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Resource Articles

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

Appointed Times

 

Let My People Go

Tags:  anomia, Exodus, Passover, remembrance, seder, slaves

Have you ever been to a Passover Seder meal? Did you know that the Last Supper was originally as Passover Seder meal? Christians call it the "Eucharist" or "Communion," but in the days of Jesus and the disciples, it was...
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For Such a Time as This

When I think of Purim, I think of the wonder and awe of God's sovereign plans for us. The theme of "For such a Time as This" perfectly pictures God's hand in the life of Esther, an orphan, reared by her uncle and then miraculously placed in the palace courts of the king.
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The King in Disguise

Tags:  High Holy Days, King, liturgy, parables, Rosh Hashanah, Shepherd, Yom Kippur

Yeshua's Lost High Holiday Parables A blast will be sounded...and all the dwellers of the earth will cross before You like the members of a flock. Like a shepherd shepherding his flock...thus You will pass and count and number and...
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The Prayer Liturgy of the High Holy Days

Tags:  blessings, Days of Awe, liturgy, prayer, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are holidays for which intense and lengthy liturgical prayers have been written. These days (and the days in between) are known as the High Holy Days. In Hebrew, they are called Yamim Nora'im, which means "Fearsome Days" or "Days of Awe."
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Fire on the Mountain

Tags:  fire, matan torah, Pentecost, shavuot, tongues, Torah

Before tongues of fire ever fell upon the believers in Jerusalem, there was fire on Mount Sinai. The ancient Jewish Sages considered the biblical feast of Shavuot--also known as Pentecost--to be the anniversary of the day God spoke the Law...
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Shining Lights into a Kingdom of Darkness

Tags:  Antiochus, darkness, Feast of Dedication, hanukkah, light, Light to the Nations, Maccabees, rededication, Temple

The Hanukkah story remains deeply inspiring to all believers in Messiah! We are still called to be lights in the darkness of this world. Let us be reminded of those who have gone before us and have stood in the face of grave persecution for the sake of the Torah.
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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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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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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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Medicine for the Soul

Tags:  charity, High Holy Days, prayer, repentance, resolutions, righteousness, tz'dakah, Yom Kippur

The High Holy Days are a season of the year to get serious about repentance, prayer and acts of righteousness. On Rosh Hashanah we are diagnosed as sinners...On Yom Kippur, the gavel of judgment falls...Repentance, prayer and acts of righteousness are the only things that we can do to help our case.
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The Messiah Tempted

Tags:  Day of Atonement, fasting, temptation, Yom Kippur

Yeshua's forty-day fast is a reflection of Moses' forty-day fast on Mount Sinai. Messiah, the ultimate redeemer, comes in the pattern of Moses, the first redeemer. More than that, the forty-day fast and confrontation with the adversary may be an allusion to the forty days of repentance that precede the Day of Atonement.
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The Resurrection and the Days of the Omer

Tags:  counting, Pentecost, resurrection, shavuot

Counting the days of the Omer creates a countdown to Shavuot (Pentecost), traditionally considered as the time of the giving of the Torah and the time of the giving of the Holy Spirit.
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The Omer

Tags:  barley, omer, shavuot, unleavened bread, waving the sheaf

The command to bring the first sheaf of the harvest to the Temple is of great significance to the disciples of Yeshua. It is an obscure appointment on the Biblical calendar, sometimes called the First Fruits of the Barley Harvest, but better known simply by its Biblical name, the Omer.
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Build a Kosher Sukkah

Tags:  Feast of Tablernacles, sukkah, Sukkot

Building a sukkah is a fun and creative activity that involves the whole family. It is a beautiful way to worship God, and to love Him with all that we have. It reminds us both of our redemption and God's constant provision. Invite your neighbors to join you in your sukkah--it is a great way to encourage them to learn about life in Torah and Messiah.
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Days of Fasting

Tags:  fasting, Tisha b'Av, Yom Kippur

It is easy to get excited about the biblical calendar when holidays like Sukkot, Shavuot and Pesach commemorate joyful events in the history of God's people and foreshadow our Messiah. But Scripture, and history, tell us that not every event...
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Yom Kippur, Fasting with Intention

Tags:  fasting, Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur (or "The Day of Atonement") is synonymous with fasting. For many people in both Jewish and Messianic communities, Yom Kippur is quite possibly the only day of the year on which they fast. Even secular Jews who have strayed from their faith will sometimes fast on Yom Kippur.
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The Journey from Slavery to Sanctuary

Tags:  calling out, covenant, covenantal communion, Exodus, Exodus Epic, house of prayer, journey, ketubah, passover, redemption, sanctuary, shavuot, slaves, temple

Exodus Epic, Part 1: The Exodus Epic teaches us that the God who is high and exalted is One who is passionate and purposeful about coming down and being near His people, dwelling in their midst. At Passover (Pesach) we...
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Unblemished & Unleavened

Tags:  bedikat chametz, crumbs, integrity, leaven, leavened bread, passover lamb, unblemished

O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity... (Psalm 15:1-2) The biblical Hebrew word for "integrity" is tamim (תמים). It means "whole, sound, blameless, lacking nothing essential, consistent...
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What's This Service to You?

Tags:  afikoman, breaking bread, communion, cup of blessing, four cups, haggadah, matzah, Passover, seder

Bread and wine are historically common elements of every meal. So what was going on behind the scenes that would motivate Yeshua to say 'this' bread and 'this' cup? Many believers participate in 'breaking bread' together. And most services employ...
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The Feather Story

Tags:  bedikat chametz, chametz, leaven, Passover, Pesach, unleavened bread

An anecdote about Bedikat Chametz and Unleavened Bread written from the perspective of a young religious child. Jerusalem, 1938, Erev Pesach "I just have to find the feather...Abba will be so disappointed," I cautiously mumbled searching my room for the...
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Removing the Leaven

Tags:  chametz, leaven, matzah, Passover, se'or, unleavened bread

There are two words in Hebrew that we interpret as "leaven." Se'or refers to a leavening agent itself, that is, yeast. Chametz is the term used for food and drink items that contain leaven. The type of unleavened bread that...
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The New Moon

Tags:  new moon

(Excerpts Condensed from Torah Club Volume Five) The first day of the biblical month is called Rosh Chodesh (ראש חדש), which literally means 'a new head' and is understood to mean the 'first of the New Month.' A Rosh Chodesh...
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Rosh Chodesh

Tags:  new moon, passover, rosh chodesh

Most of us avoid horoscopes and astrological signs since they are contrary to a biblical lifestyle–and are often even dangerous. But has the enemy so polluted them that our heavenly Father wants us to ignore the heavenly bodies altogether? That seems unlikely, since during the Millennium–while the Master Himself tabernacles among us–our lives will revolve around the Sabbath, New Moon and Feast of Booths.
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A Taste of Freedom

Tags:  passover

A rhythm exists in Scripture that revolves around God's appointed times (mo'adim)–a rhythm that is natural part of our life and our maturing process as believers. The intrinsic nature of each mo'ed is unique, yet the cyclical unity is God's...
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The Traditional Seder Plate

Tags:  passover

The Hebrew word Seder (סדר) means 'order.' All that is done on this night that is "not like any other night" is done in a special and important order that corresponds directly with the events of our Exodus from slavery...
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Passover - Remembering our Redemption

Tags:  passover

The two mo'adim, Pesach and Unleavened Bread, are very closely connected. The day of Pesach is one specific day that is to be remembered throughout the history of Israel. "'For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments–I am the Lord" (Exodus 12:12).
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My Sheep Hear My Voice

Tags:  hanukkah

Every year at Hanukkah my heart is filled with wonderful, warm memories and my mind tosses about with ideas of activities and/or teachings based on the “Mighty Maccabees.” Our children are now growing in age and maturity–therefore, sword fights and dreidel making just isn’t “cutting it” as far as learning is concerned.
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Shavuot Festivities

Tags:  shavuot

Do you know what is so wonderful about celebrating the Mo’adim? We barely cease from recovering from one Festival, and suddenly it is time to prepare for the next. It seems as though our Pesach Seder was just a couple of weeks ago, even though nearly fifty days have elapsed.
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Shavuot - שבועות

Tags:  shavuot

Most Christians know the story of Pentecost in Acts chapter two: the mighty wind, the tongues of fire, Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) and the speaking in every language. Very few, however, are aware of the Torah background behind this event.
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