Setting the Stage for Purim

March 18, 2019

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently handed out its yearly awards, or “Oscars” as they’ve come to be known. Above all, they are intended to celebrate compelling stories, intriguing characters and fabulous settings. History is often more fascinating than fiction, and the Bible is no exception. The Purim (PURR-ihm) story, found in the book of Esther, sounds like it comes right out of Hollywood. In fact, the story of Esther has been told in movies on both big and small scree...

Read More

What Purim Holds For You

March 14, 2019

Purim is one of the most festive Jewish holidays. It includes rejoicing, costume parties, reenactments, giving to charity, and sharing food gifts with friends. But other than the festivities, what does Purim hold for us today, removed as we are from the ancient times when the story took place? What kernels of spiritual nourishment can we glean from this holiday? First, let’s refresh our memories with the story. The Purim account In the 5th century B.C.E., the Jewish people were under ...

Read More

You can make MIRACLES happen!

December 05, 2018

Your support this Chanukah season will make miracles happen! Chanukah – the Jewish Festival of Lights – is almost here. A joyous season for Jewish people everywhere, Chanukah is the time we celebrate God miraculously making one day’s supply of lamp oil last for eight days, so the Temple in Jerusalem could be rededicated. It was indeed a miracle. Of course, few people in today’s world believe in miracles. Everything, they assume, can be explained by science. Certainly, we here at Jewi...

Read More

Do Messianic Jews Celebrate Christmas?

December 03, 2018

Messianic Jews are Jewish people who believe Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah. Some of them celebrate Christmas, but ‒ for a number of reasons ‒ some do not. Most Messianic Jews do not have a cultural connection to Christmas For most Jewish Believers in Yeshua, Christmas was not a part of their family traditions. They grew up in homes that observed the Jewish holidays rather than Christmas and Easter. And, after coming to faith in Yeshua, some Messianic Jews do not feel the need to begin cele...

Read More

Chanukah and Enough

November 28, 2018

The Maccabees had withstood all they could. Enough was enough. It was time to act in faith. In the second century B.C.E., Antiochus IV’s efforts to assimilate Jewish culture into his own reign developed into full-scale persecution. He forced idol worship with violent consequences for those who refused. Antiochus further taunted the Jewish people by taking over the Temple, forbidding Jewish worship and sacrificing a pig on the altar which resulted in desecration. A small group of faithful J...

Read More

Simchat Torah – The Wonder of God’s Word

September 28, 2018

The almighty, all-powerful God of the universe has communicated to us. The One who created all things, loves us perfectly, and sent His Son Yeshua (Jesus) to bear the penalty for our sin, has spoken to us! We have a whole book of His words! Simchat Torah (SIM-khat TOR-ah) is a day set aside to celebrate this wonder. Simchat Torah means “joy of the Torah.” Each week throughout the year, Jewish people around the world read a weekly Scripture portion from the Torah, the first five books of th...

Read More

Sukkot: Booths, Ingathering and Joy

September 21, 2018

Sukkot (Soo-KOTE) is a seven-day feast commanded by God in Leviticus chapter 23. The Hebrew word sukkot and the word “tabernacles” both mean “booths.” So the holiday is also known as the Feast of Booths and the Feast of Tabernacles. Because Sukkot is also a harvest festival, it is sometimes called the Feast of Ingathering. Sukkot is the only moad (MO-ehd), or “appointed time,” in which God commands His people to rejoice and celebrate. Therefore, the week-long feast is also called The Season of O...

Read More

Sukkot Daily Devotionals

September 20, 2018

Sukkot Joy, Day 1 Rejoicing over God’s Past Provision Sukkot (Soo-KOTE) is the only moad (MO-ed), or “appointed time,” during which God commands His people to rejoice. It may seem like an unusual instruction. Can you command joy? Isn’t it, instead, a spontaneous, involuntary response? By reading God’s instructions about Sukkot, we can understand that joy can be a choice as well as a response. Intentional rejoicing begins with choosing to contemplate things worth celebrating. Sukkot refl...

Read More

Yom Kippur – A Holy Day

September 18, 2018

Yom Kippur (YOHM Kip-POUR) is the holiest day of the Jewish Year. It is the Day of Atonement and one of the biblically commanded Feasts of the Lord. Yom Kippur is a solemn occasion focusing on our deep need for forgiveness and covering for our sin. During the days of the tabernacle and Temples, it was the one day of the year when the high priest entered into the Holy of Holies. He came bringing the blood of sacrifices, first for his own sins and those of his family, then for all Israel. Th...

Read More