Sabbath: The Light is Messiah
What would you do on the Sabbath? Much! It's often times thought that all you can do is lay around the house, but that is far from the truth!
Listen to what our friends in the book Living a Jewish Life have to say: Making Shabbat is not a matter of refraining, but of doing. The Talmud says "the affairs of heaven" are permitted on the Sabbath. Specifically, teaching children and arranging weddings. Resting, eating, and praying are not only permitted, but mandated. There are other verbs for Sabbath, too, sleeping, reading, thinking, studying, talking, listening, meditating, visiting the sick, laughing, singing, welcoming guests, and making love. Page 37
Yes, there is much to do on the Sabbath. Just think what your Saturday memories would be like if your family did all these things!
The main focus of the day is time with God. We have been excited about discovering that God has a regular Torah reading planned for us each week.
What do you mean by "regular Torah reading in the yearly cycle"? This is something that really excited us when we found out that God actually had a plan to teach and communicate on a weekly/daily basis! This is the examination of God's covenant with the Bride and Bridegroom! A wedding contract in Hebrew is called a Ketubah. In the wedding contract or Ketubah the Bridegroom would tell what he would promise the Bride. He would have to live up to the contract in order to keep his bride, and the ketubah would be preserved throughout their marriage
We found out that on the Jewish calendar--which you can buy at a Jewish gift store or through our ministry--have are readings for each week posted! Just think! Instead of hit and miss according to what our pastors have done for years, there is actually a prescribed reading from the first five books of the Bible with a matching reading from the Prophets! We immediately ordered a copy of the book THE PENTATEUCH AND HAFTORAH (may be purchased from our resource list) where the readings are laid out in order, and found out that there were excellent commentaries for each verse! It changed our lives! Now we sit down with that book and a notebook and read in the order that God intended! We also enjoy the Second (New) Testament commentaries that First Fruits of Zion Magazine have each month that go in conjunction with this book! Now we can really see Yeshua reflected in the Scriptures and festivals as God intended!
If you don't want to do these readings on Saturday, that is fine. But we encourage you to do Havdalah. It is our favorite service and is performed at the conclusion of every festival and every Sabbath. It's the one thing that most people remember about the Sabbath. It really portrays Yeshua and only takes about twenty minutes.
SATURDAY EVENING OR HAVDALAH SERVICE
This service only takes about 20 minutes and we encourage everyone to do this! The pictures of Yeshua abound within it's framework! (This is a picture of a Havdalah set that you can assemble or purchase from our resource list.)
Things you will need for Havdalah:
1. A candle with more than one wick (you can buy these from a Jewish gift store or Messianic ministry. I made my own by using duck tape around three regular candles for years!)
2. A spice box or shaker or a bag of spices tied at the top with ribbon or something.
3. Wine or carbonated wine/grape juice (I use ginger ale with my grape juice sometimes.)
4. Matches for the candle
5. A saucer for the wine glass
6. One candle for each person. I have used an extra package of Hanukkah candles. Remind people that these do drip and not let little children handle their own.
7. A candle holder
The first thing that the father and children do is go outside to look for the first three stars of the evening. In the summer time it may be later, and in the winter it may be earlier. We sometimes do Havdalah according to our schedule rather than the stars' schedule. In some parts of the country it could be 11 pm before the stars come out, so you must use common sense and decide what time you wish to depart from Sabbath. This is the ceremony that I call my "lingering kiss after a sweet evening with Jesus/Yeshua." You don't want to say goodnight, but it is time to go back to the real world.
Havdalah is done standing around a table. The family will gather and a time of sharing what wonderful things we have learned about God will be discussed by everyone. Then the father or leader will take the wine and pour it into a glass placed on top of the saucer. He is the only one with a wine cup on this night.
(Leader takes a cup of wine and fills it to overflowing into the saucer.
Teaching: The wine that has been spilled into the saucer has the appearance of blood; this is the blood of Yeshua that was spilled for our sins. (Luke 22:20)
Raise the cup in the right hand carefully. The right hand is a picture of the Messiah. (Isa. 63:5) In raising the cup, a saying of Yeshua is remembered.
"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." (John 12:32)
HOST READS: Behold God is my salvation. I will trust and not be afraid, for my strength and song is God the Lord, and He has become my salvation. And you shall draw waters out of the wells of salvation with joy. Salvation belongs to the Lord; Your blessing is on Your people. The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is a refuge for us. For the Jews it was light and gladness, and joy and honor. So be it with us. I will lift up the cup of salvation, and I will call on the Name of the Lord. (T.J.P.)
In Hebrew the word for salvation is "Yeshua." So if you go back and read what is said in this prayer it says that Yeshua will be my salvation! How true it is !
ALL SING OR RECITE TOGETHER: Blessed and praised are You, O Lord our God, King of universe who creates the fruit of the vine. (T.J.P.) (*Do not drink the wine at this point. You may set the cup down on the saucer.)
Yeshua said, "I am the vine, you are the branches." (John 15:5) It is from the Father through the Spirit that fruit is created in our lives.
ALL SING OR RECITE TOGETHER: Blessed and praised are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe who creates different kinds of spices. (T.J.P.)
(All will take the container and inhale the fragrance,
and pass the spice box among the people present)
Teaching: The spice box must contain more than one spice.
The first meaning of the spices is the many different prayers,
ceremonies and experiences we have just had with God
in the Sabbath or festival. Each of these experiences are a sweet smelling spice to God.
Another explanation is that each person is as a spice, each unique and pleasing to God. Together we make up different kinds of spices as the blessing says:
The prophet Isaiah referred to this...Lift up a Banner on the high mountain. Raise your voice to them that they may enter the gates of the nobles. I have commanded my sanctified ones. I have also called My mighty ones to my nose; Those who rejoice in My exaltation. Isaiah 13:2-3.
The Banner is a term for the Messiah. Strangely enough many Havdalah spice boxes are topped with a banner.
NOTE:"To exalt the voice" is a reference to the resurrection.
"To enter the gates of the nobles" is a reference to Rosh haShanah (Feast of Trumpets).
"My sanctified ones" is a reference to those who believe in the Messiah.
"Called My mighty ones to My nose" is a reference to the believers being a sweet smell to God as He flares His nose to inhale their sweet fragrance.
LIGHTING THE FIRE
ALL SING OR RECITE: Blessed and praised are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe who creates the light of the fire. (T.J.P.)
(Light the Havdalah candle and turn out all the lights.
You may need to have a light near the leader so he/she can read.)
Why do you use a candle with many wicks? This is a tremendous messianic sign. It symbolizes the common destiny of all of us in the body of the Messiah Yeshua. We are seen as united with the fire of God's Holy Spirit or Ruach haKodesh shining forth. We become one with Messiah Yeshua and we recognize His death, burial and resurrection as a necessity to become part of His body. Others see His light in us as we go into the coming week.
Spread your hand towards the flame without touching it. Your fingers should be spread wide.
As you pass your hand in front of the torch or candle of many wicks, it gives the appearance of rays of light coming from your hand. We have learned that the candle is a picture of Yeshua. In the Book of Judges we see that Deborah is married to a man named Lapidot. Lapidot means the Torch. Deborah means "bee" or "congregation that is busy as bees" in Hebrew. Thus we can see that this again is a picture of Yeshua with His bride. In the light of Yeshua the bride will be drawn to Him. She is busy preparing for His coming, and will be busy examining herself in the days ahead.
As you upraise your fingers to the flame, it reveals the dirt under your nails and on your hands. This lesson brings us back to our sins. In the light of Yeshua our prayer is that we are found clean from sin.
A third lesson teaches the resurrection. One of the things that keeps growing after we are buried is our nails. They live on long after we are dead. So, too in the light of Yeshua will we live on in His sight!
God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. His Glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise. His splendor was like the sunrise, rays flashed from His hand, where His power was hidden. Habbakkuk 3:3-4.
The candle is a torch or a "lapidot". We can see this picture in Acts 20:7-12. If you read this passage through Messianic eyes you will see that what is spoken of here is a Havdalah service with non-Jews in Troas. (Chapter 20 shows many pictures of Paul keeping the Festival of Unleavened Bread. He truly was a practicing Orthodox Jew! We just need to know the Jewishness.)
Remember "Fiddler on the Roof"? They were carrying Havdalah candles to the wedding. They were carrying a "lapidot!" It is a picture of the bridegroom lighting the way to the wedding. Weddings generally take place right after the Sabbath Havdalah service is over.
LESSON TO FOLLOW: I have inserted the teaching as you read the passage by including the teaching in parentheses.
7. And on the first day of the week (Saturday evening at sundown) when we were gathered together to break bread (a term for eating a meal together in a service), Paul began talking to them, intending to depart the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.
8. And there were many lamps (lapidot) (also a term for Havdalah gathering) in the upper room where we were gathered together.
9. And there was a certain young man named Eutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, he was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor, and was picked up dead.
10. But Paul went down and fell upon him and after embracing him, he said, "Do not be troubled, for his life is in him."
11. And when he had gone back up, and had broken the bread (ceremony of Hamotzi would have been said) and eaten, he talked with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. Acts 20:7-11
Powerful isn't it? Now let's see what else these non-Jews would have experienced that night.
HOST will again take the cup in the right hand and the following is said:
HOST READS OR SINGS: Blessed and praised are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe who makes a distinction between Holy and profane, between light and darkness, between Israel and the heathen nations, between the seventh day and the six working days. Blessed and praised are You, O Lord, who makes a distinction between Holy and profane. (T.J.P.)
DRINK THE WINE
*You may pass the cup around if you like. You may pour out individual cups for each person from the bottle and have ready too. The leader would drink from the main cup which is a reminder of our common destiny in Yeshua.
PRAYER FOR THE COMING WEEK
EVERYONE RECITES: Ruler of the universe, Father of mercy and forgiveness, we ask that You allow us to begin the working days which are drawing near to us, in peace; released from all sin and transgression; cleansed from all iniquity, trespass and wickedness; and clinging to the study of Your Torah, and to the performance of good works. In the coming week, allow us to hear only tidings of joy and gladness. May there not arise in the heart of any man envy of us, or in us envy of any man. O, our King, our God, Father of mercy, bless and prosper the works of our hands. And all who love us have thoughts of good to us and Your people Israel. Lift them up and prosper them, and fulfill their objective; but all who conceive against us and your people Israel, plans which are not good, frustrate them, and cause their plans to fail; as it is written. "Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; Speak the word, but it will not stand, For God is with us." Open to us, Father of mercies and Lord of forgiveness, in this week and the weeks to come, the gates of light and blessing, redemption and salvation, of heavenly help and celebration, of holiness and of peace, of the study of Your Torah and of prayer. And also let this Scripture be fulfilled in us. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, " Your God reigns!" (T.J.P.)
HOST will put the candle in the wine that was spilt in the saucer.
As the candle fights for its life in the wine, it is a reminder of Yeshua's death. Yeshua fought for His life in His own blood on the cross. As there is no other light in the room when the candle is put out, there is no light in the world without Yeshua. If you wish, you may at this time have every member of the family light a small candle from another candle. As each member of your family lights his candle, it is a recommitment to serve Yeshua only in the coming week. His light was put out, and through His resurrection, and our belief in it, do we come in to the understanding of Yeshua as that LIGHT. (Acts 14:47 and Isaiah 49:6)
The last act of Havdalah is to sing "Eliyahu Hanavi". In doing this we are seeking God to send Elijah the prophet and for him to bring the King Messiah. The Suffering Messiah has come, now we need The King Messiah (Messiah ben David). Before there can be a Messiah, there must be an Elijah. We see this in the Book of Revelation that in the spirit of Moses and Elijah the two witnesses come forth.
Isn't it wonderful? This song is available on many Jewish tapes that you can find. I am including the traditional words so you can read them even if you haven't found a tape.
Im Ma-shi-ach-ben Da-vid,
Im Ma-shi-ach ben Da-vid.
Translation: Elijah the prophet, Elijah the Tishbite, Elijah the Giladite. May he come soon in our lifetime and bring Messiah, son of David.