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2ND QUARTER 2020

JEWISH VOICE TODAY MAGAZINE

PASSOVER –

AND WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU! How YOU can prepare for Passover!

U.S. AND ISRAEL ELECTIONS

by Rabbi Jonathan Bernis

OUTREACH REPORT (page 14)


MAKE AN ETERNAL IMPACT Become a

SHALOM PARTNER

Today!

Right now, Jewish people in Israel and across the globe are suffering and need to hear the Gospel.

$

Your Monthly Gift Provides Immediate Care

SHALOM Dear Partner in Ministry, Shalom, my friend! I am excited for you to delve into this issue of Jewish Voice Today. We have put together a wonderful collection of insightful articles focused on Passover, how this important holiday points in detail to the atoning work of Jesus as the Lamb of God, and how you can celebrate with your family and friends. You will be amazed at the connections between the Passover observed by the Jewish people for over 3,500 years and our New Testament faith! I invite you to explore the prophetic history of our Messiah Yeshua ( Jesus) as we prepare to celebrate one of the most significant Jewish holidays. As Scripture tells us in Romans 3:25: “God set forth Yeshua as an atonement, through faith in His blood, to show His righteousness in passing over sins already committed.” I hope the Passover articles you read in these pages will draw you into a deeper, more meaningful relationship with our Savior and Lord. You’ll also find an in-depth article I wrote about the election challenges in Israel and all that has been

happening over the past year. This is a complex and at times confusing issue, so it is my hope that this article will make it a bit clearer so you can be well informed as you pray with us for a resolution to the upheaval and indecision. In addition, we’ve included a fascinating article on the connections between the 10 plagues in Exodus, Islam and the judgment of God. I hope you read this and gain more understanding about how the events of Passover tell a story in Israel’s redemptive history, point towards the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and give us guidance as we approach His soon return. As you read through this spring issue, please pray with me for Israel and our ministry to Jewish people and their neighbors. Thanks to your partnership, we are meeting critical physical needs and sharing the hope of Jesus. Together, we are helping God’s Chosen People discover their true Passover Lamb. I wish you a blessed season of celebrating Jesus, our Messiah! Chag Sameach! Happy holidays!

Jonathan Bernis

You Meet the Need: • Humanitarian Aid • Ministry in Israel • Sharing the Gospel with Jewish People and their Neighbors

You Get a Monthly Update Showing Your Impact

Say “Yes!” to becoming a Shalom Partner! jewishvoice.org/shalompartnership • 800-299-9374

Jewish Voice Ministries International P.O. Box 31998 Phoenix, AZ 85046-1998 USA 602-971-8501 1-800-299-9374 www.jewishvoice.org

Jewish Voice Ministries Canada P.O. Box 476 Maple Ridge, BC V2X 3P2 1-855-793-7482 www.jewishvoice.ca

Jewish Voice Ministries UK Admail 4224 London W2 4UN 1-855-993-7482 www.jvmi.co.uk

/JewishVoice /jewishvoicetoday @jewish_voice

Magazine questions or comments: magazine@jewishvoice.org

The opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Jewish Voice Ministries International. Any form of reproduction of any content in this publication without the express written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. © 2020 Jewish Voice Ministries International. All rights reserved. All Bible references TLV, unless otherwise noted.


MAKE AN ETERNAL IMPACT Become a

SHALOM PARTNER

Today!

Right now, Jewish people in Israel and across the globe are suffering and need to hear the Gospel.

$

Your Monthly Gift Provides Immediate Care

SHALOM Dear Partner in Ministry, Shalom, my friend! I am excited for you to delve into this issue of Jewish Voice Today. We have put together a wonderful collection of insightful articles focused on Passover, how this important holiday points in detail to the atoning work of Jesus as the Lamb of God, and how you can celebrate with your family and friends. You will be amazed at the connections between the Passover observed by the Jewish people for over 3,500 years and our New Testament faith! I invite you to explore the prophetic history of our Messiah Yeshua ( Jesus) as we prepare to celebrate one of the most significant Jewish holidays. As Scripture tells us in Romans 3:25: “God set forth Yeshua as an atonement, through faith in His blood, to show His righteousness in passing over sins already committed.” I hope the Passover articles you read in these pages will draw you into a deeper, more meaningful relationship with our Savior and Lord. You’ll also find an in-depth article I wrote about the election challenges in Israel and all that has been

happening over the past year. This is a complex and at times confusing issue, so it is my hope that this article will make it a bit clearer so you can be well informed as you pray with us for a resolution to the upheaval and indecision. In addition, we’ve included a fascinating article on the connections between the 10 plagues in Exodus, Islam and the judgment of God. I hope you read this and gain more understanding about how the events of Passover tell a story in Israel’s redemptive history, point towards the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and give us guidance as we approach His soon return. As you read through this spring issue, please pray with me for Israel and our ministry to Jewish people and their neighbors. Thanks to your partnership, we are meeting critical physical needs and sharing the hope of Jesus. Together, we are helping God’s Chosen People discover their true Passover Lamb. I wish you a blessed season of celebrating Jesus, our Messiah! Chag Sameach! Happy holidays!

Jonathan Bernis

You Meet the Need: • Humanitarian Aid • Ministry in Israel • Sharing the Gospel with Jewish People and their Neighbors

You Get a Monthly Update Showing Your Impact

Say “Yes!” to becoming a Shalom Partner! jewishvoice.org/shalompartnership • 800-299-9374

Jewish Voice Ministries International P.O. Box 31998 Phoenix, AZ 85046-1998 USA 602-971-8501 1-800-299-9374 www.jewishvoice.org

Jewish Voice Ministries Canada P.O. Box 476 Maple Ridge, BC V2X 3P2 1-855-793-7482 www.jewishvoice.ca

Jewish Voice Ministries UK Admail 4224 London W2 4UN 1-855-993-7482 www.jvmi.co.uk

/JewishVoice /jewishvoicetoday @jewish_voice

Magazine questions or comments: magazine@jewishvoice.org

The opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Jewish Voice Ministries International. Any form of reproduction of any content in this publication without the express written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. © 2020 Jewish Voice Ministries International. All rights reserved. All Bible references TLV, unless otherwise noted.


U.S. And Israel Elections

U.S. AND ISRAEL ELECTIONS BY JONATHAN BERNIS

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL: Building of the Knesset, the seat of the Government of Israel

A

n unprecedented event in the history of the modern state of Israel occurred this past December. For the second time, Israeli leaders failed to create a viable government and sent Israelis back to the polls for a third round of elections. Why did this happen, and what are the implications? To answer these questions, let’s take a minute to better understand the Israeli electoral process. Israel has a parliamentary system, in which voters choose a party rather than a candidate. With more than 45 parties in Israel, representing various platforms and constituencies, it is unlikely that a single party would ever gain enough seats (61) to win a majority on its own. In fact, this has never occurred. Instead, the leader of the party with the most seats is given the task of negotiating with other parties to form a coalition. Since 2009, Benjamin Netanyahu’s party, Likud, has held power, leading a coalition that has included ultra-Orthodox parties and several other right-wing parties. However, in November 2018, everything began to change. Avigdor Lieberman’s party, Yisrael Beiteinu, abruptly pulled out of the coalition, triggering a series of events that led to early elections. Fast forward to April 9, 2019. The two leading parties according to polls were Likud, led by Netanyahu, and a newly formed party, Blue and White, led by former IDF chief of staff, Benny Gantz, and politician, Yair Lapid. Netanyahu campaigned on keeping Israel secure from existential threats, while Gantz and Lapid ran an anticorruption campaign against Netanyahu, who has been charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust. After a harsh campaign, the two parties tied, each winning 35 seats. Likud was tasked with forming a coalition since most of the other leading parties had already pledged their support to Netanyahu. However, after the allotted number of days, Likud was unsuccessful, and the Knesset dissolved itself, triggering a second election for the first time in history.

two parties to find common ground and form a unity government. However, a compromise could not be reached, and Rivlin tasked Netanyahu with forming a coalition. After he failed to secure a majority, Gantz attempted to form a coalition, but after two months, neither party could succeed. Many blamed Lieberman, known as the “Kingmaker,” whose eight seats would have given either of the two parties enough to secure a majority. On November 21, 2019, in a last-ditch effort to avoid a third election, Rivlin gave the Knesset 21 days to form a coalition. Essentially, Rivlin was offering the two leading parties one final chance to compromise. Under a proposed compromise, a rotation would occur with Netanyahu serving as Prime Minister for the first several months and then Gantz serving next. This almost came to fruition in the eleventh hour, but ultimately failed after final agreements could not be reached. At midnight on December 11, 2019, the Knesset voted once again to dissolve itself and set March 2, 2020, for the third round of elections. What happened, and why did the unity talks fail? There are several factors that contributed to this. First, Netanyahu’s corruption charges played a central role in the disagreement. Gantz had run his campaign on the promise that he would not allow Netanyahu to remain in power and was under pressure to keep his word. Although certain considerations regarding a possible rotation were discussed, Gantz was ultimately unwilling to share leadership with Netanyahu while Netanyahu was facing indictment.

During the second round of elections on September 17, 2019, Blue and White won 33 seats while Likud won 32 seats. President Rivlin first encouraged the

4

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

2nd Quarter 2020

5


U.S. And Israel Elections

U.S. AND ISRAEL ELECTIONS BY JONATHAN BERNIS

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL: Building of the Knesset, the seat of the Government of Israel

A

n unprecedented event in the history of the modern state of Israel occurred this past December. For the second time, Israeli leaders failed to create a viable government and sent Israelis back to the polls for a third round of elections. Why did this happen, and what are the implications? To answer these questions, let’s take a minute to better understand the Israeli electoral process. Israel has a parliamentary system, in which voters choose a party rather than a candidate. With more than 45 parties in Israel, representing various platforms and constituencies, it is unlikely that a single party would ever gain enough seats (61) to win a majority on its own. In fact, this has never occurred. Instead, the leader of the party with the most seats is given the task of negotiating with other parties to form a coalition. Since 2009, Benjamin Netanyahu’s party, Likud, has held power, leading a coalition that has included ultra-Orthodox parties and several other right-wing parties. However, in November 2018, everything began to change. Avigdor Lieberman’s party, Yisrael Beiteinu, abruptly pulled out of the coalition, triggering a series of events that led to early elections. Fast forward to April 9, 2019. The two leading parties according to polls were Likud, led by Netanyahu, and a newly formed party, Blue and White, led by former IDF chief of staff, Benny Gantz, and politician, Yair Lapid. Netanyahu campaigned on keeping Israel secure from existential threats, while Gantz and Lapid ran an anticorruption campaign against Netanyahu, who has been charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust. After a harsh campaign, the two parties tied, each winning 35 seats. Likud was tasked with forming a coalition since most of the other leading parties had already pledged their support to Netanyahu. However, after the allotted number of days, Likud was unsuccessful, and the Knesset dissolved itself, triggering a second election for the first time in history.

two parties to find common ground and form a unity government. However, a compromise could not be reached, and Rivlin tasked Netanyahu with forming a coalition. After he failed to secure a majority, Gantz attempted to form a coalition, but after two months, neither party could succeed. Many blamed Lieberman, known as the “Kingmaker,” whose eight seats would have given either of the two parties enough to secure a majority. On November 21, 2019, in a last-ditch effort to avoid a third election, Rivlin gave the Knesset 21 days to form a coalition. Essentially, Rivlin was offering the two leading parties one final chance to compromise. Under a proposed compromise, a rotation would occur with Netanyahu serving as Prime Minister for the first several months and then Gantz serving next. This almost came to fruition in the eleventh hour, but ultimately failed after final agreements could not be reached. At midnight on December 11, 2019, the Knesset voted once again to dissolve itself and set March 2, 2020, for the third round of elections. What happened, and why did the unity talks fail? There are several factors that contributed to this. First, Netanyahu’s corruption charges played a central role in the disagreement. Gantz had run his campaign on the promise that he would not allow Netanyahu to remain in power and was under pressure to keep his word. Although certain considerations regarding a possible rotation were discussed, Gantz was ultimately unwilling to share leadership with Netanyahu while Netanyahu was facing indictment.

During the second round of elections on September 17, 2019, Blue and White won 33 seats while Likud won 32 seats. President Rivlin first encouraged the

4

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

2nd Quarter 2020

5


U.S. And Israel Elections

Another point of contention involves the place of religion and religious parties in the government of Israel. Netanyahu previously led governments in which he gave the ultra-Orthodox and national religious parties prominent positions of power. He preconditioned his involvement in any future unity government on the premise that the religious parties must be included. However, Gantz campaigned on a secular agenda, which included such issues as civil marriage, the ultra-Orthodox draft, and transportation on Shabbat. Blue and White was, therefore, unwilling to sit in a government with religious parties.

U.S. And Israel Elections

Gantz’s supporters, feel that it is critical to reach this understanding through a bilateral peace agreement rather than through a unilateral decision, which would increase tension with Palestinians.

Jordan Valley area to be annexed by Israel

Until each of these and other issues are further discussed and agreed upon, it will be a real challenge for a unity government between Likud and Blue and White to successfully form.

As of the publication of this magazine, the results of the March 2 election are not yet September 2019 annexation proposal by Israeli Prime known. Regardless of the Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Wikipedia) outcome, the unprecedented events described above have created a complicated political climate that will Another key aspect of the discussions focused on the undoubtedly affect Israel for years to come. Jordan Valley, an area of land separating Jordan from Given this information, you might be wondering the West Bank. During his campaign, Netanyahu how you can best support Israel. I believe that our pledged to annex the Jordan Valley. Gantz technically first response must be through prayer for the Lord’s acquiesced during the discussions, but he continued choice to be elevated in this season. The prophet to publicly oppose unilateral annexation, aligning Daniel proclaimed, “Blessed be the Name of God with the IDF’s security recommendations. Many forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. He believe that in any future peace agreement with the changes times and seasons. He removes kings and installs Palestinians, Israel must retain the Jordan Valley kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to to achieve secure borders. However, a significant amount of the population, and likely some of the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things. He

6

Rest of the West Bank, including Jericho

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

knows what lies in darkness and light dwells with Him” (Daniel 2:20-22, TLV ). Secondly, it is important to understand that our political decisions in the United States affect Israel. Not only does the United States offer significant military aid to Israel, but the U.S. also lends political support through intimate involvement in Israel’s affairs. Whoever is elected U.S. President in 2020 will play an instrumental role in shaping Israeli policy. Which candidate would be best for Israel? It is important to realize that each of the major candidates has voiced his or her firm desire to continue supporting and upholding the United States’ special relationship with Israel. The major differences between the candidates boil down to their approaches toward IsraeliPalestinian relations.

Him to solve what humanity cannot solve on its own. We pray that God would heal the divisions within Israeli society and place Israeli and American leaders in authority who will be true instruments of peace. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, Prosperity within your palaces.’ For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, ‘Peace be within you.’ Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek your good” (Psalm 122:6-9 NKJV).

We must be committed to praying that the Lord would install the right leader for the right time in the U.S. I invite you to come to prayer for the Lord’s best candidate for the U.S. presidency in the upcoming 2020 elections.

WE NEED DIVINE DISCERNMENT IN VOTING FOR A CANDIDATE WHO WILL BEST SERVE GOD’S PLANS AND PURPOSES FOR ISRAEL. Finally, we must also remember that, ultimately, only the Lord can bring true peace to Israel. We look to

2nd Quarter 2020

7


U.S. And Israel Elections

Another point of contention involves the place of religion and religious parties in the government of Israel. Netanyahu previously led governments in which he gave the ultra-Orthodox and national religious parties prominent positions of power. He preconditioned his involvement in any future unity government on the premise that the religious parties must be included. However, Gantz campaigned on a secular agenda, which included such issues as civil marriage, the ultra-Orthodox draft, and transportation on Shabbat. Blue and White was, therefore, unwilling to sit in a government with religious parties.

U.S. And Israel Elections

Gantz’s supporters, feel that it is critical to reach this understanding through a bilateral peace agreement rather than through a unilateral decision, which would increase tension with Palestinians.

Jordan Valley area to be annexed by Israel

Until each of these and other issues are further discussed and agreed upon, it will be a real challenge for a unity government between Likud and Blue and White to successfully form.

As of the publication of this magazine, the results of the March 2 election are not yet September 2019 annexation proposal by Israeli Prime known. Regardless of the Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Wikipedia) outcome, the unprecedented events described above have created a complicated political climate that will Another key aspect of the discussions focused on the undoubtedly affect Israel for years to come. Jordan Valley, an area of land separating Jordan from Given this information, you might be wondering the West Bank. During his campaign, Netanyahu how you can best support Israel. I believe that our pledged to annex the Jordan Valley. Gantz technically first response must be through prayer for the Lord’s acquiesced during the discussions, but he continued choice to be elevated in this season. The prophet to publicly oppose unilateral annexation, aligning Daniel proclaimed, “Blessed be the Name of God with the IDF’s security recommendations. Many forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. He believe that in any future peace agreement with the changes times and seasons. He removes kings and installs Palestinians, Israel must retain the Jordan Valley kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to to achieve secure borders. However, a significant amount of the population, and likely some of the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things. He

6

Rest of the West Bank, including Jericho

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

knows what lies in darkness and light dwells with Him” (Daniel 2:20-22, TLV ). Secondly, it is important to understand that our political decisions in the United States affect Israel. Not only does the United States offer significant military aid to Israel, but the U.S. also lends political support through intimate involvement in Israel’s affairs. Whoever is elected U.S. President in 2020 will play an instrumental role in shaping Israeli policy. Which candidate would be best for Israel? It is important to realize that each of the major candidates has voiced his or her firm desire to continue supporting and upholding the United States’ special relationship with Israel. The major differences between the candidates boil down to their approaches toward IsraeliPalestinian relations.

Him to solve what humanity cannot solve on its own. We pray that God would heal the divisions within Israeli society and place Israeli and American leaders in authority who will be true instruments of peace. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, Prosperity within your palaces.’ For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, ‘Peace be within you.’ Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek your good” (Psalm 122:6-9 NKJV).

We must be committed to praying that the Lord would install the right leader for the right time in the U.S. I invite you to come to prayer for the Lord’s best candidate for the U.S. presidency in the upcoming 2020 elections.

WE NEED DIVINE DISCERNMENT IN VOTING FOR A CANDIDATE WHO WILL BEST SERVE GOD’S PLANS AND PURPOSES FOR ISRAEL. Finally, we must also remember that, ultimately, only the Lord can bring true peace to Israel. We look to

2nd Quarter 2020

7


How to Prepare for Passover in Your Home

illustrates great spiritual lessons for us. After the home has been completely cleansed and the leaven removed, there is an amazing tradition called the search for leaven (bedikat chametz). This may sound puzzling since the house was already cleaned, but this tradition focuses on further details of the cleansing. On the night before the start of Passover, small portions or crumbs of leaven are hidden in various locations throughout the home. It should be placed in rather obvious places where the chametz can be easily found. To facilitate the search for the leaven, four eclectic items are needed: a candle, a wooden spoon, a feather, and a paper bag. As the candle is lit, it is held by the person leading the search, perhaps a parent. At this point, any kids in the home can actively participate as the group walks room to room in search of the last remnants of leaven. When one piece is discovered by the candlelight, then it is scooped up onto the wooden spoon with the help of the feather. The chametz is then placed in the paper bag and the search continues until every last piece of leaven is found and likewise stored in the bag. The following blessing is said:

BY BARNEY KASDAN

O

f all the festivals listed in the Bible, many would say that Passover stands out as the most informative. It is certainly the most detailed in its description and traditional observance. We naturally think of the amazing details revolving around the Passover Seder meal. While this is certainly a highlight of the Jewish year, there are some other intriguing customs involved as we prepare for Passover within our homes even before the Seder dinner. One of the central tenets of Passover is the removal of leaven from all our dwelling places: “For seven days you are to eat matzot, but on the first day you must remove chametz/leaven from your houses” (Exodus 12:15). Traditional Jews start this process (biur chametz) with a thorough cleaning of the house. This would include the customary spring cleaning (yes, God invented it!) but with a vital additional step. All chametz must be removed, which would include any products containing yeast such as

8

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

cereals and many processed foods, as well as breads. Leaven products can be given away or stored in a secured area like a closet and even symbolically “sold” to someone else. While there are technicalities in Jewish law about this process, the main thing for Believers in Yeshua is to appreciate the spirit of the tradition. Leaven is a common symbol for sin in the Scriptures and Jewish tradition. It is an apt representation since sin, like yeast products, permeates and even corrupts where it is found. Passover is more than a holiday of cleaning out our homes. It is a reminder to remove those things that are hurtful to our spiritual lives. The next step of Passover preparation likewise

“Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments and commanded us to remove the leaven.” The leaven in the bag is kept overnight and then burnt outside the next morning (before the first night of Passover) to assure its complete destruction. It is also important to point out that it is not enough to just remove the leaven. One is also required to replace it with matzah/unleavened products for the full eight days of the Passover holiday. Evidently, it is not sufficient to merely remove the evil, but we must proactively have a pure walk in our spiritual journey with God.

A Messianic Midrash Bedikat Chametz/the search for leaven is no doubt a fun and captivating tradition for the whole family. Yet, once again we should take a deeper look for the spiritual lessons behind this Jewish custom. As the final search for leaven (sin) commences, a lighted

candle is mandatory. Is it not the light of God’s Word that exposes the spiritual leaven in our lives (Psalm 119:11)? As sin and hurtful actions are exposed by the light, so, too, they are collected and dealt with according to the feather and spoon. If we allow for some “Messianic midrash” teaching, the wooden spoon can be reminiscent of the wooden tool used for sin’s destruction; namely, the wooden cross of Messiah’s death (I Peter 2:24). The feather reminds Believers in Yeshua that it is also by the unique work of the Holy Spirit (dove) that we connect to Yeshua as our Redeemer. His ultimate work, as accomplished at Passover, is the destruction of our sins and the hurtful consequences of our rebellion. We get a fresh realization of this truth as the bag of chametz is burnt before the first Seder meal. We should also note the important chronology here. Before we celebrate the Seder meal (which highlights the remembrance of Yeshua with the third Cup and Afikoman matzah), we must search out our lives and be cleansed of any chametz. Our connection with Messiah (breaking bread with Him) requires that we first take an honest look into our own lives and let God take away our sin. So even before we celebrate the Seder, we learn essential lessons as we prepare our homes. Not surprisingly, all Believers in Yeshua are encouraged to incorporate some of these rich customs in our holiday celebration. As Rabbi Sha’ul states: “Get rid of the old chametz, so you may be a new batch, just as you are unleavened – for Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us celebrate the feast not with old chametz of malice and wickedness, but with unleavened bread – the matzah of sincerity and truth” (I Corinthians 5:7-8). Rabbi Barney Kasdan Rabbi Barney Kasdan came to his faith in Yeshua as Messiah in 1971. Ordained with the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC), he has written numerous articles on Messianic Judaism and is the author of several popular books. He speaks frequently in various venues about the importance of modern Israel and the Jewishness of Yeshua with the hope of helping the Jewish and Christian communities to better understand each other. Rabbi Barney and his wife Liz (also a Messianic Jew) reside in San Diego and have four grown children.

2nd Quarter 2020

9


How to Prepare for Passover in Your Home

illustrates great spiritual lessons for us. After the home has been completely cleansed and the leaven removed, there is an amazing tradition called the search for leaven (bedikat chametz). This may sound puzzling since the house was already cleaned, but this tradition focuses on further details of the cleansing. On the night before the start of Passover, small portions or crumbs of leaven are hidden in various locations throughout the home. It should be placed in rather obvious places where the chametz can be easily found. To facilitate the search for the leaven, four eclectic items are needed: a candle, a wooden spoon, a feather, and a paper bag. As the candle is lit, it is held by the person leading the search, perhaps a parent. At this point, any kids in the home can actively participate as the group walks room to room in search of the last remnants of leaven. When one piece is discovered by the candlelight, then it is scooped up onto the wooden spoon with the help of the feather. The chametz is then placed in the paper bag and the search continues until every last piece of leaven is found and likewise stored in the bag. The following blessing is said:

BY BARNEY KASDAN

O

f all the festivals listed in the Bible, many would say that Passover stands out as the most informative. It is certainly the most detailed in its description and traditional observance. We naturally think of the amazing details revolving around the Passover Seder meal. While this is certainly a highlight of the Jewish year, there are some other intriguing customs involved as we prepare for Passover within our homes even before the Seder dinner. One of the central tenets of Passover is the removal of leaven from all our dwelling places: “For seven days you are to eat matzot, but on the first day you must remove chametz/leaven from your houses” (Exodus 12:15). Traditional Jews start this process (biur chametz) with a thorough cleaning of the house. This would include the customary spring cleaning (yes, God invented it!) but with a vital additional step. All chametz must be removed, which would include any products containing yeast such as

8

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

cereals and many processed foods, as well as breads. Leaven products can be given away or stored in a secured area like a closet and even symbolically “sold” to someone else. While there are technicalities in Jewish law about this process, the main thing for Believers in Yeshua is to appreciate the spirit of the tradition. Leaven is a common symbol for sin in the Scriptures and Jewish tradition. It is an apt representation since sin, like yeast products, permeates and even corrupts where it is found. Passover is more than a holiday of cleaning out our homes. It is a reminder to remove those things that are hurtful to our spiritual lives. The next step of Passover preparation likewise

“Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who has sanctified us by His commandments and commanded us to remove the leaven.” The leaven in the bag is kept overnight and then burnt outside the next morning (before the first night of Passover) to assure its complete destruction. It is also important to point out that it is not enough to just remove the leaven. One is also required to replace it with matzah/unleavened products for the full eight days of the Passover holiday. Evidently, it is not sufficient to merely remove the evil, but we must proactively have a pure walk in our spiritual journey with God.

A Messianic Midrash Bedikat Chametz/the search for leaven is no doubt a fun and captivating tradition for the whole family. Yet, once again we should take a deeper look for the spiritual lessons behind this Jewish custom. As the final search for leaven (sin) commences, a lighted

candle is mandatory. Is it not the light of God’s Word that exposes the spiritual leaven in our lives (Psalm 119:11)? As sin and hurtful actions are exposed by the light, so, too, they are collected and dealt with according to the feather and spoon. If we allow for some “Messianic midrash” teaching, the wooden spoon can be reminiscent of the wooden tool used for sin’s destruction; namely, the wooden cross of Messiah’s death (I Peter 2:24). The feather reminds Believers in Yeshua that it is also by the unique work of the Holy Spirit (dove) that we connect to Yeshua as our Redeemer. His ultimate work, as accomplished at Passover, is the destruction of our sins and the hurtful consequences of our rebellion. We get a fresh realization of this truth as the bag of chametz is burnt before the first Seder meal. We should also note the important chronology here. Before we celebrate the Seder meal (which highlights the remembrance of Yeshua with the third Cup and Afikoman matzah), we must search out our lives and be cleansed of any chametz. Our connection with Messiah (breaking bread with Him) requires that we first take an honest look into our own lives and let God take away our sin. So even before we celebrate the Seder, we learn essential lessons as we prepare our homes. Not surprisingly, all Believers in Yeshua are encouraged to incorporate some of these rich customs in our holiday celebration. As Rabbi Sha’ul states: “Get rid of the old chametz, so you may be a new batch, just as you are unleavened – for Messiah, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us celebrate the feast not with old chametz of malice and wickedness, but with unleavened bread – the matzah of sincerity and truth” (I Corinthians 5:7-8). Rabbi Barney Kasdan Rabbi Barney Kasdan came to his faith in Yeshua as Messiah in 1971. Ordained with the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC), he has written numerous articles on Messianic Judaism and is the author of several popular books. He speaks frequently in various venues about the importance of modern Israel and the Jewishness of Yeshua with the hope of helping the Jewish and Christian communities to better understand each other. Rabbi Barney and his wife Liz (also a Messianic Jew) reside in San Diego and have four grown children.

2nd Quarter 2020

9


NEW

Experience the Feast of Passover Like Never Before!

Discover the full blessing and meaning behind the ancient tradition of the Seder meal as you commemorate the Passover with this beautiful Seder Kit.

T

he set, exclusive to Jewish Voice, includes a blue and white ceramic Seder plate, cup and candle holders. The timeless swirl-patterned glaze makes each piece one-of-a-kind. The Seder plate has designated spaces for the elements, and the cup bears the Hebrew Kiddush blessing, which in English is: “Blessed are You, O Lord, our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.” Also included is a matzah tosh to hold the Afikomen and other matzah

for your Seder. Adorn your Passover table with this lovely set of essential Seder pieces. Also included is “The Messianic Passover Haggadah: Your Complete Passover Guide,” to help you conduct your own Seder. Plus, you’ll receive the DVD “Yeshua’s Final Passover,” which was filmed on location in Jerusalem in the Upper Room and will teach you how to observe the rich traditions of the Passover Seder and reveals how its various elements point to the work of Yeshua as the Lamb of God.

Receive this one-of-a-kind Seder kit as a “thank you” for your gift of support of $175 or more. See the enclosed form for details. 2214 USE THE ENCLOSED RESPONSE FORM TO REQUEST YOUR SET TODAY.


NEW

Experience the Feast of Passover Like Never Before!

Discover the full blessing and meaning behind the ancient tradition of the Seder meal as you commemorate the Passover with this beautiful Seder Kit.

T

he set, exclusive to Jewish Voice, includes a blue and white ceramic Seder plate, cup and candle holders. The timeless swirl-patterned glaze makes each piece one-of-a-kind. The Seder plate has designated spaces for the elements, and the cup bears the Hebrew Kiddush blessing, which in English is: “Blessed are You, O Lord, our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.” Also included is a matzah tosh to hold the Afikomen and other matzah

for your Seder. Adorn your Passover table with this lovely set of essential Seder pieces. Also included is “The Messianic Passover Haggadah: Your Complete Passover Guide,” to help you conduct your own Seder. Plus, you’ll receive the DVD “Yeshua’s Final Passover,” which was filmed on location in Jerusalem in the Upper Room and will teach you how to observe the rich traditions of the Passover Seder and reveals how its various elements point to the work of Yeshua as the Lamb of God.

Receive this one-of-a-kind Seder kit as a “thank you” for your gift of support of $175 or more. See the enclosed form for details. 2214 USE THE ENCLOSED RESPONSE FORM TO REQUEST YOUR SET TODAY.


Evil Empire: The Ten Plagues, Islam and the Judgment of God

EVIL EMPIRE:

THE TEN PLAGUES, ISLAM AND THE JUDGMENT OF GOD

reason. God knew something that Moses didn’t know. Moses had been in the desert for forty years. The situation had degenerated to the point that cabinet level ministers were so involved in occult worship that they could turn sticks into serpents (Exodus 7:12), turn water to blood (Exodus 7:22) and raise frogs out of the Nile (Exodus 8:7). Witchcraft was so rampant that the Egyptian kings wore crowns with snakes on them. Therefore, God prepared Moses ahead of time with the power to repel those satanic spirits. EYE FOR AN EYE

BY ASHER INTRATER

THE TEN PLAGUES IS ONE OF THE MOST EPIC AND DETAILED STORIES IN SCRIPTURES. IT PROVIDES A FOUNDATION FOR OUR UNDERSTANDING OF GOD’S JUDGMENT.

12

B

efore Moses returned to Egypt, God told him that He would “harden Pharaoh’s heart” (Exodus 4:21). However, God did not execute that hardening until the sixth plague of the boils (Exodus 9:12) and the plague of Locusts (Exodus 10:1), the 8th plague. Pharaoh had already hardened his own heart repeatedly in the previous plagues. Time and again Pharaoh was offered an opportunity for grace and forgiveness; and every time he responded evilly. Only after the “fullness” of Pharaoh’s hardening his heart in his own free will, did God harden his heart as an act of judgment.

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

God does not ever harden a human’s heart to make the wrong moral choice. A human hardens his heart on moral choice, and then God hardens his heart after many warnings to keep going in stubbornness so that the judgment is clearly demonstrated. Man’s hardening is moral choice; God’s hardening is demonstrating judgment. Before Moses was sent into Egypt, God told him to throw his staff to the ground; it turned into a serpent (Exodus 4:3). This was a sign of Moses’ spiritual authority over satanic forces, symbolized by the serpent. Yet there was another

The death of the first born was the last and worst of the plagues. Remember that the Egyptian pharaohs had been murdering innocent children already for 80 years (Exodus 1:16). God’s judgment is always preceded by grace and always perfectly righteous (what you do to others will be done to you). The murder of the Jewish children in Egypt was the first type of “Holocaust,” later to be followed by Haman, Herod, Nazism and today, Islamic Jihad. Islam claims that Mohammed is the final prophet of God following all the Biblical prophets, including Moses and Jesus. But ironically, these Jihadists have more in common with the evil Pharaohs than any Jewish, Biblical prophet or Apostle. Jihadists want to bring judgment on Western society for the pervasive sins of corruption and sexual immorality. There is some truth in those accusations

(compare Revelation 17:1617). However, Islamist militants have raped thousands of innocent girls, which is also a form of sexual immorality; and committed murder and lied, which also transgresses the Ten Commandments. God’s prophets must also obey God’s moral laws themselves. After the Ten Plagues, the Egyptian armies were destroyed in the Red Sea. Those armies came with weapons, ready to kill, pursuing the helpless multitudes who had been oppressed under brutal slavery for three generations. God’s judgment was harsh because the crimes committed were so cruel. ROUND TWO God is a judge, a righteous judge. The Scriptures remind us over and over again that God’s judgments are perfectly righteous (Psalm 96:13; 98:9; Revelation 15:4; 19:11). God’s judgment includes: 1. Moral Justice 2. Offer of Grace 3. Clear Warnings 4. Judicial Process 5. Moral Requirements for Prophets

will be a world-wide murderous, genocidal, demonic, tyrannical empire. The exodus from Egypt is recorded in the Bible as history but also as prophecy. What will happen in the end times will be similar to what happened in Egypt. With these truths in mind and an understanding of these events likely happening again in some form, let us hold on with faith in our confidence in Yeshua’s willingness and ability to deliver all who call upon Him! [Note: The Hebrew root (Ts-R-R) is the same for the words Antichrist (Tsorer), Tribulation (Tsarot), and Egypt (Mitsrayim).] The story of the exodus provides a biblical framework for understanding God’s judgments and plagues in the end times. Asher Intrater Asher Intrater is the President of Tikkun Global, a Messianic family of congregations, leaders and ministries dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He also leads Revive Israel an international prayer ministry in Jerusalem. He is the author of Who Ate Lunch With Abraham? and Covenant Relationships, amongst other titles.

Islam claims to bring the judgment of God, but does none of the above. Pharaoh’s Egypt in Moses’ time was perhaps the most demonic empire in history. However, it would seem from prophetic Scriptures that such an evil empire will happen again. It will be even worse. It

2nd Quarter 2020

13


Evil Empire: The Ten Plagues, Islam and the Judgment of God

EVIL EMPIRE:

THE TEN PLAGUES, ISLAM AND THE JUDGMENT OF GOD

reason. God knew something that Moses didn’t know. Moses had been in the desert for forty years. The situation had degenerated to the point that cabinet level ministers were so involved in occult worship that they could turn sticks into serpents (Exodus 7:12), turn water to blood (Exodus 7:22) and raise frogs out of the Nile (Exodus 8:7). Witchcraft was so rampant that the Egyptian kings wore crowns with snakes on them. Therefore, God prepared Moses ahead of time with the power to repel those satanic spirits. EYE FOR AN EYE

BY ASHER INTRATER

THE TEN PLAGUES IS ONE OF THE MOST EPIC AND DETAILED STORIES IN SCRIPTURES. IT PROVIDES A FOUNDATION FOR OUR UNDERSTANDING OF GOD’S JUDGMENT.

12

B

efore Moses returned to Egypt, God told him that He would “harden Pharaoh’s heart” (Exodus 4:21). However, God did not execute that hardening until the sixth plague of the boils (Exodus 9:12) and the plague of Locusts (Exodus 10:1), the 8th plague. Pharaoh had already hardened his own heart repeatedly in the previous plagues. Time and again Pharaoh was offered an opportunity for grace and forgiveness; and every time he responded evilly. Only after the “fullness” of Pharaoh’s hardening his heart in his own free will, did God harden his heart as an act of judgment.

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

God does not ever harden a human’s heart to make the wrong moral choice. A human hardens his heart on moral choice, and then God hardens his heart after many warnings to keep going in stubbornness so that the judgment is clearly demonstrated. Man’s hardening is moral choice; God’s hardening is demonstrating judgment. Before Moses was sent into Egypt, God told him to throw his staff to the ground; it turned into a serpent (Exodus 4:3). This was a sign of Moses’ spiritual authority over satanic forces, symbolized by the serpent. Yet there was another

The death of the first born was the last and worst of the plagues. Remember that the Egyptian pharaohs had been murdering innocent children already for 80 years (Exodus 1:16). God’s judgment is always preceded by grace and always perfectly righteous (what you do to others will be done to you). The murder of the Jewish children in Egypt was the first type of “Holocaust,” later to be followed by Haman, Herod, Nazism and today, Islamic Jihad. Islam claims that Mohammed is the final prophet of God following all the Biblical prophets, including Moses and Jesus. But ironically, these Jihadists have more in common with the evil Pharaohs than any Jewish, Biblical prophet or Apostle. Jihadists want to bring judgment on Western society for the pervasive sins of corruption and sexual immorality. There is some truth in those accusations

(compare Revelation 17:1617). However, Islamist militants have raped thousands of innocent girls, which is also a form of sexual immorality; and committed murder and lied, which also transgresses the Ten Commandments. God’s prophets must also obey God’s moral laws themselves. After the Ten Plagues, the Egyptian armies were destroyed in the Red Sea. Those armies came with weapons, ready to kill, pursuing the helpless multitudes who had been oppressed under brutal slavery for three generations. God’s judgment was harsh because the crimes committed were so cruel. ROUND TWO God is a judge, a righteous judge. The Scriptures remind us over and over again that God’s judgments are perfectly righteous (Psalm 96:13; 98:9; Revelation 15:4; 19:11). God’s judgment includes: 1. Moral Justice 2. Offer of Grace 3. Clear Warnings 4. Judicial Process 5. Moral Requirements for Prophets

will be a world-wide murderous, genocidal, demonic, tyrannical empire. The exodus from Egypt is recorded in the Bible as history but also as prophecy. What will happen in the end times will be similar to what happened in Egypt. With these truths in mind and an understanding of these events likely happening again in some form, let us hold on with faith in our confidence in Yeshua’s willingness and ability to deliver all who call upon Him! [Note: The Hebrew root (Ts-R-R) is the same for the words Antichrist (Tsorer), Tribulation (Tsarot), and Egypt (Mitsrayim).] The story of the exodus provides a biblical framework for understanding God’s judgments and plagues in the end times. Asher Intrater Asher Intrater is the President of Tikkun Global, a Messianic family of congregations, leaders and ministries dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He also leads Revive Israel an international prayer ministry in Jerusalem. He is the author of Who Ate Lunch With Abraham? and Covenant Relationships, amongst other titles.

Islam claims to bring the judgment of God, but does none of the above. Pharaoh’s Egypt in Moses’ time was perhaps the most demonic empire in history. However, it would seem from prophetic Scriptures that such an evil empire will happen again. It will be even worse. It

2nd Quarter 2020

13


Outreach Report: Miracles Happen

need. Violet was especially quiet, guarded – like you’d imagine someone who’d lost her sight would be, unsure of her surroundings.” Learning that she’d lost her sight as the result of a traumatic accident, Rachel prayed for Violet in Yeshua’s ( Jesus’) name, commanding all trauma and its effects to go.

MIRACLES HAPPEN!

God heard and powerfully answered that prayer.

JVMI STAFF WRITER

“YESHUA SPOKE TO THEM AGAIN, SAYING, ‘I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. THE ONE WHO FOLLOWS ME WILL NO LONGER WALK IN DARKNESS, BUT WILL HAVE THE LIGHT OF LIFE.’” —JOHN 8:12

R

achel, a Jewish Believer from Scottsdale, Arizona, participated in a Jewish Voice Ministries International ( JVMI) Medical Outreach in Mudanda, Zimbabwe. “The beautiful thing about JVMI is that the prayer covering and foundation of this ministry is so solid,” she explains. “This enables God’s power to move.” While she

14

saw God’s power displayed each day of her trip, one experience stood out. “One morning as I was preparing to minister in the Outreach prayer tent, I heard very clearly in my spirit, ‘Wear your purple shirt today.’” Not one to attract attention to herself, everything Rachel had packed for the trip was in subdued tones – khakis, tans, and black – except one t-shirt a friend back home gave her; a purple shirt with sparkling rhinestone script on it. “This shirt?” she asked. “You want me to wear this shirt?” The answer was an unequivocal “YES!” She put on the purple shirt and didn’t think about it any further. Meanwhile, 74-year-old Violet set out on her way back to the Mudanda Clinic with the help

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

of her daughter-in-law. The two had received medical care the day before, and today, they returned for spiritual care offered in the prayer tent. It was an arduous journey for Violet, needing her daughter-inlaw’s hand to guide and steady her the entire way. Violet lost her eyesight two years earlier, the result of a traumatic accident. When they arrived, she needed to be helped to a chair… she sat in a circle with her daughter-in-law, an interpreter, and Rachel. “You sort of have to interview people when they come for prayer,” Rachel explains. “They don’t often come in telling you why they’ve come or what they

Violet’s eyes suddenly awakened in wide-eyed wonder! Overcome with joy, she pointed to the sparkling letters on Rachel’s shirt – she could see them! In exuberance, she shouted out, describing the letters, the shirt, and everything else around the tent she could now see! She leapt to her feet, hugged Rachel, and began clapping her hands and dancing for joy! Others in the prayer tent were captivated by her celebration. Her joy was contagious! Everyone erupted in praise, for the real-life miracle they’d witnessed! Through interpreters, Rachel shared the Gospel with Violet and her daughter-in-law. Both

women prayed to receive Yeshua as Messiah – a second miracle! Both women returned the next day to be immersed (baptized) and requested follow up visits from a local Messianic congregation. With this vital spiritual care, they will grow in the Word of God and be firmly established in their new faith. God doesn’t always choose to reveal Himself through miracles. But that morning, when Rachel prepared for her day, He had known from eternity past what He was going to do. And it surely delighted Him to select her wardrobe for the day – the two glittering words on Rachel’s t-shirt read: “Miracles Happen.” Miracles do happen. Sometimes they are instantaneous, like Violet’s sight being restored. Sometimes they become evident over time, the cumulative result of Jesus’ work in hearts throughout a community. This past May, for instance, members of JVMI’s Congregation and Leadership Development team, Troy and Lee, embarked on an annual trip to visit Messianic congregations throughout Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. While every visit was encouraging, one in particular stood out – a Shabbat visit in the Buhera District of Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe. “As we arrived for our visit with the congregation in Buhera,” Lee explains, “they’d rented a hall in the village to host their Shabbat gathering. As we walked into the hall, there were hundreds of people worshiping in song and dance! The place was

packed, wall-to-wall, shoulder-toshoulder. We had to slide around, and even step over people, to get to the front of the gathering. The worship was so genuine and authentic; it was an overwhelming, joy-filled experience.” The wonder of this Shabbat gathering was only magnified when, afterwards, it dawned on Troy and Lee – this congregation was made up almost entirely of Lemba, a people descended from the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Troy explains, “Typically, in the U.S., for instance, a Messianic congregation is made up of only about 30-40% Jewish people, while 60-70% are Gentiles, and usually they are very small in number. This was a crowd of 450-500 people, 90% of whom were Jewish, which would make the meeting of this one congregation in Buhera, one of the largest believing Jewish Shabbat gatherings in the entire world!”

Your Gifts are a Demonstration of Yeshua’s Love A miraculous healing in Mudanda, an astonishing Shabbat gathering in Buhera, testimony after testimony – together, we are proclaiming the Gospel to the Jewish people first, growing the Messianic Jewish community, and engaging the Church concerning Israel and the Jewish people. The work of Jewish Voice Ministries International is made possible by the prayers and gifts of God’s people. We invite you to partner with us to reach the Jewish people around the world with help, healing and the Good News of Israel’s Messiah.

2nd Quarter 2020

15


Outreach Report: Miracles Happen

need. Violet was especially quiet, guarded – like you’d imagine someone who’d lost her sight would be, unsure of her surroundings.” Learning that she’d lost her sight as the result of a traumatic accident, Rachel prayed for Violet in Yeshua’s ( Jesus’) name, commanding all trauma and its effects to go.

MIRACLES HAPPEN!

God heard and powerfully answered that prayer.

JVMI STAFF WRITER

“YESHUA SPOKE TO THEM AGAIN, SAYING, ‘I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. THE ONE WHO FOLLOWS ME WILL NO LONGER WALK IN DARKNESS, BUT WILL HAVE THE LIGHT OF LIFE.’” —JOHN 8:12

R

achel, a Jewish Believer from Scottsdale, Arizona, participated in a Jewish Voice Ministries International ( JVMI) Medical Outreach in Mudanda, Zimbabwe. “The beautiful thing about JVMI is that the prayer covering and foundation of this ministry is so solid,” she explains. “This enables God’s power to move.” While she

14

saw God’s power displayed each day of her trip, one experience stood out. “One morning as I was preparing to minister in the Outreach prayer tent, I heard very clearly in my spirit, ‘Wear your purple shirt today.’” Not one to attract attention to herself, everything Rachel had packed for the trip was in subdued tones – khakis, tans, and black – except one t-shirt a friend back home gave her; a purple shirt with sparkling rhinestone script on it. “This shirt?” she asked. “You want me to wear this shirt?” The answer was an unequivocal “YES!” She put on the purple shirt and didn’t think about it any further. Meanwhile, 74-year-old Violet set out on her way back to the Mudanda Clinic with the help

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

of her daughter-in-law. The two had received medical care the day before, and today, they returned for spiritual care offered in the prayer tent. It was an arduous journey for Violet, needing her daughter-inlaw’s hand to guide and steady her the entire way. Violet lost her eyesight two years earlier, the result of a traumatic accident. When they arrived, she needed to be helped to a chair… she sat in a circle with her daughter-in-law, an interpreter, and Rachel. “You sort of have to interview people when they come for prayer,” Rachel explains. “They don’t often come in telling you why they’ve come or what they

Violet’s eyes suddenly awakened in wide-eyed wonder! Overcome with joy, she pointed to the sparkling letters on Rachel’s shirt – she could see them! In exuberance, she shouted out, describing the letters, the shirt, and everything else around the tent she could now see! She leapt to her feet, hugged Rachel, and began clapping her hands and dancing for joy! Others in the prayer tent were captivated by her celebration. Her joy was contagious! Everyone erupted in praise, for the real-life miracle they’d witnessed! Through interpreters, Rachel shared the Gospel with Violet and her daughter-in-law. Both

women prayed to receive Yeshua as Messiah – a second miracle! Both women returned the next day to be immersed (baptized) and requested follow up visits from a local Messianic congregation. With this vital spiritual care, they will grow in the Word of God and be firmly established in their new faith. God doesn’t always choose to reveal Himself through miracles. But that morning, when Rachel prepared for her day, He had known from eternity past what He was going to do. And it surely delighted Him to select her wardrobe for the day – the two glittering words on Rachel’s t-shirt read: “Miracles Happen.” Miracles do happen. Sometimes they are instantaneous, like Violet’s sight being restored. Sometimes they become evident over time, the cumulative result of Jesus’ work in hearts throughout a community. This past May, for instance, members of JVMI’s Congregation and Leadership Development team, Troy and Lee, embarked on an annual trip to visit Messianic congregations throughout Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. While every visit was encouraging, one in particular stood out – a Shabbat visit in the Buhera District of Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe. “As we arrived for our visit with the congregation in Buhera,” Lee explains, “they’d rented a hall in the village to host their Shabbat gathering. As we walked into the hall, there were hundreds of people worshiping in song and dance! The place was

packed, wall-to-wall, shoulder-toshoulder. We had to slide around, and even step over people, to get to the front of the gathering. The worship was so genuine and authentic; it was an overwhelming, joy-filled experience.” The wonder of this Shabbat gathering was only magnified when, afterwards, it dawned on Troy and Lee – this congregation was made up almost entirely of Lemba, a people descended from the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Troy explains, “Typically, in the U.S., for instance, a Messianic congregation is made up of only about 30-40% Jewish people, while 60-70% are Gentiles, and usually they are very small in number. This was a crowd of 450-500 people, 90% of whom were Jewish, which would make the meeting of this one congregation in Buhera, one of the largest believing Jewish Shabbat gatherings in the entire world!”

Your Gifts are a Demonstration of Yeshua’s Love A miraculous healing in Mudanda, an astonishing Shabbat gathering in Buhera, testimony after testimony – together, we are proclaiming the Gospel to the Jewish people first, growing the Messianic Jewish community, and engaging the Church concerning Israel and the Jewish people. The work of Jewish Voice Ministries International is made possible by the prayers and gifts of God’s people. We invite you to partner with us to reach the Jewish people around the world with help, healing and the Good News of Israel’s Messiah.

2nd Quarter 2020

15


Outreach Report: Miracles Happen

MIRACLES HAPPEN

WHEN WE PROCLAIM JESUS!

V

iolet and her daughterin-law received muchneeded medical care at the Mudanda Outreach Clinic. Having felt the love of Yeshua in that care, they decided to return – this time for prayer. God met them, powerfully! Violet’s physical and spiritual blindness were healed! She left the prayer tent dancing – a new Believer in Jesus!

In the Buhera District, a congregation gathers for worship on Shabbat. Wall-to-wall, shoulder-to-shoulder, hundreds of Lemba dance and sing – it is one of the largest believing Messianic Jewish Shabbat gatherings in the entire world! Why do we do what we do? Because this ministry is close to the heart of Yeshua. He welcomes the sick, the lame, the broken, and the spiritually oppressed. We get to be His hands and feet, embodying His love and offering hope to impoverished Jewish communities. Through our Medical Outreaches made possible by the prayers

and gifts of God’s people, we have witnessed many miraculous healings. Many of the people we minister to have never seen a doctor before. Most have never heard the Good News of their Messiah. Will you help us PROCLAIM Yeshua and help EVERYONE who comes to us? Each Jewish Voice Outreach Clinic is made possible by the prayers and gifts of God’s people. Your support is needed today as, together, we distribute life-saving medicines, offer spiritual encouragement, and open doors of opportunity to encounter the Lord.

THANK YOU

for helping deliver compassionate care and the Good News of Yeshua to every precious Jewish person within our reach! We’d like to express our gratitude to you for helping us reach everyone who comes to this important ministry we share together. Please accept these special gifts as sincere tokens of our immense appreciation for your incredible generosity. Your support means Jewish people in places like Mudanda and Buhera are receiving much-needed, life-saving care and the Good News that Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel, has come.

For your gift of support of any amount: Biblical Feasts Tent Cards Discover the significance of the Jewish Feasts with these beautifully designed table-top tent cards. Each card includes information explaining the Feast, its traditional observance, prophetic significance, and Messianic fulfillment. Designed to fold into a tent and set on your table, the inside includes even more meaningful information, including a traditional recipe, to help you celebrate each Feast in your own home. 5036

16

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

For your gift of $40 or more: Feasts of Israel Collection If you can share a gift of $40 or more, we’ll send you our complete Feasts of Israel Collection. In addition to the Biblical Feasts Tent Cards, this powerful collection of resources ALSO includes: The Spring Feasts and Purim Book The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is an amazingly detailed and inviting God. He set specific “appointments” with His people, calling them to meet with Him during the year. Through each of them, He reveals more of Himself and beckons His people into a deeper understanding and awe of Him. You’ll marvel at the intricate pictures of God’s redemptive plan instilled into each of His “appointed times,” or moadim. Though it is not one of the biblical Feasts, you’ll also see God’s faithfulness in the Purim story and His great love for those who are His. You’ll learn the history and prophetic significance of each Feast and the meaning it holds today for Believers in Jesus. Holiday recipes will help you celebrate the Springs Feasts and Purim. Discover what God’s appointed times hold in store for you. Appointments with God: Reflections on the Jewish Feasts Devotional Through the Feasts, God established appointed times for Jewish people to mark a variety of remembrances, offerings and celebrations. The Jewish Feasts provide us opportunities to enrich our faith by entering into God’s presence to connect with Him around a theme of His choosing. “Appointments with God” includes teachings and devotions about each Feast, as well as daily devotions for Passover, Sukkot and Chanukah. It presents many Scripture readings, insightful questions and designated spaces to record your thoughts. This book will guide you to find deeper meaning each year in these appointments with God.

2148

For your gift of $175 or more: NEW! Passover Seder Kit When you send a gift of $175 or more, we’ll send you the complete Feasts of Israel Collection with our deepest gratitude and also include this beautiful — NEW — Passover Seder kit. The set includes a blue and white ceramic Seder plate, cup and candle holders. The timeless swirl-patterned glaze makes each piece one-of-a-kind. The Seder plate has designated spaces for the elements, and the cup bears the Hebrew Kiddush blessing, which in English is: “Blessed are You, O Lord, our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.” Adorn your Passover table with this lovely set of essential Seder pieces. Also included are a cloth matzah tosh and “The Messianic Passover Haggadah: Your Complete Passover Guide,” which is an “order of service” to help you conduct your own Seder. Plus, you’ll receive the DVD titled “Yeshua’s Final Passover,” which was filmed on location in Jerusalem in the Upper Room. Jonathan Bernis teaches you how to observe the rich traditions of the Passover Seder and reveals how its various elements point to the work of Yeshua as the Lamb of God.

NEW!

2214

THANK YOU FOR YOUR FAITHFUL SUPPORT. 2nd Quarter 2020

17


Outreach Report: Miracles Happen

MIRACLES HAPPEN

WHEN WE PROCLAIM JESUS!

V

iolet and her daughterin-law received muchneeded medical care at the Mudanda Outreach Clinic. Having felt the love of Yeshua in that care, they decided to return – this time for prayer. God met them, powerfully! Violet’s physical and spiritual blindness were healed! She left the prayer tent dancing – a new Believer in Jesus!

In the Buhera District, a congregation gathers for worship on Shabbat. Wall-to-wall, shoulder-to-shoulder, hundreds of Lemba dance and sing – it is one of the largest believing Messianic Jewish Shabbat gatherings in the entire world! Why do we do what we do? Because this ministry is close to the heart of Yeshua. He welcomes the sick, the lame, the broken, and the spiritually oppressed. We get to be His hands and feet, embodying His love and offering hope to impoverished Jewish communities. Through our Medical Outreaches made possible by the prayers

and gifts of God’s people, we have witnessed many miraculous healings. Many of the people we minister to have never seen a doctor before. Most have never heard the Good News of their Messiah. Will you help us PROCLAIM Yeshua and help EVERYONE who comes to us? Each Jewish Voice Outreach Clinic is made possible by the prayers and gifts of God’s people. Your support is needed today as, together, we distribute life-saving medicines, offer spiritual encouragement, and open doors of opportunity to encounter the Lord.

THANK YOU

for helping deliver compassionate care and the Good News of Yeshua to every precious Jewish person within our reach! We’d like to express our gratitude to you for helping us reach everyone who comes to this important ministry we share together. Please accept these special gifts as sincere tokens of our immense appreciation for your incredible generosity. Your support means Jewish people in places like Mudanda and Buhera are receiving much-needed, life-saving care and the Good News that Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel, has come.

For your gift of support of any amount: Biblical Feasts Tent Cards Discover the significance of the Jewish Feasts with these beautifully designed table-top tent cards. Each card includes information explaining the Feast, its traditional observance, prophetic significance, and Messianic fulfillment. Designed to fold into a tent and set on your table, the inside includes even more meaningful information, including a traditional recipe, to help you celebrate each Feast in your own home. 5036

16

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

For your gift of $40 or more: Feasts of Israel Collection If you can share a gift of $40 or more, we’ll send you our complete Feasts of Israel Collection. In addition to the Biblical Feasts Tent Cards, this powerful collection of resources ALSO includes: The Spring Feasts and Purim Book The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is an amazingly detailed and inviting God. He set specific “appointments” with His people, calling them to meet with Him during the year. Through each of them, He reveals more of Himself and beckons His people into a deeper understanding and awe of Him. You’ll marvel at the intricate pictures of God’s redemptive plan instilled into each of His “appointed times,” or moadim. Though it is not one of the biblical Feasts, you’ll also see God’s faithfulness in the Purim story and His great love for those who are His. You’ll learn the history and prophetic significance of each Feast and the meaning it holds today for Believers in Jesus. Holiday recipes will help you celebrate the Springs Feasts and Purim. Discover what God’s appointed times hold in store for you. Appointments with God: Reflections on the Jewish Feasts Devotional Through the Feasts, God established appointed times for Jewish people to mark a variety of remembrances, offerings and celebrations. The Jewish Feasts provide us opportunities to enrich our faith by entering into God’s presence to connect with Him around a theme of His choosing. “Appointments with God” includes teachings and devotions about each Feast, as well as daily devotions for Passover, Sukkot and Chanukah. It presents many Scripture readings, insightful questions and designated spaces to record your thoughts. This book will guide you to find deeper meaning each year in these appointments with God.

2148

For your gift of $175 or more: NEW! Passover Seder Kit When you send a gift of $175 or more, we’ll send you the complete Feasts of Israel Collection with our deepest gratitude and also include this beautiful — NEW — Passover Seder kit. The set includes a blue and white ceramic Seder plate, cup and candle holders. The timeless swirl-patterned glaze makes each piece one-of-a-kind. The Seder plate has designated spaces for the elements, and the cup bears the Hebrew Kiddush blessing, which in English is: “Blessed are You, O Lord, our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.” Adorn your Passover table with this lovely set of essential Seder pieces. Also included are a cloth matzah tosh and “The Messianic Passover Haggadah: Your Complete Passover Guide,” which is an “order of service” to help you conduct your own Seder. Plus, you’ll receive the DVD titled “Yeshua’s Final Passover,” which was filmed on location in Jerusalem in the Upper Room. Jonathan Bernis teaches you how to observe the rich traditions of the Passover Seder and reveals how its various elements point to the work of Yeshua as the Lamb of God.

NEW!

2214

THANK YOU FOR YOUR FAITHFUL SUPPORT. 2nd Quarter 2020

17


Imagining the Passover in Egypt – Through the Eyes of a Young Hebrew

hardly take a step! The frogs were in their houses, their beds, even in their ovens and kneading bowls. Oh, and the Nile! The Nile River turned to blood! All the water became blood, even what was stored in vessels! There was no water to drink, and all the fish died. That was right at the beginning, and you’d think that would have been enough.

Imagining the Passover in Egypt

Through the Eyes of a Young Hebrew JEWISH VOICE WRITER, JUDI CLARKE

E

veryone has been so excited! We’ve been bumping into each other all day as we’ve hurried to get our things together, packed into carts, ready to go. Is this really happening? Are we truly leaving Egypt, escaping our slavery to Pharaoh? Our people have been here for 400 years. I have always been a slave. It’s all I’ve known. There are over a million of us now. No wonder Pharaoh doesn’t want to let us go – what will he do without the forced labor of our Hebrew hands? Moses is a Hebrew like the rest of us, but he actually grew up in Pharaoh’s own house and was raised by Pharaoh’s daughter. It is Moses who has told us to be

18

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

At times, Pharaoh told Moses to just take us all and get out of here, but he always recanted. Doesn’t he realize he’s up against God Almighty? Especially since all these plagues only happened in Egypt? Here in Goshen, where all of us Hebrews live, there was nothing. We’ve been spared. You’d think Pharaoh would get a clue. Such a hard heart is in that man! The word is, tonight’s going to be the most horrible plague of all. God is going to strike every household in Egypt, and the first born of every family is going to die. This plague is so powerful that we’ve been told what to do in order to be protected from it. We were to take an unblemished lamb, worthy of sacrifice because of its perfection and purity. We were to keep it in the house, living with us, for four days. We must sacrifice the lamb and brush some of its blood onto the doorposts and lintel of our homes. When the angel of death comes over the land, he’ll see the blood covering our households and pass over us, saving us from the death. Every household not covered by the blood will be visited by death.

It’s evening now. ready to go because God is going to deliver us and set us free. Things have been happening lately that no one can explain. Moses has been raising his staff and bringing down plagues on all of Egypt, demanding that Pharaoh set us free. I remember being told that he said God was going to use him to liberate us. That was before he left us 40 years ago, long before I was born. Now he’s back and working all these wonders. “Let my people go!” he said to Pharaoh. And each time that Pharaoh says no, some new catastrophe happens in Egypt – swarms of flies, locusts, boils, fierce hail, all the livestock dying. And the frogs! We heard they were just everywhere! The Egyptians could

The blood is on our doorposts, and we’re eager and anxious at the same time. Every few minutes, one of us abruptly turns wideeyed toward the roof or street. “What was that? Did you hear something?” A fearsome death is going to come over Egypt tonight like never before, and the dreadfulness of it will pass right over us. We have no idea what that will look like, or how it will happen. We’re acutely attuned to every sound and nuance of the world outside our door tonight.

At the same time, our beaten-down souls hear the whisper that freedom is near, and hope is dancing inside us. There’s no time tonight even for our bread to rise. We’re to eat roasted lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Moses told us that God specifically instructed us to eat this meal in a hurry. That must mean our freedom could come at any moment! “With your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand,” God said. “You are to eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.” So, we’re ready. We sit down for our hurried but sacred meal. The lamb we partake of tonight died to give us his blood and save us from death. The bitter taste of our slavery is almost over, and we expectantly watch for our liberation.

“Why is this night different from every other night?” That question is asked at Passover tables today. Remembering is important to God. Through His ordained feasts and all through Scripture, God calls us to remember. Over and over, He told Israel to remember that they were slaves and that He brought them out of Egypt. Passover is an opportunity to remember what God did for Israel in the land where they were slaves. Even then, Passover pointed forward to Yeshua, who would become our perfect Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7), sacrificed to cover our sin. “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,” John the Immerser cried out when he saw Jesus ( John 1:29). Three and a half years later, Jesus ate His Last Supper commemorating God’s great act of deliverance the night before the Exodus from Egypt, and marking the great act of eternal salvation He would accomplish for us when He shed His own blood for all mankind the next day.

2nd Quarter 2020

19


Imagining the Passover in Egypt – Through the Eyes of a Young Hebrew

hardly take a step! The frogs were in their houses, their beds, even in their ovens and kneading bowls. Oh, and the Nile! The Nile River turned to blood! All the water became blood, even what was stored in vessels! There was no water to drink, and all the fish died. That was right at the beginning, and you’d think that would have been enough.

Imagining the Passover in Egypt

Through the Eyes of a Young Hebrew JEWISH VOICE WRITER, JUDI CLARKE

E

veryone has been so excited! We’ve been bumping into each other all day as we’ve hurried to get our things together, packed into carts, ready to go. Is this really happening? Are we truly leaving Egypt, escaping our slavery to Pharaoh? Our people have been here for 400 years. I have always been a slave. It’s all I’ve known. There are over a million of us now. No wonder Pharaoh doesn’t want to let us go – what will he do without the forced labor of our Hebrew hands? Moses is a Hebrew like the rest of us, but he actually grew up in Pharaoh’s own house and was raised by Pharaoh’s daughter. It is Moses who has told us to be

18

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

At times, Pharaoh told Moses to just take us all and get out of here, but he always recanted. Doesn’t he realize he’s up against God Almighty? Especially since all these plagues only happened in Egypt? Here in Goshen, where all of us Hebrews live, there was nothing. We’ve been spared. You’d think Pharaoh would get a clue. Such a hard heart is in that man! The word is, tonight’s going to be the most horrible plague of all. God is going to strike every household in Egypt, and the first born of every family is going to die. This plague is so powerful that we’ve been told what to do in order to be protected from it. We were to take an unblemished lamb, worthy of sacrifice because of its perfection and purity. We were to keep it in the house, living with us, for four days. We must sacrifice the lamb and brush some of its blood onto the doorposts and lintel of our homes. When the angel of death comes over the land, he’ll see the blood covering our households and pass over us, saving us from the death. Every household not covered by the blood will be visited by death.

It’s evening now. ready to go because God is going to deliver us and set us free. Things have been happening lately that no one can explain. Moses has been raising his staff and bringing down plagues on all of Egypt, demanding that Pharaoh set us free. I remember being told that he said God was going to use him to liberate us. That was before he left us 40 years ago, long before I was born. Now he’s back and working all these wonders. “Let my people go!” he said to Pharaoh. And each time that Pharaoh says no, some new catastrophe happens in Egypt – swarms of flies, locusts, boils, fierce hail, all the livestock dying. And the frogs! We heard they were just everywhere! The Egyptians could

The blood is on our doorposts, and we’re eager and anxious at the same time. Every few minutes, one of us abruptly turns wideeyed toward the roof or street. “What was that? Did you hear something?” A fearsome death is going to come over Egypt tonight like never before, and the dreadfulness of it will pass right over us. We have no idea what that will look like, or how it will happen. We’re acutely attuned to every sound and nuance of the world outside our door tonight.

At the same time, our beaten-down souls hear the whisper that freedom is near, and hope is dancing inside us. There’s no time tonight even for our bread to rise. We’re to eat roasted lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Moses told us that God specifically instructed us to eat this meal in a hurry. That must mean our freedom could come at any moment! “With your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand,” God said. “You are to eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.” So, we’re ready. We sit down for our hurried but sacred meal. The lamb we partake of tonight died to give us his blood and save us from death. The bitter taste of our slavery is almost over, and we expectantly watch for our liberation.

“Why is this night different from every other night?” That question is asked at Passover tables today. Remembering is important to God. Through His ordained feasts and all through Scripture, God calls us to remember. Over and over, He told Israel to remember that they were slaves and that He brought them out of Egypt. Passover is an opportunity to remember what God did for Israel in the land where they were slaves. Even then, Passover pointed forward to Yeshua, who would become our perfect Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7), sacrificed to cover our sin. “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,” John the Immerser cried out when he saw Jesus ( John 1:29). Three and a half years later, Jesus ate His Last Supper commemorating God’s great act of deliverance the night before the Exodus from Egypt, and marking the great act of eternal salvation He would accomplish for us when He shed His own blood for all mankind the next day.

2nd Quarter 2020

19


Incorporating the Spring Feasts into Your Life

scribe them ourselves, or draw a picture on them and decorate them for posterity. And, best of all, we talk about safeguarding what we allow to enter our homes, our hearts and our minds – together.

UNLEAVENED BREAD

4. BY DANIAH GREENBERG

T

he Book of Leviticus summarizes the seven God-ordained Holy Days in chapter 23. These are appointments with God that Messiah Yeshua ( Jesus) observed during His ministry and Jewish people still celebrate today. The Seedtime – or Spring Feasts – are Pesach and Matzot, Bikkurim and Shavuot. In English, they’re called Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of First Fruits, and the Feast of Weeks, respectively. For hundreds and thousands of years, the Jewish people have marked their days by the celebration of these Feasts. However, it might surprise many non-Jewish Believers to hear that they too have been celebrating these Feasts for hundreds of years! Among Christians in our society today, these holy days are known as Good Friday, Resurrection Sunday, and Pentecost because they correspond directly to when Jesus died, rose from the dead, and gave us the Holy Spirit – our Comforter. And Hallelujah for that! But their correspondence is not a mistake or a coincidence. God ordained these days so that we would pay attention to His rhythm, His plan and His timing. Jesus’ sacrifice on Passover, His Resurrection on Bikkurim, and the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Shavuot each have deep and meaningful symbolism and impact. In this article, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite ways to incorporate the Spring Feasts into my life and the annual seasons of joy in our family celebrations.

20

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

PASSOVER

1.

SPRING CLEANING! The Scriptures tell the Israelites to clear their households of chametz, or leavening. So, many Jewish families take the weeks before Passover to start deep cleaning their homes – clearing it of any crumb of leavening so that they can start the Biblical New Year with a clean slate! Chametz is often symbolic of sin in the Bible that we can search for in our lives, so take this opportunity to clean out your life of things that cause you to sin. Whether it’s getting rid of sugar or putting restrictions on internet usage, this is a sacred time to start fresh!

2.

PRAYER AND FASTING. As I prepare my heart for this season, I inevitably find myself reflecting on the need to clean my mind from the clutter of destructive thinking. I am so grateful that God gives us this season to organize our emotions. When I take the time to deny my natural cravings, my spiritual cravings get elevated. I have found that my spiritual hunger for more daily prayer time is best exercised BEFORE the next crisis hits.

3.

WELCOME MESSIAH INSIDE. I have always been fascinated living outside what I believe inside. When Passover comes, I find a way to recreate the ‘sign and wonder’ of the Messiah’s sacrifice. I teach my children that Jewish families put a tiny box on their doorposts with the actual words of Deuteronomy 6:4-9! This box is called a mezuzah. Sometimes we hand

BUY MATZAH – AND A BOTTLE OF PRUNE JUICE! Eating unleavened bread is so fun on day one, but after seven days without leaven, you will be suffering without yeasted bread. We enjoy eating matzah crackers with cream cheese, as the vehicle for pizza toppings, and even soaked in eggs with apples and cinnamon and made into a frittata! But, be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and plenty of water, too. Matzah is hard on the digestive tract when it’s eaten for a whole week.

5.

REMEMBER THE COST. For a whole week, I am forced to remember that the God of the Universe holds my time in His hands. Changing my diet makes me stop and think BEFORE I put food in my mouth. I remember that I do not live on bread alone – what I am able to gather with my own labor – but on every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. I take time to remember that Jesus faced down the evil one on my behalf and what comes out of my mouth can lead me to sin. If Jesus was able to overcome evil with daily obedience to God, I have to watch my words because they reflect my heart.

6.

MAKE CHOCOLATE MATZAH GIFTS. I spent many years making all different kinds of treats out of matzah for my children’s teachers and my co-workers. It sounds simple, but it is so much fun. I would melt candy or chocolate chips and use a pastry brush to cover the matzah, then get sprinkles or crushed nuts to decorate them. It takes a few sheets of matzah to learn how to break it up into 2 inch pieces, but the time and trouble are worth it. I never met anybody who turned down a cheerful ‘Happy Passover’ greeting when handed a pretty, chocolaty treat!

FIRST FRUITS

7.

THANK GOD FOR NEW LIFE! God is the Creator of Life – and the grower, too. The third morning after Passover night, get up at dawn and open your Bible to the story of His resurrection! Read all four Gospel accounts and consider the power of

God to make beauty out of ashes. Consider writing a love letter to your Creator to thank Him for all the miracles of new beginnings in your life – especially the first fruits of this new biblical year. I always offer a special new gift to God. For example, I bake a new cookie recipe and give the first batch to the local nursing home for the volunteers. Or, I save a new worship song I wrote to sing at this week’s synagogue service. Or, better yet, I sow an offering in a local community project on behalf of my children’s children.

8.

HUNT FOR FRUIT. This is my favorite thing to consider during seedtime! Where is the fruit? Which ministries are creating seed-bearing fruit? Is it enough to just help people? Or are the people and ministries I am supporting actually sharing the GOSPEL, too?! I know there are plenty of people doing good things all around, but nothing we do changes the world like the salvation message of our Messiah Yeshua. I purposely look back over the past year and examine my actions and wonder – did I bear fruit that lasts?

SHAVUOT

9.

COUNT THE SEVEN WEEKS FROM PASSOVER. This is a biblical advent season leading to Pentecost – seven weeks of seven days – that bring the dawn of spiritual infilling! This is a great time to challenge yourself with a weekly Bible reading goal. There are 50 chapters in Genesis, or you can read through all the Psalms if you read one with each of three meals a day! Or, try reading the Proverbs through three times consecutively – each time with a different family member to get their take on it.

10.

ASK FOR DIVINE INTERSECTIONS! I am so convinced that this time is set apart for seeing God fill our daily routine with new opportunities for growth. During this season, I ask for new people to open my eyes to God moving in their lives, too. The best part of advent is the sense of communal spiritual expectancy – let God increase your seeds FAITH. Daniah Greenberg Daniah Greenberg is President and CEO of the Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society, the initial driving force behind the new Tree of Life Version of the Bible that returns the original Jewish context to the Word of God.

2nd Quarter 2020

21


Incorporating the Spring Feasts into Your Life

scribe them ourselves, or draw a picture on them and decorate them for posterity. And, best of all, we talk about safeguarding what we allow to enter our homes, our hearts and our minds – together.

UNLEAVENED BREAD

4. BY DANIAH GREENBERG

T

he Book of Leviticus summarizes the seven God-ordained Holy Days in chapter 23. These are appointments with God that Messiah Yeshua ( Jesus) observed during His ministry and Jewish people still celebrate today. The Seedtime – or Spring Feasts – are Pesach and Matzot, Bikkurim and Shavuot. In English, they’re called Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of First Fruits, and the Feast of Weeks, respectively. For hundreds and thousands of years, the Jewish people have marked their days by the celebration of these Feasts. However, it might surprise many non-Jewish Believers to hear that they too have been celebrating these Feasts for hundreds of years! Among Christians in our society today, these holy days are known as Good Friday, Resurrection Sunday, and Pentecost because they correspond directly to when Jesus died, rose from the dead, and gave us the Holy Spirit – our Comforter. And Hallelujah for that! But their correspondence is not a mistake or a coincidence. God ordained these days so that we would pay attention to His rhythm, His plan and His timing. Jesus’ sacrifice on Passover, His Resurrection on Bikkurim, and the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Shavuot each have deep and meaningful symbolism and impact. In this article, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite ways to incorporate the Spring Feasts into my life and the annual seasons of joy in our family celebrations.

20

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

PASSOVER

1.

SPRING CLEANING! The Scriptures tell the Israelites to clear their households of chametz, or leavening. So, many Jewish families take the weeks before Passover to start deep cleaning their homes – clearing it of any crumb of leavening so that they can start the Biblical New Year with a clean slate! Chametz is often symbolic of sin in the Bible that we can search for in our lives, so take this opportunity to clean out your life of things that cause you to sin. Whether it’s getting rid of sugar or putting restrictions on internet usage, this is a sacred time to start fresh!

2.

PRAYER AND FASTING. As I prepare my heart for this season, I inevitably find myself reflecting on the need to clean my mind from the clutter of destructive thinking. I am so grateful that God gives us this season to organize our emotions. When I take the time to deny my natural cravings, my spiritual cravings get elevated. I have found that my spiritual hunger for more daily prayer time is best exercised BEFORE the next crisis hits.

3.

WELCOME MESSIAH INSIDE. I have always been fascinated living outside what I believe inside. When Passover comes, I find a way to recreate the ‘sign and wonder’ of the Messiah’s sacrifice. I teach my children that Jewish families put a tiny box on their doorposts with the actual words of Deuteronomy 6:4-9! This box is called a mezuzah. Sometimes we hand

BUY MATZAH – AND A BOTTLE OF PRUNE JUICE! Eating unleavened bread is so fun on day one, but after seven days without leaven, you will be suffering without yeasted bread. We enjoy eating matzah crackers with cream cheese, as the vehicle for pizza toppings, and even soaked in eggs with apples and cinnamon and made into a frittata! But, be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and plenty of water, too. Matzah is hard on the digestive tract when it’s eaten for a whole week.

5.

REMEMBER THE COST. For a whole week, I am forced to remember that the God of the Universe holds my time in His hands. Changing my diet makes me stop and think BEFORE I put food in my mouth. I remember that I do not live on bread alone – what I am able to gather with my own labor – but on every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. I take time to remember that Jesus faced down the evil one on my behalf and what comes out of my mouth can lead me to sin. If Jesus was able to overcome evil with daily obedience to God, I have to watch my words because they reflect my heart.

6.

MAKE CHOCOLATE MATZAH GIFTS. I spent many years making all different kinds of treats out of matzah for my children’s teachers and my co-workers. It sounds simple, but it is so much fun. I would melt candy or chocolate chips and use a pastry brush to cover the matzah, then get sprinkles or crushed nuts to decorate them. It takes a few sheets of matzah to learn how to break it up into 2 inch pieces, but the time and trouble are worth it. I never met anybody who turned down a cheerful ‘Happy Passover’ greeting when handed a pretty, chocolaty treat!

FIRST FRUITS

7.

THANK GOD FOR NEW LIFE! God is the Creator of Life – and the grower, too. The third morning after Passover night, get up at dawn and open your Bible to the story of His resurrection! Read all four Gospel accounts and consider the power of

God to make beauty out of ashes. Consider writing a love letter to your Creator to thank Him for all the miracles of new beginnings in your life – especially the first fruits of this new biblical year. I always offer a special new gift to God. For example, I bake a new cookie recipe and give the first batch to the local nursing home for the volunteers. Or, I save a new worship song I wrote to sing at this week’s synagogue service. Or, better yet, I sow an offering in a local community project on behalf of my children’s children.

8.

HUNT FOR FRUIT. This is my favorite thing to consider during seedtime! Where is the fruit? Which ministries are creating seed-bearing fruit? Is it enough to just help people? Or are the people and ministries I am supporting actually sharing the GOSPEL, too?! I know there are plenty of people doing good things all around, but nothing we do changes the world like the salvation message of our Messiah Yeshua. I purposely look back over the past year and examine my actions and wonder – did I bear fruit that lasts?

SHAVUOT

9.

COUNT THE SEVEN WEEKS FROM PASSOVER. This is a biblical advent season leading to Pentecost – seven weeks of seven days – that bring the dawn of spiritual infilling! This is a great time to challenge yourself with a weekly Bible reading goal. There are 50 chapters in Genesis, or you can read through all the Psalms if you read one with each of three meals a day! Or, try reading the Proverbs through three times consecutively – each time with a different family member to get their take on it.

10.

ASK FOR DIVINE INTERSECTIONS! I am so convinced that this time is set apart for seeing God fill our daily routine with new opportunities for growth. During this season, I ask for new people to open my eyes to God moving in their lives, too. The best part of advent is the sense of communal spiritual expectancy – let God increase your seeds FAITH. Daniah Greenberg Daniah Greenberg is President and CEO of the Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society, the initial driving force behind the new Tree of Life Version of the Bible that returns the original Jewish context to the Word of God.

2nd Quarter 2020

21


Tradition in the Kitchen

Tradition

didn’t create it)? Are there ways to improve it (read: somehow make it healthier)? How far in advance can the rolls be prepared (a small kitchen means preparation is key)? Why do we make these in the first place? What is their purpose?

in the

Kitchen BY AVITAL SNOW

T

he Jewish grandmother, familiar apron tied around her waist, house slippers adorning her feet as she prepares a meal in the kitchen. This scene is the essence of Jewish identity. The meal she prepares is the tie that binds. It has been carefully transferred from one generation to the next. The Scriptures and our traditions are passed down through food, whether metaphorically or literally. Food is the vehicle through which we preserve our identity as a people. Since cuisine is a key element that marks a community’s recognizable existence and distinguishes it from the rest of the society, what is the food that sets the Jewish kitchen apart? This is a very personal question and responses vary. Without hesitation, my father would vote for the Rosh Hashanah brisket, slow stewed in a bath of rehydrated prunes,

22

onions, and apricots. My mother insists on the honey – sweet and steadfast challah, and my grandmother probably would’ve bet her mahjong winnings on the Russian Shabbat standby known as cholent. But for my sister and me, there’s no question it’s the humble Passover matzo rolls. Oily and dense, they come but once a year and don’t seem to be the obvious star of the show. But Passover would be downright tragic without matzo rolls. Imagine removing the charoset from the menu, or the four questions from the Seder; utterly incomplete, quite sad indeed. As kids, it was the matzo rolls that lured us to the kitchen before the Seder. They pulled us away from playing with our cousins, in an attempt to discreetly stuff one roll into our mouths while the adults chatted distractedly. My sister and I would scurry down the carpeted stairs

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

to dance in front of the mirrorlined closet doors, not minding the impending run in our stockings. Then we’d peek into the kitchen while we waited for the dinner bell (my grandmother in a highpitched voice, partly singing, partly shouting, “ding a ling a liiiiing”). The entire family had a place at the dining room table, which was extended by the buffet pull out, and adorned with white-laced tablecloths and prism-catching crystal glasses. As an adult with more responsibility in preparing the Seder, carrying the mantle of reproducing the matzo rolls has been a journey of self-discovery. Where did the recipe come from (surely my late grandmother

At Passover, the maror symbolizes the bitterness of our enslaved relatives. The challah at Shabbat reminds us of God’s provision. Yeshua used wine to explain that His blood would be shed for the forgiveness of sins. These are just a few examples of how food is used as a teaching mechanism. But matzo rolls are not mandated or even mentioned in Scripture. And yet, in our family, they make Passover recognizable because they carry the tradition and identity of the holiday. Matzo rolls symbolize love, just as the aforementioned examples demonstrate God’s love for His people and creation.

At the end of my abbreviated quest to improve/modify my grandmother’s matzo rolls, I concluded that the Eastern European tradition reigns. Despite how unwholesome and totally not local the ingredients are, I’m compelled to cook what my grandma served at Passover. Fluffy rolls may seem a little antithetical to flat unleavened matzo, but they are permanently tied to an association with my grandmother’s love for her family and the Jewish identity she passed on to us. There are plenty of other healthy dishes to include on the menu, but it wouldn’t be Passover without matzo rolls. It is my hope that as I prepare my grandmother’s recipe, those rolls will continue to transmit love within my family, and speak to our enduring identity as Jewish people.

Passover Matzo Rolls • • • • • •

7 eggs ½ cup olive oil 1 ½ cup water 1 ½ cup matzo meal 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon sugar

1. Boil water and oil together. 2. Remove from heat and add sugar, salt and matzo meal. Cool at room temperature. 3. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Fill greased muffin tins ¾ full. 4. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until golden. 5. Transfer to wire cooling rack.

Avital Snow Avital Snow is a second-generation Jewish Believer in Yeshua, and is joyfully married to her husband Travis. She serves as the Coordinator of Messianic Jewish Studies at The King’s University. Avital and Travis live in Dallas, Texas. Avital won 3rd prize in the “Life and Culture” category of our 2019 Writers Contest.

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2nd Quarter 2020

23


Tradition in the Kitchen

Tradition

didn’t create it)? Are there ways to improve it (read: somehow make it healthier)? How far in advance can the rolls be prepared (a small kitchen means preparation is key)? Why do we make these in the first place? What is their purpose?

in the

Kitchen BY AVITAL SNOW

T

he Jewish grandmother, familiar apron tied around her waist, house slippers adorning her feet as she prepares a meal in the kitchen. This scene is the essence of Jewish identity. The meal she prepares is the tie that binds. It has been carefully transferred from one generation to the next. The Scriptures and our traditions are passed down through food, whether metaphorically or literally. Food is the vehicle through which we preserve our identity as a people. Since cuisine is a key element that marks a community’s recognizable existence and distinguishes it from the rest of the society, what is the food that sets the Jewish kitchen apart? This is a very personal question and responses vary. Without hesitation, my father would vote for the Rosh Hashanah brisket, slow stewed in a bath of rehydrated prunes,

22

onions, and apricots. My mother insists on the honey – sweet and steadfast challah, and my grandmother probably would’ve bet her mahjong winnings on the Russian Shabbat standby known as cholent. But for my sister and me, there’s no question it’s the humble Passover matzo rolls. Oily and dense, they come but once a year and don’t seem to be the obvious star of the show. But Passover would be downright tragic without matzo rolls. Imagine removing the charoset from the menu, or the four questions from the Seder; utterly incomplete, quite sad indeed. As kids, it was the matzo rolls that lured us to the kitchen before the Seder. They pulled us away from playing with our cousins, in an attempt to discreetly stuff one roll into our mouths while the adults chatted distractedly. My sister and I would scurry down the carpeted stairs

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

to dance in front of the mirrorlined closet doors, not minding the impending run in our stockings. Then we’d peek into the kitchen while we waited for the dinner bell (my grandmother in a highpitched voice, partly singing, partly shouting, “ding a ling a liiiiing”). The entire family had a place at the dining room table, which was extended by the buffet pull out, and adorned with white-laced tablecloths and prism-catching crystal glasses. As an adult with more responsibility in preparing the Seder, carrying the mantle of reproducing the matzo rolls has been a journey of self-discovery. Where did the recipe come from (surely my late grandmother

At Passover, the maror symbolizes the bitterness of our enslaved relatives. The challah at Shabbat reminds us of God’s provision. Yeshua used wine to explain that His blood would be shed for the forgiveness of sins. These are just a few examples of how food is used as a teaching mechanism. But matzo rolls are not mandated or even mentioned in Scripture. And yet, in our family, they make Passover recognizable because they carry the tradition and identity of the holiday. Matzo rolls symbolize love, just as the aforementioned examples demonstrate God’s love for His people and creation.

At the end of my abbreviated quest to improve/modify my grandmother’s matzo rolls, I concluded that the Eastern European tradition reigns. Despite how unwholesome and totally not local the ingredients are, I’m compelled to cook what my grandma served at Passover. Fluffy rolls may seem a little antithetical to flat unleavened matzo, but they are permanently tied to an association with my grandmother’s love for her family and the Jewish identity she passed on to us. There are plenty of other healthy dishes to include on the menu, but it wouldn’t be Passover without matzo rolls. It is my hope that as I prepare my grandmother’s recipe, those rolls will continue to transmit love within my family, and speak to our enduring identity as Jewish people.

Passover Matzo Rolls • • • • • •

7 eggs ½ cup olive oil 1 ½ cup water 1 ½ cup matzo meal 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon sugar

1. Boil water and oil together. 2. Remove from heat and add sugar, salt and matzo meal. Cool at room temperature. 3. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Fill greased muffin tins ¾ full. 4. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until golden. 5. Transfer to wire cooling rack.

Avital Snow Avital Snow is a second-generation Jewish Believer in Yeshua, and is joyfully married to her husband Travis. She serves as the Coordinator of Messianic Jewish Studies at The King’s University. Avital and Travis live in Dallas, Texas. Avital won 3rd prize in the “Life and Culture” category of our 2019 Writers Contest.

Did you know…? When you reachknow…? 70 ½ years old, the IRS Did you requires you to take minimum withdrawals

from retirement accounts. Whencertain you reach 70 ½ years old, the IRS requires you to take minimum withdrawals There may be a tax advantage from certain retirement accounts. for you

in making a gift of your Required There mayDistribution be a tax advantage for youto Minimum (RMD) directly in making a gift of your a qualifying charity suchRequired as Jewish Voice Minimum (RMD)itdirectly to Ministries Distribution instead of paying to the IRS. a qualifying charity such as Jewish Voice Speak withinstead your accountant Ministries of payingorittax to advisor the IRS.

» to learn more and discuss the benefits of a direct of your Speak with yourdonation accountant or taxRMD. advisor » making to learn more and discuss the benefits of Then, contact us atdonation 855-550-1455 or go online to a direct of your RMD. » making www.jewishvoice.org/rmd for more information. contact us at 855-550-1455 or go online to » Then, www.jewishvoice.org/rmd for more information.

2nd Quarter 2020

23


Passover: The Season of Liberation and Resurrection

PASSOVER:

THE SEASON OF LIBERATION AND RESURRECTION BY DR. MICHAEL BROWN

W

hen traditional Jews recount the Passover story, they remember the exodus from Egypt by the mighty hand of the Lord. But when Messianic Jews – and Christians – recount the Passover story, they also remember the death and resurrection of the Messiah. We are free because He is risen! Many skeptics, however, dispute this claim. “Your Messiah didn’t rise from the dead,” they opine, arguing that His followers simply imagined that He rose. “It’s what you call cognitive dissonance,” they say, “when people believe the opposite of reality because they can’t bear to face the facts.” As explained on a psychology website: The term cognitive dissonance is used to describe the feelings of discomfort that result when your beliefs run counter to your behaviors and/or new information that is presented to you. People tend to seek consistency in their attitudes and perceptions, so when what you hold true is challenged or what you do doesn’t jibe with what you think, something must change in order to eliminate or reduce the dissonance (lack of agreement). A classic example of this is “explaining something away.” In other words, the critics allege, Yeshua’s followers suffered from some sort of mass delusion, experiencing group hallucinations and imagining that they saw Him in His resurrected state. They were sincere, but they were deceived. Could this be true?

24

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

We actually have a contemporary test case, something very similar to the claims that Yeshua ( Jesus) rose from the dead, and yet, in the end, something drastically different happened. Let me share the relevant background. This past June, 2019, marked the 25th anniversary of the death of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, at the age of 92. He was one of the most influential religious leaders of the 20th century and arguably the most influential Jewish leader of our time. And many of his followers believed that he was the Messiah. That’s why, when he became very sick, suffering from two strokes towards the end of his life, they did not waver. Soon he will be raised up back to health! Soon he will be revealed in majesty! Except that never happened. Instead, he died, leaving his community in deep grief and shock. Yet for many, that was not the end of the story. They were convinced that he would rise from the dead, as seen in a full-page ad in the Jewish Press June 17, 1994, just a few days after the Rebbe’s death: “With broken hearts we affirm our faith that we will at once witness Techiyas Hameisim [the resurrection of the dead] and we will have the Rebbe lead us out of Golus [exile] The Lubavitcher Rebbe, circa immediately, and together we 1987. Wikimedia Commons

continue to proclaim Yechi Adonenu morenu verabbenu melech hamoshiach leolam voed [May our Master, Teacher, and Rabbi, the King Messiah, live forever].” As surprising as this may sound, looking back 25 years after his death, his followers were sure he was the Messiah. Death itself could not stop him. Yet, despite their religious fervor and deep faith, to this day, none of them claim that they witnessed his physical resurrection from the dead. That is highly significant. Why didn’t they simply imagine that he rose in front of their eyes? Why didn’t they experience mass hallucinations and claim that they saw him in the flesh and talked with him face to face? Why didn’t their religious fervor override reality? Some of his followers claim that his death was not a real death, that it was merely a test for their earthly eyes. Some claim that if you dug up his grave, his body would not be there. But no one, of course, has ever tried to do such a thing. Some claim that the Rebbe is spiritually present in their prayer gatherings – they even pray to his chair at their Brooklyn headquarters, claiming they can feel him come into the room – while virtually all his followers attest to his ongoing guidance and help (which, to be sure, is commonly claimed for other deceased rabbinic leaders). And there are still others who claim that, in some way, the Rebbe is physically alive. Yet no one claims to have interacted with him physically, face to face, after his alleged resurrection. So much for the theories of cognitive dissonance! If any group was poised to hallucinate that their spiritual leader rose from the dead, it was this group. Yet they have not, to this day. Death can be very stubborn.

CONTRAST THIS WITH THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF YESHUA The Lord Himself frequently spoke of His impending death and resurrection, but His disciples could not understand what He was saying.

FIRST, they had no template to explain this. The

Messiah being killed? The Messiah being rejected and dying the lowliest, criminal’s death? Never! The Messiah would rule and reign and triumph over the enemies of God. That’s what our Messiah will do!

SECOND, if they could not understand that He had to die, they certainly would not understand that He would rise from the dead. The very saying sounded mysterious to them. “Rise from the dead? What does He mean?” The Gospels even record they were afraid to ask what He meant. They really had no clue. As Luke records, “But they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said” (Luke 18:34 ESV). And so, when He died, they were crestfallen. It was over. They were wrong. He was not the Messiah after all! That’s why they were in hiding in fear, their hopes dashed to pieces and their world lying in tatters at their feet. The whole thing had been one great dream. In the end, they were wrong. They had been deceived. Even after it was reported by some of the women that He had risen, the disciples didn’t believe it. John records that, on the very night that these resurrection reports were circulating – meaning the Sunday of His resurrection – and even after some of these men had seen that Yeshua’s tomb was, indeed, empty, “the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! ‘Peace be with you,’ he said” ( John 20:19 NLT). What a contrast between their attitudes and the attitudes of the followers of the Rebbe, who so fervently expected him to rise. For these men, the death of Jesus meant it was all over. So much for His being the Messiah! But then He rose from the dead and everything changed. Everything! So, the Rebbe’s followers were convinced he would rise from the dead. Yet he did not, and so, they have had to rationalize his death. He didn’t really die. His death freed him from the limitations of an earthly body. He could have been the Messiah if we were worthy, but we were not. And on and on it goes. But, to repeat: None of his followers claim to have seen him in the flesh after his death, let alone spend days with him eating and drinking and talking together. That’s because he never rose. It’s the exact opposite with the followers of Yeshua ( Jesus). They didn’t expect Him to rise and were shocked when He did. And to the ends of their

2nd Quarter 2020

25


Passover: The Season of Liberation and Resurrection

PASSOVER:

THE SEASON OF LIBERATION AND RESURRECTION BY DR. MICHAEL BROWN

W

hen traditional Jews recount the Passover story, they remember the exodus from Egypt by the mighty hand of the Lord. But when Messianic Jews – and Christians – recount the Passover story, they also remember the death and resurrection of the Messiah. We are free because He is risen! Many skeptics, however, dispute this claim. “Your Messiah didn’t rise from the dead,” they opine, arguing that His followers simply imagined that He rose. “It’s what you call cognitive dissonance,” they say, “when people believe the opposite of reality because they can’t bear to face the facts.” As explained on a psychology website: The term cognitive dissonance is used to describe the feelings of discomfort that result when your beliefs run counter to your behaviors and/or new information that is presented to you. People tend to seek consistency in their attitudes and perceptions, so when what you hold true is challenged or what you do doesn’t jibe with what you think, something must change in order to eliminate or reduce the dissonance (lack of agreement). A classic example of this is “explaining something away.” In other words, the critics allege, Yeshua’s followers suffered from some sort of mass delusion, experiencing group hallucinations and imagining that they saw Him in His resurrected state. They were sincere, but they were deceived. Could this be true?

24

Jewish Voice Today 1-888-921-4582 jewishvoice.org/magazine

We actually have a contemporary test case, something very similar to the claims that Yeshua ( Jesus) rose from the dead, and yet, in the end, something drastically different happened. Let me share the relevant background. This past June, 2019, marked the 25th anniversary of the death of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, at the age of 92. He was one of the most influential religious leaders of the 20th century and arguably the most influential Jewish leader of our time. And many of his followers believed that he was the Messiah. That’s why, when he became very sick, suffering from two strokes towards the end of his life, they did not waver. Soon he will be raised up back to health! Soon he will be revealed in majesty! Except that never happened. Instead, he died, leaving his community in deep grief and shock. Yet for many, that was not the end of the story. They were convinced that he would rise from the dead, as seen in a full-page ad in the Jewish Press June 17, 1994, just a few days after the Rebbe’s death: “With broken hearts we affirm our faith that we will at once witness Techiyas Hameisim [the resurrection of the dead] and we will have the Rebbe lead us out of Golus [exile] The Lubavitcher Rebbe, circa immediately, and together we 1987. Wikimedia Commons

continue to proclaim Yechi Adonenu morenu verabbenu melech hamoshiach leolam voed [May our Master, Teacher, and Rabbi, the King Messiah, live forever].” As surprising as this may sound, looking back 25 years after his death, his followers were sure he was the Messiah. Death itself could not stop him. Yet, despite their religious fervor and deep faith, to this day, none of them claim that they witnessed his physical resurrection from the dead. That is highly significant. Why didn’t they simply imagine that he rose in front of their eyes? Why didn’t they experience mass hallucinations and claim that they saw him in the flesh and talked with him face to face? Why didn’t their religious fervor override reality? Some of his followers claim that his death was not a real death, that it was merely a test for their earthly eyes. Some claim that if you dug up his grave, his body would not be there. But no one, of course, has ever tried to do such a thing. Some claim that the Rebbe is spiritually present in their prayer gatherings – they even pray to his chair at their Brooklyn headquarters, claiming they can feel him come into the room – while virtually all his followers attest to his ongoing guidance and help (which, to be sure, is commonly claimed for other deceased rabbinic leaders). And there are still others who claim that, in some way, the Rebbe is physically alive. Yet no one claims to have interacted with him physically, face to face, after his alleged resurrection. So much for the theories of cognitive dissonance! If any group was poised to hallucinate that their spiritual leader rose from the dead, it was this group. Yet they have not, to this day. Death can be very stubborn.

CONTRAST THIS WITH THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF YESHUA The Lord Himself frequently spoke of His impending death and resurrection, but His disciples could not understand what He was saying.

FIRST, they had no template to explain this. The

Messiah being killed? The Messiah being rejected and dying the lowliest, criminal’s death? Never! The Messiah would rule and reign and triumph over the enemies of God. That’s what our Messiah will do!

SECOND, if they could not understand that He had to die, they certainly would not understand that He would rise from the dead. The very saying sounded mysterious to them. “Rise from the dead? What does He mean?” The Gospels even record they were afraid to ask what He meant. They really had no clue. As Luke records, “But they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said” (Luke 18:34 ESV). And so, when He died, they were crestfallen. It was over. They were wrong. He was not the Messiah after all! That’s why they were in hiding in fear, their hopes dashed to pieces and their world lying in tatters at their feet. The whole thing had been one great dream. In the end, they were wrong. They had been deceived. Even after it was reported by some of the women that He had risen, the disciples didn’t believe it. John records that, on the very night that these resurrection reports were circulating – meaning the Sunday of His resurrection – and even after some of these men had seen that Yeshua’s tomb was, indeed, empty, “the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! ‘Peace be with you,’ he said” ( John 20:19 NLT). What a contrast between their attitudes and the attitudes of the followers of the Rebbe, who so fervently expected him to rise. For these men, the death of Jesus meant it was all over. So much for His being the Messiah! But then He rose from the dead and everything changed. Everything! So, the Rebbe’s followers were convinced he would rise from the dead. Yet he did not, and so, they have had to rationalize his death. He didn’t really die. His death freed him from the limitations of an earthly body. He could have been the Messiah if we were worthy, but we were not. And on and on it goes. But, to repeat: None of his followers claim to have seen him in the flesh after his death, let alone spend days with him eating and drinking and talking together. That’s because he never rose. It’s the exact opposite with the followers of Yeshua ( Jesus). They didn’t expect Him to rise and were shocked when He did. And to the ends of their

2nd Quarter 2020

25


Passover: The Season of Liberation and Resurrection

lives, they never questioned this reality, with most of them dying for their faith. They could not deny His resurrection! And whereas some of the Rebbe’s followers claim to this day that he did not die in June 1994, Rabbi Yeshua’s followers celebrate His death – as our Passover Lamb – and His resurrection. Professor N. T. Wright noted in response to those who claimed that it was common for people to have visions of people after their death, “The more ‘normal’ these ‘visions’ were, the less chance there is that anyone, no matter how cognitively dissonant they may have been feeling, would have said what nobody had ever said about such a dead person before, that they had been raised from the dead.” The Orthodox Jewish scholar Pinchas Lapide put it like this: When this scared, frightened band of the apostles which was just about to throw away everything in order to flee in despair to Galilee; when these peasants, shepherds, and fishermen who betrayed and denied their master and then failed him miserably, suddenly could be changed overnight into a confident mission society, convinced of salvation and to work with much more success after Easter than before Easter, then no vision or hallucination is sufficient to explain such a revolutionary transformation.

Yes, this last quote comes from the pen of a respected Orthodox Jewish scholar – not a Christian or Messianic Jewish scholar – affirming that the only viable explanation for the reports of Yeshua’s resurrection is that He actually rose from the dead – literally, physically, undeniably. That’s why, for His followers to this day, we not only celebrate His death during the Passover/Easter season. We celebrate His resurrection and His unending life. And because He lives, we live too! *Editor’s Note: See Dr. Brown during his recent interview with

Rabbi Jonathan by visiting www.jewishvoice.tv.

(Some of the material in this article was excerpted from Resurrection: Investigating a Rabbi from Brooklyn, a Preacher from Galilee, and the Event that Changed the World, available March, 2020.)

Dr. Michael Brown Dr. Michael Brown is the founder and president of FIRE School of Ministry in Concord, North Carolina, Director of the Coalition of Conscience and host of the daily, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Line of Fire, as well as the host of the apologetics TV show, Answering Your Toughest Questions, which airs on the NRB TV network. Since becoming a Believer in 1971, he has preached throughout America and around the world, bringing a message of repentance, revival, reformation and cultural revolution.

H H CAN CAN C C R R U U H H C C R R U U O O YY

EXPERIENCE EXPERIENCE

THE THE BIBLE BIBLE LIKE LIKENEVER NEVERBEFORE BEFORE When When your your church church or or congregational congregational leader leader invites invites Jewish Jewish Voice Voice Ministries Ministries to to speak speak at your at your services services or or meetings, meetings, you’ll you’ll getget powerful, powerful, in-depth in-depth teachings teachings on on topics topics ranging ranging from: from: • God’s • God’s Plan Plan forfor Israel Israel • The • The Biblical Biblical Festivals Festivals • Jesus’ • Jesus’ Beatitudes Beatitudes from from Their Their Original Original Hebrew Hebrew • and • and so so much much more... more...

»»» »»»

The TheBible Biblewill willopen openupupfor foryou youinina awhole wholenew newway. way.

REQUEST REQUEST AA SPEAKER SPEAKER TODAY! TODAY! GoGo to:to: www.jewishvoice.org/speakers www.jewishvoice.org/speakers OrOr callcall us us at 602-971-8501 at 602-971-8501

Hebrew School WITH

RABBI JACK ZIMMERMAN

Shalom!

When I was asked to write this Hebrew School article connecting us to the spring biblical Festivals, my first thought was the connection between Passover and the Festival of Firstfruits, which happens shortly after Passover. My next thought was, “Ah yes, Arkansas!” Or more specifically, “Crater of Diamonds State Park,” in Arkansas. Every once in a while, the place makes headlines because some visitors get adventurous enough to spend hours methodically digging to find diamonds, and quite a few folks actually do. This past October, a teacher found a diamond weighing more than 3.29 karats. The visit obviously paid off. But not everyone finds a diamond because not everyone looks. For too many, all they see is ground level dirt, and they doubt that it’s worth the time to go under the surface. If they only knew. And that’s also how too many folks look at the Scriptures, particularly when it comes to Leviticus 23 and the cycle of Biblical Festivals that begin in the spring. And just to show how fruitful it would be, let me take you on one right now, with this gem of a Hebrew word: The word is pronounced, “ray-SHEET” and it’s found in Leviticus 23:10 which says: Speak to Bnei-Yisrael and tell them: When you have come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you are to bring the omer of the firstfruits of your harvest to the kohen. –Leviticus 23:10 See that word, “firstfruits” in the verse? That’s our Hebrew word, “ray-SHEET.” But why is it important, and exactly what are we hoping to dig up? Funny you should ask because when this Festival of

R A B B I JAC K

Firstfruits was observed in ancient times, the practice mandated that in the land of Israel, you would go into your field or yard, and pull or dig up the best looking sheaf of barley you could find (that’s why “firstfruits” refers to the best). There is also another Hebrew word, “bikkur” that means, “Firsfruits”, referring to the annual Festival of the same name. It was the time of the barley harvest, and you wanted to give God thanks for blessing you with a sizeable crop. You would then take that sheaf and bring it to the priest. The verses go on to say that the priest would then wave the sheaf before the Lord, “so it will be accepted on your behalf.” Indeed, it is because we have been found acceptable before God, that we can draw unto Him in the first place. Is it any accident that in 1 Corinthians 15 that Yeshua ( Jesus) is referred to as our firstfruits? Here’s the diamond you’ve been digging for. In John 12:32, listen to the language Jesus, our Firstfruits, uses and how familiar it now sounds: “And as I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself.” So now let’s look at the parallels: The barley, known as the firstfruits, was lifted up. Jesus, known as the firstfruits, was lifted up (His resurrection!). When the barley was lifted up, God drew the people to Himself. When Yeshua was lifted up, Yeshua (God in the flesh) promised to draw the people to Himself. So, should we observe the Spring Festivals? No and Yes. NO, please don’t run yourself ragged trying to bring barley to a person and place that are no longer. But when this festival comes, yes, please DO observe it by acknowledging that Yeshua is our Firstfruits, and were it not for His resurrection, we’d all be condemned to an eternity without God.

2nd Quarter 2020

27


Passover: The Season of Liberation and Resurrection

lives, they never questioned this reality, with most of them dying for their faith. They could not deny His resurrection! And whereas some of the Rebbe’s followers claim to this day that he did not die in June 1994, Rabbi Yeshua’s followers celebrate His death – as our Passover Lamb – and His resurrection. Professor N. T. Wright noted in response to those who claimed that it was common for people to have visions of people after their death, “The more ‘normal’ these ‘visions’ were, the less chance there is that anyone, no matter how cognitively dissonant they may have been feeling, would have said what nobody had ever said about such a dead person before, that they had been raised from the dead.” The Orthodox Jewish scholar Pinchas Lapide put it like this: When this scared, frightened band of the apostles which was just about to throw away everything in order to flee in despair to Galilee; when these peasants, shepherds, and fishermen who betrayed and denied their master and then failed him miserably, suddenly could be changed overnight into a confident mission society, convinced of salvation and to work with much more success after Easter than before Easter, then no vision or hallucination is sufficient to explain such a revolutionary transformation.

Yes, this last quote comes from the pen of a respected Orthodox Jewish scholar – not a Christian or Messianic Jewish scholar – affirming that the only viable explanation for the reports of Yeshua’s resurrection is that He actually rose from the dead – literally, physically, undeniably. That’s why, for His followers to this day, we not only celebrate His death during the Passover/Easter season. We celebrate His resurrection and His unending life. And because He lives, we live too! *Editor’s Note: See Dr. Brown during his recent interview with

Rabbi Jonathan by visiting www.jewishvoice.tv.

(Some of the material in this article was excerpted from Resurrection: Investigating a Rabbi from Brooklyn, a Preacher from Galilee, and the Event that Changed the World, available March, 2020.)

Dr. Michael Brown Dr. Michael Brown is the founder and president of FIRE School of Ministry in Concord, North Carolina, Director of the Coalition of Conscience and host of the daily, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Line of Fire, as well as the host of the apologetics TV show, Answering Your Toughest Questions, which airs on the NRB TV network. Since becoming a Believer in 1971, he has preached throughout America and around the world, bringing a message of repentance, revival, reformation and cultural revolution.

H H CAN CAN C C R R U U H H C C R R U U O O YY

EXPERIENCE EXPERIENCE

THE THE BIBLE BIBLE LIKE LIKENEVER NEVERBEFORE BEFORE When When your your church church or or congregational congregational leader leader invites invites Jewish Jewish Voice Voice Ministries Ministries to to speak speak at your at your services services or or meetings, meetings, you’ll you’ll getget powerful, powerful, in-depth in-depth teachings teachings on on topics topics ranging ranging from: from: • God’s • God’s Plan Plan forfor Israel Israel • The • The Biblical Biblical Festivals Festivals • Jesus’ • Jesus’ Beatitudes Beatitudes from from Their Their Original Original Hebrew Hebrew • and • and so so much much more... more...

»»» »»»

The TheBible Biblewill willopen openupupfor foryou youinina awhole wholenew newway. way.

REQUEST REQUEST AA SPEAKER SPEAKER TODAY! TODAY! GoGo to:to: www.jewishvoice.org/speakers www.jewishvoice.org/speakers OrOr callcall us us at 602-971-8501 at 602-971-8501

Hebrew School WITH

RABBI JACK ZIMMERMAN

Shalom!

When I was asked to write this Hebrew School article connecting us to the spring biblical Festivals, my first thought was the connection between Passover and the Festival of Firstfruits, which happens shortly after Passover. My next thought was, “Ah yes, Arkansas!” Or more specifically, “Crater of Diamonds State Park,” in Arkansas. Every once in a while, the place makes headlines because some visitors get adventurous enough to spend hours methodically digging to find diamonds, and quite a few folks actually do. This past October, a teacher found a diamond weighing more than 3.29 karats. The visit obviously paid off. But not everyone finds a diamond because not everyone looks. For too many, all they see is ground level dirt, and they doubt that it’s worth the time to go under the surface. If they only knew. And that’s also how too many folks look at the Scriptures, particularly when it comes to Leviticus 23 and the cycle of Biblical Festivals that begin in the spring. And just to show how fruitful it would be, let me take you on one right now, with this gem of a Hebrew word: The word is pronounced, “ray-SHEET” and it’s found in Leviticus 23:10 which says: Speak to Bnei-Yisrael and tell them: When you have come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you are to bring the omer of the firstfruits of your harvest to the kohen. –Leviticus 23:10 See that word, “firstfruits” in the verse? That’s our Hebrew word, “ray-SHEET.” But why is it important, and exactly what are we hoping to dig up? Funny you should ask because when this Festival of

R A B B I JAC K

Firstfruits was observed in ancient times, the practice mandated that in the land of Israel, you would go into your field or yard, and pull or dig up the best looking sheaf of barley you could find (that’s why “firstfruits” refers to the best). There is also another Hebrew word, “bikkur” that means, “Firsfruits”, referring to the annual Festival of the same name. It was the time of the barley harvest, and you wanted to give God thanks for blessing you with a sizeable crop. You would then take that sheaf and bring it to the priest. The verses go on to say that the priest would then wave the sheaf before the Lord, “so it will be accepted on your behalf.” Indeed, it is because we have been found acceptable before God, that we can draw unto Him in the first place. Is it any accident that in 1 Corinthians 15 that Yeshua ( Jesus) is referred to as our firstfruits? Here’s the diamond you’ve been digging for. In John 12:32, listen to the language Jesus, our Firstfruits, uses and how familiar it now sounds: “And as I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself.” So now let’s look at the parallels: The barley, known as the firstfruits, was lifted up. Jesus, known as the firstfruits, was lifted up (His resurrection!). When the barley was lifted up, God drew the people to Himself. When Yeshua was lifted up, Yeshua (God in the flesh) promised to draw the people to Himself. So, should we observe the Spring Festivals? No and Yes. NO, please don’t run yourself ragged trying to bring barley to a person and place that are no longer. But when this festival comes, yes, please DO observe it by acknowledging that Yeshua is our Firstfruits, and were it not for His resurrection, we’d all be condemned to an eternity without God.

2nd Quarter 2020

27


2020 OUTREACH SCHEDULE Southern Africa Zimbabwe Ethiopia

July 16-26 September 3-13 October 22-November 1

**Outreach dates and locations subject to change

Profile for Jewish Voice Ministries International

2020 Q2 Jewish Voice Today Magazine  

2020 Q2 Jewish Voice Today Magazine