Potter's Clay Ministries, Inc.
Rev. Randy Felton
417 NW 42nd Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73118

An Introductory Study for Christians
by Reverend Randy Felton


This series of lessons is compiled from the teaching notes of The Reverend Randy Felton as presented to the KOINOINA Sunday School Class of Our Lord's Community Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma during the winter/spring of 1993-1994. It is hoped that this work will provide some insight into the rich heritage we have received from the Jewish roots from which we spring. We are grafted in off-shoots - and wild ones, at that. It is desired that we all come to know Jesus in His fullness and that means in His Jewishness.

These notes and their preparation were submitted to the University of Biblical Studies for credit toward the degree of BA in Ministerial Studies.

For further information, copies of these notes or speaking engagements, you may contact The Reverend Randy Felton by contacting us by email or phone.

SHABBAT (Sabbath)
PESACH (Passover)
SHAVUOT (Pentecost)
ROSH HASHANAH (Feast of Trumpets)
YOM KIPPUR (Day of Atonement)
SUCCOTH (Feast of Tabernacles)
CHANUKAH (Feast of Lights)
PURIM (Feast of Esther)
YOM HASHOAH (Holocaust Remembrance Day)

The Sabbath/SHABBAT

The Sabbath is mentioned 75 times in the Old Testament and 60 times in the New Testament. Hebrew: Shab-Baw-Thone (special holiday), Sha-Bath (repose, desist from exertion, to choose, to make to cease or celebrate. Greek: Sabbaton (day of weekly repose).

Exodus 16:26 tells us that the Sabbath is to be the 7th day. Verse 29, The Lord has given you the Sabbath. Exodus 20:8, Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it Holy. Verse 10, ...the seventh day is a Sabbath... Verse 11, ...the Lord blessed the Sabbath and made it Holy. Leviticus 23:3, ...but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the Lord. Leviticus 25:3-7, For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But the seventh year the land is to have a sabbath of rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what is grown of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you - for yourself, your manservant and maidservant, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten. This passage teaches that the land must not be harvested for gain or sale. The land is to rest. The unused crops, grain of fruit that falls to the ground shall replenish the ground. This becomes a natural fertilizer and restores the land.

Isaiah 58:13-14, If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. Mark 2:27, ...The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. This story is also found in Luke, Chapter 6. John 19:31, Now it was the day of preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. NOTE: If Jesus died on Friday, He was taken down before sundown Friday evening the start of the Sabbath. His body was in the tomb during the Sabbath and was resurrected on the following day after the Sabbath, after sundown but before sunup. The Jewish day begins at sundown and ends at sundown. Any part of a day is counted as a whole day. This would allow for the tradition of "Good Friday: and the resurrection on Sunday, yet fulfilling the scriptures regarding the 3 days in the tomb. We can also refer to Matthew 5:17 and Romans 14:5 regarding the Sabbath.

In an ancient legend, God speaks to the Children of Israel, saying, "My children, if you are willing to accept the Torah and observe its precepts (Mitzvot), I will grant you a most precious gift". "And what is that precious gift to be?" asked the Children of Israel. "The world to come," is the reply. "Tell us what the world to come is like," retort the Children of Israel. And God responds, "I have already given you the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a taste of the world to come."

The Sabbath has provided a day of rest and rejuvenation plus joy to lives that were otherwise drab. Families are drawn together, parents and children dine together, they study together, they sing together. They are family.

The Sabbath Celebration (Contemporary)

The house should be cleaned/tidied so that the family, guests, Sabbath angels and the Sabbath Queen will notice the difference. If your house is spotless all the time, you should bring in freshly cut flowers or something else special - perhaps a centerpiece for the dining room table. There can be no cleaning, running the washer, or mopping after the Friday night dinner. The dinner table should be set with a clean, fresh table cloth, the best china, crystal or silver you have. If you normally use paper plates for everything, paper is permissible for Shabbat, but you should use something special (decorative) to set Shabbat apart. You will also need wine, (acholic or non-acholic), wine cups, two Challot (two loaves or rolls of Challah bread), the Challah tray, Challah knife, Challah cover, and Candlesticks. You will also need a booklet of Shabbat table songs called ZEMIROT and the Grace after meals known as BIRKAT HAMAZON. The husband/father, head of the household, leads the ritual. (In single households, a woman is permitted to conduct the ritual.) The candlesticks are often set on a side table for Shabbat. The scriptural admonition against kindling a fire must be kept. The candlesticks placed on a side table allow the tablecloth to be replaced for Shabbat lunch should it become soiled. All appliances are to be turned off during Shabbat, the lone exception being the electric clock which does not need to be unplugged. Orthodox Jews use electricity during Shabbat, they just don't operate it. To accomplish this, they use a Shabbos clock (timer) set to turn on the lights. They will also unscrew the bulbs in automatic closet lights and in the refrigerator in order to keep them from lighting when the door is opened. The Shabbos clock, having been set before Shabbat, does not constitute kindling a fire on Sabbath. Bathroom, hallway and porch lights for guests are simply left on for the full 25-hour period of Shabbat. Before the timers were invented, the Rabbis invented the "Shabbos Goy." This is a non-Jew who would come in to switch on/off lights, etc. that a Jew couldn't do during Shabbat. His instructions were given before Shabbat started since no instructions were allowed during Shabbat. Then he would simply come in and go about his business for the family.

NOTE: The use of Shabbat and Shabbos is interchangeable; only custom dictates the different occasions for usage.

Friday afternoon is a time of preparation for Shabbat. Haircuts, baths, clean clothes, shined shoes, mending - all is done before Shabbat begins as it cannot be done during Shabbat. The Sabbath starts 18 minutes before sundown on Friday and ends 42 minutes after sunset on Saturday. This created a 25-hour day. During late Spring and Summer when the days are long, the Sabbath is started at 7:00 PM to allow for supper before late at night. The Sabbath may be advanced but never delayed. The candles are lit before sundown to be already burning when Shabbat starts. If not, they may not be lit at all once Shabbat has started. The Shabbat candles are lit by the wife/mother of the house. At least tow candles are lit, although some households light a candle for every member of the household. Some Orthodox women cover their hair for all of Shabbat, some only for lighting of the candles and Synagogue services. The candles are lit and the match is laid down to burn itself out. The Sabbath has started with the lighting of the candles and a fire may not be extinguished during the Sabbath. The woman encircles the candles with her hands three times, drawing the light to her and repeats, "Blessed be He and blessed be His name."

Then she covers her eyes and recites the blessing:

Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to kindle the light of the Sabbath.

For the last few hundred years, Jewish women have added another brief prayer for the return to the Temple, which is really a Messianic prayer.

May it be Your will, Lord God and God of our fathers, that the Temple be speedily rebuilt in our days, and grant our portion in Your Torah. And there we will serve You with awe as in the days of old and as in ancient years. And may the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem be as pleasing to You as ever and as in ancient times.

Why cover the eyes? Blessings are recited before the fact, and since Shabbat starts when the candles are lit, the eyes are covered to prevent seeing or benefiting from it until the blessing is said. Sometimes the candles are lit in the presence of the family, and sometimes alone. After the candlelighting, the men go off to Synagogue for the Shul service. There they recite their afternoon prayers and then their evening prayers with the Kabbalat Shabbat between, welcoming the Sabbath. After returning from Shul, the family sings Shalom Aleichem, greeting the Shabbos angels who have accompanied them home from Shul. In some households, the father blessed the children after the song. Before Kiddush is recited, a husband sings Proverbs 31 to his wife. Then over a brimming cup of wine, the Kiddush is recited; it is the formal sanctification of the day.

There was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day. The heavens, the earth, and all their array were finished. And on the seventh day God finished the work He had been doing and rested on the seventh day from all the work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and set it aside, for on it He rested from all the work of creation which was to be done by God. Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Who made us special with Your commandments, wanted us, and lovingly and willingly gave us Your Holy Sabbath, a commemoration of the work of creation. For it is the culmination of special events, a remembrance of the going out from Egypt. For You chose us among all the nations, made us special and lovingly and willingly gave us Your Holy Sabbath. Blessed are You, God, Who makes Shabbat Holy.

Generally the husband/father recites the Kiddush, although some households sing it together. This is done over the cup of wine, or will all singing, over the cups poured for each.

Before proceeding with the meal, we ritually wash our hands, symbolic of the washing at the Temple. This may be done over the sink with a cup of water poured over the right hand by the left and then reversed and repeated two or three times. After this, recite:

Lift up your hands to the Holy and bless the Lord; and I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments which I love and I shall reflect on Your laws. - Psalm 134:2


Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us on the washing of hands.

This is followed by a moment of silence, then the Challah blessing and the Challah is eaten. Once seated, the Challah cover is removed (two loaves are used to symbolize the double portion of manna given to allow the Jews to Observe the Sabbath in the wilderness) and the Challah blessing is said: Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.

Everyone answers, "Amen," everyone eats of the Challah bread and the meal begins. It is a leisurely meal with family talking about everything that family talks about except financial matters. Money, even coins, are removed from the pockets on Friday afternoon and are not carried during Shabbat. Words of Torah are spoken and Zemirot (songs for Shabbat) are sung a cappella. Grace is said after the meal and is usually sung aloud and in unison on Shabbat. After dinner, it is time for relaxing. Some read, talk, play board games, go for walks, or there may be a special evening Synagogue service with a guest lecturer. Friday night earned the reputation as "Mitzvah" night; it has become customary for husband and wife to make love on Friday night. This is a time that is more relaxed, there is more time and the pressures of tomorrow are not there.

Shabbat morning is generally spent in Shul at the Synagogue. Services usually start between 8 or 9 AM and end between 11 and 12 Noon. Eating is not permitted before reciting morning prayers. This means that by the end of Shul and lunchtime, everyone would fade quickly with the first cup of wine. In more recent times, it has become custom to nibble on a piece of fruit, a piece of cake and to drink some juice or coffee before going to Shul but a real breakfast cannot be eaten and no bread is allowed. Everyone dresses in their nice clothes for Shul and all married women wear hats to the Synagogue. Upon arriving at the Synagogue, the married men wrap themselves with their tallit. (In Conservative and Reform congregations, all men wear tallit; in most Orthodox congregations, only married men wear tallit.) After Shul everyone returns home for lunch. With the blessing of the Challah bread, wine and meat is served. After lunch it is customary to nap. A Shabbat afternoon nap is the most delicious sleep of all. An Orthodox Jew doesn't care if the world runs on Shabbat afternoon or not. In the evening it is time to return to the Synagogue for the evening prayers and the Torah portion for the following week is introduced. Upon returning home, it is time for the Havadalah service showing that Shabbat has ended. The Havadalah candle is lit to show the difference between Shabbat and the close, for fire can now be kindled. The appropriate blessings are recited. Shabbat has ended and the business of the coming week is looked forward to. The Queen has departed.


Passover begins on the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish calendar which is Nissan or Abib.

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you make take them from the sheep of the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire; head, legs and inner parts. Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till the morning, you must burn it. This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord's Passover.

On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn - both men and animals - and I will bring judgement on all the gods of Egypt; I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord - a lasting ordinance. For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat - that is all you may do. Exodus 12:1-16 NIV

Note in Verse 15 the term "cut off." The Hebrew word for cut is "karath" (kaw-rath); it comes from the rite of covenant - to cut and pass between the pieces. To be cut off is to void the covenant, to be placed outside the relationship Israel has with God. We would explain it as excommunication. The covenant has become null and void. The one who is "cut off" is no longer a part of the covenant...spiritually lost. See also Leviticus 23:4-8.

To quote Blu Greenberg in How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household, "Pesach, then, is the universal story of redemption, of human dignity, of hope, of freedom. But Pesach is also the particular story of God's special love and special choosing of His people Israel. God, not Moses, is the Redeemer; Moses is but the heroic messenger.

We are admonished to be kind to strangers, orphans, widows, the misfits, the downtrodden, the disenfranchised. We find in Exodus 23:9, Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be alien, because you were alien in Egypt. Leviticus 19:36, ...I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out of Egypt. During Passover every Jew of every generation should feel as if he or she went out of Egypt with Moses.

To prepare for Passover, the home is cleaned from all leaven. (Spiritually, there is a cleansing from sin in the individual.) All bread, cakes, pasta, cookies and dry cereal are removed. Liquor is also removed because it is made from grain and could possible constitute a form of leaven. The house is cleaned of all crumbs. These items should be burned and there is a special ceremony to do this, but since this might prove to be a financial hardship for some, they are permitted to remove it from the home and "sell" it to a Gentile friend for the duration of Passover, then it may be "bought" back. There are other special situations. One is described in How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household by Blu Greenberg, page 405. "Parakeets, gerbils and the like, or rather their food and cages, present a problem at Pesach time. These pets live on a grain diet, which is chametz While the law against eating chametz does not apply to gerbils, the law against deriving any pleasure or benefit from chametz does apply to Jews of all ages. Therefore, cages of pets must be thoroughly cleaned out. The pet can be "sold" to a non-Jewish fried, who will care for it during the holiday. The other alternative, which is an easier and more popular solution, is to alter the diet. Most large pet food companies, such as Hartz Mountain, will send, upon request, a pet Passover diet. Some pet lovers wisely begin by feeding their pets a mixture of the regular diet and the new Passover diet so that, by the time Pesach arrives, the change won't be too abrupt. This business of Passover parakeet food always seemed a bit exaggerated, but that is the law. Moreover, it certainly does firmly implant in the child's mind the concept of ridding the house of chametz."

In the 6-week period preceding Pesach, there are 5 special Sabbaths. Four are entitled after the special Torah reading of that Shabbat. The fifth takes on luster because of it's proximity to the holiday itself and sounds a lot like Lent for us. Passover represents the crucifixion of Jesus. He died on Preparation Day, the day before the special Sabbath (Mark 15:24). The next day, the 15th of the month of Nissan, is the Feast of Unleavened Bread when the purging of all leaven takes place. Jesus is buried on that day. This feast is often overlooked but lasts for 7 days and coincides with Passover but is lost in the spotlight of Passover. The Feast of Firstfruits occurs on the morrow after the Sabbath (the day after the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread). It's a feast of thanksgiving - it celebrates the barley harvest, the first grain of the season. This feast is viewed as a celebration of the first harvest looking toward the larger harvest yet to come; a celebration of the promise yet to be fulfilled.

Jesus kept the feasts while on earth and has kept the feasts in accordance with Bible prophecy since His resurrection. He became our Paschal Lamb and was sacrificed on Passover, buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, burying our sin thus purging all leaven, He was resurrected on the Feast of First Fruits, looking toward the larger harvest when He returns to call us home.

Pentecost - Feast of Weeks

Three times the Israelites were commanded to "go up" to Jerusalem and celebrate feasts. Deuteronomy 16:9-12 - Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. The next feast in line of our study is Pentecost. Pentecost is the Greek form meaning 50. The feast comes 50 days after Passover. This is a festival celebrating the wheat harvest. This is also the day, as passed down through oral tradition, that Moses received the Law from God on Mount Sinai. This festival is to be celebrated by bringing two loaves of leavened bread as a wave offering. This is a feast of the ingathering of the wheat harvest, a thanksgiving festival in which Israel expressed her dependence on God for the harvest and for daily bread. There were two loaves offered, both leavened bread, and waved before the Lord. On Mt. Sinai, when the Law was given to Moses, Judaism was birthed. The two loaves of bread symbolize the two peoples of the earth, Jews and Gentiles - both with sin, unlike the unleavened bread at Passover representing a sinless Messiah. With Moses, we see God instituting the Law for Israel; later we see the feast being kept by Jesus and His disciples. The disciples waiting for the promise and Jesus sending the Holy Spirit to birth the Church - Acts 2:1-13. Then Peter's sermon - Acts 2:14-41. Peter rose from where he was sitting and preached to those who were assembled and 3,000 were added to the kingdom that day. Verse 1, KJV, uses the word "house." The Greek word, "oikos," is the same word translated "temple." As a point of interest, you might have persuaded 120 persons to enter and wait in the upper room where it is traditional that Jesus ate the Passover with His disciples. There is just not room enough to get 3,000 people in there at one time. In verse 6, the crowd heard each speaking in his own language. The upper room is across town from the Temple. Why would Jews who have traveled from all over the known world to worship at the Temple gather across town at an Upper Room? I suggest they did not! The disciples, being good Jews, went to the Temple for the celebration of the festival. It was there, on the southern steps leading up to the Temple Mount that Peter addressed the crowd after the Holy Spirit fell on the 120. These steps lead up to the Huldah Gate or the Triple Gates, and at their base are a series of Mikvot, the ritual immersion baths. These baths can be seen today; the entire area has been excavated and is open to the public. This is where the Jews would go through ritual cleansing before going up to the Temple. The priest would stand above the pilgrims and direct the self-immersion of the faithful before they would go into the Temple complex. In Acts 2:38, Peter tells the crowd to repent and be baptized. I believe Peter was at the top of the steps and pointed to the Mikvot as he spoke. In verse 42 we read that those who accepted his message were baptized and about 3,000 were added to their (believers) number that day. The Mikvot were sufficient to allow that number to be baptized in a short time. This seems especially easy when you consider that this was a ritual they were familiar with.

With this, the Church was born...Jesus has kept the next feast in line after the Feast of First Fruits. Now you have the opportunity to celebrate the Feast of Weeks just as the first Church did. They received the Holy Spirit from Jesus, just as He promised. The significant events of Jesus' life, death and resurrection coincided with the Feasts...His kingdom and it's establishment will, no doubt, follow suit.

Jews read the story of Ruth on the Day of Pentecost, even today. It is a story of love and devotion, it centers around the harvest. The story also relates the ingathering of Ruth, the Moabitess, a Gentile woman who came to know Naomi and her God, and was accepted. On the birth of the Church, the way was paved for both Jew and Gentile to accept and be accepted as a part of the family of God.

Feast of Trumpets

This marks the beginning of the Jewish Civil New Year. Leviticus 23:24-25, Say to the Israelites: On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present an offering made to the Lord by fire.

So God commanded the blowing of trumpets on the first day of the seventh month which is Tisrei. It is a two-day festival - because of the problem with the calendar and determining the beginning of the month. Originally, the year was set up with months of 30 days. Actually, they ran closer to 292 days and, with the Jews being scattered, this presents a problem for the actual beginning day for the festival. Usually, when this problem is encountered, the Diaspora celebrates for 2 days and the Jews in Israel for only one day. With Rosh Hashanah, they all celebrate 2 days. This creates the 10 days of repentance; Rosh Hashanah = 2 days; 7 days of preparation; Yom Kippur = 1 day, a total of 10 days.

Hatarat Nedarim: The release of one's vows. In Shul following the morning services at the Synagogue, men gather in groups of four. Three men constitute a "Bet Din," a Jewish court of law. The fourth man asks for release from self-imposed religious obligations that he may have forgotten. The men then switch roles until every male over the age of 13 has had his vows annulled. It takes about a minute for each man to recite the formula while the other 3 men act as judges and grant annulment. The assumption is that during the year, you may have made a religious vow or resolution which has not been kept. It also serves as a reminder to watch our words.

Rosh Hashanah is referred to as the day of remembrance. Tradition has it that Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of creation. The Torah also refers to it as Yom Teruah, the day of Shofar Sounding, and the Rabbis referred to it as Yom Hadin, the Day of Judgement. One of the special aspects to the morning service is the Avinu Malkenu prayer; Our Father, Our King. The first Avenu Malkenu is a confession. We clap our right hand over our left breast as a sign of remorse and guilt and say, "Our Father, we have sinned against You." Having made that blanket confession, we proceed with a series of Avinu Malkenu prayers which are simple, direct, and earthly pleas for God's saving grace. This then is a time of repentance and preparation for the "Day of Atonement" to come in eight days.

The Torah reading tells of the binding of Isaac. This is connected with the ram being provided at the last minute in substitute of Isaac. This is where the idea of the shofar or rams horn comes in for this celebration. Remembering the ram or substitute by blowing the shofar becomes a mercy plea before God. Before the Torah is returned to the Ark, after the reading, the shofar is sounded with 30 blasts. Then, shortly thereafter, we hear the shofar again during the Mussaf prayer; 10 blasts accompany each of the three sections of the prayer. The Mussaf consists of (1) Malchuyot, the Kingship section celebrating God's rule over the world; (2) Zichronot, remembering the good deeds of our ancestors; and (3) Shofarot, the sounds of Revelation and Redemption. Then before the service is altogether finished, another 40 sounds are emitted so the late comers will hear it. This totals 100 sounds of the shofar. If one is confined to home or hospital, some member of the community will come and blow the shofar for them because it is a mitzvah, a commandment or obligation for one to hear the shofar blown. During the Rosh Hashanah, Mussaf is the Netaneh Tokef, the most moving prayer of the entire day: "THE GREAT SHOFAR HAS SOUNDED. A STILL SMALL VOICE IS HEARD. EVEN THE ANGELS ARE FRIGHTENED...THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT IS HERE...WHO SHALL LIVE AND WHO SHALL DIE? WHO SHALL HAVE A FULL LIFE-SPAN, WHO SHALL NOT...WHO SHALL FIND REST AND WHO SHALL BE RESTLESS? ...WHO SHALL BE FREE FROM SORROW AND WHO SHALL BE TORMENTED? ...WHO SHALL BE RAISED AND WHO SHALL BE HUMBLED? ...WHO SHALL BE RICH AND WHO SHALL BE POOR? BUT REDEMPTION, PRAYER AND GOOD DEEDS LIFT THE HARSH DECREE. ...AS FOR MAN, HE COMES FROM DUST AND SHALL RETURN TO DUST. ...AT THE COST OF LIFE, HE EARNS HIS BREAD. MAN IS LIKE...WITHERING GRASS...A FADING FLOWER, A PASSING SHADOW...

Jewish lore tells of the author of this prayer; Kolonymos Ben Meshulam, a scholar/poet and leader of the Jewish community of Mainz, Germany in the 11th century. He was called in by the German officials of the court and was offered the choice to convert or die. Out of fear and thinking to mollify them temporarily, he asked if he could consider it for three days. As soon as he made his request, he regretted it. He became sick at heart with what he felt to be a great weakness and failure at that moment - to even suggest for an instant that he would consider conversion instead of martyrdom - he returned in three days and requested martyrdom. They cut off his arms and legs, carried him to the Synagogue on a stretcher to die. Before his death from loss of blood from his wounds, he recited the Netaneh Tokef.

In the afternoon the ritual of Taslich takes place. Tashlich means "and you shall cast." Jews, sometimes whole congregations, go to a lake or stream (live water.) They then recite a prayer and, with pebbles in hand, they symbolically cast their sins into the water. They recite the last three verses of Micah which includes the passage, And you shall cast all the sins into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19.) Three reasons are given for the sea; (1) water is a purifier, (2) in the expanse of the sea, there is no danger of our sins being dredged up again, and (3) fish don't gossip - they will know but will not tell.

Between now and Yom Kippur are the days of repentance. The four R's are used for the steps to repent:

Recognition of having done wrong
Resolution not to repeat the wrong
Restraining oneself in the face of the same temptations

This is not a bad formula for us in our prayers. The Jews do understand repentance, but theirs is a yearly ordeal. We have Yeshua HaMaschiah Who, having once died for all, has cleared our debt and cast our sins into the sea of forgetfulness.

Day of Atonement

We have cast our sins into the sea, we have entered into a time of introspection. Now on the 10th day of the 7th month (Tishrei 10), we arrive at the "Day of Atonement" or "Yom Kippur." During the time of the Temple, this was the day that the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies. He went in with the blood sacrifice to offer it before the Lord and ask forgiveness for the sins of the people. Leviticus 17:11, For the life of the creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life...

The Temple Service - This is the one day of the year that the High Priest may enter the Holy of Holies. Normally, the High Priest did not conduct the Temple services. He would appear before the people dressed in his gold robes only on Sabbaths, festivals and new moons. However, on Yom Kippur, he became the priest of the sanctuary and conducted the entire service himself. He did this in three parts: (1) confessing his own sins, (2) the sins of the other priests, and (3) the entire nation of Israel. Seven days before Yom Kippur, the High Priest moved from his home to the chamber in the Temple that was designated for his dwelling for Yom Kippur. There, he conducted the daily service, offered the daily sacrifice, sprinkled the blood, burned the incense and tended the lighting of the Menorah. This was done for seven successive days so he would be well versed in all the details of tending the Temple so as not to make a mistake on Yom Kippur and thereby forfeit his life. If necessary, the High Priest would be tutored by learned members of the Sanhedrin because the office of High Priest in the time of the second Temple was often political as much or even more than religious. As today, not many politicians are well versed in the ways of God.

The day before Yom Kippur, the High Priest stands before the eastern gate of the Temple in the morning and gives the final examination of the animals to be offered at the service sacrifice. The Jews are praying, begging each other for forgiveness of sins committed and reminding themselves of offenses committed during the past year. The High Priest also does this with a little more caution than everyone else. Should he become disqualified, his understudy would have to take over or he may be struck dead in the presence of God. The High Priest does not sleep on the eve of Yom Kippur. Preparations must begin in the middle of the night and they must not be missed.

Priests position themselves on top of the Temple to watch for dawn. When the light is sufficient to see Hebron through the hills to the southeast (?), they cry out, "The light of morning has reached Hebron." NOTE: Hebron lies southwest of Jerusalem. This reference in The Jewish Festivals by Hayyim Schauss is confusing. It may be a misprint and, after consulting a map, you may draw your own conclusions.

And now the service begins. The High Priest is clothed in all the garments set aside for this occasion after a series of washings and bathing. He then presents himself to the people gathered in the courtyard of the Temple. He approaches the bull that is to be offered that day, places his hands upon the bull and prays. Three times during the days ceremony he will pray and pronounce the ineffable (not easily spoken, to avoid taking the Lord's name in vain) name of God. The first will be for he and his household, the next will be for the priests and, finally, for the people of Israel.

The goats are then brought to the Temple and stand east of the altar with their heads toward the sanctuary. The goats are identical, same size, appearance and cost. The High Priest will then cast lots for the goats. There are two tablets of gold - one inscribed "For Yhwh" and the other "For Azazel." The High Priest will shuffle the lots and draw them out, placing one on the head of each goat. Then he calls out, A sin offering for Yhwh and the congregation answers Blessed be the name, the glory of His kingdom forever and ever. Then the High Priest looks to see which goat has inscribed "For Yhwh" and it is then led away for the Temple sacrifice. The remaining goat is the scapegoat. The High Priest ties a red sash to the horns of the goat, it then faces the congregation and the people await the ritual which loads the goat with their sins. The goat is then "driven" (taken) out into the wilderness. It is currently believed by some that the red sash would turn white to signify that the sins of the people were forgiven.

The High Priest now slaughters the bull that has been waiting, gathers the blood in a basin and it is handed to another priest who stirs the blood in order to keep it from coagulating. The High Priest then walks up the ramp to the altar, fills a fire pan with burning coals and a ladle with incense and then he goes into the Holy of Holies. After pouring the coals on the foundation stone, he pours the incense upon the coals creating a sweet smelling smoke which fills the room. The High Priest then leaves and, after offering more prayers, goes to the Outer Court where he takes the basin of blood and reenters the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood first upon the veil and, after entering, upon the Mercy Seat. The High Priest now leaves again and the goat is brought to him. He slaughters it, catching it's blood in a basin and enters the Holy of Holies for the third time, sprinkling the blood of the goat upon the Mercy Seat. After leaving the Holy of Holies, he will mix the blood left of the bull and the goat, sprinkling the mixture on the altar in the anteroom and pouring the rest on the Cornerstone of the great altar outside.

Today, Yom Kippur is celebrated somewhat differently. There being no Temple, the sacrifice is impossible as such. Also, there is no need to purify oneself in the Mikvah in order to ascend the steps to the Temple Mount. However, pious Jews, on the eve of Yom Kippur who want to enter this most solemn of holidays as pure as possible, will go to the mikvah. There is a custom that has been passed down and is still practiced by some Jews called Kapparot. This involves bringing a live chicken into the house for the evening meal. The father waves the chicken over the head of each member of the family three times saying, This is in exchange for you. This is in place of you. This is your atonement. This chicken (rooster, fish, whatever) will go to it's death but you will go on to a good and long life and to peace. Then the least squeamish will take the bird to the Scohet (butcher) who will slaughter it ritually and give it to the poor as charity (tzedakah.) As you may have guessed from the parenthesis, this may be done with a life fish as well. Some substitute money which they will then give to their favorite charity.

It is a time to dress in white as a symbol of purity. An early evening meal is planned to be eaten before the candles are lit. Once the candles are lit, the fast begins. No special foods are designated, however, spicy foods are not considered a wise choice. Thirst cannot be slaked by even a sip of water during the fast. It does seem that many choose to eat chicken soup and moderation seems to be better than trying to eat for two days in one meal. During the family service, candles are lit much in the same was as Shabbat. At this time, however, there is a blessing for the children and all ask forgiveness of one another for wrongs real or even imagined. After candlelighting it is time to walk to Shul (the evening Synagogue service.) Most will be dressed in white and wearing sneakers. After the candles are lit and Yom Kippur has started, you may not eat, drink, wash, wear leather shoes, there is not anointing or sexual intercourse. This is all part of "afflicting your soul." The prohibition against wearing leather is a little more direct. When one is asking for life, it would seem callous to come before God in leather which represents the ended life of an animal. This is a much different tone from the Temple sacrifices. After services, there is usually a quiet walk home, some conversation and early retirement. The next day, there are three services - Morning, Afternoon and Closing Prayers. This comprises a full day of Torah readings, sermons, and prayers. At the close, the congregation almost shouts the final declaration, THE LORD IS GOD, seven times and there is a long final blast of the shofar. Some will further conclude with the cry of NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM. Now it is time to go home, break the fast and begin thinking about the preparations for SUCCOTH, four days away.

Feast of Tabernacles

The Feast of Tabernacles is a lasting ordinance. Zechariah speaks of the nations going up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles after the Lord comes and secures Jerusalem. Those that do not come up to Jerusalem will have no rain (see Zechariah 14.) Rain is important to this celebration. The feast is also a lasting ordinance, it does not end with the fulfillment of the coming of the Messiah. We find the scripture declaring the Feast of Tabernacles in Leviticus 23:39-43. The Israelites are instructed to live in booths for the duration of the festival. The Hebrew word for tabernacles is SUCCOTH - sometimes you will see it as SUKKOT, but they are the same word. Succoth is to be celebrated yearly. Each year, in the Fall, families all over the world begin to construct booths. You are not supposed to begin before Yom Kippur to construct your booth. It is to be sturdy but not too sturdy; it is a temporary structure. It must have at least three sides and a top. The top, however, must not be solid. It shall provide shade by day and allow you to see the moon and stars at night. The structure may be of any material. You may use one or more walls of your house, provided there is not a permanent roof attached that would overhand the booth and blot out the stars at night. Modern Jews often erect a tent frame of aluminum and cover the walls with canvas or the tent material. You are permitted to have a floor and many will move furniture into the booth for the seven days. Some go so far as to string electric lights and will not only take meals there, but will sleep there as well. This seems appropriate when you consider the idea is to remember the 40 years in the wilderness, living in booths and tents. The roof is to be constructed from natural products, anything that grows from the ground and has been severed from its source except fruit trees. This is accomplished by using a lattice work base across the top with branches laid across the lattice. Steel or aluminum may not be used for the lattice because it is not natural, but you may use bamboo poles, 2x2's or other wood since it is natural. This is a festival so it is also appropriate to decorate using posters, fruit, pictures, etc.

The other aspect of Succoth is the lulav and etrog. The lulav is the branch of the date palm. However, there have been added three short branches of myrtle leaves along with two branches of the willow of the brook. These are tied together with gold thread and carried and waved. Leviticus 23:40 specifies the elements for the celebrations: On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees (etrog), and palm fronds, leafy branches (myrtle) and poplars (willow), and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. This verse gives us the elements for the celebration. The lulav, as we have seen, is made to wave. This is done to the cries of HOSANNA which means salvation. We can see from this the scene when Jesus descended the Mount of Olives with people laying down palm branches and shouting HOSANNA and proclaiming Jesus as their salvation from Rome and did not grasp the spiritual salvation from Satan.

The etrog is yet something else. An etrog is a citron, a citrus fruit. It looks a lot like a lemon, but does not smell or taste like a lemon and is usually larger in size. The etrog is to be carried in one hand while the lulav is waved by the other. In Orthodox communities these elements may be purchased as sets. Some prefer to make their own and purchase the individual items. Some Orthodox Jews are very particular about the selection of the ingredients and will spend a great deal of time inspecting every aspect of the items to obtain the very best available. It is also common for a family to have the lulav and etrog for each member and not the father only, especially among the more affluent. On this holiday, one of the obligations is for joy and to that end, it is customary for the husband to buy his wife new clothes. This is in fact a ruling of the Rabbis and is applied to other holidays as well. The obligations for joy is a mitzvah, the wives now claim they simply "have to shop!"

On the first day of Succoth, the lulav and etrog are carried to the Synagogue for use in the service. Each morning there is a blessing to be recited over the lulav. During the service the lulav and etrog are held with the person facing the east and the lulav is then held out in six directions. Front, east, then to the right, back (over the shoulder), left, up and down. This is to show that God is ruler over the four corners of the universe, heaven and earth. Each time the lulav is pointed in a different direction, it is given a little shake.

Once home, it is now time to begin the family portion of the celebration, mainly preparing for meals in the sukkah. There are no particular foods specified, however, it has become custom to eat turkey on at least one occasion. This seems appropriate in America where Thanksgiving is celebrated in the Fall, also. The next to the last day of Sukkot is called Shemini Atzeret, a separate holiday and yet the same. It's most unique feature is the prayer for rain. From this day until Pesach (Passover), there will be inserted into the daily prayers this phrase: (GOD) WHO BRINGS THE WIND AND CAUSES THE RAIN TO FALL. This phrase is also inserted into the resurrection blessing: BLESSED ARE YOU, GOD, WHO RESTORES LIFE TO THE DEAD. Rain is compared to resurrection because it restores life to the earth. The last day of Sukkot is Simchat Torah (rejoicing of the law.) On this day in Synagogue, the Torah reading begins with the last few verses of Deuteronomy and immediately turns to the first few verses of Genesis. In this act, the whole story of the unending cycle of Torah study is told. This could be easily done in 15 minutes, but it is not. The service is embellished in many ways to prolong and savor the love for God's Word, the Torah. This prolonging is done with much celebration and joy, for this is "rejoicing of the law!" This service is done with total lack of awe. It is conducted by laymen and the children take part, mostly in playing pranks - the whole point is to have fun, laugh and enjoy the day! It involves much singing and parody. The end of the service is the Torah procession. Male members of the congregation go up in turn and are given the Torah and they then proceed to circle the Synagogue. There are seven such circuits. This is accompanied with much singing and dancing. The children will often follow with Simcah Torah flags and empty sacks. The idea is that by the time the processions are finished, the bags will be full of candy placed there by the members of the congregation as they pass. Remember, the whole idea is to rejoice over the Torah.

During the time of the Temple, there were two facets of the Feast of Tabernacles that stand out aside from the "dwelling in booths." One was the pouring of water and the other, the illumination of the Temple. A priest would take a golden pitcher and go to the Pool of Siloam to fill it. The pitcher of water was then brought to the Temple and poured into a basin which was at the foot of the alter. Then wine was poured into the basin from another pitcher. These would mingle and then were allowed to flow down to the Brook Kidron through special drain pipes. This ritual lasted through the seven day festival. This is symbolic in two ways. First, the pouring of the water is to petition for rain. It is a prayer for replenishing the earth for the harvest of next year. This is still a main theme in the Synagogue today. Second, the pouring of the water and wine was symbolic of the hope, looking toward the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This is Messianic in nature. The Holy Spirit outpoured in the Temple, then flowing out to the world outside. The seventh day of Succoth was the "Day of the Great Hosanna." This day the pouring of the water took place in the midst of the blowing of trumpets, singing and the waving of the lulavs while the people chanted the Hallel (Psalms 113-118.)

In the closing verses of Psalm 118 we find in verse 22, The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone and in verse 26, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. This is obviously Messianic. In John 7:37-38, On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If a man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

This took place on the Day of the Great Hosanna, at the close of the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus is saying, I am the answer to your prayers! The other facet is the illuminating of the Temple. The golden menorah is lit and pilgrims come bearing torches and lamps. The entire Temple is lit and shines against a backdrop of darkness. With all this splendor of light lingering in the minds of the people, Jesus again stands in the Temple on the following day and says, "...I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12).

We can see that Jesus clearly and publicly proclaimed that He is the Messiah. The crowds were excited and interested, the Pharisees were not, at least most of them were not. Human nature has not changed much. The leaders of the church are the ones that feel threatened when Jesus comes in and proclaims freedom and liberty among their congregations. The people that are looking for truth will find it and those that are content and guarded will hold to that which serves the traditions of men.

Feast of Lights

Chanukah is observed for eight days. It starts on the 25th of the month of Kislev. The word "chanukah" means dedication and the holiday represents the rededication of the Temple. After years of domination by various peoples, the situation came to a boil under Syrian rule. Antiochus Epiphanes who was a Helllenist set about to turn all Israel into Hellenists. He erected a gymnasium in Jerusalem and introduced Greek games. Through a series of events, the practice of Judaism was outlawed. This produced the first martyrs for freedom of conscience known in world history. Through all this arose a man, Judah Maccabee, who led a revolt. The revolt was successful although it lasted less than 100 years, but it did reinstate the religion of Judaism and Temple services. The miracle of Chanukah surrounds the preparation for the Temple worship. It is said that upon entering the Temple and preparing to light the Menorah, only one flask of oil with the seal of the High Priest could be found. All other sources of oil had been desecrated. It was decided to light the Menorah anyway. The preparation for new oil would take 8 days and there was only enough for one. This is the miracle - the menorah burned for eight days until new oil could be consecrated and thus, the festival of the lights was born. This is the story of the eight days celebration. Today, it is celebrated by lighting a candle each of the eight days. This requires a candle holder with nine candles rather than seven. The nine candle candelabrum is properly called a Chanukiah or Hanukkiah. This is different from the seven branched candelabrum which is the Menorah. In both, the odd candle is called The Servant, which is used to light the other candles. Today, nearly all candle holders you find will be the Chanukiah. Since the Temple has been destroyed, there is no proper usage for the true Menorah in Jewish holidays. Generally, one candle is lit each night for the eight days the holiday is celebrated. One on the first night; two on the second night, and so on. The holiday coincides with the winter solstice and is said to add light in anticipation of the days beginning to get longer. This is a minor holiday, but is celebrated more frequently and elaborately than in the past as a way of counteracting the celebration of Christmas in regards to the children and the feelings of being left out during a joyous time of year. Some Jewish families give gifts to the children and make a real festive time of it; others simply light candles and remember.

Feast of Esther

The story is found in the Book of Esther. It is the true story of God's protection of His people. An exiled people with no Temple, no priests, no prophet or even a true spiritual leader, but rescued by an unseen God.

Xerxes lives and rules over Persia during the period 486-465 B.C. In the third year of his reign, he gives a banquet for all his nobles and officials. At the close, he summons Queen Vashti to appear in her robes and crown but she refuses. As a result of her disobedience and in order to keep other women from sowing discord and disrespect, the queen is removed as queen and forbidden to enter the presence of the king. King Xerxes holds a beauty contest and gathers virgins from all around his domain, including Esther. Now Esther was a Jewess, an orphan raised by her cousin, Mordecai instructs her to keep her nationality a secret. Esther turns out to be the wisest and most beautiful of all the women presented and Xerxes selects her for his queen. Xerxes gives a great banquet, Esther's banquet. Some time later, Mordecai uncovers a plot to kill King Xerxes. Through Esther, the plot is revealed to Xerxes and his life is spared...

King Xerxes elevated Haman over all the nobles. Everyone now bowed down before Haman wherever he went, all except Mordecai. This did not set will with Haman. Once he learned that Mordeci was a Jew, he set about to destroy all Jews in Xerxes kingdom. A decree was issued - on the 13th day of the 12th month (Adar) all Jews were to be killed. This law of the The Medes and Persians, once signed, could not be changed. Mordecai put on sackcloth and ashes.

When Esther learns of this, Mordecai urges her to go to Xerxes and intervene (Esther 4:14.) To go before the king without being summoned meant death unless he should choose to extend his scepter to you. Knowing this, Esther says, If I perish, I perish. She asks all the Jews to fast for her for three days. On the third day of the fast, she puts on her robes and stands in the inner court. The king is sitting facing the doorway and, when he sees her, he extends his septer and she enters. Esther invites the king and his friend, Haman, to a banquet, then another. After the first but before the second, Haman become infuriated with Mordecai and has a 75 foot gallows built to publicly hang him. That night, Xerxes can't sleep and begins to read the chronicles of the kingdom. He reads about Mordecai and discovers that he never honored him for saving his life. The next morning, Haman was there early to dispatch Mordecai. The king summons him and asks him how to honor someone.

Thinking of himself, Haman suggests being led through the city in the king's robes, on the king's horse with a noble leading him and crying, This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor! King Xerxes instructs Haman to do so for Mordecai!

After the banquet Esther has prepared, she tells of the plot Haman has devised to destroy the Jews. Xerxes hangs Haman on the gallows built for Mordecai. The old decree stands but Xerxes has Mordecai draw up another stating the Jews can assemble and defend themselves. Many in the kingdom convert and become Jews for fear of the Jews. Mordecai and the Jews of Susa kill the 10 sons of Haman on the 13th of Adar. On the 14th, there was more of the same, then on the 15th, they rested. This became a day of festival and joy. Haman had cast the Pur (lot) to determine the day to destroy the Jews, thus the name Purim. The scheme Haman plotted for the Jews came back on his own head.

The modern celebration differs only slightly from the earliest festival. Burning Haman in effigy is no longer practiced. The theme is joy and laughter, this is a happy celebration. The day before Purim is the Fast of Esther. It is not an ordained fast and there are few that observe it. Purim is a one day celebration and does not carry with it the normal holiday prohibitions. Most people will work at least half a day and you may cook, clean, use electricity, etc. Mordecai said in his letter that each person should send portions to his friends. Because of this, the custom of "Mishloach Manot" has come about. Baskets of goodies may be sent to one's friends. The poor Rabbi's wife may feel obligated to send a basket or plate of treats to each family in the congregation - tough if they have a large Synagogue! The Rabbis interpret this passage to mean at least two items and, at least one of them, baked goods. One of the favorite items is the "Hamantaschen" or Haman's hat. It is a three-cornered pastry filled with poppy seeds or fruit. Another popular item is "Kreplech," a three-cornered pastry filled with meat. This is a mitzvah, the second mitzvah is to give gifts of charity to at least two needy persons or worthy causes. This is called "Matanot La 'Evyonim."

The evening is time to go to the Synagogue. After evening prayers, it is time to read the Book of Esther. This is what the children have been waiting for. They sit with anticipation through the first two chapters. In the third chapter, we are introduced to Haman - the children (as well as the adults) stamp their feet, boo, hiss, rattle their grackers and do all they can to blot out his name. It is great fun for all. Some Purim Rabbis will dress up, some will use a different hat for all the characters in the story. Don't worry, be happy!

Rejoicing over deliverance seems to have increased since the Six Day War in 1967. Purim appears to be more widely and openly celebrated since the deliverance of Jerusalem.

Isaiah 54:17, No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me, declares the Lord. Every time man sets about to eradicate the Jews, he comes to ruin. The empires of those bent on destruction of a dispersed people have vanished. The Jew remains, and celebrates his existence.

Holocaust Remembrance Day

The enslavement of the Jews in Egypt, the destruction of the Temple; these are not events that occurred in a single day. They spanned decades. The destruction of European Jewry was such an event. The vital nerve center of world Jewry that European Jewry had become is no more. What could have been will never be. The Holocaust devastated the Jews of Europe and shocked the conscience of the world. As a result, Israel was born. The Jews were returned to their homeland at last, after exile of some 2,000 years. A nation, preserved throughout dispersion, returned home again. Never before in all of history has this happened. For this, we rejoice!

In the midst of this is an underlying grief of loss of life. The loss of culture, opportunity and, most of all, the loss of life. Jews are a life affirming people. They cannot, will not, mourn every day of the rest of their lives. To not mourn is unthinkable, also, so one day a year has been set aside to focus their memory and mourn. The day is the 27th day of Nissan which falls between Pesach and Shavuot - in the spring lest it be unbearable. For years, barely anyone openly remembered. The event was so horrible and painful for those who experienced it and survived! Gradually, as people came to grips with their own grief, they began to remember and share with others until now, the day is known by millions throughout the world. There is no standard format as yet. Usually, there will be an evening service with the lighting of candles. Prayers will be offered, often along with the recitation of Holocaust poems and witness literature. There may also be testimony of Holocaust survivors, films of the Holocaust, songs of the partisans, and a declaration of faith and hope. It may take a generation or two before the liturgy becomes standardized. The symbols of the event may become common on this day in years to come. The important thing is to remember, no matter how painful. It is because of the pain that the event must never be forgotten, lest it be repeated. The entire world must rise up along with the Jews when they cry, NEVER AGAIN!!!

For the Christian, we must be ever mindful of the events that led up to this. We must realize how we are seen in light of these events. For many Jews, the perpetrators of the Holocaust were Christians. Many cannot see the difference between this and the other atrocities committed by the Church throughout the ages. Our part in all of this is to be understanding and attempt to show the Jews the true Jesus, the true Christians, and this can only be done through patience and love.




Resource Material

The Holy Bible, New International Version, Zondervan Bible Publishers, 1978, 1156 pages
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, Abingdon Press, 1976, 1808 pages
How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household, Blu Greenberg, Simon & Shuster, 1985, 525 pages
Everyman's Talmud, A. Cohen, Schocken Books, 1975, 403 pages
The Gospel In The Feasts Of Israel, Vistor Buksbazen, Christian Literature Crusade, 1954, 102 pages
The Jewish Festivals, Hayyaim Schauss, Schocken Books, 1962, 316 pages
Josephus - Complete Works, Translated by: William Whiston, A.M., Kregel Publications, 1982, 775 pages
The Tabernacle Of God In The Wilderness Of Sinai, Paul F. Kiene, Zondervan Publishing House, 1977, 176 pages
The Way Into The Holiest, Edward W. Patton, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983, 180 pages
The Holy Vessels And Furniture Of The Tabernacle, Henry W. Soltau, Kregal Publications, 1982, 148 pages
Guide To The Treasures Of The Temple Exhibition, The Temple Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, 1991, 15 pages
The Messianic Passover Haggadah, Lederer Messianic Publications, 1994, 32 pages










14th day of 1st month

Redemption from Egypt

Crucifixion of Jesus

Ovulation - 1st day of 1st month

The egg appears.

Leviticus 23:6

Exodus 12

Feast of Unleavened Bread

15th day of 1st month

Purging of all leaven

Burial of Jesus


Fertilization - must occur within

24 hours or the egg will pass on

Leviticus 23:6

1 Corinthians 5:7-8

Feast of First Fruits

Sunday during week of

Unleavened Bread

Thanksgiving for First Fruits


Resurrection of Jesus

Implantation - egg travels down

tube; 2-6 days to implant

Leviticus 23:10-11

1 Corinthians 15:23

Feast of Weeks

50th day after

First Fruits

Thanksgiving for first harvest

Gift of the Holy Spirit

Birth of Church

Fetus - 50th day

Embyro becomes fetus

Leviticus 23:15-17, 22

Feast of Trumpets

1st day of 7th month,

Tishri 1

Solemn assembly in preparation

Day of Atonement

Israel regathered

Rapture of Church

Hearing fully developed

in fetus

Leviticus 23:24

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

1 Corinthians 15:51-52

Feast of Atonement

Tishri 10




Changes in fetus blood

Leviticus 23:27-32

Leviticus 16

Zechariah 12:10, 13:1-6

Romans 11:26

Feast of Booths


Tishri 15


Memorial of the Tabernacle

in the Wilderness


Lungs developed by the

15th of the 7th month

Leviticus 23:34; 42:3

Deuteronomy 16:13-14

John 7


25th of 9th month

Feast of Lights


Life - the Birth

9th month

John 10:22

*This is not a celebration handed down to Moses, but some see it as a natural progression.


Potter's Clay Ministries, Inc.
Rev. Randy Felton
417 NW 42nd Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73118

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