jewish holidays and traditions

Repentance: Is it your lifestyle?
October 1, 2017

Do you have a wrong impression of God, sin and repentance? Increase your understanding and receive the blessings God has for those who embrace repentance as a lifestyle.

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Catastrophe and Communion: Reflections on Tisha b’Av
August 1, 2016

This month many Jewish people will join in mourning over an especially tragic date. According to Jewish tradition,Tisha b’Av—or the ninth day of the month of Av—is the date of destruction for both the first and second temples in Jerusalem.

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Lag BaOmer – A great day for a Messianic wedding!
May 5, 2015
Author: Samuel Rood

Growing up in a Messianic Jewish family, I knew all about Passover, Hanukkah, Purim and Sukkot. But I didn’t hear about Lag B’Omer until I moved to New York City and took a Hebrew class.  There I learned that for many religious Jews this holiday holds deep significance. 

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Passover Plagues: Ten Days of Devotions
March 25, 2015
Author: Laura Barron

These ten days of devotions give insight into parts of the Passover story that you might be overlooking.

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Do you hear the trumpet call?
August 9, 2013

This year, Shavuot (the Jewish festival behind the Christian Pentecost Sunday) is May 14-15 (sundown to sundown). You can read more Jews for Jesus articles on this holiday here. Beyond that, David Brickner and Rich Robinson have written a very thorough guide to understanding this holiday and how it relates to believers in Jesus. Christ…

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Who is the Shammash?
November 30, 2012

Shammash is a Hebrew word that means servant. In the Jewish community, shammash (also spelled “shammas”) commonly refers to the sexton—the person who manages the synagogue facilities and keeps things running smoothly. In the Middle Ages the term referenced a more prestigious position. The shammash helped to conduct prayer, lead the worship services and even…

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A Passover Reflection on the Four Questions
April 3, 2012

At every Passover seder, one of the more dramatic moments is when the family recites the Ten Plagues that God sent against Egypt. Together everybody names each plague and pours out a drop from the aptly-named Cup of Plagues, the second cup of the evening. The idea is that we are prohibited from rejoicing over…

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Mysterious Passover Symbols
April 1, 2010

Passover is a beautiful, often mysterious, celebration. More than any other festival it has been at the heart of the universal Jewish experience, helping to form the core of spiritual identity and pointing inexorably toward the hope of Israel’s salvation. Two especially mysterious items on the Passover table were not part of the original celebration;…

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Guess Who’s Coming to the Seder?
December 22, 2009

Every year Macabbi Tel Aviv faces off against its rival, Hapoel Tel Aviv, in a soccer match. The game is filled with tension and excitement as a packed house stands and cheers non-stop for ninety minutes. Accolades and bragging rights will fall to the winner. Yet the time on the clock has run out, and…

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Yom Kippur and the Jewish Athlete
December 19, 2009
Author: Matt Sieger

We are proud when a Jewish athlete succeeds, but a few have gained even more respect for refusing to play ball on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg recalled his 1934 decision: Both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur came in September… and since we were in the thick of…

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Jewish Factoids: The Yarmulke Or Kippah
May 1, 2009

People often ask us the reason behind the traditional Jewish yarmulke (skull cap), also called a kippah (Hebrew for covering). The following information comes from a catalogue that sells a variety of kippot (plural for kippah): The sources for wearing kippot (Jewish skullcaps) are found in the Talmud [rabbinical commentary, also known as the Oral…

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Passover Symbols
March 15, 2006
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The Mystery of the Passover Cup
March 1, 2002

What does the Jewish Bible say about the Passover cup’s symbolism and meaning? What blessing can be found in remembering the story of redemption? Read here.

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The Tallit and Tzitzit
January 1, 1994

Learn about the history, significance and traditions of the Jewish prayer shawl.

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Hanukkah in Tradition, Worship, and the Ministry of Jesus
November 1, 1990

  Date Begins on the 25th of Kislev (falling in November or December). Duration Lasts for eight days. Meaning of Name Feast of Dedication. Other Name Festival of Lights. Important sources of information First and Second Maccabees; Josephs, Antiquities 12:7; John 10:22; Sabbat 21b (in the Talmud). History Historically Hanukkah recounts the victory of the…

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Baptism: Pagan or Jewish?
July 1, 1983
Author: Ceil Rosen

BINST GEVOREN A GOY! “You’ve become a Gentile!” We Jewish believers in Yeshua often encounter this accusation after we’ve been baptized.

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A Calendar That Tells More Than the Date
November 4, 1980
Author: Moishe Rosen

The central theme of the message which brought Jewish people together and bound us to one another is Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one God.” In this affirmation, there are many inferences to be understood. Some would look no further than the interpretation that He alone is deity. This truth is more…

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