The month of Elul begins tomorrow … 40 days until Yom Kippur!
In a couple of weeks, we will notice a transformation in retail establishments here in the US. Stores will be filled with Halloween displays; shortly, thereafter, will come Thanksgiving and Christmas … and every year people moan that we begin with the holiday promotions earlier and earlier!
When we first moved to Israel, in 1978, I remember feeling thankful that we would no longer be overwhelmed with the massive commercialization of holidays. Upon returning to the US, I recall the tingle of excitement of hearing Christmas carols being played in the malls and in stores. A few years later, we added Torah observance to our Christian Zionism. I secretly yearned for that same excited feeling when celebrating His Holy Days. Over the years I pondered that emotion and ‘the good will toward men’ during the secular aspect of the celebration of our Lord’s birth juxtaposed with the seeming “no feeling” in observing His mo’adim (His appointed times). He has shown me that I’d grown up in a culture where we celebrated a “Christianese” form of His days. And the celebration of Biblical festivals were new to me. Just as my mind is filled with many wonderful family memories of holidays, so I needed time to build memories of His days.
Now that we have celebrated His festivals – all of His appointed times – for several years, I notice that with each year, that feeling of expectation increases. But, the best part of the whole Holy Day experience is not the feelings, though I also love those, it is the knowing that I’m walking in His precepts: He tells us many times in Scripture that we are to observe His day for all generations. (“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD–a lasting ordinance,” Ex 12:14, NIV.)
And if I really want to walk as my Messiah walked, why wouldn’t I want to do all the things He did? As an orthodox Jew, He observed each of the holidays! So, why wouldn’t I want to…..and you know what? Each year, He gives us a special experience – Hallmark may think they were the originator of the “gift that keeps on giving” but we know that our L-rd is The Gift Who truly keeps on giving!!!!! I never cease to be amazed at how He gives us the desires of our hearts. He didn’t just give me superficial feelings of excitement, but He gave me deeper feelings undergirded with His Word and following His precepts. Truly He keeps on giving in lasting ways!!!!
The Jewish month of Elul begins exactly 40 days prior to Yom Kippur. Each year, I look at the 1st Elul similarly to how Thanksgiving was the signal to plan for Christmas. This Sunday, August 16, marks the beginning of the 40 days until Yom Kippur (Yom Teruah/Feast of Trumpets, aka: Rosh HaShanah is 10 days before Yom Kippur).
As always, our L-rd is so very faithful!!! Let’s us get on board and ready ourselves for His Festivals!
“L-rd, we marvel at Your goodness! You answer the yearnings of our hearts – you give us above and beyond what we could imagine. We love YOU! We bless You. Help us to ready ourselves for Your special days. Give Israel wisdom – help her to follow You! Bring Your peace to The Land. Bring peace to our country – bring our country together in serving You. In Your holy Name, we pray!”
IMMEDIATE Prayer Requests:
- Pray for Israel!
- Protection of the persecuted church.
- Pray for America.
- Attack on our loved ones to be broken and stopped.
- Tere: healing and wisdom in direction
- Donna: healing
- Deb: victory over overwhelming circumstances. Encouragement!! God will provide; prayer for wisdom and favor with all those involved in the decision-making. Protection from false accusations and that truth, victory, and peace will reign. That Deb’s spirit will be lifted up: that she will have the words and clarity of mind to accomplish what needs to be done. That there will be a miraculously successful outcome of fairness and provision for her future.
- Rachel (Pamela’s friend): liver transplant and healing
- Connie: healing – total healing!
- Jim: recovery knee replacement surgery, healing. That he will be pain-free.
- Norman: job