judaism is not Orthodox.
(3) Messianic Judaism is not a valid Judaism.
And this one . . .
(1) Judaism rejects all forms of idolatry.
(2) Belief in Jesus (Yeshua) is a form of idolatry.
(3) Messianic Judaism must be rejected as a Judaism.
It’s a lonely faith that believes in this way. Judaism is about justice, faith in God, and redemption. I can only say that Anonymous has only got a little bit of Judaism which he emphasizes to the neglect of the rest of Judaism. I am reminded of words about straining out gnats and swallowing camels, or about neglecting the weightier issues of Torah: love, justice, and mercy.
I hope Anonymous reads my words and that a glimmer of heavenly love pierces the veil. Beyond his self-imposed shell of negativity, the God of love and redemption is waiting.