“And He Called”: Celebrating the Fall Festivals in the biblical calendar – 5773 (September 2012)
Christians are familiar with the Latin title “Leviticus” applied to the 3rd of Moses’ five books called the PENTATEUCH (ecclesiastical Latin/Greek). In the original Hebrew Scriptures the TNK, Leviticus is called by its Hebrew title: Wa’iyqrah/Vayiqra (meaning, “And He called…”).
“And He called…” and He called . . . and He called . . . we don’t know how many more times in our lifetime that He called but finally we heard and responded with a drastic turnabout in our faith direction.
At about this time last year 5772, individuals who felt “called” out of Christ-centered religion banded together to discuss “what now, where to.” It led us to retrace the journey of the Patriarchs who were called to place their faith in the God who spoke to each of them and who revealed His Name on Sinai, along with a whole revelation called TORAH.
It had taken us a year to research on and review the foundations of our Christian faith before we each reached individual decisions. We understood that alone we would most likely get nowhere because for each of us, there was no turning back and we could each wallow in isolation, for who is going to listen to us? And so because “He called” us individually but we knew each other and started sharing our common grounds, we responded together with Sinai 6000.
The name immediately defines our direction as well as our time frame. We laid out a pathway for us and others to tread, a step by step journey leading toward YHWH, Creator, whose Name He revealed on Sinai. We discussed the details of our belief, came to an agreement, and wrote down in the form of a creed (Home Page: Statement of Faith).
At that time, this website was not even on our horizon; this was conceived then instituted in February 2012 when we realized we would never convince anyone else in our spheres of influence but that it is possible there are seekers all over the world just like ourselves, who are moving toward the same direction are similarly isolated and needing a connection. We conceived ourselves as resource persons and this website as a resource center. But we were also wanting more . . . become a community of like-minded believers in YHWH.
The timing was perfect. The fall festivals were upon us ushered in by Rosh Hashanah (The Feast of Trumpets) followed by Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) culminating in Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles). Former Messianics among us had been exposed to and were already familiar with, in fact celebrating, these festivals but of course with Jesus infused all over them; that was the justification given by Messianics to observe them.
But we debated: we’re gentiles, why are we celebrating “Jewish” festivals? Did Judaism invent these or did YHWH our rediscovered LORD ordain them?
The feasts are biblical first and Jewish too, since the Torah-observant Jews are the only people observing them. YHWH calls them “MY” feasts, not “your” feasts to the newly born nation on Sinai. They are in the Written Torah and of course explained in minutiae in the Oral Torah and Rabbinical commentaries. We figured, if these are YHWH’s feasts, whether Israelite or gentile, we obey! Our only problem was we didn’t know how, but it was a start.
Leviticus 23 is a significant chapter where the Feasts of YHWH are commanded; there are seven of them, but for now we will focus only on the fall festivals because this year marks our first anniversary as a community which consciously and seriously took these commandments to heart, in spirit and for life application.
Leviticus/Vayikra 23:1- 4 [Translations: EF/Everett Fox, The Five Books of Moses; AST/ArtScroll.]EF: 1 YHVH spoke to Moshe, saying:
2 Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: The appointed-times of YHVH, which you
are to proclaim to them (as) proclamations of holiness— these are they, my appointed-times:
3 For six days may work be done, but on the seventh day (is) Sabbath, Sabbath-ceasing, a proclamation of holiness, any-kind of work you are not to do. It is Sabbath to YHVH, throughout all your settlements.
4 These are the appointed-times of YHVH, proclamations of holiness, which you are to
proclaim at their appointed-times:
AST: HaShem spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: HaShem’s appointed festivals that you are to designate as holy convocations—these are My appointed festivals. . . . These are the appointed festivals of HaShem, the holy convocations, which you shall designate in their appointed time.
(Please read the whole chapter and other relevant scripture elaborating on these fall feasts; all the Jewish websites on our LINK explain them at length.)
On the feast of trumpets, we prepared for the day of Atonement. We had to get right with the True God. Not that there are big sins and small sins, but we felt that our greatest sin against YHWH was IDOLATRY! Individually and as a community, we repented for our ignorance of Him, our worship of the Christian Trinitarian Godhead, our recognition of Jesus as the God of the Old Testament, our neglect of studying the TORAH as YHWH’s revelation . . . among others. Then, feeling liberated from bondage to the “Egypt” – modern religions – of our days, we felt part of the “ingathering” or the “harvest” among people devoted to YHWH. We had already separated from all previous religious ties but we had not expected it would affect our personal ties with Christian/Messianic friends. Our celebration continued to the Feast of Tabernacles, the festival of booths, Sukkot.
It was on the last day of Sukkot that the oldest among us, the most wonderful, most generous, most kind, most visually expressive of his worship of YHWH, danced all night, straight into the arms of the God he had loved all his life but had not known as fully as he did in his last days. His name is Ciso. His story will be posted on the anniversary of his life in YHWH.