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Purim is recorded in 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…”.

The book of Esther tell the story of the Jewish people and how they were saved from being destroyed by a subversive plot brought on by the jealousy and anger of Haman, an enemy of the Jews. Esther is the “heroine” of the story having presented herself before the King after a fast of three days – that he would accept her to come into his presence to speak of the plot against her and her people – which he did. Horrified at what Haman had done, the King had him hung with his ten sons on the gallows meant for Esther’s uncle Mordechai who had incited Haman to wrath by not bowing down in obeisance to him – which had led Haman to conceive the plot against the Jews.

When the Jews successfully fought and won against those who were sent to destroy them, as the edict could not be canceled;  the King allowed them to take up arms to fight – a time of rejoicing and celebration ensued. It was then decided to continue with a celebration yearly to commemorate the victory. Queen Esther signed a decree confirming the feast of Purim. The word “Purim” is a Chaldean word [“pagan” language] that means “lots” and refers to the lottery that Haman used to choose the date for the massacre.


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 been imposed 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. Purim was not a feast of the Lord.  It was in honor of victory over the enemy of the Jews, not a shadow of Christ like the Feasts that God had given to Israel to observe. Purim, as it is celebrated Rabbinically, puts the emphasis on the person. The Feasts of the Lord were a shadow, a prophecy of Jesus Christ and focused on Him, the fulfillment of those prophecies.

Although there is not any evidence that Purim was kept in the Old Testament other than in the book of Esther, Judaism has continued to keep this holiday under the instruction of the Talmud. The earliest reference to this celebratory holiday is in the second century CE.

Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of Adar, which is usually in March. The 13th of Adar is the day that Haman chose for the extermination of the Jews, and the day that the Jews battled their enemies for their lives. On the day afterwards, the 14th, they celebrated their survival. In cities that were walled in the time of Joshua, Purim is celebrated on the 15th of the month, because the book of Esther says that in Shushan (a walled city), deliverance from the massacre was not complete until the next day. The 15th is referred to as Shushan Purim.” 4

The Talmud is explicit in its Rabbinical instructions for keeping Purim, which is mandatory in Judaism.
* Hear the reading of the book of Esther called the Megillah [scroll]. The Megillah must be read in the evening before Purim and the morning of, in accordance with the commandment as found in the Talmud.

* Hiss, boo, stomp and rattle “gragers” (noise makers) whenever the name of Haman is mentioned so that his name is blotted out.

* Eat, drink and be merry – the Talmud instructs that “a person is required to drink until he cannot tell the difference between “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordecai,” though opinions differ as to exactly how drunk that is.”

* The Jews are commanded to send out gifs of food and drink, and to give gifts to charity. One popular food item are “hamentaschen” (Haman’s pockets – also known as oznei haman, or Haman’s ears) – a type of triangular (3 cornered hat] shaped cookie filled with fruit preserves or poppy seed filling.

* Out of respect for the holiday people should not work or go about their normal business, but it is not considered a “Sabbath”.

* Fasting
As the story goes in Esther, she fasts for three days and three nights, requesting that all Jews in Shushan and her maids do the same so that the King will receive her in his court. The Rabbinical instructions for this fast for Purim only require one day of fasting, although some do additional fasting after Purim. 5

“Since the Fast of Esther is not one of the four Fast days which are specifically mentioned in the Prophetic Writings, it is observed with greater leniency than the other Fast days. Pregnant women, nursing mothers, as well as others of generally weak health, (who would suffer by fasting) do not fast therein. The additional penitential prayers, and the Torah Reading, which are prescribed for the other Fast days are also required for the Fast of Esther. 6

* Dressing up in costumes with masks for parades is all part of the fun and most definitely one of the favorite parts of celebrating Purim. Today, the children even dress up as Disney characters and super heroes. 7

It is customary to hold carnival-like celebrations on Purim, to perform plays and parodies, and to hold beauty contests. I have heard that the usual prohibitions against cross-dressing are lifted during this holiday, but I am not certain about that. Americans sometimes refer to Purim as the Jewish Mardi Gras” 8

In Israel, however, Purim is as intensely ruckus as Carnival in Brazil or Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Every city, large and small, has a parade. The one in Tel Aviv is so over-the-top that cross-dressing drag queens can usually be seen mingling amongst the clown-clad kiddies.”

“School children often have multiple costumes. After all, why pick just one superhero or princess when your teacher lets you come in costume the whole week! In the days leading up to Purim, even teachers and administrators come to school in costume.”

“The actual day of Purim is a holiday from school, so that is when kids attend their neighborhood Purim party, sponsored by the local community centers. These affairs are loud and rocking, with blaring DJs, smoke machines and copious amounts of junk food. Teenagers get in on the action at night, when there parties feature perhaps mellower music, but a near hyper-like consumption of alcohol.”

“While there is no trick-or-treating on Purim, the holiday still has that Halloween-like quality that most likely comes from ingesting way too many sugared treats. Religious and secular alike in Israel can be seen on Purim morning delivering baskets of food – usually sweet pastries and candy toffees – to their friends and family members.” 9

The “celebrations” included reading the story of Esther. When the reader came to the name “Mordechai”, everyone was supposed to cheer and clap. When the reader came to the name “Haman”,  all booed and hissed their disapproval.

Other traditions include:

Hamantashen – a triangular-shaped, poppy seed filled pastry. The name was intentionally distorted to “Hamantashan” which means “Haman’s pockets” in Yiddish. Some say that Haman wore a three-cornered hat, and that is why the pocket of dough is triangular.

In Hebrew, the pastry is called “Oznei Haman” which means Haman’s ears. This name may have come from the midrash which says that when Haman entered the King’s treasury, he was bent over with shame and humiliation (literally with clipped ears).

Mishloach Manot (literally “sending of portions”) is another Purim food tradition. These are baskets filled with cakes, cookies, nuts, fruits and other treats given to neighbors, friends, and especially the needy. Hamantashen is often the centerpiece of these food baskets.

Seudat Purim – It is traditional to have a Purim Seudah (feast) on Purim day. At this meal, some serve an especially long, braided challah (in memory of the rope used to hang Haman), soup with kreplach (triangular shaped in memory of Haman’s hat), and turkey (in memory of King Ahasuerus’s reign from India (“Hodu”) to Ethiopia and of his foolishness).
Others have a vegetarian meal since Esther ate as a vegetarian in order to keep kosher in the King’s Palace. Of course, for dessert there is hamantashen. 10

Some Messianic Judaism congregations actually pass out lists of Jewish musicians and movie stars as suggestions for dress up, as well as Biblical characters. The mixing of secular and religious seems hypocritical when considering these same “gentile Jews” ridicule Christians for dressing up at Halloween and going trick or treating. The emphasis of the costumes for Purim is no different than Halloween – it is to hide evil behind a mask.

Purim is the most carnivalesque Jewish holiday. It is a day when norms are subverted and reversed to commemorate the reversal of fortune recorded in the Book of Esther. Purim is celebrated with drinking, dressing up, and satirical performances, all recalling the evil decrees of Haman that were ultimately overturned.11″

The custom to wear disguises on Purim in general is based on G-d’s hiding His identity in the Megillah of Esther. The salvation of the Jewish People seems to be accomplished through the actions of people alone, and G-d’s Name doesn’t appear once.

The custom to wear disguises on Purim and to appear as non-Jews is related to our father Yaakov’s wearing of Esav’s clothes when he received the blessings that were due him. It is as if we announce that just as Yaakov only had the outer appearance of Esav, but was inwardly holy and pure, so are all appearances of evil in Israel only external, and inwardly we remain a holy people.

This custom has also been related to a verse in the Torah: ‘And I shall surely hide My face on that day,’ on which the Rabbis comment: ‘Where does the Torah allude to Esther?’ It is said (Dvarim 31) : V’Anochi haster astir panai…’ (And I will surely hide My face…’ ‘haster’ = ‘to hide’ – and ‘haster’ and ‘Esther’ are phonetically alike). From this we learn that hiding one’s face is proper on the day of Esther.

You thus find of David, King of Israel, that he appears like a sinner, whereas in truth he excelled in piety. The same trait characterized our father Yaakov, whose righteousness was so much concealed from all eyes, that even his father Yitzchak failed to recognize his true self until Rivkah revealed his hidden traits and caused the blessings to be given to Yaakov who alone was worthy of them”. 12

Although there has been much debate on the amount of alcohol that one can consume and still not violate other commandments, there appears to be a rather extreme latitude within Rabbinical opinion as to just how drunk that is.

“When it comes to drinking on Purim, the Talmud clearly understood what the scroll of Esther (the Megillah) was all about. In practically every chapter of the Megillah, someone is imbibing heavily at a drinking party. And the scroll concludes with Mordecai’s instruction to the entire Jewish people to celebrate these days as “yemei mishteh v’simchah, days of drinking and rejoicing” (Esther 9:22).”

“Rava said: It is one’s duty levasumei, to make oneself fragrant [with wine] on Purim until one cannot tell the difference between ‘arur Haman’ (cursed be Haman) and ‘barukh Mordekhai’ (blessed be Mordecai)” (Babylonian Talmud, Megillah 7b).

What degree of drunkenness is meant by this? The word levasumei is sometimes translated as “get mellow;” others simply say “drink.” The word levasumei, however, is from the same root as besamim (fragrant spices, like those that are smelled during Havdalah at the conclusion of the Sabbath). Minimally, one must drink so that others would smell it, although if they are also drunk, who would be able to check? Maximally, one must become, to use a technical term, “stinking drunk”. 13

The duty of “levasumei” [so drunk one cannot tell the difference between “cursed be Haman and blessed be Mordechai] is also defined through gematria, which is kabbalah.

Most people assume that one must become so befuddled that one can no longer distinguish between the most wicked of people and the most righteous. Some, however, have noted that the two phrases, “arur Haman” and “barukh Mordekhai” have the same numerical value according to the traditional counting of the Hebrew letters called gematria (502). This point is somewhat obscure. Are we to assume that people are sober enough to calculate the gematria of these phrases, but drunk enough to get the words confused because they have the same gematria? However puzzling, this seems to be the opinion of the 17th century halakhist R. Abraham Abele ben Hayyim haLevi Gombiner.” 14

The following story shows just how far the myth and legend of Purim is foundational to the understanding and celebrating with drunkeness, according to Rabbinical sources. Please note that this story is seen with humor, not seriously.

Alcohol and Swordplay Don’t Mix.
Perhaps the Talmud tells the following story in order to provide some degree of clarification of Rava’s requirement to get drunk: Rabbah and R. Zeira got together for Purim Seudah (the feast on the afternoon of Purim). They got very drunk, and Rabbah got up and cut R. Zeira’s throat (literally, Rabbah butchered him). The next day, Rabbah prayed on R. Zeira’s behalf and brought him back to life. A year later, Rabbah asked, “Would you like to have Purim Seudah with me again this year?” R. Zeira replied, “One cannot count on a miracle every time.” (Megillah 7b) Cute story, but what does it have to do with how much one is supposed to drink? Traditional interpreters have four basic approaches. The most eminent sources, including the Rosh, the Tur, and Yosef Karo, simply quote Rava’s statement that one “becomes fragrant” without any reference to the story of Rabbah. Presumably, R. Zeira had a hard night, but why should that spoil the party for everyone else?!” 15

Another reference in the Talmud to getting drunk on Purim:

How does one fulfill the obligation of the Purim Seudah? One should eat meat and prepare as nice a meal as one can afford and drink wine until one becomes drunk and falls asleep from drunkenness. (Laws of Megillah 2:15)” 16

If one is a follower of Jesus Christ and seeks to live according to New Testament guidelines, then participating in Purim according the customs of the Talmud would be against the Scriptures of the New Testament. What those in Hebrew Roots or those Messianics involved in this are doing, is no different than their railings against Christians for their participation with Christmas and Easter celebrations–which for true believers is focused on Jesus Christ’s birth, death and resurrection according to the inspired Word of God in the Bible. The keeping of feasts according to Talmudic/kabbalistic traditions and commandments are of man, not God. As Jesus said:

Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Matthew 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
6 … Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.


We are told explicitly in the NT:

1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

Romans 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

endnotes:

1 http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=613&letter=P
2. http://www.seekgod.ca/legend.htm
3. http://www.kabbalah.info/engkab/holidays_eng/inner_purim.htm

4. http://www.holidays.net/purim/

5. ibid

6. http://www.ou.org/holidays/purim/fast_of_esther

7. http://www.holidays.net/purim/

8. http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday9.htmhttp & http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/holiday9.html

9. http://www.holidays.net/purim/

10. http://judaism.about.com/od/purim/a/purimfood.htm

11. http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays_Purim.shtml

12.http://www.ou.org/holidays/purim/why_we_wear_disguises_on_purim

13.http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Purim/At_Home/Meal/Drinking_on_Purim.shtml

14. ibid

15. ibid

16. ibid

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What is Rosh Hashanah? Why is it considered the Jewish New Year yet falls on the Feast of Trumpets which is actually in the 10th month of the year, not the first of the year? Why do Messianics and those in Hebrew Roots observe this holiday when there is nothing in Scripture to support it? Why have Christians now embraced this holiday and prophetically promote Rosh Hashanah as when the Rapture will happen or others, who time the second return of Christ with the Feast of Trumpets?

In Judaism, Rosh Hashanah, which means “New Year” commemorates creation and is the imminent arrival of God’s judgment, in Judaism. On this day, it is said that God inspects the books of judgment for every person. It is advantageous, then, for Jews to repent of their sin, and excise sin as well before that day [the month prior, called Elul]. It is a time of reviewing the past year to see if they owe anyone money or favors, as well as returning borrowed items. The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur [Day of Atonement] are considered the “Days of Awe” in which the things one does during that time will guarantee how the year will go for them in regard to the judgment of God. It is also the time that God decides who will live or die in the coming year.

As part of the Feast of Trumpets [Yom Teruah], tradition in Judaism has the blowing of trumpets in the synagogues, heralding the New Year.

I have provided several quotes from Jewish sites describing Rosh Hoshanah. I think it’s important to understand clearly exactly what Judaism believes and practices compared to what NT believers understand about the Scriptures. I do not see harmony between the two, but rather a lot of contradictions to the OT and especially the NT, which we know is fulfillment of the old covenant.

“The month of Elul is the final month in the Jewish year. This month is a particularly propitious time for prayer, self introspection, and repentance. It is a time of intense spiritual preparation for the coming year and the upcoming holiday of Rosh Hashanah. This year (2009/5770) the month of Elul begins on Friday August 21, 2009 and lasts through September 18, 2009.

Rosh Hashanah is the first and second days of the first Jewish month of Tishrei. It marks the beginning of the Jewish new year. The celebration of this holiday is marked with solemnity, as it is the day on which the whole world is judged for the coming year. Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the world, as it was on this day that G-d created Man on the 6th day of creation. Every year, on this day, we proclaim G-d as our one and true King.”

http://www.torah.org/learning/yomtov/roshhashanah/

“In particular, the first festival of the year, Rosh Hashanah, seems to fit no familiar mold. It is the day on which we tremulously submit to the divine sovereignty and crown G-d as our king, but as the Chassidic masters point out, a coronation is always a festive event, with bands playing in the streets and crowds picnicking in the parks and fields. It is the day on which we stand in judgment before G-d, the day on which the Heavenly Court rules “who shall live and who shall die…who shall be impoverished and who shall be enriched… who shall fall and who shall rise”; but also the day on which we “eat lush foods and drink sweets… for the joy of the Eternal is your strength.” The Talmud offers the image of a person coming to court where a life-or-death verdict will be handed down on him, but he is dressed in white and has a feast awaiting him at home, confident that he will triumph in his trial.”

http://www.chabad.org/holidays/JewishNew…uction.htm

“Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first and second days of Tishri. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, “head of the year” or “first of the year.” Rosh Hashanah is commonly known as the Jewish New Year … the Jewish New Year is a time to begin introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the new year. More on this concept at Days of Awe.

The name “Rosh Hashanah” is not used in the Bible to discuss this holiday. The Bible refers to the holiday as Yom Ha-Zikkaron (the day of remembrance) or Yom Teruah (the day of the sounding of the shofar). The holiday is instituted in Leviticus 23:24-25.”

http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday2.htm

“The ten days starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur are commonly known as the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim) or the Days of Repentance. This is a time for serious introspection, a time to consider the sins of the previous year and repent before Yom Kippur.

One of the ongoing themes of the Days of Awe is the concept that G-d has “books” that he writes our names in, writing down who will live and who will die, who will have a good life and who will have a bad life, for the next year. These books are written in on Rosh Hashanah, but our actions during the Days of Awe can alter G-d’s decree. The actions that change the decree are “teshuvah, tefilah and tzedakah,” repentance, prayer, good deeds (usually, charity). These “books” are sealed on Yom Kippur. This concept of writing in books is the source of the common greeting during this time is “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.”

Among the customs of this time, it is common to seek reconciliation with people you may have wronged during the course of the year. The Talmud maintains that Yom Kippur atones only for sins between man and G-d. To atone for sins against another person, you must first seek reconciliation with that person, righting the wrongs you committed against them if possible.”

http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday3.htm

“The beginning of the month of Elul marks the one month notice until the “Divine audit” on Rosh Hashana. Throughout the month of Elul, Jews search for every receipt and credit slip left by their behavior. “Did I belittle the secretary who couldn’t remember my name?” “Did I borrow $20 and forget to return it?” “Did I…?”
Elul is the time to look back over the past year, sort out our strengths and weaknesses, and see what impact our deeds have had. Like sorting the receipts, we can put our actions into little piles: wrong to G-d, our fellow humans or even ourselves, and good to G-d, our fellow humans or ourselves. Sometimes an action may fall into several categories. Reviewing our behavior is, according to the Medieval scholar Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (Maimonides), the beginning of the first step in teshuva, repentance. The Jewish view of repentance goes much farther than mere regret. Teshuva is a pro-active process that recognizes our fallibility and our ability to change.

On Rosh Hashana G-d holds each man and woman accountable for his or her actions over the last year … While people should strive to improve themselves throughout the year, as the month of Elul begins and the Shofar is sounded, we are reminded that there is just one month left. Thirty days remain to check one’s balance and settle old accounts. By using Elul to prepare, one is able to face the Divine audit on Rosh Hashana with clarity and confidence, knowing that one has moved towards his/her spiritual goal and has made a better connection with the power of the day, and with G-d.”

http://www.njop.org/html/Roshessay.html

Another good summary of Rosh Hashanah can be found here:

http://judaism.about.com/od/holidays/a/roshhashanah.htm

One of the Jewish traditions of Rosh Hashanah is Tashlich. This is the practice of bringing pieces of bread in one’s pockets and then going to a fast moving stream or river and casting the bread on the water. The bread represents sin being cast and swept away by the current.

For those who follow Christ, this practice is completely contradictory to salvation and the full remission of sins that we have in Christ. I am not sure why those who believe in Jesus Christ would do such a thing? Upon confession and repentance to God for sin, He forgives immediately. It is a simple, beautiful thing that we have the assurance of this forgiveness and do not need to spend days preparing and then casting our sins in free flowing water, represented by bread. God is the one who has cast our sins as far as the east is from the west, and as deep as the sea.

Psalm 103:10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
Psa 103:11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
Psa 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Micah 7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
Mic 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
Mic 7:20 Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Clearly, observing Rosh Hashanah, which was developed by the sages/Rabbis of Judaism who do not accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah – and as Rosh Hashanah is Judaism’s tradition and practice, cannot have a place in the life of a believer. Rosh Hashanah denies the finished work of Christ and is a man-made system that has no merit in one’s relationship with the Lord.

There is not much information in the Bible on the Feast of The Feast of Trumpets. We do know that it required a sacrifice for sin and therefore; is fulfilled completely in Christ with further implications – as noted further down.

Here is the Scripture pertaining to it:

Lev 23:24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, shall be a solemn rest unto you, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.
Lev 23:25 Ye shall do no servile work; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto Jehovah.

Num 29:1 And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have a holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing of trumpets unto you.
Num 29:2 And ye shall offer a burnt-offering for a sweet savor unto Jehovah: one young bullock, one ram, seven he-lambs a year old without blemish;
Num 29:3 and their meal-offering, fine flour mingled with oil, three tenth parts for the bullock, two tenth parts for the ram,
Num 29:4 and one tenth part for every lamb of the seven lambs;
Num 29:5 and one he-goat for a sin-offering, to make atonement for you;
Num 29:6 besides the burnt-offering of the new moon, and the meal-offering thereof, and the continual burnt-offering and the meal-offering thereof, and their drink-offerings, according unto their ordinance, for a sweet savor, an offering made by fire unto Jehovah.

For those who advocate, teach, and promote that Rosh Hashanah or the Feast of Trumpets will be fulfilled at a future date in either the rapture or the 2nd coming, I would ask how this can be? The Feast of Trumpets required the blowing of many trumpets. When Christ returns, He will descend with *one* trump and a shout, once – not for a rapture and then later at His second coming. I have heard some say in Hebrew Roots that they must “practice” the Lord’s return by blowing the trumpets. I cannot imagine anything quite so goofy or sacrilegious as that.

In the Hebrew, “teruah” is not the word trumpet – it is a signal, shout, or blast. It is implied in Lev 23 because the word “blow” is used as well.

Lev 23:24 Speak1696 unto413 the children1121 of Israel,3478 saying,559 In the seventh7637 month,2320 in the first259 day of the month,2320 shall ye have1961 a sabbath,7677 a memorial2146 of blowing of trumpets,8643 a holy6944 convocation.4744

H8643
תּרוּעה
terû‛âh
BDB Definition:
1) alarm, signal, sound of tempest, shout, shout or blast of war or alarm or joy
1a) alarm of war, war-cry, battle-cry
1b) blast (for march)
1c) shout of joy (with religious impulse)
1d) shout of joy (in general)

The word “trumpet” itself is not used in either text. The word “teruah” [H8643] is used 36 times in the OT and associated with trumpets about 9 times – that is only 25% of the usage. Here is the breakdown:

shout 11, shouting 8, alarm 6, sound 3, blowing 2, joy 2, miscellaneous 4 [sounded, sounding, shouted]

Another wonderful example of how “teruah” is used indicating shouting and joy is found in Ezra [each of the bolded underlined words are “teruah”].

Ezra 3:10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel.
Ezr 3:11 And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
Ezr 3:12 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:
Ezr 3:13 So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.

With that in mind, think about the birth of Christ. Gabriel announced His birth to Mary – a remarkable wondrous occasion in which a miracle was manifested in a virgin – she conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit fulfilling Isaiah 7:14 as well. AWESOME!

The angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds with radiating glory all around, and a multitude of angels heralded His coming and sang for joy as it resounded in the Heavens. Amazing how that all fits together so well when you look at the meaning of “teruah”. This really indicates fulfillment in Christ’s coming as well as His sacrifice for sin.

Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Luk 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
Luk 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luk 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Luk 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Luk 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luk 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


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A Jewish Perspective

It seems that I can’t get away from a “Jewish perspective of the first century”. From emails to posts on various forums, to books and articles online/in book stores, there is an abundance of theories referring to this strange phenomenon. It’s as if suddenly, to be in the “loop” of solid spirituality, one must discover some kind of ancient culture or language in order to understand who Jesus is and what He said with complete clarity.

That probably comes as shock to some and for others, total agreement. It’s as if the NT forgot that itsy bitsy detail and so for 2,000 years, most of the believers in the world have “missed it” for the sake of blindness to their “true” historical “roots” …. or as some have termed it, to “enhance their faith” and their walk with Christ.

There was a time when I was caught up into the Jewishness of the Bible or going back to “the ancient paths” of the time of Jesus. It was how I got drawn into the Messianic Hebrew Roots movement. That was the hook for me [and it brought me down some very slippery slopes toward orthodox Judaism and kabbalah]. I supposed that if I found Jewish believers, they could accurately speak to me of the truths of the Bible hidden from Christians who had been guided away from the “real truth”. That canard is played rather heavily in the HR movement, but interestingly now being promoted with Christianity as well. Does it have any credibility?

What is a Jewish perspective?

Depending on the venue it can be defined as first century Jewish practice that is thought to be applied to Christ and the disciples. Or it can mean discovering Hebraic primacy of the NT, which would leave the Greek as a “mistranslation” of the text. Or worst of all, a Hellenistic [Greek] pagan influenced view of Hebraic “Judaism”.

From the sources that I have studied, Jewish practice is pretty much defined by the Talmud, which is a Rabbinical look at the history of Judaism from Mt Sinai onwards. The Talmud, in the broadest terms, is considered the “oral law” transmitted by mouth, from generation to generation from Mt Sinai until about 150 CE when the Mishneh began to record those “transmissions”. The Talmud, from 200-500 CE continued with the process and throughout the centuries till the middle ages, the Rabbinical system contributed to Talmudic concepts and interpretations of the Torah [Mosaic Law] by a debate system from Rabbi to Rabbi in the ensuing centuries. The Talmud consists of many volumes of works – an extensive library of discussions and “rulings” that are Judaism.

An early form of Judaism was expressed through the Pharisees from about 300 BCE [birthed from the Hasmodean period also known as Maccabeen] until 70 CE when the Temple was destroyed. From there, the pharisaical sect “morphed” into what is the Rabbinical system today.

Other than through the Talmud and Josephus, there is not much “history” of first century practices. What we read in the NT is pretty sketchy, but that is probably because it was not necessary. The Gospel, the Good News, is not bound or explained by historical significance. That is the beauty of the cross. The cross of Christ completely transcends history, culture and language – for those IN Christ know Him by His indwelt Spirit.

I have heard it said that because Jesus was Jewish, therefore; we need information about that Jewishness in order to understand Him and what He spoke. According to this concept, the true meaning of the parables and allegory of the NT is hidden from those who do not have this Jewish perspective. I really have to smile at that one. I am not sure what is so important about what Jesus said that has to be filtered though “Jewishness”. Loving God above all, loving your neighbor as yourself. Wow. That’s really tough to grasp [smile].

This same Jewish perspective is quite fond of calling Jesus “Rabbi” who taught/practiced the true “Jewishness” of the “Law” and therefore, one must “follow in His footsteps” by being Jewish. For some this means keeping the Mosaic Law. However; a “Rabbi” is a Talmudic classification, it is not a first century position. There were no Rabbis in Jesus’ day. There were Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes. The Rabbinic title is given to Jewish men who study Talmud specifically to be ordained as a Rabbi. There was no Talmud in the first century.

When Jesus was referred to as “Rabbi”, it simply meant teacher. A Rabbi today, within Judaism, is an expert on Talmudic Law. So the obvious question is: what did Jesus need with a Talmudic title to teach what is interpreted to be the Law through a man made system that denies Him and His finished work?

In case one points out the “oral law” from Mt Sinai as part of the first century Jewish practice, I should probably explain a bit on that concept. If there was an oral law [extremely speculative because of Israel’s history of disseminations, dispersements, and separations – it would be highly unlikely for any kind of accuracy ….. it’s just common sense … think telephone game], we need to check what the Bible has to say on it. According to a multitude of Scriptures, ALL the laws of Moses were WRITTEN DOWN. There is not one reference to oral transmission of the laws given at Mt Sinai in the OT. This poses a huge problem for those who try to wedge anything that Jesus said into the oral law tradition.

It is a fact that Jesus condemned the traditions and laws of the Pharisees. He hated their interpretations and added laws that put a yoke on people. He even stated that by those traditions they rendered the Law of Moses worthless. Those are hurting words! Isn’t that like a “DUH” moment? It amazes me that people think Jesus took phrases and sayings from a pharisaical sect that He condemned and then supposedly promoted their heresy? It’s like, WOW – who woulda thunk it?

Another favorite ploy is to assign Jesus an affiliation with Hillel who lived middle 1 BCE to about 10 CE. So things that Jesus said like “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” comes from the negative Hillel: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow”. Unfortunately, the only assumed recorded Hillel version was written long after Jesus ……. in the Talmud. So let’s take another look at the Talmud to find the answer.

The Talmud [including other works like the Toldot Yeshu] is the most polemical anti-Christ writing ever written. It contains many references to His birth, life, and death and of Mary and Joseph in the most denigrating and perverted ways. The Talmud was written to replace Christianity’s influence and to keep Jews from converting to Christ. From the amount of teachings in the Talmud that reflect what Jesus spoke, but twisted, I suspect that the Talmud took from Him, not the other way around – and probably to inflate their system to make Jesus look bad. The Talmud is considered superior to the written Word [Mosaic Law specifically] so why would they not elevate themselves above Christ, saying that He took their sayings as His own? I cannot imagine how people would think that Jesus would “paraphrase” the ungodliness of the “oral law” that was supposedly spoken before Jesus’ time and included in the Talmud, which denies and hates Him. It does not add up. Why would anyone want to reference that work as customs and teachings that Jesus adhered to in the first century?

The traditions of the Talmud like the tallit, bar mitzvah, the Passover Seder, mikveh, the title of Rabbi, the 8 day miracle of oil for Hanukkah, etc are all Talmudic traditions added around the middle ages CE. None of the customs that people apply to Christ were part of the first century. So how can one now say that we must return to those traditions when they did not exist then?

Does it make one feel more “Jewish”? Probably. But is that a necessary part of knowing Christ? I find it interesting that Paul said all of his Jewishness was dung. WOW. Not that being Jewish was bad, but what he practiced as a Jew – the culture, the traditions, his position as a Pharisee were dung. What Paul focused on was the cross of Christ and running unhindered with his eyes focused on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Unbelievably simple.

One of the most favorite ploys of the “Jewish perspective” is that the “Jewishness of the Gospel” was stolen by Hellenistic Christians aka the converted Greek gentiles. Of course, the full load is dumped on Constantine who is the “fall guy” because he “ordered” the elimination of all Hebraicness from Christianity in 325 CE. I sometimes wonder at people’s ability to gloss over one little fact. If God wanted the Gospel to retain “Jewishness” it would not have disappeared in the first place. I also am puzzled as to why the NT never refers to keeping Jewish traditions and a Hebraic mindset in order to understand Jesus’words or the writings of the disciples. I probably just over-looked it (smile).

Hellenism was a huge part of the Jewish life style during the first century. It was not some “new” philosophy that overcame the Gospel. Rome had ruled Israel from about 325 BCE. If anyone understands how the culture and language are integrated into the current culture and language, it’s not difficult to grasp that the Jews not only spoke Greek [Aramaic and Hebrew as well], but were affected religiously by the Greek “mind set”. Plus we read in the NT that Hellenism had already infiltrated the church.

It amazes me that people actually think the first century Jews were “pure”. They had broken their covenant with God and were quite literally without the presence of God in the Temple [no ark of the covenant]. The priesthood was in shambles and a cursed king was on the throne. The ruling leadership [Pharisees, Sadducess, and scribes] were corrupt. Jewish history consisted of rebellion against God and idolatry, not to mention the kingly line of David, and the Levitical [Zadok] priesthood that were both overthrown by the Maccabees. Quite a background for “pure” Jewishness in the first century.

I think the problem lies in the lack of knowledge of who Jesus is. As God, He had no need of a culture or language to teach. People understood Him quite well – at least those who believed on Him. If we look at the people who believed on Him and took His teachings to heart, they were not just Jewish people. There were Samaritans, Greeks, Roman centurians and others. For some odd reason, they did not have a “Jewish” perspective, but understood from the heart as revealed through the Holy Spirit. Peter is a great example of this. He declared Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of God because God revealed it to Him, not because of his Jewishness. When Jesus called the disciples, it was not because of His Jewishness, but because God stirred them to follow Jesus.

Paul tells us that we have the mind of Christ. Is Jesus’ mind, Hebrew? Or is the NT correct when it states that He grew in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit? Did Jesus need a Jewish mind set to teach the things of God? Wasn’t the Jewish mind set corrupted by years of sin and rebellion?

Hopefully my commentary has given you some thought as to your current understanding of a “Jewish” perspective. I have several articles that go in-depth on many of the topics I included here with Scriptural and historical documentation. Please read them for further study. Please take time, also, to surf through my “daily” posts and the topics listed at the top of my blog page or at the right side. I ask that you not take my word for what I have written, but search these things out for yourself and prove all things, as we are instructed to do.

Another great place to come and get involved in an open discussion is the Seek God Forum. We have tons of topics and you are more than welcome to sign up as a member to post or to start new topics [you can read as much as you like without joining, but we’d love to have you jump right in and give us your thoughts! – http://www.seekgod.ca/forum/index.php ]

Some articles to look at:

https://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/ancient-paths/

https://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/jesus-a-pharisee/

https://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/tallit/

https://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/2009/02/11/a-brief-view-of-the-talmud/

https://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/2009/02/07/be-not-called-rabbi/

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There was an interesting discussion on why in Messianic Judaism, leaders are often referred to as “Rabbis” on the SeekGod Forum.  It pretty much says it like it is, so I thought I would share it 🙂

http://www.seekgod.ca/forum/showthread.php?tid=137

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sheep wrecked:
Does anyone know why Messianics call their leaders, “Rabbis”? Why do they think getting an ordination in the teachings of messianic Judaism gives them the right to be called “Rabbi” when they have not studied in a true Yeshiva?

Inquiring minds want to know ……..Sign0085

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Rose of Shushan:
Sheep that is one of my pet peeves.For many reasons.

First Jesus specifically said

Mat 23:8 But you be not called Rabbi: for one is your Teacher, even Christ; and all you are brothers.

That should be reason enough alone.Those who call themselves rabbis and preach Jesus ,(with authority since most will then set themselves up as teachers of Christians or believers) are being hypocrites with a capital H.
Then another reason.It is deceptive and depreciating to the real rabbis of Judaism.
In Judaism one earns the title of Rabbi by attending certain schools and abiding by certain protocols.
The only reason why a messianic would wish to assume the title of Rabbi is to deceive in my opinion.I know this sounds harsh but let’s face it, Jesus said don’t call anyone Rabbi and real Rabbis do not preach Jesus they preach Judaism.
What other reason could here be, its assuming the title of something that you are not.

And also the same goes for when people call Paul Rav Shaul. I can imagine Paul being horrified at this and responding with the above scripture


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Vic:

16679 Rose. Pet peeve of mine also.

And you know the most hypocritical part, out of those same mouths advocating being called rabbi in the Hebrew roots and messianic world—is the statement we have to keep the commandments and do what Jesus said. Else we are antinomians , lawless, and all sorts of slurs. 7863

Just as they mess up a whole bunch of Scriptures–they mess up their favorite one: Bash

Matthew 5:19-20 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus also said:

Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Joh 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

Joh 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Funny how such a simple commandment as not being called Rabbi or Teacher is so hard to keep for these self appointed ‘leaders’. 17432

Wonder why? 5522

This is how Paul presented himself or was presented in the Scriptures, quite often just as Paul, or:

Act 13:9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,)
Act 14:14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they

Act 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:

Rom 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated

1Co 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

1Co 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

Eph 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you

Col 4:18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds.

1Th 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2Th 3:17 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.

1Ti 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

Tit 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

Phm 1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,
Phm 1:2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:

Phm 1:9 Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

John > Joh 21:24 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.

3Jn 1:1 The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.

Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
Rev 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

James>Jas 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
Jas 1:2 My brethren,

Peter> 1 Peter 1:1-2 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

1Pe 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: …1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

2Pe 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

Jude> Jud 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

Nowhere do we see them focusing on themselves, having inflated egos, demanding to be esteemed, or referring to themselves or anyone else as “rabbi”. No

On the contrary, they invariably called themselves servants of Christ, and constantly pointed to Him, even in their salutations. They used the words apostles, disciples, brethren, brother or sister, elders–always lower case. They were the apostles who walked with and bore witness of Jesus Christ, and yet they showed not pride in that, but the servant quality that Jesus showed them. They were not respecters of persons, nor did they expect special treatment, special rules, special excuses, special labels. They cared about the things and people Jesus did. Gen126

Jesus said, by their fruit you shall know them. And having rabbi plastered all over a persons website or “teaching” material, or levite or whatever other label is used to reel in followers–shows they lack knowledge at the very least, of the Word of God. There is one Teacher, and One Good Shepherd, and that is Jesus Christ. 6788

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