More Recent Articles
As the month of Nisan approaches, in our synagogues we read several special passages that are important for the season. One of these readings, Parashat Parah is the passage regarding the red heifer. This mysterious ritual fills us with anticipation for the final redemption through Messiah.
Planning a Passover Seder can be daunting, especially if you have never done it before. We’ve put together a concise list of planning tips that can ease the stress and help keep you organized. Plus, we have a brand new Haggadah that was designed with you in mind!
Upon closer examination of matters that at first glance are tedious, such as the vessels associated with the Temple, we can find that nothing in Scripture is arbitrary or devoid of deeper spiritual meaning. There must be some deep significance to the seemingly insignificant utensil known as the copper laver.
In the NewsMar 15
Mitchell, who is legally blind, is a rare musical talent, largely self-taught and adept at a variety of instruments—a dazzling jazz keyboardist and folksy guitar player—with a unique vocal sound that serves him well in his role as a Messianic cantor. But Mitchell did not begin his musical career in the synagogue.
Adar is the month of the happy holiday of Purim, the celebration of the miracle of the story of Esther. The Sages say that in the month of Adar, joy increases. As the days grow longer and warmer and we sense the approach of springtime, our hearts begin to rise.
Whether or not the original writer of Esther had this intention, based on Isaiah 56, I believe this passage prophetically alludes to Gentiles who have been grafted into the olive tree of Israel. Purim is a Jewish holiday but it is also for Gentiles who have found Messiah and cast their lot with the Jewish people.
I am sorry that the holiday has taken on such a secular emphasis. It seems that we spend our time baking, designing costumes, and writing skits and songs (Purim Shpiels). Sometimes the bigger picture is lost amid all the noise.
Life in IsraelMar 9
It seems as though these artists, on a deep and personal level, understood something about him and his life and it's meaning for all of us in a way that many of us in Messianic Judaism have been trying to grapple with for decades. They understood that he is us.
The Amalekites struck down not the warriors and soldiers but the weak, sick, and elderly who were traveling at the back of the pack. These were not the tactics of an army that sought to win a battle or a war but the merciless strategy of an enemy that desired to see Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
On the day before Purim, we fast from the first light of dawn until after reading the book of Esther. This fast trains us in the most ancient of all martial arts: spiritual combat. Even today, otherwise godly people fret about perceived existential threats. While evil must be opposed, let us not forget where the true battle rages.
Why the shekel in the fish’s mouth? Yeshua could have just produced a coin from behind Peter’s ear like magicians do today, or perhaps he could have just told him to look in a place one might normally expect to find a lost coin such as under a bed or between the stones of the floor. I believe that the key to understanding this passage is the story of Purim.
Imagine if the President declared, "I have fulfilled every aspect of the Constitution of the United States perfectly. Now that it is fulfilled, its authority over this nation has been put to an end in me. Today I tell you, the United States has only one law: that you love one another."