In Jewish thought, depression is seen to be one of the most dangerous and destructive forces in our spiritual lives. It is a curse that cripples us. Depression can rob us of our ability to love and serve God and others. We are in the midst of the Purim season, which is supposed to be one of the happiest times on the Jewish calendar. It’s a time of great simcha (celebration). Joy is to abound during this holiday and the entire Hebrew month of Adar. Esther 9:22 refers to this time as “the month which was transformed from sorrow to joy.”
What is Thanksgiving? It is so much more than a holiday—it’s a lifestyle for Followers of Yeshua – Jesus! Being thankful when things are going well in our lives is one thing, but “always”? “In everything”? The Apostle (and Rabbi!) Paul gave clear directives to those early believing communities. He expected thanksgiving would be a constant among them, even when enduring challenges. Frankly, this seems a bit idealistic, don’t you think? How can believers be thankful all the time?
We have to ask: what is the Hebrew name for God? A deep dive into God’s name reveals not just who He is but how that reality affects our lives. How should we live now that we know God to be the Father revealed in Yeshua? This is why our journey deeper in God’s Word matters: it calls us to a new way of life.
What about Tashlich? In some sense, Tashlich involves the physical act of walking to be next to a body of water as a reenactment and remembrance of the binding of Isaac. Tashlich represents an opportunity for those of us whose lives have been transformed by Yeshua’s sacrificial love to focus on our Messiah’s ultimate expression of surrender on the cross.
Many ask each year: What are the Jewish Fall Holidays or Biblical Holidays? Here is an overview from a messianic perspective:
In Leviticus 23, we read about three holidays, commonly referred to as the “fall feasts.” The underlying fact that we should always keep in mind is that Scripture clarifies that these special seasons are not merely “Jewish” holidays—they are the Lord’s! In the opening of that chapter, Adonai clearly states: “Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, and tell them: These are the appointed moadim of Adonai, which you are to proclaim to be holy convocations—My moadim” (Lev 23:3/TLV).
What lens are you using to read your Bible and view the land of Israel? The questions and concerns of the average person walking down the street in Jerusalem differ from those of a person walking down the street in Los Angeles. To walk the streets of Israel and engage local shop owners (and experience an Israeli breakfast) begins the process of learning to think outside of our own culture and to attempt to understand the perspective of another.
The Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 as the “birth of the Church.” This language ostensibly implies the start of something new. However, we should be cautious of such terminology lest we fall into the trap of “replacement theology.” The Pentecost event in Acts was not a replacement of Israel but rather the renewal of covenantal relationship and purpose with a radical expansion.
“You could see the wonder in their eyes, much like a young child opening a pop-up book for the first time. The Bible stories coming to life essentially leaped off the page into their personal experience in those powerful moments, an encounter with the Bible and Jesus.”
Shavuot / The Sinai event was several things wrapped in one; perhaps most significantly, the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us”. In recounting the giving of the Law at Pentecost, Moses said, “Adonai came from Sinai and dawned on Bnei-Yisrael from Seir. He shone forth from Mount Paran, and He came from the holy myriads— blazing fire for them from His right hand.” (Deuteronomy 33:2). Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks), also known as Pentecost, is the traditional Jewish celebration of the reception of the Torah. It occurs seven weeks or fifty days after the feast of Passover, hence its name (the Greek word Πεντηκοστή – Pentēkostē, meaning “fiftieth”)
We’re excited to introduce another “deeper” resource to our TPG Tribe: the Hebrew Word Study. We’ve featured a “Hebrew Word of the Week” graphic in our Table of Contents each week, but these articles offer a deeper dive into their meaning as well as their biblical and cultural contexts. Our prayer is that these articles will intensify your hunger for God’s Word.