Posts Tagged ‘Hebrew Roots’

This is part of a testimony of someone who came out of the Hebrew Roots Movement, written as an apology and explanation to a friend that she had convinced should become part of HRM. Posted with permission.


I left the BL congregation a couple of months before I moved to the west coast, and I never really looked back.  I had a member call me, and when he found out I was moving, I never heard from any of them again.  The last few times I attended, I had a heaviness I could not explain.  I was crying a lot at home, I was burdened, and I felt confused.  I felt something in my soul urging me to not go back.  Why?  I felt my relationship with Christ was becoming diluted; replaced by the Torah…the SHADOW of what He came to do.  It’s far more profound than that, though.  Do I think Believers should know and understand the Feasts?  Yes.  Should we understand Torah and know its purpose?  Absolutely.  But the doctrine that “We are Israel,” and other ideas are false.

There is such a sense of pride and arrogance with the Hebrew Roots Movement, and in a way, it’s essentially culture idolatry and Torah worship.  It took me a while to be content that I’m a Gentile, to not let that make me feel “less spiritual,” or like a “regular old Christian like the rest of ‘em.”  I went to BL because I was in pain from my Mom’s death and wanted answers.  They told me she was not in Heaven, and would not be until Christ’s Second Coming.  Heresy.  Before, I’d been dissatisfied at my former church. I was jumping from one disappointing  congregation to another.  I think we all do it, as we wrestle with getting to know the Lord, to shut out doubts we have about the world.  But something I noticed at BL after being there a while, is that they twist scripture to their own benefit, to keep this movement going.  That elated feeling I had when I first attended had waned, because I began to see through so many things.  I was given sarcastic, snappy answers sometimes, because the “rabbi” clearly couldn’t explain how the Gospels, the TRUTH in Christ, refuted what he was saying.

I know that there are some doctrinal problems there, but after much praying, seeking, studying, I’ve realized this is universal with Hebrew Roots and their Systematic Theology.  If I ask you anything, it is to forgive me for influencing you in any way.  I have felt bad for quite a while about this, and when you told me your family is divided, I just wanted to get you all on a conference call and apologize.  And I know even recently I’ve said some things that can be construed as in support of it.  Mainly out of confusion and just feeling uneasy about all of it.  My prayer is for forgiveness and that you don’t think of me as double-minded or two-faced.  What the Lord had shown me is the New Covenant is one of grace.  No, it doesn’t mean “do as you wish,” it means as a saved Believer, you’re going to WANT to obey the Lord… Gentiles were not given the Mosaic Law.  (I can see the folks at BL shouting “blasphemy.”)  We know what’s right and wrong, but FAITH and LOVE is what dominates…two things I struggle with and why I floundered into HRM.

BL thrives on pulling people in who are already saved, giving them the idea that Christ is not enough and they must be an “exclusive club that knows things from a Hebraic mindset that ‘the church’ doesn’t.”  The Lord clearly says he hates secrets.  Why would we witness to those already redeemed by HIS blood?  Why would we focus on His race, a covenant not made with the Gentiles, why try (and fail) to learn a difficult, ancient language, when he came for “all nations, tribes and tongues?”  Don’t get me wrong, Hebrew is beautiful and the Lord’s chosen language for the Jewish people.  But He created us Gentiles as an entirely different culture for a reason.

One night, I printed out the laws of the Torah.  My mouth dropped.  There is no way one can be “Torah observant” without (just a few I’ll list here)… stoning an unruly child, stoning adulterers…stoning  those who’ve had sex before marriage, not leaving your dwelling on the Sabbath, etc.  Even driving or studying on the Sabbath is considered “work,” so that’s one that I was breaking, trying to “keep” it.  The Torah was given exclusively to the nation of Israel – the biological Jews – and even THEY couldn’t keep the Law – and some of course were absolutely fanatical about it.  And because of that…we have the whole purpose of Christ’s death and resurrection.  This is one simple truth, the whole POINT of salvation, and I overlooked it, because I felt something was missing from Christianity.  What was missing was MY faith problem and MY poor relationship with Christ because of my own problems.  The way I’d been let down by people and the church had nothing to do with my relationship with the Father through his Son.

That’s another point.  I noticed we at BL went straight to the Father.  They disregarded that Christ said no one can come to the Father except by Him.  Christ was mentioned here and there, sort of like salt and pepper on the “meat,” which was the Torah… (And…do know how long it took for me to be able to call Him “Jesus” without feeling I was calling on the name of a pagan god?)  Again, that was more brainwashing.  I was weak and fell prey to lies.

I realized when the itinerary for the home Shabbat service followed that of BL, I became concerned.  The worship services of the HRM are based on rabbinical tradition, the Talmud and Kabbalah.  All I can say is…Judaism is definitely not Christianity, and when one tries to incorporate a little of one into the other, a bit of what each means is lost.  And that’s more confusion.  I don’t want my relationship with Christ fade even more because of that, especially with the tough times I’m going through right now.  I do want to add that I sat down over a few weeks and read the Gospels, then I read Galatians, more than once.  There’s no way one can reconcile being Torah observant with what Paul writes, without twisting scripture and coming up with a far-out, exaggerated translation.  And believe me, when I asked the rabbi at BL questions about why Galations refutes everything about the Sabbath and keeping Torah, he had the strangest explanations that were so convoluted it was ridiculous.  And sadly, I became suspicious of anything Paul wrote and still have difficulty with things because of the intense influence that I encountered at BL.  They want to be Christians, but Jewish… “just in case.”  And that is a theme that resonates throughout all of the Hebrew Roots Movement and Torah Observance.

Looking back, I see that they are planting a destructive seed that takes the focus off of Christ, and puts it on Laws that were not even given to us, but those who were set-apart to bring Christ’s birth and death to fulfillment.  The key is the focus which IS NOT on the strength, the power, or the salvation which is CHRIST, as it should be.  The Gospels, of course, focusing on the person of Christ, and the rest of the New Testament focusing on our purpose in Him.  I think the Lord can use the HRM for his Glory, like he used the Jews’ short-sightedness to His Glory.  I believe I was allowed to get involved to show me how we all want some type of “exclusivity,” a sort of “us” vs. “them.”  But the Gospel is inclusive, not an exclusive club.  And even though I know the home services don’t operate like that, the foundation is the worship style at BL, and that’s the agenda.

We now have the freedom to choose to celebrate the feasts, to choose to adhere to the dietary laws, but we are not obligated, because of the sacrifice Christ made.  Before going to BL, I never let the Gospels and what Paul said sink in.  I was just restless with “church.”  But it has gotten to the point…I realized I either need to believe the Gospels, the words of my Savior and of Paul, or focus solely on the study guide/tutor (Torah) and neglect the entire purpose of Christ’s finished work.

I hope and I pray that this makes sense, and again, I ask that you forgive me for the influence I had in leading you to look into HRM.  I didn’t even know it was called that.  They were very careful at BL to not “label” anything.  But the whole idea that all things Christian are pagan…well, again I will tell you the Talmud and Kabbalah, which is where their worship styles, Bible interpretations, and doctrines come from, are more pagan than most things you’ve ever seen.  I do hope this does not in any way affect our friendship.  And yes, I was so happy to share my newfound knowledge with you back then.  That was before I was confronted with the heresies that began surfacing very quickly once I dug deeper into it.  At the end of the day, it’s all about what the Son did for us, why, and what that accomplished for the world.  And thank the Lord for that!


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I was watching an interesting interview on TV the other day.  The interviewer is known for their “spiritual” approach to life – but really finding “God” in all wrong places compared to a Biblical understanding.  The interviewee and interviewer were in agreement as to how “God” is found > for instance:  in the silence of the woods sitting and enjoying a grassy area, smelling the grass, and sensing in the quietness … a recognition of “God” and birth of spirituality [this birthing process is not limited to the woods, it can be any “epiphany” experience].  The interviewee stated that they had found God *in* music in that special place and equates that with their “birth” of spirituality leading them to 40 years as one of the most famous musical entities of our time.  The interviewer remarked, closing out the TV special, that God IS the music, not just IN the music.

Thus began several hours of this writer’s introspection as to why people get so caught up into the “spiritual” but totally miss the Spirit of Almighty God – due to their search for “the experience”.  I reminisced, going back to those points in my life when I had run after the elusive – believing I too had found all the answers in spiritual experiences and equating them to be about “God”.  Much like the person above who sought after the elusive experience on which their belief system was founded, I recognized the longing and the desire to be “special” even within the framework of what I believed to be Biblical, but was in reality a dense spiritual “mist” that fogged up my perception.

A friend remarked to me that these kinds of spiritual experiences and expectations were nothing more than free ice cream.  They taste good and make you feel fabulous …. a person can come up with a pretty amazing multiple-scoop cone, depending on who is offering such delights in the name of spiritual excellence.

Since the beginning of the world, people have searched for the spiritual.  Adam and Eve were tempted to be like God – satan’s first offering of his kind of “ice cream”.  The Tower of Babel comes to mind as well.  Even in that ancient time, men built a tower to reach into the Heavens to touch God > the “ultimate ice cream cone”!  It has become “faddish” to want nothing more than to “feel” God – to bring Him down to our likeness, to our standards of emotion and perceptions – as if the experience has achieved a God-like “high” and one has “arrived” on some superior spiritual level making their ice cream cone a wondrous display of the experiential to be envied and desired.

What does all this have to do with Messianic Hebrew Roots?  The ongoing “flavor of the week” is the tallit or prayer shawl [Although, to be fair – some segments of Christianity have topped the “cone” with it as well].   This “flavor” has been browsed so many times in the search engines that people pop up on this blog looking for information on it more than any other topic.  And no surprise.  Of all the concepts in HR, this one captivates a “feely touchy” mystic [read “kabbalah”] two-fold experience … to be reminded of the Mosaic Law and to enter one’s “prayer closet” > those being the two central themes of necessity to find favor with God and to be “holy”. 

In order to bind the tallit more snuggly to one’s spiritual “etherealistic” expectations, a bunch of teachings ranging from the sheet [tallit] let down in Peter’s vision; to Jesus [wearing a “talitha” 🙂 ] raising the young woman [= talitha] from the dead; to “God’s tallit” in the sky = Heavens; to the “the chupah [covered four cornered wedding arch] = a tallit”, etc.  Added to that is the wringing out from a variety of OT texts, the tallit, as “special revelation”.  All this free ice cream makes for one huge sloppy mess – almost impossible to eat, but profusely dribbling down from the chins of those who dote on these things. The bottom line is that the tallit did not exist in Biblical times.  It was added to Judaism through their Rabbinical interpretation system in the middle ages.  The word “tallit” is not even a Biblical Hebrew word > it’s Yiddish [13th century]!  The HR “teachers of greater truth” are offering free ice cream from a soggy dripping cone.

Is this different than a person who chases after an elusive “epiphany” experience believing they have “found” what they believe is “God” through some magical aura in which they “sense” the spiritual and believe it is “the real thing”?  The “thing”, the “experience” … is not God and it is not about God.  It is a feeling that equates knowledge with the four senses. Knowing God is by blind faith, not by seeing, touching/feeling, smelling or hearing something ethereally emotional and making that about God … because when the “feeling” or “thing” becomes about God, it is just plain free ice cream.  It gives a sugar rush for the moment, but it has nothing to do with the Lord God Almighty and serving Him.


2 Cor 11:3  But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

2 Cor 11:4  For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

2 Co 11:12  But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.

2 Co 11:13  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

2 Co 11:14  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

2 Co 11:15  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.





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Myth. Christians are pagan and are lost unless they turn to Hebrew roots. I’ve had many say that they ‘were just like I am’ ? years ago and given time they hope I will repent and come to the correct understanding, aka Hebrew Roots.

A. Aside from there being absolutely no Scripture to support this thinking, this belief is foundational for many in Hebrew Roots. The truth is, Christian belong to Jesus Christ and are saved by God’s grace –and it is not of themselves–it is a free gift from God. Salvation is not based on “returning to Hebrew Roots”, Jewish Roots or anything other than Believing Jesus Christ is the author of eternal life, and receiving that gift.. The accusation of Christians being pagan is false from that perspective. It needs to be understood that many in Hebrew Roots reject the person of Jesus Christ as pagan also. That is why they reject His name, believing it to be the name of a pagan god or other nonsense.

Are there things under the banner of “Christian” that are not of God, not Scriptural, not proven as true? Obviously. There is also a merging of New Age and occult teachings and beliefs–also under the banner of Christian—but it is not of Christ. That does not mean that what Hebrew Roots offers is Scriptural, and factually sound. On the contrary much of what is promoted is un-Scriptural, based on feelings, opinion, conjecture, bogus “facts”, and perverting and twisting the Word of God. And when that isn’t good enough, some write their own versions of “scripture” to indoctrinate their followers even further. Accuracy is tossed aside in order to claim and promote their gnostic knowledge.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.


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Many state and believe that this means that because Jesus was a Jew and followed Torah we must also. The Gentiles, who make a large part of the Messianic and Hebrew Roots movements are not Jewish. Therefore one cannot ‘go back’ to something that was not ours in the first place. There are Jews worldwide who find it an affront for Gentiles pretending to be Jewish, pretending to participate in what they feel are Jewish traditions and practices. In it is perhaps the ultimate anti-semitism, because the behaviors not only offend actual Jews, but Gentiles are known to be claiming to be the real Jews. That leaves those who are actual Jews as being imposters according to some within Hebrew Roots. We see then, that we have the doctrine of Jesus was Jewish being corrupted into being those within Hebrew Roots are the ‘real Jews’ and they are the ones having the only truth.

Christianity and Judaism are almost entirely different in beliefs, and those who do not understand that have become a stumbling block to Jews. Those within Judaism reject Jesus Christ, the New Testament and reinterpret prophecies and other Scriptures with that in mind, aside from the incorporation of the Talmud and Kabbalah by many.  Judaism today is rabbinic Judaism. We cannot dismiss those facts. There are practicing Jews who have stated that those within Hebrew Roots and Messianics are straddling a fence with one foot in Judaism and one foot in Christianity. They urge that individuals make a choice on which they are actually going to follow, because it cannot be both.

We are followers of Jesus Christ who was God manifest in the flesh. And He brought a New Covenant that was unique.

Hebrews 3:1 Why, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who has built the house has more honor than the house.
4 For every house is built by some man; but he that built all things is God.
5 And Moses truly was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

Hebrews 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.


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“The Blessing of the Sun” is getting quite a bit of press lately, so I thought I would post a little information on it. It appears to be a Rabbinical practice that has found its way into Hebrew Roots:

APRIL 2, 2009, 11:54 P.M. ET Love the Earth? Bless the Sun


According to Talmudic calculations, every 28 years the sun is in the exact position it occupied at the time of Creation. As it happens, that moment falls on Wednesday, April 8, of this year, at sunrise — just hours before Passover begins. There is a brief blessing for the occasion, too. It is called Birchat Hachamah, Hebrew for “blessing of the sun.” But the sun is a hot topic these days, not least because of global warming, and this time around the blessing, in itself, is not enough: A whole environmental message is being attached to what was once a simple ceremony.

The Hebrew blessing itself — the English translation is “Blessed are You, King of the Universe, who makes the works of creation” — is quite brief, its text the same as the blessing one is commanded to say upon seeing a natural wonder like lightning or the Grand Canyon. At its last scheduled recitation, back in 1981, Birchat Hachamah was virtually unheard of outside the Orthodox community. While approximately 300 “neo-chasidic” and “renewal” Jews, led by Orthodox rabbis Zalman Schachter and Shlomo Carlebach, commemorated the moment atop the Empire State Building, the event generated little media coverage, and most people who recited the blessing simply did so as a postscript to daily morning services in Orthodox synagogues. In 1953, according to Jonathan Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, the ritual didn’t even garner a mention in “The American Jewish Yearbook.”

The year 5769 (2008-2009) will be the little known Jewish year of “Birkhat HaHammah” the “blessing of the sun.” Every 28 years, the ancient rabbis demarked a time in the Jewish calendar that celebrates the ceremonial return of the sun to its original place in the cosmos during creation.

Jewish Reconstructionist Federation


Tradition holds that the sun was created at the spring equinox, the first hour of the night before the fourth day of Creation. Every 10,227 days – according to the Babylonian Talmud, tractate Berachot 59b – the sun returns to its position at Creation. As codified in the Shulchan Aruch and on the basis of intricate calculations reconciling the Jewish and Gregorian calendars, Birkat HaChammah, a prayer service marking this 28-year cycle, is conducted on a Wednesday in the month of Nissan, when the sun is about 90 degrees above the eastern horizon.

The year 5769 is such a year. The Blessing of the Sun takes place on April 8, 2009 (erev Pesach). It is interesting to note that the secular date was the same throughout the 20th century, and scholars have determined it will continue to be marked on this date throughout the current century.


Here is a Messianic teaching on it from FFOZ – First Fruits of Zion, headed by Boaz Michaels. FFOZ is known for their kabbalistic and Talmudic teachings as they are incorporated into the Hebrew Roots venue.

A certain traditional Jewish ceremony has been in the news and blogs lately, known as Birkat HaChammah, or the Blessing of the Sun. This blessing is recited on an extraordinarily infrequent basis: only once every 28 years! The last time it was recited was 1981, which means that this is the year for the blessing to come around again.

If you have heard of this blessing for the first time this year, it may have aroused your suspicion. Is it legitimate, or some weird idea out of nowhere?

Good news: the blessing is not pagan, new age, magical, astrological, or even kabbalistic. The origin of the blessing is at least from the Talmudic era (c. 200-500 CE), although it could be earlier. It is possible that the blessing existed in the days of the Master and the apostles.

The idea behind the blessing is simple. The universe is comprised of a wide variety of cycles. From earth, those cycles appear as day and night, the phases of the moon, the courses of planets through their backdrop of stars, the changing of the seasons, etc. Many practices in Judaism are connected with these cycles, such as the daily prayers, the new moons, and the yearly holidays. This corresponds with God’s intended purpose: “let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years” (Genesis 1:14).

The 28 Year Cycle of the Sun

Like the moon and planets, the sun itself can be seen as going through a cycle. Throughout the year, the sun’s position in the sky changes, corresponding with the variety of seasons. There are four milestones in these fluctuations: the two solstices (winter and summer) and the two equinoxes (autumn and spring).

One Jewish tradition holds that the sun was created in the position of the spring (vernal) equinox. Thus, each spring, the sun completes a yearly cycle.

The Torah (Genesis 1:14-19) teaches that the sun was created on the fourth day. The fourth day of the week is the period from Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon. Once in seven years, the spring equinox occurs during that period of the week. So in a sense, every seven years, when the spring equinox occurs on the fourth day, we can consider the sun as having completed another, larger cycle.

The day can be divided into four parts: evening, night, morning and afternoon. According to Jewish tradition, the sun was not only created during the fourth day, but specifically the first part of the day, that is, the evening. The evening of the fourth day of the week corresponds with Tuesday evening.

Each year, the exact moment of the equinox could occur in any of those four parts of the day, adding a factor of four to our cycle. When all three of those factors coincide (the spring equinox of the year, the fourth day of the week, and the evening part of the day), we could consider the sun as having completed a full cycle, bringing it back to its original point at the time of creation.

This cycle occurs once every 28 years, which makes sense if you think about it:Spring equinox:1 day each year
Fourth day:1 out of 7 days of the week
First part of day:1 out of 4 parts of the day
1 year × 7 × 4 = 28 years.

The Blessing

The blessing itself is not uncommon. Like most blessings in Judaism, it begins with the phrase “Blessed are You, O LORD, our God, King of the universe.” While the name of the blessing is “the blessing of the sun,” we don’t actually bless the sun, we bless God.

The Symbolism of Birkat HaChammah

Birkat HaChammah does not have any inherent symbolism, except to say that a natural cycle has occurred, which prompts us to bless the Creator. But on the other hand, it is very easy to draw out symbolism from the ceremony. In fact, it is so easy to draw out symbolism that the ceremony reflects whatever community or individual recites it. To environmentalists, the blessing has a message of global warming or conservation. To mystics, the ceremony spurs deep and esoteric ideas. To rationalists, the ceremony is naturalistic. To messianics, the ceremony is ripe with messianic imagery.

Consider this: since the ceremony marks the return of the sun to its original position at the time of creation, it can be seen as a token for a return of the created world to its original, perfect condition. This is what will occur with the ultimate messianic redemption. This ceremony always occurs in the month of Nisan, which is called the month of redemption. It is the month of the year that God redeemed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, and in some opinions, it is the destined time of the future redemption (b.Rosh Hashanah 11a).

Also of interest is the connection between the Messiah and sun imagery. In the Talmud (b.Sandhedrin 98b), a statement is made connecting this verse with the Messiah:

May his name endure forever,
his fame continue as long as the sun!
May people be blessed in him,
all nations call him blessed! (Psalm 72:17)

This entire Psalm has very strong messianic overtones, as it was written by King David for his son, Solomon. An earlier verse in the same chapter also contains sun imagery. This verse is often included in the liturgy for Birkat HaChammah:

May they fear you while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations! (Psalm 72:5)
(One fascinating feature of this Psalm is that it contains “encoded” within it both the names “Messiah” and “Yeshua.”)

It is worth remembering that Joseph, who strongly foreshadowed the Messiah, had a dream in which the sun bowed down to him (Genesis 37:9).
Also of note is the identification between the sun and light and the Messiah himself. The prophets speak of the “sun of righteousness” (Malachi 4:2) and tell of the redemption and the Messiah in terms of light. The apostles frequently connect the Messiah to light and brilliance.

One amazing moment when this connection was exemplified was the transfiguration, when “his face shone like the sun” (Matthew 17:2). Perhaps the transfiguration is a good topic of study for the event. The transfiguration always makes me think of this beautiful passage from Yalkut Shimoni (a late compilation of aggadic midrash):

At the time when King Messiah comes, he will stand on the roof of the Holy Temple, and he will proclaim to Israel, saying: “Humble ones! The time of your redemption has arrived! And if you don’t believe me, look at my light which is shining upon you!” (Yalkut Shimoni Yeshayahu 60:499)

This Year’s Unique Timing

This year, the ceremony of Birkat HaChammah remarkably coincides with the day prior to the Passover seder (April 8). This is the day of the year when we burn our leftover chametz (leaven), and when the Temple stood, it was the day when the Passover lambs were slaughtered. Since Birkat HaChammah is based on a solar cycle rather than a lunar one, the date of Birkat HaChammah on the Hebrew calendar varies, and the correspondence between these two events is rare. Many people feel that this connection has messianic or redemptive implications.

(Some of you may have noted that the spring equinox this year has already occurred. The discrepancy is due to the fact that when this tradition first developed, the Sages chose the simpler and less accurate Julian calendar for reckoning the equinox. This has slowly shifted and become less and less accurate over time. But as this event is more symbolic rather than astronomical, it is not really a concern.)

Once in 28 Years

I want to really encourage you to participate in this ceremony. Try and gather a minyan if at all possible. Think about it: if humanity continues on its current path, the next time the opportunity for this blessing will occur, it will be the year 2038. At that time, you will probably have children about your age now. Most likely, many people reading this will not be alive. Many new people will have been born. Technology will be dramatically different. It is impossible to predict what the political world will be like.

Due to advances in communication and education, this Birkat HaChammah has the potential to be the most widely observed in all of history. Are you going to join the worldwide chorus?



From the SeekGod Forum – posted by Vic


Bless the Sun actually has a website, promoting the Jewish tradition as well as noting how it melds with earth/envirnmental groups. They also have a list of events taking place across the United States, as well as Israel.

It was rather a surprise to see a few listings stating the following:

Time: 6:45 – 7:15am, April 8 (followed by breakfast)
Place: Grant Park Bandstand, Atlanta (at the corner of Boulevard and Atlanta – across from the playground)
What: A short service, a gentle yoga cycle of sun salutations and recite the blessing together. For those that can stay we will have breakfast and coffee at the near by Solstice Café. Bring your yoga mat or towel. For more information,…

And >

Quote:MARYLAND Time: April 8, 7:15am yoga and 8:30am prayer and study
Place: Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation, 7727 Persimmon Tree Lane, Bethesda, MD 20817

What: Birkat Hakhama and Ta’anit HaBechorot observances beginning with yoga, followed by prayer and study using Masekhet HaKhama

Many celebrations listed include a Fast for the Firstborn, and that aside from the talmud sourcing we see also listed from Israel:

Place: Safed/Tzfat
For Whom: Northern Galilee and Israel, International

Time: April 8-15
Place: Tsfat (Safed), Israel
What: Kabbalah, Tours Prayers, Ceremony, Hallel, Art shows, Workshops, Solar Energy presentations and much more
For Whom: All walks of life are WELCOME!

…. http://www.sunblessing.org/festival

From that website, we read:

Birkat HaChama Festival in SAFED, April 8-15, 2009

The Birkat HaChama (The Blessing of the Sun) Festival will begin on the morning of April 8th, Erev Pesach, next Spring 2009. Erev Pesach (literally, the Eve of Passover) is the day preceding the annual seven-day Festival of Freedom.

The actual Blessing of the Sun Prayer will be recited on Erev Pesach morning (Hebrew date: 14 Nissan 5769). According to ancient Jewish tradition, once every 28 years, the Sun returns to the position it occupied when it was created at the beginning of the fourth day of creation (Genesis 1: 14).

THE SUN IS OUR MAJOR ENERGY SOURCE, yet how often do we thank God …. This … is an invitation for us to co-create a better future, together, by honoring its source and each other. This is the first year after Shmita (in the Jewish tradition, every seventh year one stops all agricultural activities in order to let Mother Earth rest). Thus, this is a time to re-plant, to grow anew, and to bring fresh blossoms to the world. We are planting new seeds for a better future and for the renewal of the next 28-year cycle. The Kabbalists believe that the Messianic times will come at the end of a Shmita year, so let’s help in the miracle making! (See Kabbalistic Information for an explanation of the Kabbalistic tradition and the significance of the year leading up to this Passover 2009.)

This Safed-based Kabbalistic Blessing of the Sun Festival is…

A Modern Biblical Community Event
A Renewal of Alternative Solar Energies – recharging our environment for another 28-year cycle
An Evocation of Mystical Experiences, featuring a ceremony on the Metsudah, the ancient citadel in the geographic center of our town
A Celebration of Cultural Diversity, with musical performances, art displays, poetry readings, healing workshops,…
Is Blessed with Exceptional Timing, as it is considered by the Kadosh Elyon to be the third most auspicious Birkat HaChama in history

… let’s co-create the next 28-year cycle of a PURER ENVIRONMENT!

This Sun Blessing Festival will be an opportunity for Bridging of worlds; culturally and traditionally, between non – religious and religious people in the Holy land and world wide. To mingle culturally and learn new alternative ideas and artistic methods. To invite and inspire people from all over the world to partake in a mystical Passover in the most Kabbalah-rich town in the world, which also happens to fall on Easter Sunday. ….

many Kabbalists discovered the secrets of Jewish mysticism, through the Zohar, attributed to Shimon Bar Yochai (whose tomb is in nearby Meron), master kabbalist Isaac Luria’s explanations of the Tree of Life, his revelation of the secrets of reincarnation, and his creation of the Kabbalat Shabbat ritual, ….

This Holy City is said to host the Shekhinah Herself (the female principle of God), so by our coming together to honor the Blessing of the Sun, in Her midst, we may be able to elicit and enhance the messianic times, B’ezrat HaShem. As a consequence, we may inspire our sister city Jerusalem to co-celebrate this event, as the Birkat HaChama is recited there at the Western Wall on Pesach 2009….


Likely many in HR and Messianics will embrace this Talmudic and Kabbalistic celebration as is found with FFOZ, and others.

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Guest article – posted with permission from author.


Holy Hebrew!

Is Hebrew a special Holy language (leshon ha Kodesh) that is special and different than all of the other languages? Some Hebrew roots teachers have stated that Hebrew is a language so Holy, that it is impossible to even curse in it. Some have also stated that because of its Holiness, it was the language used to create the world, and most assuredly will be the language of Heaven.

Here is one of the Hebrew roots teachers, who state that Hebrew was the language of creation.


Hebrew: Restoring the Pure Language

Brad takes a fascinating journey into the history of Hebrew, the pure language of Adonai (Tz’fanyah 3:9), the language that created all things. Brad proves through the dynamics of the Hebrew language that this heavenly tongue is the Mother Tongue and is being restored in these last days. This series covers the use of gematria, equidistant letter sequencing, and many other fascinating aspects of Hebrew to show that this language is revived today to be the foundation of bringing Adonai’s people back together to serve Him in one consent. Through the restoration of Hebrew, many long-held, erroneous, religious doctrines are being exposed. The true followers of Y’shua are being revealed and unity is being re-established in the latter days. Brad concludes this series with a lesson on how to research and discover the wonderful truths of Adonai contained in the Hebrew text.


Let’s first take a look at where all the languages originated from, so that we can better understand the origins of the Hebrew language:

Genesis 11
6 And The LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and the lip one to all of them, and this they are beginning to do, and now all which they have purposed to do will not be restrained from them.
7 Come, let Us go down and confuse their language so that they cannot understand one another’s speech.
8 And the LORD scattered them from there, over the face of all the earth. And they stopped building the city.
9 On account of this its name is called Babel, because the LORD confused the language of all the earth there. And the LORD scattered them abroad from there on the face of all the earth.

Hebrew is a language that evolved historically from proto Canaanite/ancient Hebrew, into paleo, middle, and late Hebrew, which finally ended up becoming the Biblical Hebrew (with vowels) that we have today in the Masoretic text. From there modern words were added, which again evolved into the modern Hebrew that is spoken in Israel today.

Because of the history of Hebrew, clearly the Original Ten Declarations were not written in what we consider Hebrew, because of the time frame that they were written. The Ten Declarations were written before the Torah, which is dated approximately 1500-1400 bce. The language of that time was proto Canaanite which has been established through archaeological finds. Proto Canaanite did evolve into what we know as Hebrew, but other languages also evolved from it as well. If the Ten Declarations had been written in Hebrew as we know it, Moses and the children of Israel would have not been able to understand what they said as it is a different alefbet, because Hebrew script, which is a derivative of Proto Canaanite, has been only used since the 9th century bce. It should be noted that proto Canaanite was used by idol worshipping pagan cultures.

Here is how it developed over time:



Proto Hebrew/Aramaic:




A recent archaeological find in King David’s time:


If you take a look at Dead Sea Scrolls Hebrew, it looks different than today’s Masoretic text (1000 years difference). Hebrew didn’t really develop until 900 BCE. The Torah was written in 1500-1400 BCE (2400 years difference. Moses was raised in the court of Pharaoh, and also spoke Akkadian. Moses could read and write proto Canaanite as well, so I am sure he knew what the tablets said.

Also, the difference in writing style and refinement between the oldest Masoretic text known as the Aleppo codex, and the DSS style:


And the Dead Sea Scrolls:


and the Leningrad codex:


Those changes occurred in only 1000 years after Hebrew was established. What

Let’s take a quick look at Biblical Hebrew so that we can examine the “Holy” status of it during Biblical times:

Isaiah 6 (written approx700 bce)
5 Then I said, Woe is me! For I am cut off; for I am a man of unclean lips (H8193), and I live amongst a people of unclean lips (H8193); for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Hosts.
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, snatched with tongs from the altar.
7 And he touched it on my mouth, and said, See, this has touched your lips;
and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is covered.

שׂפת / שׂפה
̂phâh / śepheth
BDB Definition:
1) lip, language, speech, shore, bank, brink, brim, side, edge, border, binding
1a) lip (as body part)
1b) language
1c) edge, shore, bank (of cup, sea, river, etc)
Part of Speech: noun feminine
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: probably from H5595 or H8192 through the idea of termination (compare H5490)
Same Word by TWOT Number: 2278a

Here is another example of how the same word lip or language is used:

Zephaniah 3 (approx 620 bce)
9 For then will
I restore to the people a pure (H1305) language (H8193), that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one accord.

BDB Definition:
1) to purify, select, polish, choose, purge, cleanse or make bright, test or prove
1a) (Qal)
1a1) to purge, purge out, purify
1a2) to choose, select
1a3) to cleanse, make shining, polish
1a4) to test, prove
1b) (Niphal) to purify oneself
1c) (Piel) to purify
1d) (Hiphil)
1d1) to purify
1d2) to polish arrows
1e) (Hithpael)
1e1) to purify oneself
1e2) to show oneself pure, just, kind
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: a primitive root
Same Word by TWOT Number: 288

Since we know that Isaiah spoke and wrote in Hebrew, and he himself said that he is a man of unclean lips (speech), and since God stated in Zephaniah, which is a book that was written after Isaiah that he will restore a pure language, then it is obvious by the text that Biblical Hebrew is not a pure language currently, nor was it at the time of Isaiah.

Secondly, we need to examine the fact that there are parts of various books in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) that are written partially in Aramaic (Daniel, Ezra, Jeremiah, Genesis). Aramaic is a language that came out of Canaan, where the people worshipped idols, and was also spoken in pagan Babylon during the captivity. If Hebrew is a Holy language, then why would God mix the language used by a pagan cultures with Hebrew in the Scriptures? In the book of Daniel, in the portion where the Aramaic begins, it opens like this:

Daniel 2
4 And the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic: O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will reveal the meaning.

In the passages directly following the opening, we find Aramaic words such as Melecha (H4430), Shamaya (H8065), Elahh (H426), and others throughout the text. The Aramaic continues until to the end of chapter seven, spanning almost five chapters. It should be noted that Abraham came from Ur of the Chaldees, and then in obedience he left his pagan culture, and crossed over into the land that God had promised him which became Israel.

Nehemiah 9
7 You are the LORD the God who chose Abram, and brought him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and appointed his name, Abraham.

Many Hebrew roots teachers have stated that the only way one can really effectively understand the Old Testament Scriptures, is by learning to read and understand them in the Hebrew language. Currently, English is spoken (sometimes as a second language) by a much larger percentage of the six billion people in the world today, than the five million people world wide who currently speak Hebrew. This works out statistically to be a negligable percentage of the worlds population that speaks and understands Hebrew. Would God have been so short sighted as to write His word into Hebrew, which for the most part was a dead language until resurrected in the last half of the nineteenth century as modern Hebrew, if it could not be accurately translated and comprehended in other languages such as English? This should be something for us all to consider seriously.

Going forward into the NT, it should be noted that Jesus spoke Aramaic on the cross, and in some other passages found in the New Testament. He most likely conversed in Greek or even possibly Latin with Pilate at His

trial. Jesus also spoke in a Hebraic language (some scholars say Aramaic) to Paul on the road to Damascus in the book of Acts. Paul, who wrote thirteen or fourteen books of the New Testament spoke Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin (Roman citizen), and because he lived in Tarsus at an early age, he possibly would have spoken a local dialect which would probably be related to modern Turkish, and possibly even a few more dialects of other languages that he learned in his travels.

Next, we should examine the use of languages in first century Judea. Listed below (parenthesis) are a few of the possible languages spoken in those regions at that time. Please keep in mind that the list is by no means comprehensive:

Acts 2 (written approx 63 ce)
1 And in the fulfilling of the day of Pentecost, they were all with one mind in the same place.
2 And suddenly a sound came out of the heaven, as being borne along by a violent wind! And it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And tongues as of fire appeared to them, being distributed, and it sat on each one of them.
4 And they were all filled of the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave ability to them to speak.
5 And Jews were living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation of those under the heaven.
6 But this sound occurring, the multitude came together and were confounded, because they each heard them speaking in his own dialect.
7 And all were amazed and marveled, saying to one another, Behold, are not all these, those speaking, Galileans?
8 And how do we hear each in our own dialect in which we were born,
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites (Persian), and those living in Mesopotamia (Turkish dialect, Syrian, Persian, Akkadian), both Judea (Hebrew,Aramaic,Greek) and Cappadocia, Pontusand Asia (Turkish dialect, Greek)
10 both Phrygia and Pamphylia (Turkish dialect,Greek), Egypt (Arabic dialect, Greek), and the regions of Libya over against Cyrene (Latin,Greek,Aramaic), and the temporarily residing Romans (Latin,Greek), both Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretans (Greek, Aramaic) and Arabians (Arabic dialect, Greek); in our own languages we hear them speaking the great deeds of God?

Would God through His Holy Spirit allow the apostles to speak, in what some Hebrew roots teachers have claimed to be pagan languages, if they truly were according to Gods standards? If this was the case, wouldn’t it have been easier for the apostles to speak only in Hebrew, and then for God to miraculously have all of the different people who spoke the many other languages, be able to understand what the apostles said in the “Holy language” of Hebrew? Instead the apostles spoke, and praised God in what some have taught are unclean pagan languages that they claim no self respecting Jew would ever speak.

Some Hebrew roots teachers have circulated the “myth” that the Jews of that day believed it was better to eat swine flesh, than to speak Greek. I guess the apostles never got the memo on that, nor did the Holy Spirit, or maybe there was a shortage of swine flesh at that time, because as they were being led by the Holy Spirit, they spoke Greek as one of the many languages. This is detailed in the passage recorded in Acts. Keeping in mind, that since Greek was established as the common language, and the language of trade since the rule of Alexander almost four centuries before the time of Christ in 332 BCE, that many others throughout the Roman empire also spoke and understood Greek as well.

Various Hebrew roots teachers have emphatically stated that the New Testament was definitely written in Hebrew or Aramaic, because no self respecting Jew would have written it in Greek. How does that stand up in light of what we have reviewed thus far? Also how could this statement have any validity, seeing as how the first five books of the Hebrew OT was translated into Greek two centuries before Christ by Jewish scribes?

In conclusion, it would appear that those striving to keep Hebrew as the pure, Holy Heavenly language that true followers of the Messiah need to read and speak, need to re-examine their teachings. The Hebrew posturing that is being touted as “truth” falls completely short of historical documentation and factual evidence. One more Hebrew Roots “myth” ………. busted (smile)

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What is Purim?  What are its origins?  Who celebrates Purim and why?  All these questions are answered in the following article, originally posted by Vic at:



Purim is recorded in the the book of Esther in the Scriptures and was focused on the Jewish people and states clearly concerning the remembrance of Purim, in Esther 9:26-32, “The Jews ordained, and took upon them,” and “as they had decreed for themselves…”.It originally was viewed as non-religious and in an article “Purim”, written by Kaufmann Kohler and Henry Malter for the Jewish Encyclopeidia.com

“…Aside from the much-mooted question whether Purim is of Jewish or of heathen origin, it is certain that, as it appears in the Book of Esther, the festival is altogether devoid of religious spirit—an anomaly in Jewish religious history. This is due to the worldly spirit of the Book of Esther. The only religious allusions therein are the mention of fasting in iv. 16 and ix. 31, and perhaps the expression of confidence in the deliverance of Israel in iv. 14. This secular character has on the whole been most prominent in this festival at all times. Like Ḥanukkah, it has never been universally considered a religious holy day, in spite of the fact that it is designated by the term “yom-ṭob” (Esth. ix. 19, 22.). Accordingly business transactions and even manual labor are allowed on Purim, although in certain places restrictions have beenimposed on work (Shulḥan ‘Aruk, Oraḥ Ḥayyim, 696).

… It seems, therefore, that the observance of Purim was at first merely of a convivial and social nature. Gradually it assumed religious features….

The first religious ceremony ordained for the celebration of Purim is the reading of the Book of Esther in the synagogue, a regulation ascribed in the Talmud (Meg. 2a) to the “Men of the Great Synod,” of which Mordecai is reported to have been a member…” 1

From the article Legend of Hanukkah>

… In Rabbi Hyam Maccoby’s, Revolution in Judaea, and as discussed in the article, To Embrace Hebrew Roots: Part II : The Bible & The Talmud, he noted that:

In the volume, Josephus, the historian, also contrasts the views of the Pharisees and Sadducees regarding the Oral Law:

“…the Pharisees have delivered to the people a great many observances by succession from their fathers, which are not written in the law of Moses; and it is for this reason that the Sadducees reject them, and say that we are to esteem those observances to be obligatory which are in the written word, and not to observe what are derived from the tradition of our forefathers. ” 22.

In defense and support of the Pharisees, Hyam Maccoby adds this tribute to their preservation and multiplying of religious rituals and traditions:

“The Pharisees added new Festivals (Chanukah and Purim) to the Jewish religious year; they added to the canon of Scripture…they added new doctrine to Judaism…they added new rites to the Temple worship…as well as being continual creators of new prayers and ceremonies in the synagogue.” 23.” 2

From the Wisdom of Kabbalah newsletter and their online site kabbalah.info, Purim is discussed in the article The Inner Purim:

“Purim – the holiday of opposites – joy vs. grief, concealment vs. disclosure, Mordechay vs. Haman, genocide vs. redemption…

A Kabbalist is a person who seeks deep inside the causes for the events in his life . It is evident to him that whatever it is he is about to discover, already lies within him, waiting. All he has to learn is how to come in contact with the force that makes things happen. That force will lead and guide him to control the future events of his life, his personal happiness and the bounty that will flow through him to the whole of mankind.

In the eyes of Kabbalah, Megilat Esther tells of the forces that unfold in the innermost parts of man. Forces that tell of what one discovers with one’s relationship with the Creator, the forces that guides the events of everybody’s life. These forces are called Mordechay, Esther, Haman, etc. …
Mordechay, the inner force within a Jew, which wants nothing more than to cling to the Creator and worship Him, lived happily and the kingdom was at peace…

The evil Haman, who represents the egotistical in us, the opposite of the Jew, wants to exploit the situation for self gain. He eventually wants to overthrow the king from his thrown.

He believes that the fact that the Jews are dispersed testifies to their weakness, confusion and lack of faith. Therefore he finds the situation to be a rate opportunity to eliminate the Jews from the face of the earth, as they are the sole force that stands between him and exploiting the Creator. …

What Haman fails to understand, however, is that the Jews are dispersed for a reason. It stems from the fact that the people of Israel has risen to a higher level now.

That higher level means a direct and open contact with the Creator. A bond so open, no one will be able to deny. Indeed we see the truth of it when at the end of the story, all peoples reform. The meaning is that all the desires in man, called Peoples, accept the main force that leads to confidence and happiness, called Israel. ….The Jew in a man is limited. That limitation can only be overcome by the evil Haman. That is why we need to find the Haman within us. ….”3

As we can see, purim has religious and mystical meaning to those practicing Judaism.

The question would be: Why are those who claim to believe the New Testament and Jesus Christ, involving themselves in these things? Eyerub


1 http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.j…3&letter=P
2. http://www.seekgod.ca/legend.htm
3. http://www.kabbalah.info/engkab/holidays…_purim.htm

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