11 September 2015

5776, but for you 5195


The new year is approaching. On 13 September, as the sun sets, Jewish people worldwide will begin the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. There are many styles and many family traditions which are maintained, and even some resist the establishment of same, as a tradition. How will we make it happen? What will we do? What will you do to honour/ celebrate/ notice the Jewish new year as it begins Sunday night?
On this email from an ultra-Orthodox community in Safed Israel, they highlight three things to guarantee a good mark from the schoolmaster in heaven. The three are repentance, prayer and good works of charity. This triad was established in 90 CE by the Jewish leadership in Yavneh (Jamnia) at the Council there. 20 years before that historic gathering, the Jewish Temple was destroyed by the Romans under Titus. The leadership had to determine what we would do to secure forgiveness of sins which for a millennium had been assured in the Temple rites and ceremonies. So under Bohanan ben Zaikai, the leaders determined that three things were necessary: t'shuva, t'filah, and ts'daka.

But are those really enough to guarantee anyone of the forgiveness that the Almighty wants to give us? Why do we have to perform anything at all, since it's His will to cleanse us from sin?

Do we really need a discount (...but for you 5195)? Reading Leviticus in Torah helps us understand the machinery of the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) realities. There was a great cost. Jewish people sinning wasn't God's plan. We had to make things right. And to accomplish that 'right' setting, we had to bring offerings, we needed a mediator, we needed to pass our sins into a goat or two and get right with the Almighty.

All that to say that in Yeshua, we are now able to have such forgiveness. All that is written in many other blogs before this one, but I want to use this blog to wish all my Jewish friends, family and enemies a very sweet New Year 5776, and to find eternity in Him before it's too late. He loves us. He wants us to know Him. Personally.

May your fast be easy and may you know assuredly that your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

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