Author Archives: K. Gallagher

About K. Gallagher

Kisha Gallagher has been studying the Hebraic roots of Christianity since 2004. She is the author of the BEKY Book: The Biblical New Moon: A Guide for Celebrating, and the website, Grace in Torah, a ministry devoted to the Gospel of Yeshua, the moedim (feasts), marital roles, and living out a Torah lifestyle. She encourages the young and old alike to draw deeply from the wells of salvation (Is. 12:3), for all are welcome. Kisha is a devout student of the Bible and a minister of the good news. Many lives are touched through her website, conference engagements, and weekly small groups. Kisha is also a cohost on Hebrew Nation Radio’s Morning Show, Renewed. This weekly program focuses on the spiritual and prophetic aspects of Hebraic Roots by showcasing the miracles and testimonies of God’s people. Kisha resides with her loving husband near the Smoky Mountains where she homeschools their children. She enjoys research, canvas painting, writing, teaching, discipleship, and gathering with the Body of Messiah. She also has a passion for women’s ministry and considers herself an abolitionist. She supports the fight against human trafficking and enslavement whether it is physical or spiritual. She can be contacted at gracentorah@gmail.com

Chodesh Elul 2018

This post is a little early for the upcoming month of Elul, but I have already transitioned my notes into an article. I look forward to hearing what Abba is telling you this year!

  • Month 6 (12thor last month on civil calendar)
  • Tribe: Gad, meaning “an invading troop”
  • Mazel: Betulah or Woman, the Virgin or Virgo
  • Sense: Action To act requires both thought and deed. It connects the head (thought/speech) to the arm/hand (fruit/deeds) and the feet (one’s walk).

Questions to ponder from last month, Av:

  1. Did you fight major spiritual warfare from Tammuz 17th– Av 9th?
  2. Were these battles particularly to prevent some type of destruction in a family, assembly, physical body, or physical house (all types of the Temple)?
  3. Did you experience a shift or release after the 9thof Av (Tisha B’Av)?
  4. Have you experienced some comfort from the Father (doesn’t mean that the test or trial is over) on or after the 15thof Av (Tu B’Av)?
  5. Were you tested in “hearing”? (See this post for clarity.)

Chodesh Elul

As the sixth month, expect to see parallels to day six of creation, and other implications of six. See my post on numbers, for more themes that relate to the number six.

Just as Friday, the sixth day, is the preparation day for the coming seventh day Shabbat, Elul, the sixth month, is the preparation for the seventh month, Tishrei. Not surprisingly, the sense for the month of Elul is action. One needs to act. And, one acts out what they really believe. Preparation certainly requires action in thought, word, and deed.

This is the month to prepare for the upcoming High Holy Days and Sukkot. While it is necessary to make physical arrangements to celebrate the fall festivals, the primary preparation is inward and spiritual, one of the heart.

The idea of organization and preparation correlates perfectly with the tribe of Elul: Gad. Gad was the seventh son born to Jacob. Seven is the letter zayin, which looks like a plowshare or a sword. Shabbat and other sevens are tools for harvest AND instruments of war. Gad means “an invading troop.” Compare the blessings of Jacob and Moses for this tribe:

Gen. 49:19 (TLV) Gad—attackers will attack him, but he will attack their heels.

Dt. 33:20-21 (TLV) For Gad he said, ‘Blessed is the one who enlarges Gad. Like a lion he crouches, and tears off an arm or even the crown of a head.  21 He chose the best for himself, for there a marked portion was reserved. He came with the heads of the people. He carried out Adonai’s justice and His judgments for Israel.’

Gad is tribe of war. 1 Chronicles 5:18 describes them as “men who bore shield and sword and shot with bow and were skillful in battle.” It requires great preparation and organization to amass a troop and train them for combat. Gadites know where to strike, because they have trained well. They attack the heel (lower nature/nephesh/appetites/ego), the arm (deeds/power/strength), and the head (the source, leader, authority). When David fled from King Saul, the mighty men of Gad joined him in the wilderness. 1 Chronicles 12:8 describes them this way:

From the Gadites there came over to David in the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty men of valor, men trained for war, who could handle shield and spear, and whose faces were like the faces of lions, and they were as swift as the gazelles on the mountains. (NASB)

How does the month of teshuvah or repentance relate to this aspect of the tribe of Gad? Each day of this month, leading up to Yom Kippur is a training day. There is a battle, but it is not necessarily with an external enemy. The preparation of Elul is a time to search the depths of one’s heel (nephesh), arm (power- intentions and actions), and head (are you at the helm or is Elohim?).

Such great battle tactics might seem excessive for searching or judging one’s self, but in my experience (both personal and observing others) SELF is the last place most people desire to search, examine, and judge. It’s much easier to point the finger and blame others or one’s circumstances for bad behavior. This is the question that six (especially day six of creation) asks of us. Are you a beast or are you a man/woman made in the image of Elohim? In the sixth month, the same question is posited as one prepares for the High Holy Days.

Symbol of Gad

Last month (Av), we mourned the destruction of the Temple, the House of God. The second Temple was destroyed because of “baseless hatred among brothers.” The political climate in the U.S. is alarming. How people treat others in general is out of control. The golden rule has been left in the dust. It is time to consider what we say (or type) about other people, regardless of their actions or words. This isn’t a call to stick one’s head in the sand or to subvert justice; rather, it is a call to treat other people (even enemies) as those made in the image of Elohim. They are His shadow in the earth, even when they aren’t acting like it. We can speak of and to them with honor and respect, and do so without condoning a wicked behavior.

I’m working on a series about lashon hara, or proper speech. The mouth or tongue is an unruly member that can quickly send one on a spiral of chaos and destruction. With the tongue (or keyboard), we have become murderers, accusers of the brethren. During Elul, we have an opportunity to make amends with those we have offended before we reach the altar on Yom Kippur.

Mat. 5:21-24 (TLV) “You have heard it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever commits murder shall be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca’ shall be subject to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be subject to fiery Gehenna. 23 “Therefore if you are presenting your offering upon the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

Lamentations says, “Let us examine and test our ways, and let us return to Adonai.” (3:40 TLV) That is the heart of Elul. Self examination, deep introspection, and yes, judging one’s own heart, is the 40 step process during the days of teshuvah. I wonder if we can avoid looking at other’s sins for forty whole days while we clean our own house? This is true preparation for the seventh month, and also the “turn of the year[1]” on the civil calendar. It’s as if one is getting ready to enter a new time, a new realm, a new day… that’s because beginning with Rosh Hashanah (the Hidden Day), the head of the year[2], we are!

The Torah portions that fall during the month of Elul mirror this conclusion. They are Shoftim (Judges), Ki Tetze (When You Go Forth), Ki Tavo (When You Come In), and Nitzavim (Standing). Judges, when you go forth, when you come in, stand. These portions give disciples instruction for the Season of Teshuvah. (Collectively, this is Deuteronomy 16:18 – 30:20) The highlights from each section or portion[3], will inform a careful eye with the themes for the month Elul. These are things that you will battle with and walk through as you prepare for the fall feasts. Here is a sample:

  1. Adonai expects His people to set up righteous judges that will execute righteous judgement. The people are expected to obey their rulings.
  2. A prophet like unto Moses will arise, look for Him, but also beware of false prophets.
  3. Laws for cities of refuge and the accidental man slayer. (More on this below.)
  4. How to deal with false witnesses.
  5. Rules of warfare, mind the fruit trees (people), and respect the female captives.
  6. Laws concerning sexual immorality, and falsely accusing one’s virgin bride.
  7. Laws concerning divorce and levirate marriage.
  8. Offering firstfruits and tithes.
  9. Mount Ebal – curses and blessings.
  10. Covenant renewed at Moab.
  11. Repentance & Forgiveness
  12. Choice of Life or Death.

These portions cover a lot of territory, but if you look closely, they are a microcosm of our journey! The cities of refuge jumped out this year in relation to Elul. Three cities are to be in the Land He is giving them to possess and three more when He expands their territory for a total of six. Elul is the sixth month. In Chassidic teachings, Elul is the city of refuge in the yearly cycle. The thinking behind this is that we are ALL guilty of being a “man-slayer.” (Didn’t Yeshua say as much in Matthew 5:43-48? See also Proverbs 18:21) Whether we realize it or not, we have killed ourselves and others… with words. (Action)

It is in this season, a space in time if you will, that we contemplate past thoughts, words, and deeds, and rectify wrong doing through heartfelt repentance. In this safe place (in time), a city of refuge, one can truly get to know what is in their heart– the good, the bad, and the ugly. In tradition, the King is said to be in the field during Elul. This implies that He is approachable and near, not as a harsh judge on the throne, but as a loving and compassionate Father ready to receive His prodigal child. Thus, Elul is also called the month of mercy and the month of forgiveness.

What to Expect in Elul

There is warfare in Elul, but it should be with your own heart. Outside enemies (spirits) will seek to distract or divert one’s attention away from self-examination. This will be especially true on “social media.” Every year at this season, hot debates pop up with people making strong judgments (shoftim) about the “correct” calendar, the names, proper observance, fasting or not fasting on Yom Kippur, and more. Whether or not the intention is to flare up flesh and emotions, the result is the same. Be a Gadite! Don’t fall for it! The focus of these issues is NOT one’s heart and repentance or making amends between brothers. It is a deception. Reread the highlights of the Torah portions. The chaos will fall into one of those categories, and the portion teaches you how to deal with it.

In reality, the many outside distractions are a flimsy fig leave trying to cover the thing we all hate to deal with – self. The root problem is the same issue the first Adam had: Fear. Hearing the voice of Adonai walking in the garden strikes fear in the heart of those that know they are naked before Him. Don’t listen to the voice of fear.

Is. 54:4-5 (NASB) “Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. 5 “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.

It’s the season to exchange the fig leave with a new garment provided by Adonai. Let the Holy Spirit do the work of refining, even with fire.

2 Cor. 5:1-5, 10 (NASB) For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 3 inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. 4 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge… 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Who doesn’t want to be washed and renewed to don fine white linen garments, like a virgin bride? Perhaps, this is why Adonai placed the betulah or virgin as the mazel to appear in the heavens at this season. The Bride makes herself ready (preparation) before the coming scales of justice in Tishrei (Libra).

In the Torah portions this month, there is a warning to those that falsely accuse a virgin bride. She has a cloth garment with the evidence of blood that proves she is innocent. Beloved, if you are Messiah’s, so do you. BUT, so is your believing/faithful neighbor, even if you disagree on certain points of halachah. Be careful with your accusations. It is the duty of the Ruach HaKodesh to bring each to the place of groaning as He refines one as heavenly gold. No one gets to escape His process of sanctification, which is the point of the festivals. Have compassion for one another as we travail together.

Virgin daughters of Zion, your King is Coming to you! May your righteous acts, the sense for the month of Elul, be bright and clean fine linen at His return at the fall feasts!

Rev. 19:6-9 (NASB) Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. 7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”  8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.  9 Then he *said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'” And he *said to me, “These are true words of God.”

For more on Elul:

Elul

The Vinedresser, the True Vine, and the Branches

A Woman Will Encompass (Eclipse) a Man

 


 

[1]How do we know that the turn or change of the year occurs in the fall? Ask Moses. He gives at least five witnesses (see 5thone in footnote 2):

Ex. 23:16 (KJV)  And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.

Ex. 34:22 (TLV) “You are to observe the Feast of Shavuot, which is the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, as well as the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year.

Dt. 14:28 (NASB)  “At the end of every third year you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in that year, and shall deposit it in your town. (Context of previous verses places this in the fall.)

Dt. 31:10-11 (NASB)  Then Moses commanded them, saying, “At the end of every seven years, at the time of the year of remission of debts, at the Feast of Booths,  11  when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place which He will choose, you shall read this law in front of all Israel in their hearing.

[2]For those that take issue with the use of the Rabbinical idea of the Feast of Trumpets being dubbed Rosh Hashanah, please see the above footnote. Two of the quotes are from the book of Exodus, which also tells us:

Ex. 12:1-2 (KJV) And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.

Verse two doesn’t call Nisan or Aviv the “Head of the Year” or “Rosh Hashanah.” Instead, it calls Nisan the “Head of the Months” or “Rosh Chodeshim.” It shall be the first (rishon) month (chodesh) of the year (shana) to you. I know this irks the Greek, western mindset. I know this because it used to irk me too, lol. But Abba has broadened my understanding, especially with seeming paradoxes such as this. Regardless of your stance on this topic, it is perfectly acceptable in Hebraic thought and in Biblical interpretation to believe (like classic Judaism) that Adonai continued to mark the “year’s” turn or change in the fall, as Moses goes on to do in Exodus 23 and 34 and in Deuteronomy 14 and 31. One can believe this and yet still believe that He marked the head or start for the months in the spring. The four verses in footnote 1 and the Yovel (Jubliee –Lev. 25:8-11) beginning on Yom Kippur, all point to the change and renewal of the shanim (years) in the fall, or seventh month. The question isn’t which is it, spring or fall; rather the answer is yes – both! I love Hebrew thought! It’s so freeing! If this is struggle for you, I pray that your heart and mind are enlarged like Gad.

[3]I love the outline that First Fruits of Zion creates for the weekly Torah portions: https://torahportions.ffoz.org/torah-portions/. (If you use their outline, there is a mistake/typo with Nitzavim as of this writing. The outline listed is actually for the following portion, Vayelech.)

 

Categories: Moedim, new moon, Torah Portions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Chodesh Av 2018

I wanted to get this posted at the beginning of the month of Av, but I’ve been too busy to edit! Every year as I am intentional about celebrating the Moonthly Cycle, Abba has me focus on a particular area, a lot of which is not in my book on celebrating the New Moon. I plan to share my monthly notes from our local gatherings with you, but changing my notes to a blog post that makes sense to a reader requires quite a bit of editing. Better late than never! 

Chodesh Av

  • Month: Five (11th month on civil calendar)
  • Tribe: Shimon
  • Sense: Hearing
  • Seasons/Feasts: Three Weeks (Dire Straits – from Tammuz 17 to Av 9), Transition by Tu B’Av (Av 15), Fast on Av 9.
  • Theme: From destruction and mourning to comfort and joy, especially in relation to the House of Adonai.

Month five has correlations with day five of creation. That is the day that the birds and fish were created to swim and fly through the wind and water currents of the earth. These are also those that rapidly spread Seed from continent to continent. Seeds can be likened to words or even THE Word. Words can destroy or words can bring Good News, a comfort to the world. In the following offering, see if you can pick out the themes of day five of creation.

Months four and five are connected by the Three Weeks. The sense of Tammuz was sight/seeing/vision, and the sense of Av is hearing/listening. Let’s consider the differences. The sense of seeing is more akin to having spiritual vision or being able to “see” the truth and promises of God despite what one’s circumstances and natural vision suggests. (Ex. The evil report of the ten spies. Joshua and Caleb saw the same thing as the other spies; and yet, Caleb declared, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”   [Num. 13:30, Jos. 14:6-15])

This implies that we will face spiritual forces, like giants that have fortified cities, which are people and circumstances that are much stronger than we are during Av (beginning in Tammuz). And yet, the lesson to be learned is to choose to believe the promises of YHWH despite what one sees or hears in the natural. The One in you is stronger than any enemy or circumstance. Fear not.

In light of that, I have a few questions for you to ponder from last month.

  1. How many of you were tested in the sense of “seeing” during the month of Tammuz?
  2. What giant did you face?
  3. What enemy within a fortified (strong) city sought to discourage you?
  4. Based on the Torah portions of Tammuz, did you struggle with proper or improper authorities?

From Seeing to Hearing

Gen. 29:33 (NASB) Then she conceived again and bore a son and said, “Because the LORD has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” So she named him Simeon.

Shimon means to hear, shema. “We will hear and we will do.” The irony of the sense of seeing coming before hearing in the months is that we cannot see without hearing first. Even a baby in the womb hears before he sees. Biblical or Spiritual vision is the ability to see what is heard: the WORD of YHWH.

What voice have you been listening to? Protect your ears! When things “look” bad in the natural do you hear a voice that says that you deserve calamity? That says, you are worthless, that you are not good enough, that you are UNLOVED by your Husband, like Leah?

If so, it’s time to give birth to Shimon. Adonai hears you, you must hear Adonai. In the Torah, Simeon and Levi act rashly with their swords on account of their sister Dinah. This cost each of these tribes a true portion or inheritance in the Land. They would be scattered in Israel. (Gen. 49) Thus, patience and waiting for the authority over us to give instruction is a test in one’s “hearing.” Just because you know something, doesn’t mean you have the authority to be the judge and executioner. A much better example of a godly Shimon is found when baby Yeshua is presented in the Temple or House of Adonai:

Luke 2:25-35 (NASB) And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation (comfort) of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him.  26 And it had been revealed to himby the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  27  And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law,  28  then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,  29  “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word;  30  For my eyes have seen Your salvation,  31  Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,  32  A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, And the glory of Your people Israel.”  33 And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him.  34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed—  35 and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

In the above passage, there is a righteous man named Simeon, one who hears. Simeon believed what he HEARD. Go back and look at the bolded and underlined words and phrases above. Do you “see” the words associated with hearing and seeing? Shimon was LOOKING for the consolation of Israel, that is their comfort, which ties perfectly into the themes of the Three Weeks, and the consolation of Tu B’Av. By following the moonthly cycle, we practice and prepare for this flow of time (that is, was, and is to come) in the seasons each year. Consider these verses:

Jer. 31:9-14 (NASB) “With weeping they will come, and by supplication I will lead them; I will make them walk by streams of waters, on a straight path in which they will not stumble; For I am a father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn.”  10 Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare in the coastlands afar off, and say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him and keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.” 11 For the LORD has ransomed Jacob and redeemed him from the hand of him who was stronger than he.  12 “They will come and shout for joy on the height of Zion, and they will be radiant over the bounty of the LORD—Over the grain and the new wine and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; And their life will be like a watered garden, and they will never languish again. 13 “Then the virgin will rejoice in the dance, And the young men and the old, together, For I will turn their mourning into joy and will comfort them and give them joy for their sorrow.  14 “I will fill the soul of the priests with abundance, And My people will be satisfied with My goodness,” declares the LORD.

 From weeping and mourning to consolation and joy. That is the connection between Tammuz and Av. We should expect our own walk each year to reflect the same. Simeon’s reward for believing and obeying – true HEARING-  the Word of God was that he could SEE the Comforter, Yeshua, the Consolation of Israel. And even then, the revelation was not complete as we are still awaiting His return and the fullness of the passage above. Until then, we practice. We remember. We see, and we hear.

Destruction of the House

Closely related to the above is remembering the destruction of Temple, mourning its loss, and believing for its renewal. Thus, I offer a little review. According to tradition, the first Temple was destroyed because idolatry, and the second Temple was destroyed on the account of baseless hatred among brothers. Essentially, this is God’s people breaking the two greatest commandments of loving Him and our neighbor as ourselves. Not doing so, destroys His House (and ours!).

Since Tammuz 17thmarks the beginning of the Three Weeks leading up Tisha B’Av (9thof Av), the date that both Temples were destroyed, we should expect to have tests and trials in this area, at this season.

What is the “House” or “Temple”?

  • The Body of Messiah
  • Our physical bodies
  • The Temple Mount/Zion/place of physical Temple
  • Your family
  • Your Assembly

Were any of you tested (or still being tested) in one of these areas? Have you been in a battle to keep these things from being destroyed? What is the purpose in this testing? Can’t God just take it away?

The Hidden Goodness in Av

When we see war, calamity, destruction, unfavorable circumstances with people or life in general, we have a choice to make. If God is truly for us, and we really believe that, then we must adjust our vision, outlook, and attitude to align with the Good News that we have HEARD.

Ps. 119:91-92 (NASB) They stand this day according to Your ordinances, For all things are Your servants.  92 If Your law had not been my delight, Then I would have perished in my affliction.

 Mat. 19:26 (NASB) And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

 Eph. 1:11 (NASB) also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will

Do we really believe that ALL things are in God’s hands and control? That even the bad and hard things serve His purposes and are meant for our good, BECAUSE He loves us? There is a story in the Mishnah about a certain Rabbi called Nahum Gamzu that can help us adjust our attitude. I’ve written in other places about the month of Av being referred to as Menachem Av, or Comforting Father. The rabbi in the story below shares this name, Nachum, comforter. It is meant to not only redirect one’s vision or perception of life’s circumstances, but bring one consolation or comfort.

The Gemara inquires: And why did they call him Naḥum of Gam Zu? The reason is that with regard to any matter that occurred to him, he would say: This too is for the good [gam zu letova]. Once, the Jews wished to send a gift [doron] to the house of the emperor. They said: Who should go and present this gift? Let Naḥum of Gam Zu go, as he is accustomed to miracles. They sent with him a chest [sifta] full of jewels and pearls, and he went and spent the night in a certain inn. During the night, these residents of the inn arose and took all of the precious jewels and pearls from the chest, and filled it with earth. The next day, when he saw what had happened, Naḥum of Gam Zu said: This too is for the good.

When he arrived there, at the ruler’s palace, they opened the chest and saw that it was filled with earth. The king wished to put all the Jewish emissaries to death. He said: The Jews are mocking me. Naḥum of Gam Zu said: This too is for the good. Elijah the Prophet came and appeared before the ruler as one of his ministers. He said to the ruler: Perhaps this earth is from the earth of their father Abraham. As when he threw earth, it turned into swords, and when he threw stubble, it turned into arrows, as it is written in a prophecy that the Sages interpreted this verse as a reference to Abraham: “His sword makes them as the dust, his bow as the driven stubble” (Isaiah 41:2).

There was one province that the Romans were unable to conquer. They took some of this earth, tested it by throwing it at their enemies, and conquered that province. When the ruler saw that this earth indeed had miraculous powers, his servants entered his treasury and filled Naḥum of Gam Zu’s chest with precious jewels and pearls and sent him off with great honor.

When Naḥum of Gam Zu came to spend the night at that same inn, the residents said to him: What did you bring with you to the emperor that he bestowed upon you such great honor? He said to them: That which I took from here, I brought there. When they heard this, the residents of the inn thought that the soil upon which their house stood had miraculous powers. They tore down their inn and brought the soil underneath to the king’s palace. They said to him: That earth that was brought here was from our property. The miracle had been performed only in the merit of Naḥum of Gam Zu. The emperor tested the inn’s soil in battle, and it was not found to have miraculous powers, and he had these residents of the inn put to death. – Taanit 21a

 If we want to transition to the comfort of Av, or find the joy that comes after mourning, we must be able to “see” the world with eyes like Nachum Gamzu. Can we really say, “This too, is for the best”? In every situation? Even the bad ones?

We currently see only dimly. We must mourn destruction and exile (both physically and spiritually). But we must also try to “hear” the goodness that is hidden in the bitterness of any destruction we encounter in this life and KNOW that Mashiach will come to comfort us, One Day showing us how “this too was really for the best.”

Paul mirrors this sentiment in Second Corinthians. Tu B’Av or the fifteen of Av just passed a few days ago on the calendar. I hope that you are beginning to see the Light after a period of darkness and heavy trials. Be encouraged dear one, in ALL things, rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for your King is Coming to you!

And in ALL things, be able to say, “Gam zu l’tovah!”

 

2Co 4:7-18 (NASB) But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  12 So death works in us, but life in you.  13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE,” we also believe; therefore, we also speak, 14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.  15 For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.  16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

 

*** By the way, those of you that decided to share your journal of the months with me, please feel free to email me at gracentorah@gmail.com with your monthly results. (I will not make you or your notes public.) Please do not include personal names or organizations when describing trials, issues, or circumstances. Thank you!

 

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

Moonthly Cycle

For the past five years, I’ve been very intentional about celebrating the new moon. One result was publishing my first book, The Biblical New Moon: A Guide for Celebrating in 2016. Another unexpected outcome was discovering patterns within the monthly cycle. I’ll get to that in moment, but first, I’ll give you a comparison.

Most of my readers have been following the weekly Torah portions through multiple years. Those first several years garner more questions than answers as one’s heart adjusts to the Creator’s paradigm. But, as the years pass by, the Words of the Torah become more and more familiar, a comfort to the soul rather than a contention. Those questions from the early years have long been satisfied by the Words of Life.

Each year, the Spirit highlights certain words, phrases, or sections in the portions as He leads one through the wilderness. It’s always the perfect instruction in due time. I often say that as I follow the Torah portions, they also follow me. It’s like the water giving Rock that followed the children of Israel in the desert. I can see the themes from the portions playing out in my life, testing and encouraging me each week. I can’t imagine walking through life without their guidance, as they are my daily bread, just as sure as Yeshua is the embodiment of the same.

I have had a similar experience on the larger cycle of the months. Much like the Torah portions, they each have a personality (so to speak) that thematically links to real life. And, just as the Ruach HaKodesh highlights certain words, phrases, and sections new every year in the weekly Torah portion, He does the same for the months. The first few years I didn’t notice these patterns because all the information was fresh and new. I had more questions than answers as I attuned myself to this greater cycle through practice.

In the fourth year of being intentional, something shifted, just as it did when I first committed to the Torah cycle. If you’ve read my book (linked above), then you know that I included a great deal of Jewish tradition.[1]For example, I used their assignments of the twelve tribes of Israel for each month, and I included the twelve constellations (mazel) that fall in the ecliptic with the sun and moon each month.[2]There are generally four Torah portions within the months, giving even more layers that make up the personality or theme for the month. Moreover, many months have Biblical and/or traditional feast or fast days. All of these things and more are quite fascinating to meditate upon, and will lead to more understanding.

I think of it as zooming out from the weekly cycle to get a fresh perspective. On an even larger scale, one could zoom out to the yearly festivals, then to the seven-year cycle (Shemittah), and even further to the Yovel (Jubilee) cycle. Wheels within wheels all powered by the Spirit of God. All these cycles are constantly moving around you, your family, your assembly, and the greater Body. And, all these cycles have an order. They are NOT random or arbitrary, they are part of what Adonai has revealed to His people. But, we must choose to either move with them, swim against their current (which gets you nowhere), or ignore them altogether. (Ignorance is not bliss in this case; the cycles are there and working in our lives regardless of whether we choose to follow Him or not.)

Dt. 29:29 (NASB) “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

I had the privilege of reading Barry Miller’s book, Know the Time Change Your World: The Reappearance of the Seven- and Fifty-Year Biblical Cycles, during these intentional years of celebrating the new moon. His book is very helpful at explaining how the rhythms of these cycles affect not only our spiritual lives, but also our tangible lives in the market, workplace, and finances. After all, Adonai is concerned about the whole person, mind, body, and soul.

If you’ve been keeping the yearly feasts of Adonai for some time, you’ve probably noticed that things (good and bad) cycle around and around in the seasons. This is because judgment begins in the House of God. Feast days (including the weekly Sabbaths and new moons) are not just times of celebration. They are tests! We will be examined at the appointed times. As such, there are certain themes related to specific times. Perhaps you’ve already noticed this phenomenon on social media.

Every year, after the fall feasts, the identity of the Messiah is questioned, challenged, debated, and reimagined. Whether He is divine or not, Messiah or not, becomes explosive social media fare, destroying our witness regardless of how we view Him. Meanwhile, winter, Chanukah, and Purim are approaching. People in general begin to grow weary about their own identity. They question their purpose and struggle with foundational issues in life and in Bible study. Those that minister to others, really notice these patterns. It’s not chance.

Consider that after Sukkot, it is the “turn of the year.” It’s a type of new beginning. What’s at every beginning? A foundation must be built– whether physical or spiritual. If one has a shaky foundation, there is usually a great identity crisis. If one’s foundation was damaged in the previous year, they too, will struggle with a rebuild. What many consider “basic” or “foundational” issues will be challenged in this season. The Hebrew month’s that span this time frame are Kislev, Tevet, Shevat, and Adar.

Also consider the traditional winter festivals of Chanukah and Purim. They are all about the Jewish people fighting for their right to exist! Foreigners seek to wipe them off the map or conform them into an image of their making. The basic, foundational rights bestowed upon Israel by the Creator are being challenged. Is it a surprise that Messiah is challenged around this season? Or, that individuals search and struggle with who they are? I don’t believe so, because it’s part of the cycle. Sin and rebellion will exacerbate these issues.

That’s one example, I have many. I’ve been journaling about the monthly cycle for a while. I’ve written about my own struggles, and those that others have revealed to me at these seasons. I’ve also tried to pay attention to social media debates (in the Torah keeping world) and the months and seasons in which they occur. I have a dear friend that has given me more insight, and I hope to continue to collaborate with her. We hope to produce something more formal in the future.

Why would something like this be valuable? Testing and trials will not vanish, of course. They are part of our refinement. However, it would be encouraging to know that you are not alone, and that Adonai has good purposes and intentions towards us. It will also be a great resource for prayer! Many claim to be a watchman. A watchman can see what’s coming, sound the alarm, and prepare the army. If you are aware that certain issues in the natural or spiritual will be challenged or tested, then you know how to pray. You know how to stand. Your faith is built up to overcome. I believe the cycles of the Creator reveal these things to His people, so they can do just that: observe all His instruction. And, do so with a different heart, like Caleb, trusting that though there be giants, fortified cities, and Amalekites, we can overcome!

Num. 13:30 (NASB) Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.”

For now, I have a request for my readers. That is actually the point of this post! I wonder who would be willing to journal alongside me? I’d really like as much feedback as possible. I don’t need you to write a book, just notes about each month. What did you battle with? How did this compare to the weekly Torah portions that month? To the traditions from the Sages? To the feasts or fasts? What “blew-up” on social media? What did people need prayer for? What other patterns did you notice? To streamline what I’m looking for, I’ve devised the following chart. Feel free to print it out to use as journal pages or use it to create your own template.

Moonthly Cycle Chart

 


[1]If you are anti-Jewish, anti-tradition, or fear things that are mystical, you need read no further. I believe in balance and using good Bible hermeneutics. However, I also believe the Sages and Jewish sources are valuable and have great wisdom.

[2]This NOT astrology. It has nothing to do with divination or deciding one’s fortune. That’s the perversion. Pagans didn’t put the stars in the heavens, HaShem did. The luminaries declare the glory of Elohim, which is the Good News. (Ps. 19) They also govern His moedim, His calendar, His appointments, and give Light to the earth as a testament to His authority over all the earth. (Gen. 1:14-19)

Categories: Messianic Issues, Moedim, new moon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Counting the Omer & Shavuot

Chag Sameach Shavuot!


This year, I wrote two articles in a newsletter format. (I used this same format last Rosh Hashanah.) My plan was to print and give these out at our gathering, but they became too lengthy. If you listened to recent Renewed podcasts, you have some idea of where my thoughts have been this year during the Omer count.

So, dear reader, you get a two-for-one in this post – my two loaves, lol!

 

Counting the Omer 2018

Shavuot 5778

 

Categories: Biblical Symbols, Moedim, Renewed Radio | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

Weekly Sabbath Survey

Christian Teaching, Encouraging Words for the times we live in.

The Bee Hive

Pouring out His Divine Honey of Wisdom & Revelation

redshoooz

Living the Abundant Life

In the Galute

B'ney Yosef

His Perfect Timing

My Incredible Journey with God

searchingfornorway

ancestry, geneology, knitting, history

praythroughhistory

Heal the past. Free the present. Bless the future.

Heaven and Earth

Bringing pieces of heaven to earth

Ladder of Jacob

ascend higher.

Operation Jeremiah 6:16

Ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

Neviim Tovim/TheHaftarah Circle Gillian Gould Lazarus

Hebrew prophets and other themes from Tanakh

radicalrighteousroots

Biblical foundation resources for the family

Torah Rocker

Writings and studies of Torah

Hardcore Mesorah

Torah and Tefillah for those who aren't faint of heart

BE COURAGEOUS BLOG

NEVER LET GO OF GOD'S HAND

Ancient Footsteps

The end is known from the beginning...

modern day samaritan woman

welcome to all sojourners

Chalom Shalom

Unveiling the Voice of Creation...

ReDo~ReNew

Enjoying New Life in myself, others, and the things I find along the way...

Obadiah's Cave

A place of safety

Blue Jeans and Chocolate

~ My So-Called Glamorous Life

Awakened 2 Torah

It's time to leave Egypt!

The Well Trodden Road

Following the Way back home

Move Your "..BUT God .."

CLIMBING TO THE HEIGHTS OF GOD'S LOVE

Ohana Home Education

"Ohana means family. Family means no-one gets left behind, or forgotten."

Sewn olivette

Elevating Daily Life

Helena

The Protocol of Truth

Wilderness Report

by Cathy Helms

Wholeness 4 Love

Life is for Living & LOVE is a choice!

natsab

Here I stand.

Rus Alan

Kingdom Minded living with issues related to discipleship, the Holy Spirit, and power.

Tannachton Farm

Faith, Family, Farm

GRACE in TORAH

Leaving Egypt is only the beginning of our journey...

Sharing God's Love

My passion is writing to share God's love with everyone who believes in HIm.

Daughters of Torah

Revealing our identity to the nations

Sanctuary Gardener

A Yankee grows in the South ~ Homesteading, gardening, & harvest recipes

little tent on the prairie

Restoring life through simple living

Coffee Shop Rabbi

Basic Judaism spoken here.

%d bloggers like this: