Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is …
Apples and Honey – “Shana Tova oobrakha oometookha” (Good and blessed and sweet New Year.)
The time is winding down and the air is fragrant with food preparations as the streets begin to clear, with only an occasional car whizzing by to make it home before sundown. Soon the shabat horn will sound and the blasts of the shofar will begin. The streets are rapidly emptying and the very air is changing, quieting, and anticipating change in a new year.
I wrote the above last night before we left for the home of dear friends who live in a lovely apartment, across town with a spectacular view of the Eastern Jerusalem hills into the desert. We celebrated together, looking into The Word, blowing the shofar, partaking of the traditional foods and wondering again at the symbolism, so deep and delightful, surrounding every word and every food. GOD, and His SON YESHUA, revealed in the simplest things − take… eat… this is My body broken for you. He is seen everywhere, and was wonderfully present in the fellowship of the body.
Taf shin ayin dalet (looks like this in Hebrew: תשע”ד) – or the year 5,774 – arrived with the setting of the sun. Jewish tradition says that it is now 5,774 years since the 6th day of creation and the birth of Adam.
As we drove over to our friends apartment, my eyes were drawn to a bearded father and his two sons. A joyful formally dressed little group. Each boy cradled a package larger then himself. Each one had a long beautiful shofar wrapped in a soft shawl held with such a sense of importance and awe. It was delightful to watch them and to hear their father speaking to them, teaching them of the honor and dignity with which they should treat the shofar, as an instrument of worship, and as an instrument of war.
Our internet news had an excellent story for the new year about one of the only 3 shofar makers in Israel. It shows how a shofar is made and the short video is really worth watching. It is delightful and I encourage you to watch it. You can watch it here.
Although we discussed what the New Year might hold, there was a shabat rest which we all settled into, trusting Him to see us through whatever lies ahead as we keep our eyes fixed on Him and our hearts tender to hear Him and do His will.
Traditionally, today is the day that the Book of Life is opened in heaven and is said to remain open until the sundown on Yom Kippur, in about 8 more days. Yom Kippur is the most solemn fast day in the year −the day of repentance. From now until then (actually the entire month) are called “the days of awe” and deep soul searching is taking place. Restoration is made, relationships which have been broken seek to be healed, people examine their actions, responses and motives. It is taken quite seriously (obviously not by everybody but by those who care…and there are many) and it is said that whether we live or die this year will be sealed on Yom Kippur as our hearts are searched.
My earthly father died on the second day of Rosh h’shana. He longed to hear the shofar blown. So a rabbi came to his hospital and blew the shofar for him. There was such relief on my father’s face and then he left.
The day is lovely today with perfect weather and a refreshing cool breeze. We enjoyed the silence of the city and listened to the birds while we sat outside drinking our morning coffee out behind our apartment, surrounded by trees and flowers. I heard a dove’s wings and looked over to watch it fly up to the branch above me. As I watched, it dropped a large feather. I got up, retrieved it, and examined with wonder its intricate beauty and design. And I delighted at the fact that I have never actually seen a bird dropping a feather before, watching it float from the bird to the ground. I was thankful that even now I can enjoy new experiences.
This life is such a wonder, isn’t it. Such a gift we have to be called to serve Him, The King of kings . Yet, in the midst of everything, He gives us things which so personally speak to us and delight our hearts. We really can do nothing but worship Him.
Your sis in Jerusalem, J