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  • Elul: The Penitential Season

    Jews blowing the shofar in the synagogue on the month of ElulAccording to an ancient collection of legends (Pirkei d'Rabbi Eliezer-The Teachings of Rabbi Eliezer), the beginning of the Hebrew month of Elul marks the beginning of an especially solemn period of forty days that concludes with Yom Kippur.

  • How Jesus Perfected the Passover Seder

    Jesus at the Last SupperWhen Jesus distributed the matzo to the disciples saying, “This is My Body,” He perfected and updated the Biblical commandment to eat matzo on the Seder night, so that the commandment to eat matzo we received at Mt. Sinai would teach us how to respond to G-d as He revealed Himself through the Incarnation and the Cross.

  • Purim and Lent: Haman Hung, Christ Crucified

    Jews celebrating PurimPurim is a day of ecstatic rejoicing, which the Jews celebrate as both a sign of G-d’s enduring love and a promise of their final salvation. There’s nothing in the holiday that contradicts Christian faith, except for one thing: it usually falls out smack in the middle of Lent.

  • Rosh Hashanah and the New Year Feasts of Israel

    Apples and honey are traditionally eaten for Rosh HashanahThe period preceding the Jewish New Year is marked by special penitential prayers, recited before the regular morning prayers, and the blowing of the ram's horn (shofar in Hebrew) after the morning prayer service...

  • Sabbath

    Shabbat Table

    There is a stillness where perspective lies, where life and love are tapped, and ancient scrolls unrolled. See, the herald flame proclaims anew the healing safety of this day, and bids the Chosen learn.

  • The Feast of Hanukkah

    HanukkahHanukkah commemorates the 164 BCE rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration by the Seleucid Kingdom, under Antiochus IV - and the re-establishment of religious freedom for the Jewish people after a period of harsh repression.

  • The Feasts of Israel

    Jewish FeastsMany Christians do not realize that the seven feasts which God commanded in Leviticus 23 are still observed by their Jewish neighbors. The feasts, as given to Israel, have a multi-faceted significance. First, there was the seasonal aspect of each holiday, involving agricultural activities in the land; then the feasts were to be a memorial of God's dealings with the people of Israel; and, finally, there may be prophetic symbolism. Many Christians see parallel in God's dealings with Israel and with the Church.

  • The Feasts of Israel: Foreshadowing the Messiah

    The Jewish FeastsThe Feasts of Israel recall God's deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt and his care for them during the Exodus. But the feasts also foreshadow God's salvation plan for humanity in Christ. This essay examines the significance of these feasts for Jews, as well as their messianic and typological fulfillment for Christians.

  • The Jewish Holidays, Holy Week & the Ascension

    Rosh HashanahThe four holidays of this coming holiday season correspond to the events of Holy Week and the Ascension. They are a figure of the great salvific events which mark the last days of Jesus’ human presence in this world.  The Christian Jew participates in those saving events, and immerses himself in the Christian mysteries of salvation as he celebrates the Jewish holidays.

  • The Sabbath: A Sanctuary in Time

    Shabbat CandlesWhen I first moved to Israel, I was stunned to hear about the many prohibitions that bind orthodox Jews in their observance of the Sabbath day. Like many Christians who first encounter these practices, I couldn’t help but wonder: isn’t this legalistic approach to the Sabbath just like the pharisaic one that Jesus so severely criticizes in the Gospels? At the same time, I was fascinated by the earnestness with which religious Jews observe the seventh day, especially when compared to the fading role of Sunday as day of rest in most culturally Christian countries.
  • Tisha b'Av and the God who Suffers

    Romans carrying away the menorah from the TempleThis coming Saturday night begins the fast of Tisha b'av on which we mourn the destruction of both the first and second Temples. According to the midrash, the messiah was born on Tisha b’av, when the first Temple, the Temple of Solomon, was destroyed. Something happened when the Temple was destroyed that kicked off the final redemption.

  • Why the Catholic Jew Rejoices on Passover

    Passover Why should the Jew who has been saved by Jesus celebrate his redemption from Egypt? What meaning could the statement in the Haggadah that we should regard ourselves as having participated personally in the Exodus, possibly have for him?  What can the redemption from Egypt give him that he has not already received through the Cross?  

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