“Holidays” & “Feasts”

Reconsidering the “High Holidays”

Posted on August 28, 2013 by Kevin in "Holidays" & "Feasts".

 

In Judaism, the high holy days of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur are preceded by the month of Elul, a time dedicated to repentance and preparation for the season. Rosh HaShanah—meaning “Head of the Year,” and celebrated as the Jewish New Year—is a solemn day, observed on the first day of the seventh Hebrew month, in the Fall. It is said that on this day, the Book of Life is opened, but will soon be closed again on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. During this ten day period, known as the Days of Awe, it is taught that God makes His decision whether or not one’s repentance will be accepted, and he will be judged worthy to have his name inscribed in the Book of Life. On Rosh Hashanah the shofar (ram’s horn) is blown 100 times, because, according to the Talmud, the loud and repetitive sound of the shofar confuses Satan, preventing him from bringing any charges against Jews during the time of judgment.

Unfortunately, not a single one of these teachings originate with Scripture >> Read more…

This Hanukkah: Hoopla or Holiness?

Posted on November 28, 2012 by Kevin in "Holidays" & "Feasts", Exhortations.

 

If you have not yet read my book The Real Story of Chanukah: Dedicated to the Death, you may not realize how closely the civil conditions of those days parallel the societal climate in which we presently live. For example, on page 24, I write,

In the political and cultural climate fostered under the “sinful offshoot” Antiochus Ephiphanes [the Greco-Syrian king who occupied Israel], the Jewish people began to test the waters of personal liberty as they explored alternative lifestyles outside of godly boundaries. A vocal, activist, minority within Israel—those who were overtly and shamelessly defiling the Torah—paraded their transgressions before the general population, inciting them also to go astray.

As the story unfolds, we come to find out that such exploration of “personal liberty” and “alternative lifestyles” eventually leads to dire consequences for Israel. >> Read more…

Listen to “Deny Yourself”

Posted on September 18, 2012 by Kevin in "Holidays" & "Feasts".
Updated on September 27, 2012

 

In this powerful, intense, live teaching presented during the Yom Kippur season, Kevin Geoffrey presents the Scriptural mandate for both the holiest day of the year and the daily life for disciples of Messiah: deny yourself. Taken to heart, this message will not only change the way you view Yom Kippur, but it will radically alter the course of your life.

Audio, which was available on Wednesday, September 26, 2012, is no longer available here. Please go here instead.

Yom Kippur… the single holiest day on Israel’s calendar—and it is best observed by doing absolutely nothing… the Master Yeshua, our great high priest, has already done it all! The Yom Kippur command to deny oneself is also the heartbeat of those who live for Messiah, in whom this awesome day is fulfilled. For more about “Deny Yourself” and Yom Kippur:

Deny Yourself (CD/MP3 Download)

Deny Yourself
CD or MP3 Download

Deny Yourself (Book)

Deny Yourself
Paperback: 56 pages.

Yom Kippur (CD/MP3 Download)

Yom Kippur
CD or MP3 Download

Judaism’s Calendar Confusion

Posted on August 23, 2012 by Kevin in "Holidays" & "Feasts".

 

Q: A friend of mine is reading a book by someone who said there are four calendars we are to operate on Scripturally. Have you ever heard about this?

A: Your friend is correct when he says that Judaism understands there to be four calendars (or “new years”), hence the reason the first day of the seventh month is celebrated as “Rosh HaShanah”—the “head of the year.” With all due respect to the Rabbis, however, such an idea cannot be defended from Scripture.

First, while the phrase Rosh HaShanah does occur in Ezekiel 40:1, it is not in reference to the first day of the seventh month. Second, though Exodus 34:22 says that “the revolution of the year” occurs in the seventh month, the phrase is referring to the Feast of Ingathering, which falls on the fifteenth of the month, not on the first. “The revolution of the year” speaks to the circuitous nature of Israel’s agricultural schedule, the harvests of which begin in the Spring and conclude in the Fall. Then the process of planting, sowing and reaping repeats.

Scripture only mentions one beginning of the year: Rosh ’Chadashiym, which means “Head of the Months” (“Months” is literally “New Moons”). Exodus 12:2 calls it “the first of the months of the year,” referring to the month in Spring known Niysan (Ne.2:1, Est.3:7) or Aviyv (Ex.13:4).

So, despite the historical development of Judaism, Adonai established only one annual calendar for Israel, and it begins with the harvest and new life of Spring.

What do you think? How, if at all, should this affect our observance? Other thoughts?
Sound off below.

A Missed Opportunity—Passover

Posted on February 16, 2012 by Kevin in "Holidays" & "Feasts".
Updated on February 27, 2012

 

As central as Passover is to the history of Israel and the narrative of our faith in Yeshua, those of us who celebrate it tend to do so at the expense of the greater picture. We focus so intently on the event of the seder—and the pomp and ceremony that traditionally surround it—that we fail to adequately prepare our hearts for the annual moment, missing the momentum for the season that Passover begins.

Every year, it pains me to see Passover treated as little more than a date on the calendar, a teaching event, or an evangelistic outreach (in certain Messianic circles). Additionally, I am grieved that many will default to mere attendance at a formal community seder, rather than expend the energy to personally prepare for an intimate remembrance in the home, according to Scripture. It is not because of disobedience, but for the missed opportunity that I grieve—an opportunity that, with only some forethought and effort, can be wholeheartedly embraced. >> Read more…