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FFOZ Blogs

Timely updates, teaching, videos and inside information about what's happening at First Fruits, written by staff members and guest contributors.

Shabbat Nachamu, Tu B'Av, and Love

Arising from the fast and mourning of Tisha B'Av (the Ninth of Av) comes a time of joy, love and consolation. The Shabbat following the Ninth of Av is known as Shabbat Nachamu (the Sabbath of Consolation) based on the first verse of the Haftarah reading, Isaiah 40:1, "Console, console my people, says your God."


Fall of the Temple

Tags: destruction of Jerusalem, fast of Av, tisha b'Av, tisha be'av

The rebels were slain and defeated everywhere they turned. A great number of them were weak and unarmed. They had their throats cut wherever they were caught. All around the altar lay dead bodies heaped one upon another. The ramp going up the altar ran with their blood. The dead bodies that were slain above slid down the ramp. (Josephus)


The Midnight Visitor

The special prayer that our Master taught his disciples can be found in both Matthew 6 and Luke 11. The wording of each varies slightly, but both contain the mysterious Greek word epiousion, the word conventionally translated “daily” as in “daily bread.” So what is “daily bread” really?


Tu Bishvat: Emerging from Dormancy

When man was first created, God crafted the perfect environment for humans to thrive: a garden—an orchard, really. He was surrounded by fruit-bearing trees. Trees are important in the Torah's agricultural system and subject to special laws of holiness.


Yahrzeit of Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri

Monday evening, January 19th, begins the 29th of Tevet which is the yahrzeit of Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri. Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri (born in 1898 in Baghdad) was a Sephardic Orthodox rabbi and Jewish mystic. As a Torah prodigy Kaduri began his studies in Jewish mysticism while still in his teens. His studies were conducted under the famed Sephardic Rabbi, Yosef Chaim of Baghdad, the Ben Ish Chai. Having moved to Israel...


Asarah BeTevet: The Fast of the 10th of Tevet

The Fast of the 10th of Tevet is Thursday January 1st sunrise to sunset. The book of Zechariah mentions a fast that takes place in the tenth month (Zechariah 8:19). Traditionally this is seen as a commemoration of the destruction of Jerusalem which began in the year 588 BCE: And the word of the LORD came to me in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth of...


The Ninth of Tevet: Simon Peter's Yahrzeit

Tuesday evening, December 30th, begins the 9th of Tevet which, according to Jewish tradition, is the anniversary of the death of Simon Peter. Simon Peter holds a special place in the hearts of many believers. We find camaraderie and consolation in a man who could sail from the highest points of discipleship to the lows of denying his Master. His struggles are our struggles; his challenges are our challenges, and,...


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