The day of our Joy

Why do I love Israel? Israel the people, Israel the Land and the people of Israel(the Jewish people).

We have entered into the 8th day. Seven days in the Sukkah of Sukkot and today we rejoice in the Word, His Torah. Why today? 

We end with the reading of the last portion of Devarim/ Deuteronomy, and then we start anew at  B’resheet (in the beginning). The eighth day, new beginnings, today is the day to walk anew into His covenant that He made with us and is writing upon our hearts. 

I am reminded of Shaul’s words to those in Rome,  “I don’t want you to be ignorant of this mystery”…  Our great creator and Elohim made a promise to us through the blessing given to Ephraim by Jacob, that he would be the fullness of the nations(gentiles). We who have been blinded in part, are being healed. This is the work of the messiah to bring sight to the blind. 

This week once again I turn back to the beginning (B’reshit) of the Book. Renewing again the study of and revelation in His instructions on how He wants us as His children (bought and paid for) grafted into His family to live our lives as a preculur people. Holy unto Him. 

Chose this day whom you will serve! As for me and my house we will serve YHVH!

Advertisements

Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing) at the kotel 

This morning I rose early to hoof it down to the kotel for the priestly blessings. Well let me start back a few days. 

While traveling to Israel, we had a small layover in Toronto Canada. There we met Norman and Jackie Kahn. We struck up a conversation with them as our group were all going to Israel too. We also met up with Pete Rambo and family along with Tommy and Dorothy Wilson. 

Norman, he told us, is of the cohen line. That is the priestly line. He told me about the priestly blessings that will be done on the 19th. He said get there early because it will be packed. As a cohen he will be participating in the blessing. 

Back to today, as I approached the kotel security checkpoint I found it closed, for a short time. But when they let us through the plaza was filling up already. People coming in from many entrances. It was very evident that security was on high alert. 

As I walked across the kotel plaza I noticed the controlled area nearest to the wall was already very full, so I headed in too. It was like wading into a sea of unfamiliarity. Men standing covered in their tallit and praying. Hundreds and hundreds, I got behind a couple of men that were moving and just stayed with them till I was about 30 feet from the wall and about 200 ft to the right of the entry point. In front of me, well all around me really, there were groups, a minyan and they we’re reciting prayers and psalms while waving and/or shaking their lulavs and etrog. Some singing here and there too. The crush of people was still growing. After an hour or so of praying and watching I decided to move on out of the controlled area. It took me more than 15 min to move about 200 ft through the crowd. At the entrance I looked up and I was facing a familiar face. It was Norman from Toronto. He was just coming into the controlled area for the corporate prayers. I asked him if I could tag along with him and he graciously said yes. 

We pushed our way back into the crowd for about 40 ft and could not move any further. There as the head rabbi started to  cant the psalms Norman opened his well-worn sidur and led me through with the canting. Sometimes he was reading out loud in Hebrew and sometimes I was reading out loud in English. What a moment, two men from different country’s and two different walks of faith standing together, a Jew and an Ephraimite reading from the same sidur responding to the Head Rabbis words of praise and supplications to our Elohim.

Soon the call for the cohens to come forward rang out. Norman said good by and started moving forward into the sea of men. It was amazing to watch men make room and even pull the cohens forward. I wondered were there would be room up front for another couple of hundred men. 

Much of the rest I did not understand as it was all in Hebrew but when the time came for the priestly blessing all went silent. Amazing! Then the voice of the Head Rabbi canted one word and hundreds of cohen canted the same. This was the process for the entire blessing. As it ended a sound of joy came forth even some clapping. 

Then it was time to exit. 

I’ve been to major sporting events and the crowds all leaving at once, yet not one of them prepared me for this. I was packed in and there was hundreds trying to get out through an opening of about 30 ft and there were hundreds trying to get in at the same time. It was all I could do to just keep hold of my tallit, my back pack and keep my feet under me. It took what seemed like an hour to move 40 ft. It probably was 15 min tho. 

Once out of the pack I saw another friendly face above the side fence. A sister from Oregon was there with some friends. We greeted and spoke of what just happened, then who should be there again but Norman. Again he took me to show me the blessings of waving the lulav.

He was a blessing to me beyond words. 

What more could our Father have instore for me? This was so moving and impacting I am having trouble putting it into words. B”H

Our God is an Awsome God!

Sukkot day 1

As evening descended we headed to the Kotel. The shops were closed and the light rail shut down, very few cars and people on the streets. We have seen many sukkah’s on balconys and in courtyards. Most of the restaurants have them set up too. 

As we approached the ancient city of Jerusalem, I again am in awe of this place. 


My sister Zelta Fox on her first trip into the old city. 

Entering through the Jaffa Gate, the number of people on the streets increases dramatically. Some of the Arab shops are still open and we saw one bread vendor selling his wares at the gate. This is one of the gates that can be driven through. 

Walking past Christchurch Guest House brought back memories of our short stay, May last year. Passing David’s Citadel, the cardo and ruins, past the golden menorah and seeing the moon rise over the mount of Olives and the Temple Mount. 



Down a hundred steps or so I came across the security check, which all have to go through to go to the western wall area. 

After a quick backpack check and a walk through the metal detector, they waved me on. Most of the evening activitys were over, so not much of a crowd tonight. 

On down to the wall I went. I knew when I dressed for the evening that I would need to have my head covered to approach the wall, this is required upon entrance. I put on a blue Biblical Zionists ball cap.

 There were many different types of head coverings there from the fur type to different black brimed hats to many shapes and colors of kippah’s. I was wearing the only blue ball cap head covering. 

On to the wall its self. Magnificent stones, ancient, with the cracks stuffed with pieces of paper with prayers written on them. “Quiet my soul and listen to the Spirit”…

“Our Father who art in Heaven, Your Kingdom come, here on earth as it is in Heaven. Restore unto us your Kingdom and your Presence. Forgive us our trespasses against you and restore us anew to be a Nation, your Nation.”


There were many tables scattered throughout with assorted siddurs and other religious books along with Scriptures, some Torah some full Tanach. 

Looking away from the wall I saw a very large sukkah. 



Our group at the ‘Flag Pole’. This flag pole can be seen on a few web cams live any time.


Back up the steps and through the old city, out the Jaffa Gate and through the Mamilla mall.

Dead Sea salt art. 


Seeing sukkah’s all over.

What must it have been like in the time of Yeshua to come to this city during this Chag (festival) with travelers from all over the land and coming from far away lands to celebrate these Chagim. 

Even back to the time of King Solomon, the throngs of Israelites journeying up to Jerusalem to worship in the presents of our Elohim with the esteem resting on the Temple and not only visible but also palpable.  The thousands of sukkahs in the streets. Awe I can almost see it in my minds eye. 

Prophecy tells us this is going to be seen again. In this the city of our Great King. Zachariah 14

Shabbat 

Ezra 3:1 When the seventh month came, and the children of Israel were in the towns, the people gathered as one man to Jerusalem.

What a joy to be in Jerusalem for Shabbat. The city is quiet as shalom has settled. Looking out over parts of our neighborhood we see sukkahs going up,  on balconys and rooftops, for the chag (festival) which starts tommorow evening at sundown. 

The call to gather as one man to Jerusalem is growing each season. I look forward to the day when our King calls us home to dwell with Him in His city. 

We have heard of many from around the world that are coming up to Jerusalem for this feast. On the ride from the airport we met a lady from Phily that has come for the festival, and in Toronto we met a couple from there coming also. Oh yes and in Toronto we ran into the 5 Rambo’s and the 2 Wilson’s who also were coming up for the chag. Many also have other plans, but all say “to be in Jerusalem for Sukkot, what joy”.

Late last night, or should I say early this morning, the rest of our group arrived, tired of travel but full of joy for being in Jerusalem. Elohim is good. 

Shabbat in Jerusalem

The end of our first day of shopping – at the shuk. Seemed like every one in the neighborhood was at the shuk shopping. Then shops on the street out side started closing around 2:00pm and by 6:00 all was quiet. Some shofar sounds between 6:05 and 6:25.

Entering into Shabbat on this trip after a long travel time and an overwhelming shopping experience, is much welcomed.

Tasty vegitables, fruit and smoked fish with wine and bread, capped with some FINE Halva.

As I enjoy the rest of Shabbat and the stillness of the city I am reminded of His Word: “And let the earth hear the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain; My speech shall distil as the dew, As the small rain upon the tender grass, And as the showers upon the herb.”

This passage has been on my heart for many years. My prayer, ‘Let my heart and the hearts of Your people be as tender grass receiving your Word.

Baruch HaShem

Shabbat Shalom from the city of my King.

First day in Jerusalem 10/14/2016

sam_0838

I was thinking on what scripture that Adonai would have for me while I’m in Jerusalem and in Israel proper and he led me to Ezra.
Ezra1:2 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
Ezr 1:3 Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the LORD, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem.

This is interesting for His timing. Just this morning I was reading about UNESCO voting on who the Temple Mount and Jerusalem belong to.

Here we see that the LORD claims Jerusalem long before UNESCO!

As the people of YHVH go up to Jerusalem this Sukkot, our King and Elohim will be proclaimed and exalted, in His City and at The Place, where He placed His Name FOREVER!