JEWISH HOLIDAYS

From the Editor Nov/Dec 2019

Those of you who’ve read my book, The Search, know how much I loved and respected my late mother-in-law. Miss Thelma, as we called her…

Inside View Nov/Dec 2019

We often refer to the Jewish people as God’s uniquely chosen nation. That’s because Israel is unlike any other nation. God raised it up for His particular purpose…

Assessing the Return of Haman

People visiting Israel during the annual Purim celebration in March, when masses of costumed Israelis joyously parade through the streets, might liken the event to…

Constantine’s Pretext

Since Jesus died and was resurrected during the Passover season, you would think the celebration of Passover and Easter would be inextricably linked. They might have been, if not for a disturbing decision rooted in church-sanctioned…

The Jewishness of Handel’s Messiah

A look at the interesting link between Israel’s holiest holidays and this world-renowned oratorio. My wife and I traveled to Great Britain in 2008. One of the highlights of our trip was our visit to London’s Westminster Abbey…

Apples of Gold Nov/Dec 2016

It is now the time of year when Christians celebrate the Lord’s birth and sing, “Joy to the world! The Lord is come.” In Israel, people are celebrating the feast of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights…

Résumé of the King

Moses said, “You shall surely set a king over you whom the Lᴏʀᴅ your God chooses” (Dt. 17:15). Here is how God planned to administer His kingship authority over Israel…

Sukkah Shalom: An Invitation

The most joyous season in ancient Israel was that of the Feast of Tabernacles. It fell during the time of year when hearts were naturally full of thankfulness, joy, and expectation…

Hanukkah in Israel

On December 16, Jewish people around the world will light the first candle in the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah. This joyous holiday commemorates the cleansing of the…

Inside View Mar/Apr 2014

Communion at the Garden Tomb is always one of the highlights of our Up to Jerusalem tours to Israel. As I sat in the serene gardens on our tour last fall, preparing to celebrate…

Shall Not Come to Mind Anymore

Jeremiah 3:16 and John 3:16: The Ark of the Covenant represented God’s presence and His footstool. It was where the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) ceremony was conducted in ancient…

How it All Began

Of all the Passovers that have ever been celebrated, only one was the actual Passover. It took place more than 34 centuries ago when the God of…

The Four Cups

As we sat around the Passover table, my host took us back in time to the days when his grandfather conducted wonderful seders that would last for…

Setting the Seder Table for a Large Group

If you’re conducting a Passover seder demonstration for a large group, it’s efficient to set the tables as pictured above. Although this isn’t how an authentic…

How to Make Charoset

Charoset (also spelled haroset) is a mixture of apples, nuts, honey, and a little cinnamon. It is one of the elements on the seder plate, symbolizing the…

Why Unleavened Bread?

If there is one Passover food that can present a dining challenge, it would be matzoh, or unleavened bread. Though it really shines at breakfast when…

Looking for Elijah

Every seder table has an extra place set for the prophet Elijah. A specially designated wine cup, Elijah’s cup, is filled to the brim for him. Malachi 4:5 says…

The Marvelous Afikomen

One of my most vivid childhood memories of celebrating Passover with my family is of finding the hidden afikomen and demanding my reward…

The Seder Plate

These are the elements that belong on the seder plate: Betzah (egg). The egg speaks of winter yielding to spring and life reemerging from seeming…

When God Steps In

A rapidly rising tide of aggression is aimed at Israel, and the West seems impotent to stem it. But there is One who is omnipotent, and He has made promises He intends to keep.

The Not-So-Quiet Years

Some people misconstrue the term silent years. They think the absence of a prophetic Word from the Lord meant the Lord was absent. That was not the case, as you’ll see.

A Hanukkah Menorah

The menorah is the very heart of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Here is a true story about a treasured menorah whose light will shine brightly this holiday season.

The Sound of the Shofar

When Jewish people hear the shofar, they know it’s a call to their people. In ancient days, it called them to prayer, safety, or war or to hear God’s Word. In June…

The Holiday of Purim

Fun, fun, fun! That’s the theme of the Jewish holiday of Purim. Special foods, floats, costumes. Learn how people celebrate today, both in the United States and Israel.

Israel in the News Jan/Feb 2012

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood held a “kill the Jews” rally in Cairo in November. Thousands attended, promising to “one day kill all the Jews” and wage war against Jerusalem’s “Judaization.” The rally…

Hanukkah: A Story of Courage

It’s rarely easy being Jewish. From the time the Babylonians destroyed Solomon’s Temple in 586 B.C., the Jewish people have been under Gentile domination. Even today every country on Earth thinks it has…

Christian Love and Latkes

A few weeks before Easter this year, Susan was playing a video game in the privacy of her own home. She had received an opponent by sending her signal out into cyberspace.

A Phenomenal Shavuot

Jerusalem was crowded with pilgrims and strangers from all over the ancient world. They came from Mesopotamia, Judea, Asia, Egypt, Libya, and even Rome. It was summer; and Jewish people were gathering…

Once There Was a Wicked, Wicked Man

Yes, the villain Haman is still remembered year after year as Jewish children sing this little song. The lyrics help them learn the story from the biblical book of Esther as they celebrate…

It Happened in Persia

If I perish, I perish! Those words probably mean little in Western society where people routinely use expressions like “I’ll just die” or “kill me now” when encountering the least…

Zvi Sep/Oct 2009

Now we are approaching the most important holidays of the year: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Many people in Jerusalem where I live are going to the rabbis asking for help…

Shavuot: Shadows of the Savior

As Jerusalem and the Temple came into view, the ancient pilgrims sang for joy. It was the Festival of Weeks, or Shavuot. The Israelites carried on their shoulders beautiful baskets filled…

The Passover Lamb

Matzoh, matzoh, matzoh. There’s plenty of matzoh on Passover tables around the world. But something else is conspicuously absent.

My Seder Memories

One of my mother’s favorite singers is Barbra Streisand. A recording of her singing “The Way We Were” played in the background when we celebrated my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary…

It’s Potato Latke Time!

It’s not difficult, and it teaches both children and adults how God protects His people and how important it is to stand up for what you believe. Hanukkah also has prophetic significance because…

Can You Stay for an Extra Day?

It is the last day of your long-awaited vacation. And you think, I’d just love another day. Or you’re a grandparent hosting the out-of-town grandchildren. And when it’s time for them to leave…

Why Tabernacles is Important for You!

Sukkot, or Tabernacles, begins this year on October 13 at sundown, five days after Yom Kippur, and commemorates God’s provision and protection of the Jewish people during their 40-year trek through the wilderness.

The Most Sacred Day

The most sacred day in the Jewish High Holy Days observance is Yom Kippur. Held in the fall, it is the sixth of the seven observances recorded in Leviticus 23. The words Yom Kippur mean…

A Time to Blow the Shofar

Modern Judaism calls the fifth of seven observances recorded in Leviticus 23 Rosh Hashanah. The words mean “head of the year.” And the holiday—which begins at sundown on September 29—is considered a New Year…

The Jewish ‘Doomsday Clock’

The Doomsday Clock (see doomsdayclock.org) has graced the cover of each issue of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago since the magazine’s inception in 1947. Midnight symbolizes total nuclear destruction…

A Tale of Two Holidays

Two Jewish holidays seem to have strikingly similar origins: A man arises who hates the Jewish people and decides they must be dealt with. One such enemy enslaved them, while the other sought…

A Christian View from the Temple Mount

Muslims now claim the Western Wall was a hitching post for Muhammad’s horse! Their claims are preposterous, but they will stop at nothing to rewrite history. And they have two main reasons for doing so.

So Much for the Divine Spark

Most of us have had such sentiments thrown at us when we’ve lamented the current state of affairs and extolled the virtues of the “good old days.” Well, since the genocidal…

A Better Sacrifice

When I was a boy, my grandmother would take me downtown to a butcher who sold live chickens. This was an important trip for her. She took great pains…

Zvi Mar/Apr 2007

Many people are preparing for the coming days of Passover, April 2 through 10. For them it is most important to cleanse their homes of leaven and bring home much special…

Worship in the Kingdom

Zechariah 14:16–21: The Messiah’s Second Coming is the dominant theme of chapter 14. His return will be sudden, unexpected, visible, personal, powerful, glorious, and triumphant. When He steps on the Mount…

Happy Hanukkah

On December 15, as it grows dark, our family will gather around the dinner table to light the first candle on a nine-armed candelabra and sing Maoz Tzur Yeshuati: “The Strength of My Rock…

The Yom Kippur Scapegoat

The ancient Israelites must have stood in awe when they observed the first ever, God-ordained celebration of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This ritual was different from all others the Lord had given…

Zvi Sep/Oct 2006

As we approach the great High Holiday of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, I like to go to the ultra-Orthodox section of Jerusalem to speak to the people there. As one who believes…

Zvi Mar/Apr 2006

We are approaching the great days of Passover, which begin April 12. This holiday brings unity to our nation, as we give thanks for all that God has done for His Chosen People Israel. For those…

What I’d Tell My Dad

I’ve never known a time when there was not an Israel. As a child I’d look up at the big map on my Hebrew School wall and knew it was the country that belonged to…

Shoulders to Cry On

In every nation’s history there are great disasters. Turbulent times amplify feelings of insecurity and vulnerability on a grand scale. calamities threaten the comfort of familiarities. catastrophes destabilize civilized societies. Such were the conditions in Judah…

Tisha B’Av — Israel’s Day of Tragedies

People often have days when nothing, absolutely nothing, goes right. The Jewish people have such a date, when so many tragedies occurred that they established a national day of sadness, fasting, mourning, and remembrance.

One Holiday, Two Birthdays

Thousands of Jewish people will make their traditional trek on foot to the Western Wall later in May to celebrate one of…

The Passover Lamb

“Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29). Using clear imagery rooted deeply in the Jewish experience, God identified His servant the Messiah as a lamb…

Zvi Sep/Oct 2003

We are again approaching Yom Kippur, this most solemn of days, when people ask the Lord to forgive their sins. And what is more, they are so sure that when they come with their “sacrifices,” their sins…

Zvi Jul/Aug 2003

The ninth day of the month of Av is drawing near (August 7). So the people of Israel come to the Western (Wailing) Wall, weeping night and day and reading the book of Lamentations, asking…

Doom and Deliverance Jonah 3

The Ninevites were bad, real bad. But God spared them. Why? Because they did the one thing God requires for deliverance—even today.

A Day for Remembering Yom Hashoah

Some of the most disturbing words in all of Scripture are found in the book of Esther: There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom…

Zvi Mar/Apr 2002

On March 28 our holiday of Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, will begin. It is a holiday that celebrates our redemption from slavery in Egypt. But more important, Pesach teaches of our redemption from sin…

Camping Out Under the Stars

So you don’t like camping? You may change your mind after you get a glimpse of life in today’s sukkot.

Tabernacles in the Millennium

A day is coming when people of all nations will go up to Jerusalem for the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles—and woe to them if they don’t go!

A Look at the Fall Festivals

Rosh Hashanah marks both the beginning of the Jewish high holidays and the civil year on the Jewish calendar. It’s a good time to wish your Jewish friends leshana tova (happy New Year)…

Giving and Receiving the Blessing

Do you remember the old TV program Star Trek? In that series, the expression “Live long and prosper” became a familiar utterance. It was used by First Officer Spock as a greeting and a farewell to special people visiting the starship…

Try It—You’ll Like!

For many of us, food is an emotional experience. The sights and aromas of various food items evoke wide-ranging passions, both positive and negative. It is not uncommon to observe grimaces and other contortions as people view…

Zvi Aug/Sep 1999

Soon Jewish people around the world will observe the high holy days, culminating with the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. As it is written in Leviticus 17:11, “the life of the flesh is in…

The Joy of Hanukkah

Potato latkes, sufganiyot (Hebrew for jelly donuts), special songs, special food, and special times with family and friends are all part of the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah, a festival that commemorates the Jewish victory over…

Who Killed Jesus?

Picture this: A Jewish family spending quality time decorating a Christmas tree. Does this sound odd to you? When I was 17, I was invited to a Christmas tree decorating party at the home of a Jewish acquaintance. Confusion would best describe my initial reaction…

The Question of Time

It is often joked about among Jewish people that whenever the time is set for an appointment or a date, the time specified will not be the actual time to begin.

Zvi Dec/Jan 1996/1997

It is now the time of year when we Christians celebrate the Lord’s birth and gladly sing, “Joy to the world! The Lord is come.” In Israel, the people are also celebrating a holiday.

Food For Thought

Food, with its various tastes, smells, textures, and visual appeal, is a powerful trigger in the process of remembering. Whether it is in the preparation, serving, or eating, certain foods seem to prompt many people…

Nehemiah: The Reading of the Law and Revival

The Jews who were living in their homeland during the 440s BC (93 years after the Babylonian Captivity had ended) had a great heart for God. Perhaps all the opposition, affliction, and reproach they had…

Shabbat

Holidays are commemorative days used by most people to participate in recreational activities, to travel, or just to relax. Conversely, holy days are special days set aside for worship.

Purim: No Minor Festival

An old Yiddish saying translated into English, says, “As a high temperature does not denote serious illness, neither is Purim a festival.” Its meaning reflects the impression among some that the Feast of Purim…

Passover

Praised be Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with Thy commandments, and enjoined upon us the mitzvah of kindling the Festival lights …

Be Ye Holy: The Feast of Unleavened Bread

Of all the feasts of Israel, none exemplifies the holy standard of living to which God calls us more than the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Instituted by God and given to the nation of Israel…

Shavuot: The Feast of Weeks

All of the festivals of Israel give great insight into the New Testament. Shavuot, or Pentecost, as most Christians know it, is no exception. Understanding the background and practice of this festival gives rich insight…

A Trumpet in Zion

Israel’s great fall feasts were celebrations that witnessed a pendulum swing of national emotions sweeping from trepidation to exhilaration. These spectacular festivals, around which all national life revolved, were seasons of intense personal interaction…

Israel’s Fall Feasts

Over the centuries, Israel’s national life has revolved around her great feasts. In the days of the Tabernacle and, later, The Temple, Abraham’s sons heeded the Lord’s call to assemble “before the Lᴏʀᴅ thy God…

Yom Kippur

It is the most awesome day of the Jewish year. Yom Kippur is the Hebrew phrase for the Day of Atonement. For more than 3,000 years, Jewish people have observed this annual day of solemn…

The Feast of Tabernacles

The Temple of God had been completed. More than 150,000 men had labored for seven years in the building of what became known as Solomon’s Temple. The finest wood, the purest gold and silver…

Simchat Torah: Celebrating the Bible

One of the happiest of all Jewish holidays is Simchat Torah (Rejoicing over the Law). Second only to Purim in hilarity, this delightful holiday has but one word to describe it—joy.

Zvi Aug/Sep 1991

We are approaching the two greatest holy days on the Jewish calendar, Rosh Hashana (New Year) and Yom Kippur, which is the most solemn day of the year.

Tisha be-Av

Tisha be-Av, or the Ninth of Av (Av is the fifth month in the Jewish calendar, corresponding to July/August), not only commemorates specific tragedies in Jewish history; it also symbolizes all that has been dismal…

Yom Haatzmaut

The time was 4:00 p.m. The date was Friday, May 14, 1948. A black sedan pulled up to the front of the Tel Aviv Museum. Out of the back seat emerged a short, white-haired man…

Joel of Jerusalem Dec/Jan 1990/1991

We are quickly approaching the Feast of Hanukkah, or, as we call it, the Festival of Lights. The celebration is always the same, year in and year out. People recite the same words…

The Majesty of Herod’s Temple

The Temple of Jesus’ time was built by Herod the Great. Appointed by the Romans, Herod was king of Judea from 37 to 4 B.C. He had the dubious reputation of being the most unpopular…