Category: Rosh HaShanah

How To Prepare for a Festive Meal:

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Author Biography:
Chef Herschel prepares hundreds of meals a day at Aish HaTorah’s World Center in Jerusalem. He caters the five star meals for the Jerusalem Fund missions as well as the daily food for the Yeshiva students. Here are his suggestions for preparing for a dinner. You can use this for any meal, not just for the High Holy Days.

Rosh Hashana is fast approaching. As the chef for the yeshiva, I need to be ready to serve four holiday meals for 200 people and they need to be good. And I don’t mean maybe. Here is how I get ready. (This plan works for any holiday —–)

1. Deadline and commitment.

2. Plan. I take some time and look at what I did last year. Decide what I will keep on the menu and decide what new dishes I’m going to prepare. Only one or two new dishes so preparation doesn’t become unmanageable.

3. Discuss the menu with family or friends. See how they like it, consider their suggestions.

4. Make a list of everything that I will need. Shop early.

5. Make a plan. Do a little bit each day. Make a schedule. Be realistic. Get help. You can’t do it alone. Finish early, allow for the unexpected.

6. Put it into action. Don’t procrastinate.

7. Evaluate. Take a step back. Make adjustments if necessary.

8. Serve it. Tablecloths, china, silverware, crystal and flowers. Take pleasure and enjoy.

You can follow my plan for your own personal preparations for Rosh Hashana — not just for preparing the food, but spiritual preparation — and you’ll be ready for the High Holidays.

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See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka

Elul – the Month of Teshuvah (Repentance) II

At Sunset, on the last night before the last month of the year, one of the most important months begins. It is the month called Elul. There are 30 days in it to turn your eyes and your heart toward God. To repent of those things you do which are NOT pleasing to Him. There are 10 more days, The Days of Awe, in the month of Tishrei to make sure you are right with your Maker. Any day of the year is, of course, the best day to do this but in the Jewish tradition, the month of Elul is used to illustrate repentance. The shofar blows every morning to call to repentance. Will you hear the call? Use it to turn to God and make Him the center and focus of your life. Below are some lines from Eddie Chumney’s book on the Festivals. (If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you check it out or buy a copy.)

Chaper Seven: The Season of Teshuvah
A special season known as Teshuvah, which in Hebrew means “to return or repent,” begins on the first day of the month of Elul and continues 40 days, ending with Yom Kippur. Thirty days into Teshuvah, on Tishrei l, comes Rosh HaShanah. This begins a final ten-day period beginning on Rosh HaShanah and ending on Yom Kippur. These are known as the High Holy Days and as the Awesome Days (Yamim Nora’im, the days of awe). The sabbath that falls within this ten-day period is called Shabbat Shuvah, the Sabbath of Return. Five days after Yom Kippur is Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. Teshuvah begins on Elul 1 and concludes on Tishrei 10, Yom Kippur. Each morning during the 30 days of the month of Elul, the trumpet (shofar) or ram’s horn is blown to warn the people to repent and return to G-d.

Teshuvah (repentance) speaks to all people. Those who believe in the Messiah are called to examine their lives and see where they have departed from G-d. It is a call to examine the Scriptures and the evidence that the Messiah was who He said He was.

G-d has always had a heart to warn people before He proclaims judgment. G-d warned the people before the flood, and He warned Nineveh before it was ruined. He does not want anyone to receive the wrath of His judgment (Ezekiel [Yechezekel] 18:21-23,30-32; Zephaniah 2:1-3; 33:1-7; 2 Peter 3:9).

The whole month of Elul is a 30-day process of preparation through personal examination and repentance for the coming High Holy Days. The shofar is blown after every morning service. Psalm 27, which begins with “The Lord is my light and my salvation,” is also recited at the end of the morning and evening liturgy. The message from Elul 1 to Rosh HaShanah is clear: Repent before Rosh HaShanah. Don’t wait until after Rosh HaShanah, or you will find yourself in the Days of Awe.

There are idioms or phrases that help us identify the days in the season of Teshuvah (repentance). Just as unfamiliar foreigners may be confused when they hear Americans call Thanksgiving Day, “Turkey Day” or “Pilgrims’ Day,” non-Jewish believers in Yeshua can be confused by the different terms for the major feasts of the L-rd.

Rosh HaShanah: Names, Themes, and Idioms

Teshuvah (repentance)
Rosh HaShanah (Head of the Year, Birthday of the World)
Yom Teruah (the Day of the Awakening Blast [Feast of Trumpets)
Yom HaDin (the Day of Judgment)
HaMelech (the Coronation of the Messiah)
Yom HaZikkaron (the Day of Remembrance or memorial)
The time of Jacob’s (Ya’akov) trouble (the birthpangs of the Messiah, Chevlai shel Mashiach)
The opening of the gates
Kiddushin/Nesu’in (the wedding ceremony)
The resurrection of the dead (rapture, natza1)
The last trump (shofar)
Yom Hakeseh (the hidden day) “The day that no man knows”

From Eddie Chumney’s book – “The Seven Festivals of Messiah”

If you’ve never seen this book, go to Eddie Chumney’s site and check it out!

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka

The Month of Elul

The shofar is to be sounded every morning during the month of Elul.

The shofar or ram’s horn, has always held a prominent role in the history of G-d’s people in the Bible:

The Torah was given to Israel with the sound of the shofar (Exodus [Shemot] 19:19).
Israel conquered in the battle of Jericho with the blast of the shofar (Joshua 6:20).
Israel will be advised of the advent of the Messiah with the sound of the shofar (Zechariah 9:14,16).
The shofar will be blown at the time of the ingathering of the exiles of Israel to their place (Isaiah [Yeshayahu] 27:13).
The shofar was blown to signal the assembly of the Israelites during war (Judges [Shoftim] 3:27; 2 Samuel 20:1).
The watchman who stood upon Jerusalem’s walls blew the shofar (Ezekiel [Yechezekel] 33:3-6).
The shofar was blown at the start of the Jubilee year (Leviticus [Vayikra] 25:9).
The shofar is a reminder that G-d is sovereign (Psalm [Tehillim] 47:5).
The ram’s horn, the shofar, is a reminder of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac and God’s provision of a ram as a substitute (Genesis [Bereishit] 22:13).
The shofar was blown to announce the beginning of festivals (Numbers [Bamidbar] 10:10). The shofar was blown to celebrate the new moon on Rosh HaShanah (Psalm 81:1-3).
The blowing of the shofar is a signal for the call to repentance (Isaiah [Yeshayahu] 58:1).
The blowing of the shofar ushers in the day of the L-rd (Joel 2:1).
The blowing of the shofar is sounded at the rapture of the believers and the resurrection of the dead (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
John was taken up to Heaven in the Book of Revelation by the sound of the shofar (Revelation 4:1).
Seven shofarim are sounded when G-d judges the earth during the tribulation (Revelation 8-9).
The shofar was used for the coronation of kings (1 Kings [Melachim] 1:34,39).

There are three Fall Festivals which will begin with the Preparation month of Elul:

1. Yom Teruah (sometimes called Rosh HaShanah, New Years Day, or Feast of Trumpets)
begins on the first day of Tishrei, which begins the evening of September 17, 2001.

2. Yom Kippur, (follows in ten days, and is the Day of Atonemen) is the holiest day of
Judaism. We can praise God that Y’shua is the Lamb of God – our atonement. (at-one-ment)

3. Sukkot, (or Booths or the Feast of Tabernacles) comes on the night of the full moon. Many of us believe Y’shua was born in a sukkah (booth or stable) on the first day of this eight day

See Leviticus 23 for information on these Fall Feasts. You are strongly encouraged to celebrate them this year!

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka

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