Category Archives: Prayer

Inside Israel

SHUK

The Shuk in Jerusalem

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 —

“The Feast of Unleavened Bread you shall keep. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, in the appointed time of the month of Aviv (spring); for in the month of Aviv you came out from Egypt.  “All that open the womb are Mine,…. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem. “And none shall appear before Me empty-handed.  “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.  “And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end.  “Three times in the year all your men shall appear before the Lord, the Lord God of Israel. For I will cast out the nations before you and enlarge your borders; neither will any man covet your land when you go up to appear before the Lord your God three times in the year.”  EXODUS 34:18-24

Beloved brothers and sisters, cleansed by The Blood of The Lamb, called into His kingdom for such a time as this, may you be blessed and encouraged and may THE LORD ALONE be glorified and blessed.

Shalom, from a city at the center of history and geography, which is…well…cleaning!

Yesterday while crossing a large street in the center of town, I had to jump out of the way of one of those one man riding street sweepers who was stopping for no one and seemed determined to clean the patch of street that I was on.  I jumped aside and he went intently on about his work, brushes whooshing away.  I chuckled.

“So this day shall be to you a memorial, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations.  You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.  Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.  On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses.  For whoever eats leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel…On the 14th day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread , until the 21st day of the month at evening.  For seven days no leaven shall be found in your house…whether he is a stranger or native of the land…”  Exodus 12:14…20

I don’t know about you, but the older I get the more I realize that all people are certainly NOT alike, not in taste or opinion or habit. Yet if I love someone, I REALLY WANT to please him.  I have noticed when I make a meal that pleases my husband, I save that recipe or if I wear something that he comments on I make note of that.

When I was a young believer, I made note of the things that God said He loved or abhorred and I still do that.  In no way did I think that my SALVATION was purchased or that I was any higher up on His list. If I did it, or any worse if I did not, but I WANTED to do things that pleased This One Whom my heart loved. So I took note of what He wrote.  I still feel that way and I don’t really understand the argument against doing what The Word says by His Spirit.

On the train coming home from the shuk, I looked over the parcels piled on the floor and laps of my fellow travelers. Every space was covered.  An older woman along side of me had a drying rack.  This is a simple, clever device for drying wet clothing in limited space, inside our outside.  It folds to slim flat and can be anywhere from 3 feet to about 6 feet long when folded.  I have noticed that the ones available at Pesach are plastic rather than the usual aluminum with clotheslines.  Why?  I still don’t know.

When I do find out I will likely shake my head.  Anyway, it wouldn’t occur to me that my clothesline might not be kosher for Passover, but I guess it should because another woman called over to my neighbor from across the train. “How much did you pay for that one?”

Immediately I heard: “65 shekels.  Some people are fanatics but I am not one of those.  65 shekels is enough.”

The woman across the train nodded in agreement.  “That’s a good price.  I found them 2 for 135 shekels.”

I thought, “Huh!  I would never have thought to replace my DRYING RACK.  Does it have leaven?”

But as I see the array of plastic sink and pipe liners, and stacks of new…everything, I try again to adjust my focus on Exodus chapter 12…

Our daughter came by today to help with a few things. As we discussed what was kosher for Pesach, she told me that her husband’s family gets rid of EVERYTHING and will eat no food unless it is marked “kosher for Pesach 2017” by a rabbi whom they approve of.  They even throw out all of their spices. Yes, salt, pepper, sugar, coffee, tea and all of the expensive exotic ones as well. They are Algerian Jews by background and culture.

It surely helps you to have a very clean house and also to keep free of loving things!  When you replace everything you own once a year, your items are limited by necessity.  They empty the apartment of everything and then take a large hose and hose down the entire apartment. They are SURE that there is NO LEAVEN.

Each time my focus gets off base and I start to feel anxiety to keep up with my cultural and generational expectations, I return to Exodus chapter 12.  Verse 3 says “…On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb…”

That is this coming Thursday or TOMORROW here.  I cannot take a lamb, but I HAVE taken THE Lamb, and as instructed in verse 6 “Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month.  Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.” 

Yes, this I DID do.  I was responsible.  I nailed Him to the cross. I was guilty of killing The One Who died for me, to set me free, and yes, I am FREE.  Free from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, but more importantly, free to serve Him in love.

The time is moving quickly and I seek to keep my balance…HE is first and yet there ARE necessities.  Shopping is much more hectic with the crowds, and choices must be made as this is a major holiday and many places will be closed, not only for the holy days themselves, but some for the entire week.  I chuckle to myself…none of us will starve, that is for sure!

 

My thoughts drift to Esther and I lift her up in prayer.  A couple of weeks ago as I waited to see a doctor in an area that I’m not very familiar with, I arrived early and went into a small toyshop.  It was a tiny hole in the wall but piled HIGH with the most wonderful and creative toys. A truly amazing shop.

“If’shar la’aksor?” (can I help you?), an older woman asked.

I told her that I only had a moment and wasn’t from this area but I was a Grandma and couldn’t resist.  She nodded and said, “I can help you find anything.  I know everything that is here and where it is and can find the perfect gift for each child.  I can do that because my husband and I bought every one for more than 50 years.  We were together every moment of every day and chose each toy together, but he is gone now.”

She burst out crying and fell into my arms to the dismay of (apparently) a relative and husband who were helping her unload new stock.  I assured them that it was ok and they should leave us alone.

“When did he leave?”  I asked.

“It has been 4 months now,” she wept.

“Oh, this is so new and hard, I’m so sorry!” I said, hugging her tighter.  “Was it a surprise?”

“Oh, he had the cancer, a bad one, but he did not want any treatment. He wanted to be happy.  And he was for 3 years, we almost forgot that he had it, but the last two months he suffered.  He told me that he had lived more than 85 years and that had been such a gift and that it was enough, but here I am and I miss him so much!’

I asked her if they had children and grandchildren and although I have forgotten the number it was a HUGE tribe.

“What a blessing.  They must be a comfort.”  I wanted so hard to comfort her, but I had the feeling that just listening and hugging was what she needed right now.  No one could take his place and I understood they had been married more than 60 years.  “I will pray for you and ask others to as well Esther.”

And that is what I’m doing now.  This Pesach will be so hard for her and for others all around left behind by loved ones.  Perhaps you will remember her too?

Pesach.

What IS it really?

The older I become the more mystical it gets in my eyes.  Each time that I begin in Genesis (Beresheet in Hebrew) and walk on into Exodus (Shmote in Hebrew), it is as if I am reading it for the first time. The immense wonder of it all only gets larger as I see things that I never have seen before, the way it ALL fits together. The MASTER PLAN laid out both plainly and in code, a weaving begun of a most beautiful symphony.

And here WE, of ALL people are in Jerusalem, joining the throng, heeding the call of “come UP to Jerusalem, the city where I have put MY Name and I will meet you there.”   

Psalms 120-134 (some include 119) are the Songs of Ascent because they were sung as the tribes gathered on the way, going up to Jerusalem for the feasts of Passover, Shavout (Pentecost or Weeks), and Sukkot (Tabernacles): the three feasts when all males were commanded to come up to Jerusalem.  Yeshua (Jesus) was part of this and sang these songs when He was a child and came up to Jerusalem with His family for Passover as described in Luke 2:41-51.

And still, many visitors come up during Passover/Resurrection season – up to Jerusalem and to the feasts of The Lord. It is a time to visit with beloved friends – both old and new.  It all mixes together and I wish you could all be here and see it and partake.  BUT NOW WE SEE YESHUA, JESUS, THE RISEN BREAD OF LIFE, THE FULFILLMENT OF ALL OF THESE AMAZING PATTERNS AND PROMISES…HE IS THE LIVING MANA…HE IS ENOUGH… HE IS THE LAMB…HIS IS THE BLOOD ON THE DOORPOSTS OF OUR HEARTS…HE IS THE WAY THROUGH THE WILDERNESS…HE IS THE FIRSTBORN…HE IS THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE….

AND IT IS JUST ALL SO BEAUTIFUL THAT I MIGHT BURST…

But first, I do have to finish cleaning. So, I will just go and sing while I clean.

May the blessings of His Presence be ours.  May we glorify The Lord and finish the work that He has given each one of us.

Lovingly,

your sister J

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Prayers for America (4/6/2017)

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One of my favorite prayers of all time was spoken by a slave woman whose husband was about to be sold off to another plantation at a slave auction. She prayed, “Lord if I could help You as easy as You could help me right now, I would.”

That simple prayer moved a ten-year old boy to borrow ten dollars from his dad and bid the money for the husband. The audience thought the bid was so ridiculous that no one else bid on the slave, even though the husband was strong and worth over a thousand dollars.

The young son paid for the slave and took him to the wife, giving the husband his freedom.

Our Lord is an awesome God who answers prayers.

My prayer today:

 Lord, open up the hearts of American believers so that we have a love for Your truth. (Based on 2 Thessalonians 2:10)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America.

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Prayers for a Holy Spirit Revival of Senior Citizens (4/4/2017)

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I was born in 1946.

This year marks the beginning of what we now call the Boomer Generation. It’s the demographic used to describe the post-World War II baby boom from its beginning in 1946 until 1964.

76 million of us were born during the Baby Boom Years. We now control 80% of all the financial assets, spend half of all consumer spending, consume 77% of all prescription drugs, and enjoy 80% of all leisure travel.

Our numbers include President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, President Donald Trump, Bill Gates, the late Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Dolly Parton, Cher, Steven Spielberg, Sally Field, and countless others.

Okay, we Boomers have made money and lived for ourselves, but what is our legacy to the following generations? Have we, like King David, fulfilled the purposes of God for our generation?

I am ashamed to say that we have not.

My prayer today:

Lord, forgive us America’s senior citizens for not accomplishing pleasing works in Your sight. And awaken and strengthen us so what still remains in us of You and Your ways will help the generations after us to serve You. (Based on Revelation 3:2)

Join with me on Tuesdays to pray and fast for senior citizens in America to undergo a Holy Spirit revival.

 

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Geezer Up (Part 16)

Except for the early moments in Cell 27 when my cellmate wrapped his hands around my neck, the rest of my first twenty-four hours of jail life crept along like a snail on a hot sidewalk. Slowly! Bogart and I reached a tacit truce, which allowed me to speak only when he directed a question at me, but otherwise, I remained silent.

I wandered out into the common area and spent time with eleven other inmates watching TV. Reality shows, especially “Judge Judy” and “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” were the favorites with comments being peppered at the TV throughout each show.

As far as eating, no one noticed that I was not doing so. God’s grace covered my fast and my efforts to do it in secret.

At 10 a.m., a tall guard came to the cell. “Matthews?” he said.

“Yes,” I said, sitting up in my bunk.

“Come down here. Turn around. Put your hands behind your back.”

I followed his instructions as he put handcuffs on my wrists and quickly patted down my body for weapons.

“Turn around. Walk out the door, turn right, and head toward the entrance. Your lawyer is waiting for you in meeting room #2, on your left.”

When I entered the small room, Artie sat at a metal table, wearing a light gray suit and black shirt open at the collar. The guard removed my handcuffs and left the room. I sat down on the opposite side of the table from Artie.

“How are you doing?” he asked, looking into my eyes.

I shrugged. “Well, it’s not a picnic, but so far, I’m doing okay.”

“Well, that’s probably as good as one can hope for right now.”

He opened his brown briefcase and took out my worn black leather Bible.

“Jane brought this over before I left the office this morning.”

I grabbed the Bible and fanned the pages.

“Thank you, just what I need right now.”

“Here are some legal pads and jail approved pencils, too.”

I nodded my head.

Artie blew out a deep breath before explaining the prosecutor’s offer of leniency in exchange for my admittance of guilt and apology.

“No, not interested in that deal.”

He then mentioned how the City Attorney’s office would throw the book at me if I refused the offer, which could result in a log prison sentence for me. Even if the decision were appealed, I might end up being locked up for months or years before the case was settled.

“Still not interested. Sink or swim, live or die, I’m determined to trust the Lord all the way to the end of this.”

Artie stood up and picked up his briefcase. “I will be back in eleven days to ready you for your preliminary hearing. Jane will visit you tomorrow and Sunday.” He paused a moment. “My wife and I are praying for you…just want you to know that.”

We shook hands before the guard returned to take me back to Cell 27.

(Continued in Part 17…the full series to date can be read here.)

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Prayers for a Holy Spirit Revival of Senior Citizens (3/28/2017)

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“Honey, the Lord told me on the way home tonight how blessed I should feel to have a godly husband like you,” said Carol as we slipped into bed at the end of a long weekday.

“That may be true, but I’m going to shoot Fern,” I said looking at the ceiling.

“Sweetheart, what?” she said, her green eyes blinking in unbelief.

“After I shoot her, I might hang her by the neck, and then drop her over a steep cliff.”

“Dear, that’s not like you at all. You wouldn’t hurt anyone, especially my mom.”

“After today, I’ve changed my mind about a lot of things. I just might shoot her right between the eyes.”

We rolled over and fell to sleep.

This conversation actually took place in Glidden, Iowa, when Carol and I stayed at her mom’s five-acre farm. Fern was seventy-eight years old at the time, but don’t go thinking her age caused her to be a weak link in the local farming scene. Nothing could have been further from the truth. If anything, she still resembled a pioneer woman ready to hitch up a Conestoga wagon with a pair of oxen and head over the Rockies to Oregon.

Everything had been great between Fern and me up until that week. Her humor and intelligence made her a joy to be around, but all of the warm fuzzies ended when sweet corn season arrived.

 

Now, let me set the stage, okay?

The late July temperatures hovered near one hundred degrees with the humidity approaching tropical rainforest levels. No air conditioning. Ten zillion, pesty, ornery farm flies, and two acres of sweet corn. Carol worked for a company in Carroll, Iowa, and I had just finished detasseling for a hybrid seed corn company.

“Larry, would you like to help harvest some sweet corn?” asked Fern one morning.

“Sure, of course,” I said, not foreseeing any problems.

The next four days were an absolute “hell on earth” for me. The heat, humidity, and flies took their toll, but what pushed me over the edge were Fern’s drill sergeant’s tactics.

“Do this. Don’t do that. Be careful. Watch out. Grab this. Let go. It’s not that hot outside. Can’t you go a little faster? What’s wrong with you?”

She counted the number of pints of corn already done on the fourth day.

“We’ve already done one hundred and twenty pints so far, which is a record for me, but I know we can do at least two hundred pints, maybe even more.”

Her eyes gleamed with the possibilities of being listed in the Guinness World Records and the Prairie Farmer. That night I spouted off to Carol about offing her mom.

The next morning I crept out of bed at an early hour and tiptoed down to the family room. There I dropped to my knees on the carpet.

“Lord, what’s my problem? Why do I want to shoot a sweet, seventy-eight year old lady?” I prayed.

The Lord spoke to my heart after a long while: “You’ve given up on senior citizens. You think they just want to collect their social security checks and sit on porches, taking it easy until they die. You don’t believe I will use them in a move of My Spirit in America.” Then, He added, “I haven’t given up on them and neither should you. Repent of your attitudes.”

I repented before the Lord that morning.

Fern Fielder, a great mother-in-law (1920 to 2008).

(Excerpt from The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2014, Amazon eBook)

The above event took place in July of 1997.

My prayer today:

Lord, breathe Your Spirit upon the senior citizens of America to bring them back to life so that they stand on their feet and become an exceedingly great army for Your glory. (Based on Ezekiel 37:10)

Join with me on Tuesdays to pray and fast for senior citizens in America to undergo a Holy Spirit revival.

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Mountains Melt at the Presence of God (Part 4)

 

One of the prominent ministers of the Welsh Revival (1904-1905) was Evan Roberts.

It was a supernatural experience to be in an Evan Roberts’ meeting. He carried the ability to usher in the presence of the Holy Spirit as almost a tangible force. He made the common church-goer aware of the spirit world, especially in the area of purity and holiness toward God. Since he rarely preached, Evan allowed three female singers – Anna Davies, Maggie Davies, and S. A. Jones – to travel with him. Many times they sang an inspired message from God to the congregation. Evan would rebuke anyone who tried to hush the singing. He believed the Holy Spirit should be given the primary role and that no one had the right to interrupt Him. He felt that so doing invited the wrong kind of authority and control.

To Evan, the Holy Spirit wasn’t some unseen force, but a Divine Person who must be praised and adored in His own right and totally obeyed. It even came to the point that when one or two people in the congregation wouldn’t participate, Evan would stand up and say, “The Spirit can’t be with us now.” Then, many times, he would leave the service.

It was common in Evan Roberts’ meetings for members in the congregation to suddenly fall on their knees and pray aloud. Waves of joy and sorrow would flood the congregation. Women fell on their knees and men laid in the aisles weeping, laughing, and praying. All the while, there was no Bible reading or instruments playing. A few were inspired to stand and sing hymns. It was even said that the people were so caught up in God that they would forget to go home for Sunday dinner. This was unheard of in southern Wales in those days. As the day progressed, the evening service would become a continual prayer service. Evan could be seen walking up and down aisles swinging his arms, clapping his hands, and jumping up and down.

Though his success had become the talk of the nation, many still didn’t know what to think of Evan Roberts. They were used to the fiery eyes of the old-time preachers, and Evan never raised his voice. Sometimes, he was called the “silent preacher.”

As a result of the Welsh Revival, local stores couldn’t keep Bibles in stock. The Welsh coal mining industry also took on a new look. Their workhorses had previously been trained to respond to instructions that included profanity. But with the coal mining crew now born again in the Revival, they found that their horses had to be retrained because the animals didn’t know how to follow normal commands without a curse word in it.

(Excerpt from God’s Generals by Roberts Liardon, Albury Publishing, © 1996 by Roberts Liardon, pages 87, 89).

Unlike most revivals, the Welsh Revival was not known for its great preachers, but rather for the presence of God.

Shouldn’t we hunger for the same today?

(Continued in Part 5…the full series to date can be read here.)

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Inside Israel

SHUK

The Shuk in Jerusalem

 

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 —

Blessed greetings dear sisters and brothers, in The Name of Yeshua – Jesus – King of kings, Lord of lords, may He alone be glorified and lifted up and may you be blessed and edified.

Passover may well be the central theme song of Judaism. Although still three weeks off, here in Jerusalem it feels as if it is fast approaching.

As a child there was a sense of holiness and a sense of weightiness mixed with the excitement of the preparations:

 “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part…” (1 Corinthians 13:11, 12)

When I was a child, I watched my Mother prepare our apartment, particularly the kitchen, meticulously hiding away the everyday dishes, cutlery, pots, and pans in a box way in the back of the uppermost cabinet shelf. Carefully, lovingly,  unwrapping the Passover item, the special dishes saved only for this most special holy time.  The dishes had been my Grandmother’s dishes. My sister and I would look at them with wonder.

Since immigrating to Israel I have learned of the traditions of some of our other ancestors who had been dispersed to different ends of the earth when God’s Hand of righteous Judgment came upon our people. We became the wandering Jews, ( having been well warned by the Prophets and written Word and The Spirit of God).  I learned that the Jews from Ethiopia, for example, would break all of their dishes and have the potters make new ones for Passover each year.  Others would bring (still a custom here in Israel) their dishes, pots, and pans to huge boiling caldrons set up on various street corners where they’re submerged into boiling water for a specified amount of time before being pronounced “kosher for Passover.”

The shuk is also filled with ‘ahat pa’ami’ or disposable tins and dishes that many use during Pesach (Passover).  I remember pulling out the haggadot –  special soft covered books that contain the story of Passover, songs, directions for the order of the service, and an awful lot of cryptic teachings this and that Rabbi said.

My favorite part were the illustrations, often woodcuts, dramatic depictions of the Biblical events.  Even when we couldn’t understand the words, we would gaze at the pictures in hushed tones of reverence.

There was the great challenge for the youngest children: the four questions.  We had to memorize them, sing them in Hebrew (or English if we couldn’t yet master the Hebrew sounds). The questions:  “Why is this night different from all other nights?”

But the part that always frightened me was the parable of the four sons. The wise son who asks, “What are these commanded by The Eternal God?” The wicked son who asks, “What do you mean by this service?” The simple son who asks, “What is this?”

Which one was I? I did not know.

My sister and I would polish the special silverware used only for Passover, and clean the Passover candlesticks and matzo holder.

Yes, there was in my young mind a sense of something holy, but what it was, I didn’t know.

Now, as I read and re-read again and again, The Books. I come to Exodus, a thrill runs through me.  What is Passover?

Well, there is redemption.  Slaves, sold under bondage, redeemed through the blood of the lamb and the death of the firstborn.  Through works?  No, through mercy by grace in mystery.  Because we deserved it?  No, but HE Who created us all, chose us for this part.

Forty two years ago, when I was Redeemed by The Blood of THE Lamb, I wept with shock of recognition. What a work! Redemption promised 5,000 years ago and The Blood still prevails. A lamb for each house, applied on the doorposts.  The remarkable book of Exodus where we read such clear examples of obedience AND disobedience, of rebellion AND submission, of provision AND complaining, and we are commanded to REMEMBER.

Is THAT the central theme of Passover?

To REMEMBER?  REMEMBER our slavery, REMEMBER our deliverance through The Blood, REMEMBER our trek, our teachings, our rebellion, our stiff necks, OUR GOD, and His overcoming mercy.

That’s the conclusion that I came to quite a while back.  REMEMBER.  THANKFULLY we are told that The Holy Spirit would bring ALL THINGS TO REMEMBERANCE THAT HE HAS TOLD US.  OH HOW WE NEED HIM!

 

As my train passed by the shuk, there they were:  THE GARLIC.

I DID laugh.  Huge piles of freshly dug up garlic, earth still hanging from their big bulbs, were stacked high on palates at the shuk entrance.  Well?  What have we got to complain about NOW that so many of the people leave the land that we have been promised for vacations abroad during this wondrous season?  That was one of our FIRST complaints and reasons for wanting to turn back. We REMEMBERED, but it was the wrong thing.

 “We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic;” (NUMBERS 11:5) 

We have them ALL here now, right HERE, growing wondrously out of this land promised to us. The desert that He makes to bloom and blossom and produce, but the grumbling and complaining continues because only HE can change our very NATURE, just as He is changing the NATURE of the desert into a fruitful field producing all that I have just seen at the shuk.

Yes, in the midst of writing this, I had to stop, since my bread man has begun slicing my husband’s favorite onion bread by 9:30. My husband likes it NOT sliced. My pita people have a spicy flat bread that he likes only AFTER 9:30, on Tuesday, my day off, I stop everything and run down to the shuk, determined to just do what needs to be done and head RIGHT home.

But, oh the richness of what I learn at the shuk and on the train at that hour.  I thank The Lord that HE Who told me, and allows me to “what you see, write”… also shows me such jewels in the midst of each day!

   Pesach – full blast.  Two very old men were engaged in a loudly animated discussion of the Torah readings leading up to rosh hodish (the first day of the month) in this most special of months while a third, enjoying the sheer thought of it all, was singing the synagogue liturgy at the top of his lungs.  Although my apartment is just two stops from where the train line begins, the train was already jammed with religious school girls, university students, shopping wagons, baby carriages, and disabled with walkers. Pesach preparations requires EVERYONE to be on the move.

 

I remembered a day last week that I had planned to share with you when there was a hefetz ha’shood – an unidentified package (thankfully USUALLY someone’s forgotten lunch or shopping) was left at the tracks and the bomb squad had to be called to take care of it.  Everyone groaned as our train stopped for an unspecified length of time and people weighed the length of the prospective walk to their destination against their strength.  I stayed seated as I was still a good 40- minute walk away and had much to carry.  A young Haradi (ultra orthodox – black and white clothing with long side curls) man stood by the door and decided to step outside for a smoke.  He kept tapping the door open to make sure that he could get back on, but, in an unusual move, the train driver SUDDENLY just locked the doors and took off, leaving several outside the train.  When we stopped at the next stop, this young man boarded the train again, red faced, huffing and puffing, having RUN the entire way and to my amazement, grabbed THE BABY CARRIAGE he had left on the train.

Everyone applauded but I pointed up ward, “Toda L’El!” Thank You Lord.  I said and he nodded grinning widely and meekly.

The things one gets to witness on the train and bus. What wonders!

 

Today, the shuk was LOADED with new and wonderful looking produce, crowned, of course, with the fresh GARLIC.  These garlic aren’t dried, but are still moist. The early ones have yet to divide into what we know as the cloves. They are still one large, highly fragrant, moist bulb with very tall leaves.  I resisted and bought just 3 to roast with our chicken this Friday.  By next week the wonderful braids and wreaths of garlic – such a lovely gift to receive or give at Pesach – will begin to be seen.  Although breads and baked products are still available, very soon they won’t be and bakers will receive their well earned vacations.  Many of them still work in old style hot kiln ovens, Middle Eastern style, baking through the night or from early morning.  I am impressed by them, working so hard.  Macaroons and other kosher for Pesach food have already appeared in assigned places for the incredibly diligent who have already cleansed their homes of leaven.

According to my daughter, who married into a Haradi family, what we have translated into the English word leaven isn’t accurate.  According to the interpretation that she has learned, the word means fermented of a sort applying to wheat products.  Since The Lord looks upon THE HEART, my heart is free about the possibilities of the definition.

When a tender soul searching to please a Holy God tries to sift through the multitude of traditions and translations that have come to us over 5,000 years. MAY HE LEAD US TO THE ROCK THAT IS HIGHER THEN US TO SEEK AND FIND HIS FACE AND WALK IN HIS LIGHT.   May we REMEMBER HIM and truly GLORIFY HIM in the midst of all of the preparations that He offered to us as a tool to bring us to REMEMBERING.  HE IS ONLY WONDERFUL.

God BLESS you and keep you and make His Face to shine upon you and give you His Peace.  Lovingly,

your sister J

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