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Feast of Tabernacles - September 25, 2021 - Torah Portion

“Beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate this Festival to the Lord for seven days; the first day is a day of sabbath rest, and the eighth day also is a day of sabbath rest. On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. Celebrate this as a Festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; […] Live in temporary shelters for seven days: […]” - Leviticus 23:39-42 (NIV)

This past week we observed with you the holiest day in the Hebrew biblical year, the Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur, a day of fasting and prayer, of supplication and repentance, of reflection and meditation. The recordings of our 24-hr Yom Kippur Prayer and Worship Livestream can be replayed via the links at the bottom of this letter, it was so awesome! As we continue celebrating these "Moedim" Divinely appointed sacred assemblies, Feasts of the Lord, this next week moves quickly into a seemingly opposite theme. The Feast of Tabernacles (Succot) is the Harvest Festival of Ingathering, a time of celebration and joy, of thankfulness and good food. Remind you of something? That’s because Succot is the original inspiration for Thanksgiving Holiday! In the Bible it is also known as the Feast of Ingathering (Aliyah) “Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field, the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field.” - Exodus 23:16 (NIV) This is an Aliyah Holiday On this occasion we are called to remember this First Aliyah - the Israelites' deliverance from slavery in Egypt and being brought by God's mighty Hand through the wilderness into the Land of Promise; during this 40-year journey life was hard and we lived in tents for an entire generation. For this reason we commemorate this throughout our generations by dwelling, eating, rejoicing, in a temporary shelter called a “succah” (“succot” for plural) for 7 days, and having a big celebration on the 8th, day representing our settling in to our inheritance. Who it's for Deuteronomy 16:13-15 details who is supposed to participate in this harvest festival (pretty much everyone, foreigner or not) and why they should do so, concluding with “for the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.”

The verses following this mention that “No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed: Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.” How it applies to the Nations This is the part that applies especially to believers in Yeshua the Messiah; during the Feast of Tabernacles throughout the Bible, besides the sacrifices, two other important ceremonies took place. The priest would draw fresh pure water from the Pool of Siloam and carry it to the Temple where it was poured into a silver basin beside the altar, which foreshadowed the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. Also, four huge golden menorahs were lit along the outer walls of the temple, which reminded the people of the pillar of fire which led them through the desert; however, it also demonstrated that the promised Messiah would be a Light to the World. The Master had these very specific references in mind when He said these words during this holiday period:

"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." - John 7:37-38 (NIV) AND "I AM the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life." - John 8:12 (NIV) It is your sowing, and He has promised a rich harvest in return (Deuteronomy 16). Shabbat shalom,

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