Author: Eric Carlson

Why is Torah for Today?

Why is Torah for Today?

By Eric Carlson in January-1 on January 1, 2023

There are 613 commandments in the Torah: 248 positive commands (what we should do); and 365 negative commands (what we should not do). According to rabbinical reckoning, the 248 positive commands correspond to the number of separate parts of our body and 365 negative commands correspond to the number of days throughout a year. We are commanded to do all the commands with all the joints and parts of our body, that’s why religious, Orthodox Jews rock back and forth while praying so that all their body parts are being used!

There is a significant difference between Biblical commands (Mitzvots) and Rabbinical commands.  Rabbinical commands are designed as a fence, a hedge surrounding the Torah to protect or buffer people from possibly breaking one of the Biblical commands (Mitzvots) and sinning. Those who don’t fully understand the Old Testament (Tanach) come to the above conclusions.  These statements could be true or far from the truth, let me explain further as we go on!

Torah is the Hebrew word meaning Teaching.  Its root means to throw or shoot an arrow.  God uses the word Torah scripturally to signify His teaching to His people.  The teaching that God gave to Moshe on Mt. Sinai is called the Torah of Moses,  but Moses did not author it……he only received it from Adonai.  God uses the word Torah to signify His instructions throughout the Hebrew scriptures.  Some Jews also believe in an oral teaching called the Talmud which is in error as the Word says:

“Moses came and told the people everything Adonai had said including all the rulings.  The people answered with one voice: “we will obey every word Adonai has spoken”. Moshe wrote down all the words of Adonai.  He rose early in the morning, built an altar at the base of the mountain and set up twelve large stones to represent the twelve tribes of Israel.” Exodus 24:3-4.  Gods covenant between Himself and His people is based exclusively upon the written words of God and nothing else!

Christians call the Torah “the Law” because most English translations of scripture translate Torah as law.  The reason this came about is because Hebrew scriptures were translated into Greek, called the Septuagint.  The Septuagint translated Torah into the Greek word Nomia.  Nomia was used in the Greek culture to mean “unalterable law”.  Following in the same tradition,  the Greek New Testament used Nomia to signify Torah.  The Word of God is in fact unalterable and can be construed as Law since breaking one of the commandments could lead to punishment (either from man or from God!). Torah is really a teaching tool of the Most High who loves his people, revealing to them what is or what is not sin.  Messiah Yeshua was the payment for our sins once and for all through His Blood, He bought and paid for our righteousness!  The Torah showed us what that righteousness was!  7The Torah of Adonai is perfect, restoring the inner person.  The instruction of Adonai is sure, making wise the thoughtless.  8 The precepts of Adonai are right, rejoicing the heart.  The mitzvot of Adonai is pure, enlightening the eyes.  9 The fear of Adonai is clean, enduring forever.  The rulings of Adonai are true, they are righteous altogether, 10 more desirable than gold, than fine gold, also sweeter that honey or drippings from the honeycomb.  11Through them your servant is warned; in obeying them is great reward”.  Psalm 19:7-11.  Messiah Yeshua also said in Mathew 5:18-19. “ Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or Prophets.  I have come not to abolish but to complete.  18  Yes indeed!  I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or stroke will pass from the torah – not until everything that must happen has happened.  19 So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvots and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven.  But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.”  Messiah Yeshua said here that Sin is forgiven through him and Torah is the life guidelines from God,  not the written word of man.  Rabbi Shaul (Paul) said in Romans 7:7,12.  “7 Therefore, what are we to say?  That the Torah is sinful?  Heaven forbid!  Rather, the function of the Torah was that without it, I would not have known what sin is.  For example, I would not have become conscious of what greed is if Torah had not said “Thou shalt not covet””.  “12 So the Torah is holy; that is, the commandment is holy, just and good”.  Torah makes us accountable for our actions.  Mankind must walk within specific divine guidelines and regulations or we pursue perverted and sinful ways.  Without Torah, God would be unable to convict and condemn sin for without Torah, what would identify sin!  Paul struggled to explain this and stated in Romans 3:20. “ For in His sight no one alive will be considered righteous on the ground of legalistic observance of Torah commands, because what Torah really does is show people how sinful they are”. He also wrote in Galatians 3:23. “Now before the time for this trusting faithfulness came, we were imprisoned in subjection to the system which results from perverting the Torah into legalism, kept under guard until this yet-to–come trusting faithfulness could be revealed”.  Paul then explains how sins are forgiven in ACTS 13:38 “Therefore brothers, let it be known to you that through this Man (Yeshua) is proclaimed forgiveness of sins!”.  Lets look at some of these Mitzvot’s in the scripture and see what they say:

    1. Do not blaspheme Gods name or your leaders! Ex. 22:27.
    2. To know that God is one, a complete unity! Deut. 6:16.
    3. Do not put God’s word to the test! Deut. 6:16.
    4. To honor the old and wise. 19:32.
    5. To learn Torah and teach it. Deut. 6:7.
    6. Not to add or subtract from the Torah! Deut. 13:1.
    7. To circumcise the males. Gen 17:12, Lev 12:3. (I would still recommend this even though the New Testament says this is not necessary for the Gentiles to do, it is healthier for men. It’s a testament to the supreme knowledge of God.  Recent medical studies have shown that male babies antibodies and coagulants peek on the 8th day of birth, the day when Brit Milah  (circumcision) is commanded to be perform, miraculous isn’t it!.)
    8. Not to stand by idly when a human life is in danger. Lev. 19:16.
    9. Do not cherish hatred in ones heart. Lev 19:17.
    10. Not to take revenge. Lev. 19:18.
    11. Not to bear a grudge. Lev. 19:18.
    12. Rebuke the sinner. Lev. 19:17.
    13. Don’t refrain from maintaining the poor man and giving him what he needs. Deut. 15:7
    14. To honor father and mother. Ex.20:12.
    15. Not to withhold food, clothing, and conjugal rights from your wife. Ex. 21:10.
    16. Not to indulge in familiarities with relatives which may lead to incest. Lev. 18:6
    17. Not to do wrong in buying or selling. Lev. 25:14.
    18. Not to commit fraud when measuring. Lev. 19:35.
    19. Not to delay payment of a hired mans wages. Lev. 19:13.
    20. That a man should fulfill whatever he has uttered. Deut. 23:24.
    21. Not to make a graven image (idol), don’t make it or have someone make it! Ex.20:4
    22. Not to covet what belongs to another. Ex. 20:14.
    23. Do not murder. Ex 20:1, 20:13.
    24. Not to indulge in evil thoughts and sights. Num 15:39.
    25. Not to practice astrology. Lev. 19:26.
    26. Not to consult wizards. Lev. 19:31.
    27. To set apart the tithe (ten percent). Lev. 27:30, Num 18:24.

These are sound rules to live by and of course there are many more, these are just a random sampling. Some deal with Government that should be abided by in Israel (and we really need these in our own legal system) and some deal with sacrifices which are no longer required as we are covered and cleansed of these commandments through the blood of the Messiah.  Yaacov stated in James 1:25. “But if a person looks closely into the perfect Torah, which gives freedom, and continues, becoming not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work it requires, then he will be blessed in what he does”.

Even in the early congregations, some from Judah to Antioch were saying that you could not be saved unless you undergo b’rit-milah (circumcision) (legalistic observance of Torah!).  The early Messianic Movement was in discord over Torah and the new Gentile believers, which we observe in Acts 5:5 “But some of those who had come to trust were from the party of the P’rushim; and they stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and direct them to observe the Torah of Moshe””.  This was taken to Jerusalem and a council meeting took place to decide the issue.  A decision was made and a letter was written to the Gentiles and sent with Paul and Barnabas.  Their decision reads in Acts 15:28-29. “For it seemed good to the Ruach HaKodesh and to us not to lay any heavier burden on you than the following requirements: 29 to abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication.  If you keep yourselves from these, you will be doing the right thing.  Shalom!”.  Yeshua said himself in Mathew 13:52 “ He said to them, “So then, every Torah teacher who has been made into a talmid (disciple) for the Kingdom of Heaven is like the owner of a home who brings out of his storage room both new and things and old”.  The Master Himself states that both new and old are valid and one!  The old is not done away with the new.  Dr. Michel Brown in: “OUR HANDS ARE STAINED WITH BLOOD” writes “Of course, most of us realize that the roots of our faith are Jewish.  But did we ever stop to consider that Jewish roots mean Jewish fruits?  Our faith not only began in Israel with Jewish people in the middle of everything, but it will also end in Israel with the Jewish people in the middle of everything.” Torah is clearly for today!

God’s Covenant Signs

God’s Covenant Signs

By Eric Carlson in January-3 on January 1, 2023

What is a sign?  It’s a motion or gesture by which a thought is expressed or a command or wish made known, a mark having a conventional meaning and used in place of words or to represent a complex notion, something material or external that stands for or signifies something spiritual.  Sign in Hebrew is Oth; a sign, signal, a distinguishing mark, banner, remembrance, miraculous sign, an omen, or a warning! Signs (Oth) are extraordinary events by which Adonai reveals His will through nature, people, dreams, and His word. Adonai does this to reveal His will, to instill trust, and or demonstrate His authority.  Signs are a heavenly revelation to your earthly senses of God’s divine power and will. God made a covenant sign with Noach and all living things:

Genesis 9:12-13.  God added, “Here is the sign of the covenant I am making between myself and you and every living creature with you, for all generations to come: 13 I am putting my rainbow (Et-kashti: Bow, Rainbow, a sign of strength) in the cloud – it will be there as a sign of the covenant between myself and the earth.

Signs were the method God used to reveal Himself to both Israel and Egypt while Israel was enslaved in Egypt!

Psalms 135:9. He sent signs and wonders among you, Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his subjects.

Signs were used by Yeshua, the Son of God to reveal that He is the Messiah sent by God:

Sign 1: Yeshua’s birth and death.

Luke 2:34 – Shim`on blessed them and said to the child’s mother, Miryam, “This child will cause many in Isra’el to fall and to rise, he will become a sign whom people will speak against;

Matthew 12:39-40.  He replied, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign? No! None will be given to it but the sign of the prophet Yonah.  For just as Yonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea-monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the depths of the earth.

Sign 2: Yeshua’s second sign was healing an official’s son

John 4:46–54.  He went again to Kanah in the Galil, where he had turned the water into wine. An officer in the royal service was there; his son was ill in K’far-Nachum. 47 This man, on hearing that Yeshua had come from Y’hudah to the Galil, went and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 Yeshua answered, “Unless you people see signs and miracles, you simply will not trust!” 49 The officer said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Yeshua replied, “You may go, your son is alive.” The man believed what Yeshua said and left. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him with the news that his son was alive 52 So he asked them at what time he had gotten better; and they said, “The fever left him yesterday at one o’clock in the afternoon.” 53 The father knew that that was the very hour when Yeshua had told him, “Your son is alive”; and he and all his household trusted. 54 This was a second sign that Yeshua did; he did it after he had come from Y’hudah into the Galil.

Yeshua gave us signs regarding the season of His return:

Matthew 24:30. “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, all the tribes of the Land will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with tremendous power and glory.

The Adversary, HaSatan, will cause apostasy through deception and false signs:

II Thessalonians 2:8-10. Then the one who embodies separation from Torah will be revealed, the one whom the Lord Yeshua will slay with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the glory of his coming. 9 When this man who avoids Torah comes, the Adversary will give him the power to work all kinds of false miracles, signs and wonders. 10 He will enable him to deceive, in all kinds of wicked ways, those who are headed for destruction because they would not receive the love of the truth that could have saved them.

There are three specific signs unique to Israel that reveal God’s covenant decision of choosing Israel as His very own people.  These signs mark the foundation of who and what we are as children of God:

  1. Circumcision:

Genesis 17:11. You are to be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; this will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

God states that He will bless the seed of Abraham, that His seed will be as numerous as the grains of sand at the beach, that His seed will possess the Land of Israel forever, and that through Abraham’s seed all the Nations will be blessed! Circumcision is a permanent mark on the body symbolizing the permanency of God’s covenant with his people. Because of its significance for personal cleanliness, it symbolized also the purity that the covenant demanded of them. Circumcision is a covenant act, a cut that releases blood which is always required for any covenant! The result is that Abraham’s seed passes through the covenant cut thereby becoming covenant seed. 

  1. Shabbat:

Exodus 31:13.  “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘You are to observe my Shabbats; for this is a sign between me and you through all your generations; so that you will know that I am ADONAI, who sets you apart for me.

Adonai’s covenant signs are what separate us from the world and those who don’t honor and serve Him. Representing God’s covenant, it’s no wonder that these three humble signs have experienced the brunt of HaSatan’s fury.  Every religion known today and many governments have attacked and attempted to change, altar, and or remove these covenant signs.  The Philistines, Midianites, Ammonites, the Persians did, the Greeks did (under Antiochus Epiphanies in the Hanukkah story), Christianity tried under the Constantine/Rome Hellenization influence, as well as communism and Islam.  Throughout History there have been numerous periods of time when it has been illegal to keep Shabbat, circumcise your children, display Mezuzahs, or wear Jewish symbols. Even Adonai’s covenant “Rainbow” sign after the great flood has been hijacked to represent the unbiblical LGBQT community. Remember who established the covenant signs, God and God alone, anything else is manmade and false.

Tefillin is dated to the second Temple period.  Prior to this time these verses were interpreted to have Adonai’s word in your mind.  Placing the word on the doorposts is the only part of this scripture that actual was done in both first and second Temple periods. Prior to the 2nd Temple period silver amulets (bracelets, necklaces and rings) were worn (numerous ones having been found in archeological digs) that had the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4) written on them.  These were worn in full view to express the wearer’s dedication to Torah and Adonai.

Verse eight is performed in modern orthodox Judaism by wrapping Tefillin. Tefillin or phylacteries, are a set of small black leather boxes with leather straps containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from Deuteronomy 6. One box is worn on the persons head above the forehead wrapped with the leather straps, the second box is wrapped on the left bicep with the leather straps while the remainder of the leather straps are wrapped down the arm creating the letters of one of God’s names, Shaddai (שׁדי) — shin (), dalet (ד), yod (י).  They are written across the hand using the tefillin straps. The Tefillin are worn by adult males during weekday morning prayers. You may read further on this subject by using the link below!

Deuteronomy 6:4-9.  Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord;5. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6. And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart; 7. And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8. And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9. And you shall write them upon the posts of your house, and on your gates.

  1. Torah: God’s Word.

The sins of Jeroboam are made up of manmade religious doctrines that are still being practiced in the greater Body of Messiah today!!

I Kings 12:26-33. Nevertheless Yarov’am said to himself, “Now the rulership will return to the house of David. 27 For if these people continue going up to offer sacrifices in the house of ADONAI in Yerushalayim, their hearts will turn back to their lord, Rechav’am king of Y’hudah. Then they will kill me and return to Rechav’am king of Y’hudah.” 28 After seeking advice, the king made two calves of gold and said to the people, “You have been going up to Yerushalayim long enough! Here are your gods, Isra’el, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!” 29 He placed one in Beit-El and the other in Dan, 30 and the affair became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one [in Beit-El and] all the way to Dan [to worship the other]. 31 He also set up temples on the high places and made cohanim from among all the people, even though they were not descended from Levi. 32 Yarov’am instituted a festival in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, similar to the festival held in Y’hudah; he went up to the altar in Beit-El to sacrifice to the calves he had made; and he placed in Beit-El the cohanim he had appointed for the high places. 33 He went up to the altar which he had set up in Beit-El on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had chosen on his own, and instituted a festival for the people of Isra’el; he went up to the altar to burn incense.

The Lord calls it His day and His day alone. God recognizes, honors, and keeps Shabbat! Anything else he doesn’t honor and becomes a sin according to His word. When Israel split into two kingdoms Jeroboam (Yarov’am) became king of Israel, the northern Kingdom and the ten tribes:

Isaiah 58:13. “If you hold back your foot on Shabbat from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call Shabbat a delight, ADONAI’s holy day, worth honoring; then honor it by not doing your usual things or pursuing your interests or speaking about them.

First this is perpetual, second it was established in the beginning of creation in Genesis Chapter 2.  Adonai stated that it’s His Shabbat, a Moedim, and appointed time like the feast days! Different days have not been established for different cultures or people! There’s not one scripture that states that Shabbat has been changed.

Rabbi and Rebbetzin’s Corner December 2022

Rabbi and Rebbetzin’s Corner December 2022

By Eric Carlson in December-2 on November 28, 2022

We pray you had a blessed Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends! As we have entered into the month of December we look forward to the M.J.A.A. South East Regional Conference December 16th-18th, 2022 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando Florida! It is a powerful, supernatural weekend of Messianic praise, worship, teaching, and fellowship! Paul Wilbur and Sarah Liberman will be our guest psalmists! This is a weekend you don’t want to miss!

Register at

Tuesday, November 29th 2022, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is national Giving Day! The intent is for people to kick off the holiday season by donating money to a charitable cause such as Congregation Zions Sake! Giving Tuesday was founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. In the year 2021 Americans spent $707.5 billion, that’s right, $707.5 billion dollars on the Christmas Holiday! Congregation Zion’s Sake and every Church I know sees a downturn in Tithes and offerings in December every year! That’s a tragic and horrible statistic! What an impact for the Kingdom of Adonai and Jewish revival we could do with just 1% of this spending! Consider honoring God first with a special donation to Congregation Zion’s Sake today, on giving Tuesday!

        We look forward to celebrating Hanukkah for eight days which begins at sunset, Sunday December 18th 2022. Then on Wednesday, December 21st 2022 we enter the “winter Solstice”, the shortest day of the year that officially marks the first day of winter! At our Erev Shabbat service on Friday, December 23rd we will have a special Hanukkah service with both a children’s and youth group holiday presentation! You don’t want to miss this special service with all of our children and youth!

The end of this month, December 31st marks the end of the Gregorian Calendar year of 2022 and the start of the New Year 2023. The 1st of Nisan (the Biblical New Year) begins at sunset, Wednesday March 22nd 2023 when we begin the year 5783. As we move into a new year one of the meanings of 5783 is the year of retribution. Retribution is the dispensing or receiving of reward, punishment, and judgement! 5783 spells “Ur” in Hebrew which means to be exposed! 23 in the Gematria means to drop or trickle, to flow scantily. The year 2023 will be a year of lack regarding food and water. Adonai has been preparing us for such a time as this! The good news is that it will be a year of great revival as people will seek Adonai and His Kingdom!

        The term “Revival” unfortunately is an overused, miss understood term used by religion to announce weeklong services in the summer or to facilitate guest speakers or traveling evangelists. Also, unfortunately “Revival” is a term that is rarely used in the Jewish Community even though the term is found throughout the Tanach:

Isaiah 57:15. For thus says the High, Exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy: “I live in the high and holy place but also with the broken and humble, in order to revive the spirit of the humble and revive the hearts of the broken ones.

        The term “Revival” unfortunately is an overused, miss understood term used by religion to announce weeklong services in the summer or to facilitate guest speakers or traveling evangelists. Also, unfortunately “Revival” is a term that is rarely used in the Jewish Community even though the term is found throughout the Tanach:

Isaiah 57:15. For thus says the High, Exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy: “I live in the high and holy place but also with the broken and humble, in order to revive the spirit of the humble and revive the hearts of the broken ones.

    To revive is to have an abundant live, a prosperous life, to be restored to health, to have victory over disease, to grow in the Lord, to be healed of sickness, depression, and even have victory over death! This isn’t a term to announce a special service, it is a life changing transformation that is cultivated. Cultivate in Hebrew is: “le’ovdah”, to work, to serve, to be a bondservant, and worshipper.

    To be revived, to experience life from the dead, to have signs and wonders be part of our daily lives is something we must work towards, to strive for, to cultivate through prayer and worship! Those with a humble and contrite heart, those who seek Adonai, those who are His bondservants, those who praise and worship the God of Israel in spirit and truth, those who rejoice in Him, to them He pays attention.  In fact, He revives those who are humble! Those who have a broken, contrite heart, those who seek Him! As we enter a new year shortly let us enter His gates with Thanksgiving, with expectation, with anticipation for revival, for a move of God! The onus is upon us to be a mature, sin free body that acquires the groanings of the Holy Spirit for revival. We must matriculate into society, into work, into school, into malls and stores, sharing the Good News by demonstrating the dunamis power then introducing the King. May we be humble servants for the Lord to use to usher in Worldwide Revival.

What is Shabbat?

What is Shabbat?

By Eric Carlson in December-1 on November 28, 2022

Why do we enter into and Keep Shabbat? Shabbat is our weekly Moedim, a divine appointment, a feast with God.  It is the time that we lay down everything from the week and world, all of our concerns, worries, and stress.  All the things that we have allowed to occupy our time during the week and enter into God’s rest to minister to and worship Him.  God knew we needed rest and without all the distractions we can fully enter in His presence. Shabbat is our weekly reminder that we serve the God of creation. Shabbat goes from sunset on Friday evening until sunset on Saturday evening.  Biblical days begin at sunset and end on sunset:

Genesis 1:5. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So there was evening, and there was morning, one day.

Darkness in Hebrew is: “Choshech” means lacked, missing, unenergetic, lacking energy, powerless, beyond repair, aimless, hopeless, feared, suspected, worthless, and meaningless.  Darkness or Choshech is all of these descriptions!  The enemy, HaSatan, the Devil, the Prince of Darkness is Chosech or Darkness. Light in the Hebrew is: “Or”,  means light, illumination, joy, happiness, instruction, teaching, directive, order, puts in order, woke up, and roused. Light is all of these terms! Yeshua is “Or”, the light of the world!

“Or” and “Choshech” are structured and unstructured energy.  Torah states that both Or and Choshech are Echad, that the two are one, chaos and order are one just as we are to be one! Every day begins at sunset and is a recreation, a reminder of God’s creation of the universe.  Each day begins just as the universes began in darkness, powerless, beyond repair, aimless, hopeless, feared, suspected, secret, worthless, meaningless and streams towards the light, the knowledge of God Himself who separated this hopelessness with His very being which is joy, happiness, instruction, teaching, directives, power, order, perfection, holiness, righteousness, purity, and love.  Shabbat is the culmination of this understanding, just as the day begins in chaos and streams towards the light, the week begins in such a manner and streams towards Shabbat, God’s blessing and perfection. Shabbat separates the profane and mundane from the Holy!

Just as Light was the first act of creation, the first act we do on Shabbat is to light the Shabbat candles. First, two Shabbat candles are lit and a blessing is recited. The lighting is performed by the woman of the house who is the keeper of the light.  Why, because it was a woman who removed the light from the world (Eve) and it was a woman who returned the light to the world (Miriam/Mary who gave birth to Yeshua).  The wife (woman) is the keeper of the light for her entire family and holds the honor of lighting the candles and reciting the blessing.  Lighting the Shabbat candles is an eternal bond linking us to thousands of years of heritage and tradition that defines Biblical life and culture!  The holy flames of the Shabbat candle are our link to the future generations while connecting us to our past!

The flickering flame is a reflection of the divine spark within each of us. It is a focal point for the family, united in Shalom, to gather around the “light” which represents Yeshua, to pray together, to spend time together, to pause and share the Shabbat meal together, united in Messiah!  Light is significant in many ways.  It represents truth, purity, trust, and the removal of darkness and sin through the revelation of God’s Glory, the Light of the World! Yeshua, commanded us to be a light:

Matthew 5:14-16. “You are light for the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Likewise, when people light a lamp, they don’t cover it with a bowl but put it on a lampstand, so that it shines for everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.

The candle lighting officially marks the beginning of Shabbat.  Two candles are used for several reasons:

  1. The two candles represent the two biblical commandments concerning Shabbat: zachor (remember) and shamar (observe & Guard).

  2. The first candle represents Creation "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...And God said, 'Let there be light' and there was light." -- Genesis 1:1,3. The second candle represents Redemption, Yeshua said, "I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12.

As the woman lights the candles she waves her hands over them three times.  This is not only to welcome in the Shabbat but to also invite the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to be with us!  She will then cover her eyes to remind herself that it is not the lights she worship but the Radiant One, the giver of the light, the one who made it that we are worshipping! This is the candle blessing that is recited:

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheynu melech ha-olam, asher kid-shanu b’mitz-votav, v’tzinvanu l’hadlik neyr shel Shabbat 

Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe

who has set us apart by Your commandments and has enjoined upon us the kindling of the Sabbath light.

The man of the house then recites Kiddush (Blessings), a prayer over wine and Challa bread sanctifying the Shabbat blessing which is not communion but represents the double portion blessing of Manna given in the desert wanderings! The Hamotzei (bread blessing) Two covered, braided or twisted loaves of challah, the traditional Shabbat bread, are used and eaten every Shabbat.  Two loaves of bread are used, they are interwoven together making a braided bread in remembrance of the double portion blessing of manna God caused to rain down every Friday during the Israelites wandering through the desert.  It is also a reminder of two arms folded together in rest for Shabbat.  The Children of Israel were able to collect enough bread to last through Shabbat, when no manna fell. This is the bread blessing:

Baruch ata adonai elohenu melech haolam, hamotzei lechem min ha-aretz.

 Blessed are you ruler of the universe, who brings forth bread from the ground.

Then the wine kiddush, the blessing said over the wine: The kiddush is said over wine as a reminder that everything in our world was created by God.  It is interesting to note that when Yeshua “gave thanks” in Matthew 26:27, he would have recited this ancient blessing used here.

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheynu melech ha-olam, boaray peree ha-gofen

Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Shabbat is a taste of the heavenly World to Come and is often misconceived. Some people think of Shabbat has been done away with, some think Shabbat is a day filled with legalistic constrictions, others think Shabbat as prayer day. 

Those who observe Shabbat, those actually observing it discover a precious gift from God.  The arrival of Shabbat is greatly anticipated, a day of great joy when the mundane and profane of the weekday are set aside as we pause to devote ourselves to ministering to and serving Adoani!  In biblical Jewish culture, poetry, and music, Shabbat is described as a bride or queen, as in the popular Shabbat hymn Lecha Dodi Likrat Kallah (come, my beloved, to meet the [Sabbath] bride).  There is a deep, profound understanding with this: We don’t keep Shabbat, Shabbat keeps us!  The word “Shabbat” comes from the root Shin-Bet-Tav, meaning to cease, to end, or to rest.  Shabbat is the first of seven moedim, divine appointments God gives to us in Leviticus 23.  Shabbat is considered the most holy of biblical feast days for several reasons.

  1. Because Shabbat was made first before the other feast days in Genesis Chapter 2.

  2. Shabbat is so Holy a Feast Day that He made 52 of them.

  3. Shabbat is the only Moedim mentioned in the Ten commandments, the only commandment with the statement “Remember” attached to it. "Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God.” Exodus 20:8. (zachor (remember) and shamar (guard and observe).

Often times I hear people say that Shabbat is only for Jews which isn’t the case. Who is Israel?  Ephesians 2 states that before Yeshua Gentiles had no God, No Messiah, no hope, and were estranged from the national life of Israel. But through Yeshua, Gentiles were grafted in and have been made one with us:

Ephesians 2:19. So then, you are no longer foreigners and strangers. On the contrary, you are fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s family.

Gentiles have become part of the national life of Israel: 

Ephesians 3:6. that in union with the Messiah and through the Good News the Gentiles were to be joint heirs, a joint body and joint sharers with the Jews in what God has promised

The first blessing mentioned in scripture is God blessing His creation then blessing Adam and Eve in Genesis 1.  The next blessing is about Shabbat!

Genesis 2:3. God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.

This passage is the spiritual key to this day and is what makes Shabbat special: “God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy” God states that Shabbat is a sign of the covenant between Himself and the His people:

Exodus 31:17. “It is a sign between me and the people of Isra’el forever; for in six days ADONAI made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he stopped working and rested.'”

The late Rabbi David Stern, Translator of the Complete Jewish Bible Comments on this verse:

“We learn that the essence of Shabbat-observance for believers is not following the detailed rules which Halakha sets forth concerning what may or may not be done on the seventh day of the week. Rather, as v. 10 explains, the Shabbat-keeping expected of God’s people consists in resting from one’s own works, as God did from his; it consists in trusting and being faithful to God (vv. 2–3).”

Hebrew 4:9-11. So there remains a Shabbat-keeping for God’s people. 10 For the one who has entered God’s rest has also rested from his own works, as God did from his. 11 Therefore, let us do our best to enter that rest; so that no one will fall short because of the same kind of disobedience.

For over 3,000 years there is no known Jewish community, regardless of geographical location and political status that did not remember, celebrate, and keep Shabbat!  Shabbat is the heavenly thread that weaves us alive today into the fabric of time with ancient Jewish history and tradition, binding us together as one with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Yeshua!

Exodus 20:8-10. “Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God. 9 You have six days to labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Shabbat for ADONAI your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work -not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property.

We are commanded to remember the day, Shabbat! Remembering means much more than not forgetting to observe Shabbat. Shabbat is set apart, its consecrated for God. It means to remember the significance of Shabbat, both as a commemoration of creation and as a commemoration of our freedom from slavery in Egypt. It’s not just an understanding of what Shabbat is that brings the blessings, it’s those who do and keep:

Romans 2:13. For it is not merely the hearers of Torah whom God considers righteous; rather, it is the doers of what Torah says who will be made righteous in God’s sight.

James 1:25. But if a person looks closely into the perfect Torah, which gives freedom, and continues, becoming not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work it requires, then he will be blessed in what he does.

The last act done on Shabbat is the Blessing the Children and the wife!  It is customary on Shabbat for the father to lay his hands upon and bless each of his children then his wife.  This custom originated from the blessings Isaac gave his sons Jacob and Esau (Genesis 27:49), as well as from the blessings Jacob gave to Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48:20). Shabbat is when the King is off the throne and among His people, as His word states! It is a date night with God, ordained by God and established by God forever! May the Living God of Israel bless you and keep you as you honor Him by observing and keeping Shabbat! 



By Eric Carlson in December-3 on November 28, 2022

The story of Hanukkah begins in the reign of Alexander the Great. Alexander conquered Syria, Egypt, and Judah in 332 B.C.E. Alexander the Great allowed the lands under his control to continue observing their own religions and retain a certain degree of autonomy. Under this relatively benevolent rule, many Jews assimilated to much of Hellenistic culture, adopting the language, the customs and the dress of the Greeks, in much the same way that Jews in America today blend into the secular American society.

More than a century later, a successor of Alexander, Antiochus IV was in control of the region. He began to oppress our Jewish people severely, placing a Hellenistic priest in the Temple, massacring Jews, prohibiting the biblical practices, and desecrated the Temple by requiring the sacrifice of pigs (a non-kosher animal) on the altar. A group led by Mattathias the Hasmonean and his son Judah Maccabee led a revolt against both the assimilation of the Hellenistic Jews and oppression by the Seleucid Greek government. The revolution succeeded and the Temple was rededicated on the 25th day of Kislev.

Antiochus tried to eliminate the Kingdom of God, not so much by killing the Jewish people as by forbidding the Worship of the God of Israel. Studying and reading Torah was forbidden, along with circumcision, honoring the Sabbath, etc. In 167 BC a priest by the name of Mattityahu Hasmonea started guerrilla warfare along with his sons and a few followers. What they did in the hill country of Judea and Samaria was so amazing that books on their exploits are still studied by modern guerrilla fighters. Early in the war Judas Hasmonea took over after his father’s death and he is the one who came up with the legendary tactics. His motto was “Mi Camokha Ba Elim Adona’y,” from Exodus 15:11. The translation is: “Who is Like You, Oh Lord, Among the Mighty.” The initials of those words spell Maccabee, which is the name that was later applied to Judas and his followers. Although spelled differently in Hebrew, the Hebrew word for hammer sounds like Maccabee. Therefore, he was called “The Hammer,” which in Hebrew is Maccabeus, so the books of Maccabees in the Apocrypha were written about their successful wars. In 164 BC they retook the Temple on Kislev 25, two years to the day after it was taken by the Syrian Greeks. They needed to repair and dedicate the temple right away. Dedication is an eight-day process that requires the use of sanctified oil for the lamp stand in the Holy Place, the first room of the sanctuary.

They could only find a one-day supply of oil, but rather than wait eight days to sanctify more, they began the temple sanctification process with the one-day supply. Adonai, through a creative miracle made that one-day’s supply last the full eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the menorah. An eight-day celebration was declared to commemorate this miracle. The Apocrypha records their struggle:

II Maccabees 10:1-8. Now Maccabeus and his followers, the Lord leading them on, recovered the temple and the city; 2 and they tore down the altars which had been built in the public square by the foreigners, and also destroyed the sacred precincts. 3 They purified the sanctuary, and made another altar of sacrifice; then, striking fire out of flint, they offered sacrifices, after a lapse of two years, and they burned incense and lighted lamps and set out the bread of the Presence. 4 And when they had done this, they fell prostrate and besought the Lord that they might never again fall into such misfortunes, but that, if they should ever sin, they might be disciplined by him with forbearance and not be handed over to blasphemous and barbarous nations. 5 It happened that on the same day on which the sanctuary had been profaned by the foreigners, the purification of the sanctuary took place, that is, on the twenty-fifth day of the same month, which was Chislev. 6 And they celebrated it for eight days with rejoicing, in the manner of the feast of booths, remembering how not long before, during the feast of booths, they had been wandering in the mountains and caves like wild animals. 7 Therefore bearing ivy-wreathed wands and beautiful branches and also fronds of palm, they offered hymns of thanksgiving to him who had given success to the purifying of his own holy place. 8 They decreed by public ordinance and vote that the whole nation of the Jews should observe these days every year.

The olive oil that is used for the menorah in the temple (A seven-branch menorah, a Hanukkiah menorah has nine branches which is only used for Hanukkah) was an extra virgin oil that is the first fruits offering of the oil press.  This oil was not pressed by a pressing stone, rather, as the olives are placed into the press their weight upon themselves causes a very light, clean, and pure oil to be released from the olives which is collected and sent to the temple to be burned in the menorah. Cloudy olive oil or olive oil with debris in it will smoke and sputter in the menorah and was not allowed, so the purest, cleanest, first fruits pressing only olive oil was used for the menorah in the temple. The stone vases that were used to hold this special pressing were marked by a priestly seal on the lid of the jar denoting its purity and dedicated use in the temple menorah only!

Dedicate is a devotion to a cause, ideal, or purpose, zealous. To be given over to a particular purpose. God commands dedication unto Him, He searches for it among those that serve Him! This was celebrated then with great joy, thankfulness, and with decorations! This is our model in the days, months, and seasons to come.  When we dedicate ourselves, volunteer for God’s duty (this is the story of Hanukkah), when we are zealous and dedicated unto Adonai signs and wonders will follow! The same spirit of apostasy that was working in the time of the Maccabee’s was also working in Yeshua’s day.  Zealousness, dedication, and obedience to the Word is the only foundation that will sustain us!

Deuteronomy 12:11. then you will bring all that I am ordering you to the place ADONAI your God chooses to have his name live -your burnt offerings, sacrifices, tenths, the offering from your hand, and all your best possessions that you dedicate to ADONAI;

And in:

Judges 5:2.  “When leaders in Isra’el dedicate themselves, and the people volunteer, you should all bless ADONAI.

We begin to understand the complexity of the moral issue they faced, a question arises:  Who or what was the real enemy? The Syrians Greeks who were attempting to Hellenize Israel through assimilation or the Israeli Aristocracy who were openly embracing the new and wildly popular Greek philosophy and cultural fad! This parallels Americas flirtation with Socialism and Communism. The Syrian Greeks then are now the Chinese and Russians, and America’s Aristocracy are embracing them seeking a new world order!

I Maccabees 1:11-15. In those days certain renegades came out from Israel and misled many, saying, “Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles around us, for since we separated from them many disasters have come upon us.” 12 This proposal pleased them, 13 and some of the people eagerly went to the king, who authorized them to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles. 14 So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, 15 and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil.

Assimilation through Hellenization would result in a complete annihilation and replacement of the biblical culture and philosophy of Israel with Greek culture and philosophy.  This would have eliminated Israel, the Jewish People, and the prophetic soon coming and birth of Messiah!!  What is Assimilation?  Assimilation is a verb, an action which means to become like another people, another nation, or another people group through culture, language, viewpoint, and character attributes.

Assimilation to a religion or expression of worship contrary to Adonai, His word, His Kingdom, His Son is apostasy, it’s sin! It’s contrary to Adonai’s word, commands, and mitzvahs!  This is especially true for Israel! Throughout our history we have continually strayed from Adonai, worshipped and served other gods which resulted in death, destruction, and exile to foreign lands. Its critical to be dedicated, sanctified for Adonai, Hanukkah! Hanukkah isn’t just about Sufganyut (jellied fill Donuts) and Latkes, it’s a time of ‘dedication.

The Maccabees dedicated themselves to Adonai long before they rededicated the temple! We must do the same! Hanukkah reveals a mystery, the miraculous power of trust in Adonai in the face of hopelessness, a spark of light in the depths of darkness, the limitless, divine, dunamis power of Adonai against a worldly superpower! Hanukkah is the story of restoration and dedication! To accomplish this, we like the Maccabee’s must first seek a personal, spiritual restoration through the word and the Blood of Messiah! Yeshua Himself, the Light of the world observed Hanukkah in the temple.

John 10:22-23.  Then came Hanukkah in Yerushalayim. It was winter, 23 and Yeshua was walking around inside the Temple area, in Shlomo’s Colonnade.

The menorah, kept in the temple, represents the “light unto the world”.  The temple, which was located on a hill had inverse windows which allowed the light of the Menorah to be radiated to the world. This light represents the knowledge of the kingdom of God. The light which separated the upper and lower heavens! Yeshua said He was the light of the world (John 8:12, 9:5). The supernatural light of Adonai will be restored in the Messianic Age when we will no longer need the sun or the moon (Rev. 21:23). Yeshua told us that we are a light for the world.

Matthew 5:14-16. “You are light for the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Likewise, when people light a lamp, they don’t cover it with a bowl but put it on a lampstand, so that it shines for everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.

Be creative this Hanukkah, let your light shine before people so that they may see the good things you do and praise Adonai!! Rebbetzin and I always decorate for Hanukkah! We place blue and white lights in and around our home. We have a 3ft tall lit menorah and lighted Star of David that we hang on the front of our home that can be clearly seen from quit a distance. Why? Because we are up front in defining our Jewish identity in Yeshua, we’re letting our light shine.  Everyone on our block knows that we’re Messianic Jews! Rededicate yourselves and rejoice in this season of miracles, be a light for the world! Chag Hanukkah Sameach, have a Happy and Blessed Hanukkah!


The Hanukkah celebration is a time for family and prayer. Hanukkah is a time to focus on the light of the world, Yeshua. The Hanukkah (9 branch) menorah should be placed in a window or outside to publicize this great miracle. The candles are placed in the menorah from left to right and the candles are kindled from right to left. The center candle is called the shammash (caretaker/helper). The shamash is removed, lit, and used to kindle the other candles then returned to its holder. The first night of Hanukkah you will have two candles in your menorah, the Shamash and one candle for the first night of Hanukkah. The second night you will have three candles, the Shamash and two candles on the far right of the menorah representing two nights of Hanukkah and so on through the eight days! On the last night of Hanukkah you will have all nine candles in the menorah. You will need a total of 44 candles for the entire Hanukkah celebration. The candles should be lit after sundown and the whole family should be gathered (it’s acceptable to wait past sundown so that the entire family can gather around the menorah). The candles should remain lit for at least 30 minutes. The following blessings are recited when kindling the candles: 

Lighting the Candles 

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר חֲנֻכָּה 

 Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha’olam, Asher Kid’shanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu, 

 Le hadlik Ner Hanukkah.Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has set us apart by Your commandments and has enjoined upon us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah. 


בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בִּזְּמַן הַזֶּה 

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha’olam, Sh’asa Nissim La’avoteinu Bayamim Hahim B’zman Hazeh. 

Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season. 

The Mashiach 

ברוח אתא יהוה אלוהנו מלך העולם אשר נתן לנו את דרך הישוע במשיח  ישוע 

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha olam, asher natan lanu et Derek ha Yeshua, b’Mashiach, Yeshua. 

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has given us the way of salvation in Messiah Yeshua. 


ברוך אתה יהוה אלוהינו מלך העולמ שהחינו וקימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה. 

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloiheinu Melech ha olam sh’hekiyanu v’kiyimanu
v’higiyanu l’azman hazeh. 

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion. 

After the blessings, kindle the candle or candles. The following scriptures may be read, followed by family fellowship. This is a quiet time, a time focused on our heavenly Father. Shut off the television, turn off the radio, and enter into the presence of the Most High God! 

Night one, Sunday, Dec 18th, 2022 @ sunset:

Night two, Monday, Dec 19th, 2022 @ sunset:

Night three, Tuesday, Dec 20th, 2022 @ sunset:

Night four, Wednesday, Dec 21st, 2022 @ sunset:

Night five, Thursday, Dec 22nd, 2022 @ sunset:

Night six, Friday, Dec 23rd, 2022 @ sunset:

Night seven, Saturday, Dec 24th, 2022 @ sunset:

Night eight, Sunday, Dec 25th, 2022 @ sunset:

Isaiah 60:19, Psalm 27:1.

Psalm 119:105, 119:130, Proverbs 6:23.

Matthew 5:16, Luke 11:30.

Luke 11:34, Acts 26:18.

John 1:4-5, John 8:12, John 12:35-36.

Acts 26:12-18.

Ephesians 5:8-11, I Peter 2:9, Ephesians 5:11-15, I John 1:5-9.

Philippians 2:14-16.



By Eric Carlson in November-1 on October 24, 2022

In the body of believers today there is a lot of misunderstanding and confusion regarding the term anointing and what it means.  The term anointed is misused, misunderstood, and used out of context by most believers today including myself.

What does it mean to be “anointed?”  Anointing has various uses associated with it.  Those various uses, understandings and applications are bound together in that each involves the application of Olive Oil being rubbed on the person or object being anointed.  Anointing is a consecration; to be set aside.

Anointing in the Tanach is the setting aside of something or someone such as the Temple implements or Aaron and his sons as High Priests.  Anointing scripturally means to be consecrated for a holy or sacred use unto God, the devoting or setting apart of anything or anyone to the worship or service of Adonai.  Anointing is performed by rubbing sacred Olive Oil on the person or item (smearing with the hands).  Anointing in true biblical context is that the object or person being anointed are being sanctified for service unto God.”  The Hebrew term “mashiach” means anointed one and refers to Yeshua the Messiah, in the Greek its “chrio” which is the root word of Christo which means anointed one in Greek, or in English: “Christ”. 

Yeshua was anointed by God for service unto God.  I Samuel 16 records David being chosen as the next king by Samuel who anointed David with that special Olive Oil from a horn (exactly the same way Saul was anointed by Samuel).  It didn’t mean David was King then, it meant he was consecrated, set aside for this service unto God as King of Israel.  In Leviticus all the components of the Tabernacle where anointed, set apart for service unto God by Oil, then purified by the blood!

The oil used to signify that someone or something is consecrated or set aside was a special oil made of ingredients proscribed by God.

Exodus 30:22-32. ADONAI said to Moshe, 23 Take the best spices – 500 shekels of myrrh [121/2 pounds], half this amount (250 shekels) of aromatic cinnamon [61/4 pounds], 250 shekels of aromatic cane, 24 500 shekels of cassia (use the sanctuary standard), and one gallon of olive oil – 25 and make them into a holy anointing oil; blend it and perfume it as would an expert perfume-maker; it will be a holy anointing oil. 26 Use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark for the testimony, 27 the table and all its utensils, the menorah and all its utensils, the incense altar, 28 the altar for burnt offerings and all its utensils, and the basin with its base. 29 You are to consecrate them – they will be especially holy, and whatever touches them will be holy. 30 Then you are to anoint Aharon and his sons – you are to consecrate them to serve me in the office of cohen. 31 “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘This is to be a holy anointing oil for me through all your generations. 32 It is not to be used for anointing a person’s body; and you are not to make any like it, with the same composition of ingredients – it is holy, and you are to treat it as holy.

To use this oil for any other purpose was considered an abomination to God. I want to pause here for to clear up some common, widespread mistakes I commonly hear among the greater body.  An anointing means your set apart for service unto the Holy One of Israel. Often individuals have come to me and say: “Rabbi, you’re operating under a new anointing, or your anointing has increased, or there is a change in your anointing”. It’s common to confuse the anointing with the power of the Ruach HaKodesh and God’s Glory, the Shekinah.  Either I’m anointed by God to be a Rabbi or I’m not.  The anointing can’t increase or decrease, its simply anointed or it’s not.  Anointing is mentioned only twice in the Brit Chadesha in Mark 6:13 and in James 5:14. They both speak specifically about anointing with Olive Oil!

Mark 6:13 – And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil.

James 5:14 – Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.

I know this is very subtle, but authority and its source are very important in fulfilling our destiny within the Kingdom of God.  This is performed through S’mikhah, the laying on of hands or ordination. 

Scripture relates that Moses ordained Joshua by placing his hands on him, thereby transferring a portion of his spirit to Joshua (Num. 27:22, 23; Deut. 34:9). Moses also ordained the 70 elders who assisted him in governing the people (Num. 11:16–17, 24–25).  

Here’s a thought to ponder.  The elders ordained by Moses ordained their successors, who in turn ordained theirs and so on and so on so that there exists an unbroken chain of ordination from Moses on through time to the period of the Second Temple and Yeshua!  (Maim. Yad, Sanh. 4:2)

Joshua and those seventy elders were set apart, then S’mikhah was performed-the actual spirit that was resting upon Moses-notice it doesn’t say anointing, it’s the Spirit, the power of God, a literal part of Moses Spirit was transferred from him to each of the Seventy then to Joshua.  This is where they received the authority and ability to carry out their task.  Their power was increased.  So if someone states, Rabbi you’re more anointed than before it’s really not the anointing but the presence or Spirit of the Lord that’s changed.  Elisha asked only one thing from Elijah:

II Kings 2:9. After they had crossed, Eliyahu said to Elisha, “Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken away from you.” Elisha said, “Please! Let a double share of your spirit be on me!”

Paul does the same with Timothy:

II Timothy 1:6. For this reason, I am reminding you to fan the flame of God’s gift, which you received through s’mikhah from me.

Yeshua’s source of power and authority (which came from God) was challenged by people:

Matthew 21:23. He went into the Temple area; and as he was teaching, the head cohanim and the elders of the people approached him and demanded, “What s’mikhah do you have that authorizes you to do these things? And who gave you this s’mikhah?”

Again, the anointing doesn’t change, it’s the presence and power of God that increases.  An extremely powerful period of worship really isn’t anointed as much as it is infused with the power and glory of Adonai through the Holy Spirit.

So where am I going with this.  Let’s look at King Saul, who is anointed by Samuel with oil to become Israel’s first king.  But Saul falters, because of disobedience God will dethrone Saul.  David, Saul’s successor, is also anointed with oil by Samuel to become the next King.  Years after being anointed David assumes the throne and becomes King.  David, in a rare period of peace in his palace ponders the building of a house for God.  Nathan, the prophet of God is given a word for David concerning the building of this palace and a great insight to King Saul and what was removed from him:

II Samuel 7:12-15. When your days come to an end and you sleep with your ancestors, I will establish one of your descendants to succeed you, one of your own flesh and blood; and I will set up his rulership. 13 He will build a house for my name, and I will establish his royal throne forever. 14 I will be a father for him, and he will be a son for me. If he does something wrong, I will punish him with a rod and blows, just as everyone gets punished; 15 nevertheless, my grace will not leave him, as I took it away from Sha’ul, whom I removed from before you.

Here we see a powerful and profound revelation.  The anointing did not depart from Saul, he carries the anointing to be king until death.  What departed from Saul was God’s grace, the presence of God, His Spirit, His Glory.  The verse doesn’t say the anointing was taken from Saul, it was God’s grace, His presence, His Spirit that’s removed.

Now we see this followed through with David.  Even though a young David is anointed to replace Saul as King in I Samuel 16, David awaits the timing of the Lord to ascend to his rightful place on the throne of Israel.  David doesn’t kill Saul even though Saul mercilessly persecutes David and seeks to kill him.  Saul, who is anointed by God, consecrated, set apart to be King is not touched by David because of God’s anointing:

I Samuel 24:10. Here, today you have seen with your own eyes that ADONAI put you in my power there in the cave. Some of my men said I should kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I won’t raise my hand against my lord, because he is ADONAI’s anointed.

As the Psalmist stated:

Psalm 105:15. “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.”

So we see scripturally that the anointing is not a power itself; it is the means of process through which someone or something is consecrated, set aside for service unto Adonai! It allows the Holy Spirit to operate through people through people to fulfill their divine calling. The anointing is permanent, the Holy Spirit will only operate through one who is anointed! Understanding your own personal anointing allows you to fulfill God’s call and purpose in your life. May the Lord God of Israel bless you and keep you! Shalom!



By Eric Carlson in November-3 on October 24, 2022

On the front doorpost of every Jewish home and the front door coming into our lobby is a small container called a Mezuzah.

Inside this small container is a parchment scroll with these Biblical passages (in Hebrew) written on them:

Deuteronomy 6:4-9. “Sh’ma, Yisra’el! ADONAI Eloheinu, ADONAI echad [Hear, Isra’el! ADONAI our God, ADONAI is one]; 5 and you are to love ADONAI your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. 6 These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart; 7 and you are to teach them carefully to your children. You are to talk about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them on your hand as a sign, put them at the front of a headband around your forehead, 9 and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 11:13-21. “So if you listen carefully to my mitzvot which I am giving you today, to love ADONAI your God and serve him with all your heart and all your being; 14 then, [says ADONAI,] ‘I will give your land its rain at the right seasons, including the early fall rains and the late spring rains; so that you can gather in your wheat, new wine and olive oil; 15 and I will give your fields grass for your livestock; with the result that you will eat and be satisfied.’ 16 But be careful not to let yourselves be seduced, so that you turn aside, serving other gods and worshipping them. 17 If you do, the anger of ADONAI will blaze up against you. He will shut up the sky, so that there will be no rain. The ground will not yield its produce, and you will quickly pass away from the good land ADONAI is giving you. 18 Therefore, you are to store up these words of mine in your heart and in all your being; tie them on your hand as a sign; put them at the front of a headband around your forehead; 19 teach them carefully to your children, talking about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up; 20 and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates –21 so that you and your children will live long on the land ADONAI swore to your ancestors that he would give them for as long as there is sky above the earth.

Adonai gives us specific instructions to Shema, to Hear, and to Love Adonai with all that we have! We are commanded to teach His words carefully to our children, and we are to affix His word to our door frames and gates! To perform this last command, we use the Mezuzah. A small, cylindrical container that has these scriptures rolled up inside of it and attach it to our door frames! The word Mezuzah comes from the Hebrew root meaning “doorway” or “entrance”

The Mezuzah has El Shaddai (God Almighty) written on the cover of it in Hebrew. If there is not enough room the Hebrew letter “Shin”  alone is written which is the acronym for El Shaddai. Every believer in Yeshua should consider hanging a Mezuzah on their door frame. It is a testimony to the “Living Word”, Yeshua, and lets the world know that your home is covered by the Word of God as He commanded! The Mezuzah should be hung on the main entrance door of the home on the right side of the door frame. It should be placed 1/3 of the way down from the top of the door frame. Low enough for older children to see and touch it, but high enough so smaller children cannot play with it! It is highly recommended that the Shofar be blown in and around the home prior to hanging the Mezuzah, and that prayer be given to the “Most High” asking for blessings, protection, and God’s presence and His word to dwell within your home! The following blessings are recited after affixing the Mezuzah to your door frame:

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who hallows us with His Mitzvot, and commands us to affix a Mezuzah to our door post.

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to have a home.

Then a home dedication prayer:

Eternal Father, we lift our hearts to you in love, harmony, and Shalom in our family circle. We affix the Mezuzah as a sign of dependence upon your providence. Bless our home and family with mutual love and understanding in Yeshua. May the Mezuzah ever remind us that You are our Father and that You sent Yeshua for us as the “Living Word”. May your Shalom rest upon this home, and all that live here and those who may visit.  May Your love abound here in and in the world. Amen.

When one enters through a doorway where a mezuzah has been affixed, we glance at it and touch it. Some people will kiss their fingertips then touch the mezuzah. This serves as a reminder throughout the day that God is always with us, inside or outside our homes. The front doorpost of a house, due to its visibility to the outside world, represents the family’s values, and is a place to show world your identity, a child of God. By affixing the mezuzah to the doorpost of your home, it gives witness to God, to the world, and to the adversary that your home serves the one true God.

Rabbi and Rebbetzin’s Corner November 2022

Rabbi and Rebbetzin’s Corner November 2022

By Eric Carlson in November-2 on October 24, 2022

October and the Fall Feast Celebrations flew by! We experienced the Presence of Adonai profoundly in our Yom Teruah, Ten Days of Awe, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah Services! A season of repenting, forgiveness, Joy and Happiness! Now we are in November and looking forward to Thanksgiving on November 24th 2022. The traditional teaching for the “First Thanksgiving” is the celebration that occurred at the site of Plymouth Plantation, in 1621, however that wasn’t the first. The Plymouth celebration occurred early in the history of what would become one of the original thirteen colonies that became the United States. However, there was another, more modest Thanksgiving at Berkley Plantation, Virginia on the banks of the James River in 1619, two years before the Pilgrims even landed at Plymouth.

On December 4, 1619, after ten weeks at sea, thirty-eight English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred, about 20 miles upstream from Jamestowne. Upon arrival Captain John Woodleaf held the first service of Thanksgiving as the newly landed settlers fell to their knees to thank God for their safe arrival. The Charter of Berkeley Hundred stated “We ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.

George Washington’s October 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation:

“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

The Thanksgiving celebration became an important part of the American history by the 1800s. Thanksgiving was modeled after the biblical celebration of Sukkot (which we just recently celebrated) when Israel thanked God for sustenance and provision in the desert wonderings.

Thanksgiving as we celebrate it today is one of copious amounts of food:  Turkey, stuffing, vegetables, gravies, and numerous pies and is centered around Family!  Thanksgiving is the most travelled holiday in America, families reunite and come together, and for some it’s the only time of the year they do so.

The act of Thanksgiving is biblical, not the American holiday, but the act.  It is a sacrifice of thanks commanded in Torah where one gives heartfelt thanks to Adonai for many reasons including but not limited to: recovery from illness, delivered from danger, safe return home from a trip or journey, provision and sustenance, or any other reason for thanking Adonai for His blessings:

Leviticus 12:7. If a person offers it for giving thanks (todah {to-dah’}: to give thanks, laud, praise, to confess, give praise to God, songs of liturgical worship in the Psalms, hymn of praise, thanks offering, sacrifice of thanksgiving), he is to offer it with the thanksgiving sacrifice (Zevach Todah: Zevach is an animal sacrifice but is not a Korban, not a sin sacrifice. It’s a sacrifice of covenant righteousness-fellowship with God) of unleavened cakes mixed with olive oil, matzah spread with olive oil, and cakes made of fine flour mixed with olive oil and fried.

Todah is an act of worship whose root word is Yadah, is from the root yad that means hand. So Yada is an extended hand, worshipping the Lord with extended hands. “Thanksgiving” (Todah) is an extension of the hands, avowal, adoration, the kehillah, the congregation of worshippers offering a sacrifice of praise.  In Leviticus 9:22 Aaron raised his hands toward the people and blessed them after offering the sacrifice.  Raised hands signifies praise and worship, accepted of sacrifices, and blessings!  We raise our hands to give thanks for the blessings in our lives to the glory of God.  We find Yada being used when Adonai intervened in the affairs of His people with miraculous deliverance.  Yadah is our response to answered prayers and when Adonai reveals Himself through His word, through revelation, or the manifestation of His presence. Yadah is a believers natural response for Adonai’s blessing upon us or His divine intervention on our behalf. As you gather together with family this Thanksgiving give thanks to the Lord for all that He has done for you and all that He will do for you! Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever! This is the very purpose of this day, give Him thanks!!

The Shelamim Offering

The Shelamim Offering

By Eric Carlson in October-3 on September 29, 2022

As we are celebrating the Fall Feasts, Sukkot is one of the Feast Days that we receive our Shelamim offering. I’m sure some are asking what is a Shelamim offering? The book of Leviticus records five offerings or sacrifices. The Olah (Burnt Offering), Minchah (Grain Offering), Hatta-At (Purification Offering), Asham (Guilt Offering), and Zevah Shelamim (Peace Offering).

Leviticus 3:1 (CJB) “‘If his offering is a sacrifice of peace offerings, then, if he offers before ADONAI an animal from the herd, then, no matter whether it is male or female, it must be without defect.

The root word of Shelamim is Shalom, Peace! Shalom is a complex word that has many meanings. Shalom does mean peace and much more. Shalom is rooted in the word שלם (shaleim), which means completion, wholeness, wellness, Kingdom perfection, the absence of all conflict, not just peace alone. In the Kingdom of Heaven there is no wholeness or completion without Shalom.

Shalom is also commonly used as a greeting and salutation. When we wish one another “Shalom” we are expressing the hope that we experience physical, emotional, and psychological wholeness, wellness, and Kingdom perfection! This offering is commanded to be received three specific times a year that brings us into Shalom with Adonai, our creator!

Deuteronomy 16:16-17 (CJB) Three times a year all your men are to appear in the presence of ADONAI your God in the place which he will choose – at the festival of matzah, at the festival of Shavu’ot and at the festival of Sukkot. They are not to show up before ADONAI empty-handed, 17 but every man is to give what he can, in accordance with the blessing ADONAI your God has given you.

The Shelamim offering has nothing to do with the absolution of sin but is a central key to Kingdom living. As noted in Deuteronomy 16 the Shelamim offering is a command.  The Shelamim offering is an expression, an act of our Kingdom walk done in joy, honor, coupled with fear of the Lord in fellowship with Adonai!  Shelamim is a fellowship/peace offering above and beyond our normal tithe! It’s an offering based upon how Adonai has blessed you since the last Shelamim offering. It is a covenant act of Shalom between you, the giver, and Adonai. The Shelamim is integrally related to the personal generosity and appreciation a person feels as a servant of Adonai, who desires that you bring your best offering to Him.

The Shelamim is a voluntary offering from the heart in submission and obedience. As you participate in the Shelamim offering you will experience a supernatural blessing as you give according to how you have been blessed over the last year! While we have Shalom with Adonai bought by the blood of Yeshua, the emphasis on the Shelamim offering is the fellowship we have with Adonai, with Yeshua, and with each another. According to Adonai, this is the only area we are to test Him in:

Malachi 3:8-10 (CJB) Can a person rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In tenths and voluntary contributions (Shelamim offering). 9 A curse is on you, on your whole nation, because you rob me. 10 Bring the whole tenth into the storehouse, so that there will be food in my house, and put me to the test,” says ADONAI-Tzva’ot. “See if I won’t open for you the floodgates of heaven and pour out for you a blessing far beyond your needs.’

Test Him, give your voluntary contribution, your Shelamim offering and watch Him “open the floodgates of heaven and pour out for you a blessing far beyond your needs”. Through the sacrifice of Messiah, we are able to fellowship with our Father in heaven by offering our Shelamim offering, a Kingdom covenant act. This is a direct fellowship offering with the Lord. 

Psalms 107:22. (CJB) Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and proclaim his great deeds with songs of joy.

Join with us and honor Adonai with your Shelamim offering and proclaim His great deeds with songs of joy!

Fall Feasts (Moedim)

Fall Feasts (Moedim)

By Eric Carlson in October-1 on September 1, 2022

The seven feasts of the annual Feast Day cycle are primarily covered in Leviticus 23 and Numbers 28-29. Seven, Sheva is a supernatural Hebrew number.  The Feast Days cycle follows a pattern of seven and begins with Pesach.  Seven in Hebrew is represented by the letter Zain.  Seven (Sheva) is the central key to God’s creation and design.  Sheva is the building blocks of the universe.  The world was created in Sheva (seven) days.  There are Sheva (seven) feasts of the Lord in the annual feast day cycle.  There are Sheva festival days when work is forbidden in Torah.  Sheva days of Matzah!  Sheva days of Sukkot.  Sheva (seven) is the number of creation and is the numbers of perfection.  There are Sheva (seven) days in the week.  Sheva Messianic Congregations in Revelation, seven stars, sheva Menorahs!  There is the shenat ha-sheva, the seventh year or Sabbatical year in which the ground is to lay fallow.  Sheva shabtot shanim-seven sabbatical years are counted (49 years) which bring in the Yovel, the Jubilee on the 50th year!  All of creation streams towards the Sheva Millennia, the seventh thousand year which heralds the Messianic age. Sheva, seven is the DNA of the Kingdom of God. The Spring Feasts have been fulfilled in Yeshua!  Yeshua was born on the First of Nisan, He was crucified on Passover, then was resurrected on the First Fruits offering, and we received the Holy Spirit on Shavuot (Pentecost). The fall feasts have not yet been fulfilled, they are:

  1. Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) Num 29:1-6.
  2. Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement or Purge) Lev 16:2-34, Num 29:7-11.
  3. Sukkot (Tabernacles) Num 29:12-39, Deut. 16:13-17

Leviticus 23:1-2. (CJB)  ADONAI said to Moshe, 2 “Tell the people of Isra’el: ‘The designated times of ADONAI which you are to proclaim as holy convocations are my designated times.

We observed and celebrated Yom Teruah at sunset, September 25th 2022:

Leviticus 23:23-25. (CJB) ADONAI said to Moshe, 24 “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘In the seventh month, the first of the month is to be for you a day of complete rest for remembering, a holy convocation announced with blasts on the shofar. 25 Do not do any kind of ordinary work, and bring an offering made by fire to ADONAI.'”

We are told this is a day of complete rest for remembering and sounding the Shofar! The day that we Remember the soon return of Messiah and His Kingship as He’ll rule this world from His throne in Jerusalem and as we look toward the Glorious Wedding Feast with Yeshua. Yom Teruah is peculiar in that it doesn’t give us specific instructions of what hour to sound the Shofar and the day it falls on changes every year, sometimes Monday, or Tuesday, etc. We know what the season is, but not the hour. This I believe is a direct correlation to Yeshua’s return.

Matthew 24:31-36. (CJB)  He will send out his angels with a great Shofar blast and they will gather together his chosen people from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 32 “Now let the fig tree teach you its lesson: when its branches begin to sprout and leaves appear, you know that summer is approaching. 33 In the same way, when you see all these things, you are to know that the time is near, right at the door. 34 Yes! I tell you that this people will certainly not pass away before all these things happen. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 36 “But when that day and hour will come, no one knows — not the angels in heaven, not the Son, only the Father.

We know the season of His return-just not which one or what hour just like Yom Teruah. Yom Teruah also begins the 10 days of Awe between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur. In the Hebrew its Yamim Noraim, Awesome days or days of Awe.  These are days of anxiety, trepidation, humility, and soul searching and repentance.  A period of self-examination, self-reflection, and self-judgment to bring awareness of our failures, how we’ve failed ourselves, failed other people, and failed Adonai!  It is a time of regret and remorse for the harm we have inflicted on others and within the Kingdom of God!  It is not a time of selfishness, rather is it a time of crying out to God, it’s the awakening of your soul, a stirring in oneself for the greater Kingdom of God!  This is the preparation for Yom Kippur, the Day of Purging which begins Tuesday, October 4th 2022 at Sunset.  Our Yom Kippur service begins at 7:00PM. So the Shofar we sound on Yom Teruah is a rehearsal of Yeshua’s return who comes back to judge during the 10 Days of Awe.

Matthew 25:31-33. (CJB) “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, accompanied by all the angels, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates sheep from goats. 33 The `sheep’ he will place at his right hand and the `goats’ at his left.

The Ten Days of Awe culminate on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement or in its deepest Hebrew meaning the Day of Purging. The Sefer HaChaim, the Book of Life is opened on Yom Teruah and closes on Yom Kippur. Your name is in the book when your born:

Psalms 139:16. (CJB) Your eyes could see me as an embryo, but in your book all my days were already written; my days had been shaped before any of them existed.

Your crimes are held against you if there is no redemption, no sacrifice, no blood.  David prayed to God regarding the evil and wicked:

Psalms 69:28. (NLT) Erase them from the book of life, let them not be written with the righteous

Accepting Yeshua as your sacrifice allows your name to remain in the book of life.  As the prophet Jeremiah stated in Jeremiah 31:34 by accepting the Messiah God knows your sins “No More”!  Yeshua blots out your transgressions and sins and your name stays in the book:

Revelation 3:5 (CJB) He who wins the victory will, like them, be dressed in white clothing; and I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life; in fact, I will acknowledge him individually before my Father and before his angels.

Yeshua returns on that final Shofar Trump (Yom Teruah) to judge the nations during the Ten Days of Awe:

Revelation 20:12. (CJB) And I saw the dead, both great and small, standing in front of the throne. Books were opened; and another book was opened, the Book of Life; and the dead were judged from what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

Revelation 20:15. (CJB) Anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was hurled into the lake of fire.

Those who don’t receive Yeshua as their substitute sacrifice will have their names purged from the Book of Life on Yom Kippur.

Leviticus 23:27-32. (CJB)  “The tenth day of this seventh month is Yom-Kippur; you are to have a holy convocation (Mikra: convocation, a calling together, sacred assembly, Two root words 1. Kaw’ra: Rehearsal.  2.  Tehoor which means pure hearted; to clear of guilt: to free from moral or ceremonial defilement: to make free of something unwanted: the removal of elements or members regarded as undesirable and especially as treacherous or disloyal), you are to deny (ta’anit: Deny, fast) yourselves, and you are to bring an offering made by fire to ADONAI. 28 You are not to do any kind of work on that day, because it is Yom-Kippur, to make atonement for you before ADONAI your God. 29 Anyone who does not deny himself on that day is to be cut off from his people; 30 and anyone who does any kind of work on that day, I will destroy from among his people. 31 You are not to do any kind of work; it is a permanent regulation through all your generations, no matter where you live. 32 It will be for you a Shabbat of complete rest, and you are to deny yourselves; you are to rest on your Shabbat from evening the ninth day of the month until the following evening.”

Tehoor is also the root word for Teruah, or Teruah Gadola, the great trump of the Shofar that announces the Kings arrival or return!  Another word with Tehoor is Tsarfam, refine: to be free from impurities or unwanted material: to free from moral imperfection: to improve or perfect by pruning or polishing: to free from what is coarse, vulgar, or uncouth: to become pure or perfected.  Impurities are what cause your name to be blotted out the book of life.  Purging the impurities allows your name to remain in the Sefer HaChaim, the book of life:

Book is Sefer in Hebrew, Book, indictment, legal document, commission, written decree.  Your crimes are held against you if there is no redemption, no sacrifice, no blood, no purging of the sin. Yom Kippur is a day of fasting. A fast is where one willingly abstains from all food and drink to focus on the presence of God through prayer, worship, and supplication.  Fasting is a means of supplication and ministering unto God. To fast without supplication is dieting.  An interesting root word of Ta’anit is Ta’aneh which is answer or reply.  So we Ta’anit, fast in order to receive a Ta’aneh and answer or reply from God as we willingly abstain from the things of the world in supplication and worship of Him. There is only one biblically fast prescribed in all of Torah and it is for Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur actually means the day of purging.  It is the rehearsal day (convocation) of the day to come in the near future when we all shall stand before the Judge, and you either remain in the book of Life through the blood of Yeshua or your name will be blotted out, hence day of purging. Those whose names remain the Book of Life are the ones who go to the wedding feast which is Sukkot just four days away from the end of Yom Kippur. Sukkot begins Sunday October 9th, 2022, at sunset. In the Temple times it was the only time of the year that the High Priest actually went into the Holy of Holies as recorded in Leviticus 16. The Falls Feasts culminate with the celebration of Sukkot!

Leviticus 23:40. (CJB) On the first day you are to take choice fruit, palm fronds, thick branches and river-willows, and celebrate in the presence of ADONAI your God for seven days.”

On Sukkot, we bind all the branches together – willows, palm branch, and myrtles.  We hold this bundle in our right hand, and then lift them together with the Esrog. We then shake them all together, three times in each direction: front, right, back, left, up and before waving the four species, we say the following blessing:

“Baruch ata Adonoy, Elo-heinu Melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu bi’mitzvo-sav, vi’tzivanu al ni-tilas lulav.”

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who sanctified us with His mitzvot, and instructed us to raise up the Lulav.

Leviticus 23:33-36. (CJB) ADONAI said to Moshe, 34 “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of Sukkot for seven days to ADONAI. 35 On the first day there is to be a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work. 36 For seven days you are to bring an offering made by fire to ADONAI; on the eighth day you are to have a holy convocation and bring an offering made by fire to ADONAI; it is a day of public assembly; do not do any kind of ordinary work.

In keeping with the Feast Days theme of Sheva or Seven, Numbers 29:12-38 shares about the sacrifices that were done for Sukkot.  Each consecutive day had a decreasing number of bulls sacrificed. Day one of the feast had 13 bulls sacrificed, day 2; 12 bulls, through the seventh day when seven bulls were sacrificed then on the eighth day one single bull was sacrificed. All together seventy oxen were to be sacrificed through the course of the eight-day festival. These seventy oxen correspond to the seventy original nations of the world who descended from the sons of Noach, who were the ancestors of all the nations till this day. Israel brought these sacrifices as atonement for the nations of the world and in prayer for their wellbeing as well as for universal peace and harmony between them.  Israel’s destiny is to be the Light to the Nations and Yeshua is that LIGHT!

Seventy is the traditional number of Gentile nations, and the seventy bullocks are offered to make atonement for them. The last Ox on the last day is for Israel.  This feast is for the Nations and the Harvest! There is a spiritual significance to the number 70.

70 is the Hebrew letter Ayin: This letter represents perception and insight.  Ayin means eye:  The eye reveals more to man than any other of the senses.  Ayin also means a spring of water.  Through the narrow eye the world is brought into focus.  Spiritually without vision, we perish! Sukkot is the global ingathering of the Nations, the Harvest, it represents the Wedding Feast of the Bride and the Lamb!

Look at when Sukkot occurs regarding the other Fall Feast Days.  The Feast of Sukkot starts a mere four days after the completion of the Days of Awe, after that intense period of inward reflection and t’shuvah (repentance) capped by Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  We enter Sukkot spiritually clean and pure, sins and transgressions removed by the Blood of Yeshua. We are then summoned to REJOICE with GREAT JOY before Him on the Festival of Sukkot. Sukkot is a rehearsal of the wedding feast to come between the Bride and the Lamb!  What greater joy is there than being “reborn” anew, pure, and cleansed? Remember, the major theme of Sukkot is JOY!  Whenever Sukkot is mentioned in the Talmud it is referred to as “The Festival” with Great Joy and Rejoicing.

Still there are many who ask why we should celebrate these feasts and festivals. Isn’t studying them enough? As one who keeps the feast, I assure you that there are certain lessons that you can only learn “in the camp.” If you celebrate the feast with others, you learn just what it was like to live in fellowship with other Children of Adonai in His presence. The prophet Zechariah tells us that we will be keeping this feast during the Millennial Reign after Yeshua returns.

Zechariah 14:16. (CJB) Finally, everyone remaining from all the nations that came to attack Yerushalayim will go up every year to worship the king, ADONAI-Tzva’ot, and to keep the festival of Sukkot!

Yeshua Himself celebrated Sukkot and we will be celebrating Sukkot in the Kingdom to come, so why isn’t the entire Body Of Messiah celebrating it now as well? If we want to have an intimate relationship with God and Yeshua we must arise from our place of Comfort and meet the King who has risen from the throne to meet us on His appointed Times.

Everyone is invited to the wedding feast, but only those who have prepared and are in their wedding clothes will be allowed to remain. Many will respond to the invitation, but only the few who are ready will be able to attend, for many are called, but few are chosen. Rehearsals prepare one for the final performance; Are you ready for His return? Chag Sukkot Sameach!  Have a Happy Sukkot Celebration!