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Resource Articles

Browse, read and study through articles adapted from previously published First Fruits of Zion magazines and journals.

Category: The Land and the People

Planted on the Mountains of Israel

Unless you have visited Israel, you may not be aware of the nation’s vastly diverse landscape. Israel is a land of beauty, full of mountains, hills, valleys, deserts, canyons, rocks, trees, plants, and foliage of all kinds. Many of the trees growing in the land today are the direct result of a holiday called Tu Bishvat. The earliest Zionist pioneers in the 1800’s participated in preparing Israel for her future children through planting and reforestation efforts, which continue to this day.

Based on the ancient day for offering field and fruit tithes in the Temple, Tu Bishvat (or the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month Shevat) has been reaffirmed in the modern State of Israel as a special “tree holiday.” Those who participate in planting greenery in the land on this day do so with patriotism but also with a hope for the continuance of Israel’s existence and provision for future generations. A popular Jewish folk tale tells...
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Category: Identity Celebrations

Light in the Darkness

Tags:  darkness, dedication, hanukkah, light, Maccabees, rededication, restoration, revolution

The eight-day festival of Hanukkah begins each year on the 25th day of the lunar month of Kislev, which corresponds this year (2014) to the evening of December 16th. Hanukkah (חנוכה) means "dedication." The Feast of Hanukkah is the Feast of Dedication. It is a thoroughly Jewish festival, which commemorates an important Jewish victory over tyranny.
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Category: Appointed Times

Living Waters

Tags:  celebration, salvation, Sukkot, Tabernacles, water libation, waters

While Yeshua "tabernacled" with mankind on the earth, salvation was a regular theme in His teachings. His purpose on this earth, established before the foundations of the earth, was to "save" mankind from his evil nature, and to provide a means of justification for all peoples. As we read the Brit Chadasha (New Testament), we are reminded constantly of the Lord's salvation in nearly every word uttered by Yeshua. His very name alone carries this definition.
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Category: Appointed Times

In the Shadow of the Almighty

Tags:  feast of clouds, Feast of Tabernacles, sukkah, sukkot, Ushpizin liturgy

In the Gospels, the Master tells His disciples that "some will not taste death" before seeing Him come in His glory. This is a problem. Assuredly, all twelve of the disciples tasted death, and the Master has not yet come in His glory.
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Category: Appointed Times

The Season of our Joy

Tags:  Atzeret, etrog, fragrance, hadas, lulav, rejoicing, Sh'mini, simchat torah, species, sukkah, Sukkot, taste, Torah

Sukkot is a season of special celebration. Each mo'ed is a time when we are invited by the Creator of all to draw aside in close communion with Him. They are days when we are summoned to reflect on...
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