Tonight Begins Yom Kippur

Hi Friends,

Yom Kippur begins tonight – the holiest day in the Jewish calander.

This is the Biblical Day of Atonement we read about in Leviticus 16:29-31 and 23:27-32.

According to Jewish tradition, Yom Kippur is the day on which people's fates for the coming year are sealed.

Most Jews will take a walk to their nearest Synagogue for services this evening and tomorrow.

These services will center around the so-called penitential prayers.

They will occupy most of the day and include special scriptural readings -like the Book of Jonah.

Memorial prayers for the deceased, that are said four times a year, are also recited on Yom Kippur.

Then to wrap it all up, at nightfall, the shofar (the ram's horn) is blown once to mark the end of Yom Kippur.

For the majority of Jewish people around the world it is a day of introspection, completely separate from the normal course of daily life.

This is highlighted by one's physical aspects being sublimated while one concentrate's on spiritual concerns – including a full fast.

Almost all establishments here in Israel will be closed and there is no radio or television broadcasts.

As I pointed out in yesterday's Harvest Show, from our Christian perspective this is the one day of the year that the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies in the Temple to atone for the sins of the people.

Jesus, our High Priest, by His Love and in our faith, was sacrificed once – the righteous for the unrighteous – to bring us to God.

Halleluiah for His life saving Grace upon us – that we can live in peace with our conscious as we repent from our sin and become, day by day, a little more like Him.

Have a good weekend everyone,

Brian Bush Middle East Correspondent LeSEA Broadcasting

Sweetness and Forgiveness

Dear Friends,

We are now back on track with my Blog!

Ive missed providing you with information and inspiration...

As some of you may know from watching the Harvest Show it's Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year.

Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration. The observance is referred to in Leviticus 23:23-25.

For the religiously observant, these days will be full of special prayers and scripture readings. For the secular Israeli it will be a long weekend of fun and hitting the great outdoors!

The big event for the Rosh Hashanah service is the blowing of the shofar (ram's horn) during the morning prayers.

There are also two special customs dealing with sweetness and forgiveness that come along with Rosh Hashanah, and that somewhat characterized it.

First is the eating of apple slices dipped in honey! This symbolizes the hope that the coming year will be "sweet."

The second is more involved, as it calls for Jews to go to a natural source of flowing water (such as an ocean, river, or spring).

Once there, participants will read a selection of scripture verses.

They will also throw pieces of bread into the water. This is done to symbolize the "casting off" of the previous year's sins. We remember the beautiful verse in Micah 7:19 which says: "You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea."

Its all a lovely picture of how God will deal with our sins – that will be (are) removed and we will have a fresh start when we arrive in Heaven – where life will be sweet ever after!

Happy New Year All,

Brian Bush Middle East Correspondent LeSEA Broadcasting

Prepared?

Hi Everyone!

Well, it's the blog before Christmas...

I know the game for me right now is getting prepared!

But why do we prepare?

To participate.

Does that thought exhaust you???

It is not supposed too – because Christmas is a time for celebration!

The thrust of the Angle's message to the Shepards in the field was straight to their hearts – with the message told to them that the Saviour of mankind was born.

So how is that Good News resonating in your heart just before Christmas day?

Are you drowning in preparations around you or are you preparing your heart for celebration.

In the traditional Churches we have fasts and Advent to help us welcome the New Born King.

And around me here in the Holy Land there is some preparations, lights, artwork, and anticipation...

But I must be ready for the commitment God has shown us all in coming to His creation in the form of a Child!

I know it happened – Who it was, and why He came to earth... the reminders are all around me!

That Child – that Gift, is Christ the King... and we must worship and celebrate Him.

My humble gift back to God is participation.

With all well wishes for Christmas love and joy,

Brian Bush Middle East Coorespondent LeSEA Broadcasting

New Year

Hello Everyone!

As today is a holiday – the Jewish New Year, lets learn a little about Rosh Hashanah!

is a two-day Jewish new year), the observance of which is mandated by Leviticus 23:23-25.

It started at sunset on Sunday and will conclude tonight at nightfall.

What goes on during this holiday? First, both days are full public holidays so there isn't much going on! But more significantly, both days are marked by special prayers and readings from the Old Testament.

The big event of a service during Rosh Hashanah is the blowing of the shofar (the twisted ram's horn) during morning prayers. It is characterizing the gathering of the people and victory.

There are also two customs to take note of;

The first is the eating of apple slices dipped in honey, which symbolizes the hope that the coming year will be "sweet."

The second comes from the Minor Prophet Micah, (7:19), which reads; "...and You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.").

At Rosh Hashanah, Jews typically going to a natural source of flowing water like the ocean, a river, or a spring. There they will read a selection of scriptural verses and throw pieces of bread into the water.

This action symbolizes the "casting off" of the previous year's sins.

From our Christian perspective it is wonderful to remember that there will be a 'casting away of sin' at the beginning of a new time - eternity – at which God has the victory – and will gather His people

Praise God for that – and for Jesus whose sacrifice makes the pardon of our sin possible through His death and resurrection.

Brian Bush Middle East Correspondent LeSEA Broadcasting

Happy New Year!

Hi Everybody!

Just a quickie to wish you all a Blessed and wonderful New Year ahead.

We had rain on Christmas here, and it looks like there may be some in store for this weekend too – perhaps even snow on Mount Hermon in the north!

So may God have mercy on us all and may we be convicted, comforted, and become more Christ-like through the power of His Holy Spirit.

Happy New Year!

Brian Bush Middle East Correspondent LeSEA Broadcasting

Sukkot

Hello Everybody!

Well – it's another eve to a holiday here in Israel, so lets blog about Sukkot.

This is another Biblical holiday running a total of seven-days. You can read about it in Leviticus 23:34-35 and 23:39-43.

The first day is a full holiday – like a Shabbat. Each of the seven days are marked by special prayers and scriptural readings including the Book of Ecclesiastes.

Sukkot is a joyful, family oriented holiday. This is opposite to the holiday we just celebrated a few days ago; Yom Kippur – which is somber and introspective. Sukkot is characterized by two main things. First, Jewish folks are enjoined to build a sukkah. This is the temporary wooden structure to parallel the structures the biblical Jews slept in during the exodus out of Egypt during the 40 year sojourn in the desert.

They are to ideally eat all of their meals within it, and (when it is possible) sleep in it too.

These temporary huts are topped with thatch or palm fronds. They are usually built on patios, rooftops, or courtyards to the home.

The second main Sukkot observance is the special bouquet. It consists of a closed palm frond, a citron, a myrtle branch and a willow branch – that is held during morning prayers on each of the seven days - except on the Sabbath).

Its origins can be traced to Leviticus 23:40, but there are many traditional explanations of its symbolism that do not come from the Bible.

We'll talk more about it on tomorrows Harvest Show – so be sure to tune in as I bring you all the news from here in Jerusalem.

Brian Bush Middle East Correspondent LeSEA Broadcasting

Yom Kippur

Hi Everyone!

It's another holiday in Israel – but this is the 'biggie'...

Yom Kippur is Hebrew for "The Day of Atonement", the day when, in Old Testament times, the Jewish High Priest would go in before God in His Tabernacle, and then the Temple - and make atonement for the sins of the Jewish nation.

It began at sunset today here in Israel. All is quite outside, as essentially 75% of the State's population observes this Jewish holiday.

The observance of this day is spoken about in the Bible; Leviticus 16:29-31 and 23:27-32.

For Jews, it is the holiest day of the year. Even secular non-observant Jews heed this day's hollowed call.

Indeed right now, the streets are largely deserted and everything is closed. Quite a contrast to last night where there where tons of people heading to the Western Wall and practicing ritual to have their sins forgiven.

Yom Kippur is also the day on which, according to Jewish tradition, peoples fates for the coming year are sealed.

There are Synagogue services where the main focus is on penitential prayer. This goes on for most of the day.

Also included in the afternoon are special scriptural readings – most notably, the Book of Jonah.

Memorial prayers are also included for the deceased. These are generally said four times a year, and are recited again on Yom Kippur.

Since the day is a day of introspection, and one completely separate from the normal course of daily life, the physical aspects of life are put aside while one is supposed to concentrate on their spiritual concerns.

To underscore this, the day is marked by a full fast. Jews will not wear anything made of leather, the ladies will not use cosmetics, there is no bathing or smoking allowed either.

It will all come to a close with nightfall on Saturday when the shofar (or ram's horn) will be sounded once to mark the end of the observance of Yom Kippur.

Brian Bush Middle East Correspondent LeSEA Broadcasting

Casting Off

Hi Everybody,

As today is still the Jewish New Year – what better thing to blog about! So lets learn a little more about Rosh Hashanah.

Here in Israel it is a two-day celebration. You can find the Biblical connection in Leviticus 23:23-25, and both days are marked by special prayers and scriptural readings. The main public or iconic event of the Rosh Hashanah service is the blowing of the shofar – or ram's horn) during the morning prayers.

Both days are full public holidays and, as on the Sabbath, there will be no public transportation or newspapers. In addition, many businesses, museums and other institutions, which are normally open on the Sabbath, will be closed over the holiday. Rosh Hashanah is also characterized by two special customs.

The first one, which is the most popular, is the eating of apple slices dipped in honey, symbolizing the hope that the coming year will be "sweet."

The second involves going to a natural source of flowing water (such as an ocean, river, or spring) where one then reads a selection of scriptural verses.

Afterwards, one throws pieces of bread into the water – to symbolize the "casting off" of the previous year's sins.

This practice derives from Micah 7:19; "...and You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea".

This verse in Micah is lovely to connect to the new year because from a Christian perspective, we of course see Jesus Christ as the One who has cast off our sins through His death and Resurrection.

And because of that, by faith in Him, we shall live with God through all eternity when our redemption comes – Halleluiah!

Brian Bush Middle East Correspondent LeSEA Broadcasting

Shavuot 2011

Hi Everybody,

It's holiday time again over here in Israel!

In the Bible, one of the three pilgrimage festivals (along with Passover and Sukkot) is Shavuot – and it starts tonight. Shavuot marks the giving of the first five books to Moses in the Bible – known here as the Torah.

That happened on Mt. Sinai, seven weeks after the exodus of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt. The word "Shavuot" literally means "weeks" and is celebrated exactly seven weeks after the first day of Passover, which marks the exodus itself. You can find it outlined in Exodus 34:22 and Deuteronomy 16:10.

So what happens in a typical Jewish home for this celebration?

On Tuesday night, June 7, after festive evening prayers and a festive meal, many people will follow the custom of staying awake all night and studying religious texts, followed by some morning prayers. This represents the 'enthusiasm' of the Jewish people to receive the Torah – or the Law.

Here in Jerusalem, there is a widespread custom of going to the Western Wall – which will be packed – for prayers, often accompanied by dancing and singing. In ancient times, Shavuot marked the end of the barley harvest, and the beginning of the wheat harvest. Jewish farmers brought their first fruits to the Temple in Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 26:1-11), where special offerings were brought (Numbers 28:26-31).

Shavuot is also referred to as the "Day of First Fruits" and the "Harvest Festival" (Numbers 28:26 and Exodus 23:16). And when we consider all the symbolism and meaning it is a solid reminder of God's faithfulness to give us grace when He comes to redeem us.

You see, if you followed the Church calendar – we just celebrated Ascension Day – where Christ left us the promise that He will come again – and until then we are to labor in the fields of salvation.

Friends – it will happen... God keeps His Word – and I'm glad He does, because this pilgrim needs to be set free from my slavery to sin, I need grace to save me from the Law – and all that will culminate at His second coming... and what a celebration that will be!

Brian Bush Middle East Correspondent LeSEA Broadcasting

Independence Day

Hello Everyone,

It was picture perfect weather for Israel's 63rd celebration of Independence.

Many Israeli's head for the parks and forests to hold bar-b-q's and cookouts – and my family and I were among them. All this of course meant the roads were packed with heavy traffic.

Last year there were 1.3 million people visiting nature sites across the land, and this year looked to supersede that. On the official side of things, President Shimon Peres presented 120 soldiers with awards for excellence in service at his residence in Jerusalem.

Israel's Air Force marked the day with aerial demonstrations in various parts of the country. Here in Jerusalem there were three fly-overs in formation.

One of the lighter – but very serious occurrences every Independence day, is the International Bible Contest. Israel's Prime Minister is usually in attendance and this year Bibi Netanyahu was there to help present the winner with a scholarship to study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

U.S. President Barak Obama sent greetings and "best wishes" to the State.

In his statement, President Obama again affirmed the United States' commitment to the security of Israel. America was the first country in the world to recognize Israel's Declaration of Independence read out in Tel Aviv by David Ben Gurion in 1948.

Brian Bush Middle East Correspondent LeSEA Broadcasting

More Entries

BlogCFC was created by Raymond Camden. This blog is running version 5.9.7. Contact Blog Owner