Monthly Archives: March 2022

Messiah in Passover: A family Haggadah

Just in time for Passover: A New Haggadah!

 

For over ten years now, I have edited and revised the haggadah my family uses for Passover. Finally, after all those years of laboring in love for those that sit at our Passover table, I have published our haggadah for the public. I formatted it to be aesthetically pleasing, but also very economical, so it is affordable to buy multiple copies. (They are only $5 a copy!)


Messiah in Passover: A Family Haggadah
, follows the traditional fifteen steps of the Orthodox seder, but it also highlights Messiah’s Passion Week. Our goal was to make it very understandable for curious Christians and children, while still maintaining the flow of the Orthodox seder. While many explanations are given within the seder, I wrote a lengthy introduction to elaborate on the elements and background for the Passover meal. In our home, we give participants a copy of the haggadah to take home, with the hope that they will read the introduction and gain an even better understanding of why keeping Passover is valuable for all those that follow Yeshua (Jesus). The introduction also helps those new to celebrating the LORD’s Passover prepare for the feast physically and spiritually.

 

With a 45 minute festival meal, Messiah in Passover takes a total of two and half hours to complete. With the break for the meal, this hasn’t been too cumbersome, even for smaller children at our table. I hope this labor of love will bless you and your family this Passover!

Buy copies here.

 

Categories: Moedim | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Chametz & Matzah

Matzah = מַצָּה 

Chametz = חָמֵץ 

 

These “breads” contain the same Hebrew letters, save one. Both have a mem and a tzade. But matzah ends with a heh, and chametz begins with a chet. These two letters look so much alike that they are often confused. Heh has a small opening on the upper left, and is expressed as a breathy “h.” Chet has no such window, and is expressed as a hard, guttural “kh.”  The difference between these letters could be said to be a soft or hard expulsion of air. Chametz is hard, and matzah is soft. But like their differing letters, are often confused. 

On the flip side, the difference between the actual breads of matzah and chametz, have the opposite connotations. Chametz is associated more with soft, airy puffed up bread; whereas matzah is associated with dry, dense, hard bread. 

And, so it is to the soul. Chametz (soft) is more desired by the nephesh, while matzah is more loathed (hard). That is the illusion we must break free from at this season. 

The letters and sounds of these Hebrew words teach the nephesh the truth: matzah is truly the more delightful, soft “bread.” In the plural, matzot is spelled the same as mitzvot, the commandments, which also are a delight. “Help me walk in the path of Your mitzvot—for I delight in it.” (Psa 119:35  TLV) Whereas, chametz is the figure of what makes one hard, callus, and puffed up. Sweep the house clean. 

 

In this season, we remove chametz, and its beginnings or root, which is se’or (bread starters), from our homes and hearts. Every crumb must go and be burned before Pesach arrives. It’s searching diligently for and then releasing all the things that attaches us to the seeming luxuries of Mitzrayim (Egypt).

Yet, we struggle with discerning between matzah and chametz. Every year at this season, debates about what is actually chametz abound, confusing, especially, those new to this process. Varying traditions can make this even more difficult.  If this occurs with natural chametz, how much more so does it occur when it comes to spiritual chametz? 

In the past, I’ve thrown out things that I later discovered weren’t actually chametz, and in other times I kept things that I later discovered was chametz. Stop and think about that from a spiritual perspective. Haven’t we done the same when it comes to doctrines and traditions? 

The above doesn’t include the things that I accidentally overlooked. For example, one year, in the middle of the feast of Unleavened Bread, I found a full, unopened package of Oreo cookies on top of my refrigerator. (When you are vertically challenged and live with those that are not, don’t forget to check all the high places!)

All these natural things have taught me a lot about spiritual chametz. I doubt there has been a time when my house was truly free of (physical and spiritual) chametz. That doesn’t prevent me from trying to remove it; instead, it brings me humility as I approach Adonai with my efforts, and grace toward my brothers and sisters. This is what is needed before Passover arrives. The physical process is designed to teach and train one’s heart, and reveal what lurks in its depths. 

The difference between chametz and matzah is subtle. They are very close, yet very different. May the Father of Lights grant us wisdom to know the difference in the natural, and especially, in the spiritual realms this year! 

“He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 8:3, NASB)

Categories: Biblical Symbols, Moedim | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

Shabbat Zachor

Shabbat Zachor

This is the Shabbat of Remembering – which always occurs on the Sabbath before Purim. What are we “remembering?”

Deuteronomy 25:16-19 (NASB) “For everyone who does these things, everyone who acts unjustly is an abomination to the LORD your God. [17] Remember what Amalek did to you along the way when you came out from Egypt, [18] how he met you along the way and attacked among you all the stragglers at your rear when you were faint and weary; and he did not fear God. [19] Therefore it shall come about when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies, in the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget.”

Haman was a descendant of Amalek, who was a descendant of Esau. On the Shabbat before Purim, “Remember what Amalek did to you as you came out of Egypt.” In Ex. 17:16, “The LORD has sworn; the LORD will have war against Amalek from generation to generation.” “Don’t forget!” says Adonai.

In my past articles on “Warring with Amalek,” I delve into the deeper meaning of what and who Amalek represents. To remember the destructive nature of the Amalekites, one must first look at the man or woman in the mirror. The masks of Purim also allude to the hidden nature within disguising either the crafty or the righteous. Which one are we?

“So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy (kavod). Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.” (Exodus 17:11-13, NASB)

 Is Joshua (Yeshua) warring with the Esau in you?

When Moses’ hands (Torah) are lifted up, Joshua (Yeshua) prevails over Amalek.

The power of the Law is to expose the Amalek within, so his memory will be completely blotted out. The “old man” must die. That is the function of the Light of the Torah – it unmasks what is in the darkness, most especially those hidden places of the heart that are ruled by fear and doubt. Everything is laid bare before the mouth of Yeshua’s Sword (Heb. 4:12-13).

This Shabbat Zachor, remember Amalek in order that his memory may be erased. It sounds like a paradox, but it is the Way. Remove the mask.

Categories: Ethics, Moedim, Torah Portions | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Israel Tour – Sukkot 2022

The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose… waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert… A highway will be there—a roadway. It will be called the Way of Holiness… The ransomed of Adonai will return and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy upon their heads.  – Isaiah 35

Prayer Mountain, just to the west of Tamar Biblical Park

This year, Dr. Hollisa Alewine, author of the The Creation Gospel, is hosting a tour of Israel during the Feast of Tabernacles. I (Kisha Gallagher) am the tour coordinator for this awesome event. We invite you to join us in the Holy Land October 6-18, 2022. After a couple of years of not being able to travel to the Land, we are especially anticipating this trip. Israel has recently opened their borders to vaccinated AND unvaccinated tourists.

Unlike many other tours of the Holy Land, this pilgrimage tour will offer you many leisure hours to pray, meditate, study, and fellowship as we will honor the weekly and festival Shabbats.  We will stay in Jerusalem and the Galilee at various times along our journey, but our home base will be in the Arava desert, in the Wilderness of Zin, at Tamar Biblical Park. I’ve had the pleasure of staying at Tamar, dubbed the “Jewel of the Arava,” several times now, and each one remains close to my heart. There is something ethereal about staying in the wilderness where ancient Israel camped, following Adonai’s Majestic Cloud.

Thus says the LORD, “I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, the love of your betrothals, your following after Me in the wilderness, through a land not sown.”  (Jer. 2:2 NASB)

Biblical Tamar Park is one of the oldest and most unique archaeological sites in southern Israel. We will be staying right in the midst of this 55 acre historic site. Nearby, you can explore places such as Mt. Hor, where Moses buried Aaron, and Miriam’s Spring, where Miriam was buried. History abounds in seven strata uncovered at the Park, curated by Blossoming Rose, our tour liaison.

Check out the tentative itinerary for Sukkot with Dr. Alewine October 6-18, 2022 by clicking here.

REGISTER NOW

The feast of Sukkot is quickly approaching! Register now to reserve your spot on the tour. May this year be the year that you make pilgrimage up to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Nations, the Season of Our Joy. Spend time in the actual wilderness, down in the Arava desert. Walk the circuit where Yeshua ministered in the Galilee. Be enriched by the anointed teaching of Dr. Alewine. This year in Jerusalem!

Register by clicking the "Book Now" tab here.

 


Tamar is also called Ir Ovot and Ein Hatzeva. Click the links to learn more.

 

Categories: News Flash | 10 Comments

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