Chanukah - Dedication
Kislev 25-Tevet 3
Yeshua-The True Shamas
An Unusual Chanukah
It is common (at least in Messianic congregations) to hear sermons about Chanukah. The Chanukah story is re-told (for the umpteenth time) and we draw the conclusion that the L-rd always protects his covenant people. Then, we remember that Yeshua celebrated Chanukah and then, we go home. But, perhaps more natural for us, as followers of the Messiah, is to begin with Him and proceed from there. Let's remember one Chanukah that Yeshua celebrated...
Purim - Lots
Purim (based on the Book of Esther in the Bible) is the noisiest holiday of the year. It celebrates God's deliverance of Persian Jews through Esther, a beautiful Jewish girl. As winner of the king's beauty contest, Esther became the queen of King Ahausuerus of Persia. Esther later risked her life to prevent Haman, the king's prime minister, from carrying out his plot to kill all Jews.
The mere mention of this word "Holocaust", stirs up an incredible whirlwind of emotions. This is particularly true of those of us who have lost family members in the gas chambers. But, in fact, the Holocaust has become synonymous with the worst sort of cruelty committed by man. How do we, in a Messianic Jewish congregation, integrate the Holocaust into our thinking and feeling?
Yom Hazikaron - Israel Memorial Day
Yom Hazikaron is the day on which Israel honors its fallen servicemen and women. National memorial services are held in the presence of Israel's top leadership and military personnel. The day opens with a siren the preceding evening at 20:00 (8:00 pm), given that in the Hebrew calendar system, the day begins at sunset. The siren is heard all over the country and lasts for one minute, during which Israelis stop everything (including driving, which stops highways) and stand in silence, commemorating the fallen and showing respect. Many religious Jews say prayers for the souls of the fallen soldiers at this time. The official ceremony to mark the opening of the day takes place at the Western Wall, and the flag of Israel is lowered to half staff.
Yom Ha'atzmaut ( lit. "Independence Day") commemorates Israel's declaration of Independence in 1948. It is celebrated on 5 Iyar according to the Hebrew calendar.