Happy Shavuot!

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What Is Shavuot?

Shavuot is a Jewish holiday/holy day celebrated on the sixth of Sivan to celebrate Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai. It is the second of the three pilgrimage feasts in which Jews would travel to the Temple in Jerusalem to give their first fruits. The festival takes place exactly 50 days after the festival of Passover. Shavuot is referred to as Pentecost by Christians and is also sometimes referred to as the Feast of Weeks.

What Is the Proper Greeting for Shavuot?

The greeting for Shavuot is simply “Chag Sameach!” (Happy Holiday).

When Is Shavuot This Year?

Jewish Year 5773: Sunset May 14, 2013 – sunset May 16, 2013

What Bible Verse Corresponds With Shavuot?

“And it shall be, when you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you possess it and dwell in it, that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground, which you shall bring from your land that the LORD your God is giving you, and put it in a basket and go to the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide” (Deuteronomy 26:1-2 NKJV).

A Shavuot Blessing

May your home be filled with love,
May your heart be filled with peace,
May your life be filled with joy,
On Shavuot and every day!

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Sharing a Shabbat Meal in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Post Clinic

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A busy roadway in Hosanna, Ethiopia. Photo by Tim Kearns.

Rick Kingham,
Executive Director of Global Ministries for Jewish Voice

DATELINE: Hosanna, Ethiopia

Great day for a weary but joyful team as we all reunite at the hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Part of the team went to the Jewish Voice medical clinic site to pack up, while a majority came back to Addis. The roads were treacherous and we were not sure that the larger vehicles could pass.

We are now preparing for a wonderful Shabbat meal together and some much-needed rest. Final numbers for the medical clinic to follow.

Consider joining us on a Jewish Voice medical mission as a volunteer!  All throughout the year, we host international medical outreaches for underprivileged Jewish communities in remote parts of Africa and India that feature free treatment for medical, eye, and dental conditions. Our five-day clinics bring not only physical healing through medicine and medical procedures, but also spiritual healing through sharing the Gospel of Yeshua and through prayer. You don’t have to be a medical professional to raise your own support and come on a humanitarian outreach with us; you just need to be willing to serve with a heart of compassion. Sign up for an upcoming outreach.

Jewish Voice Ministries International

Happy Passover!

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The Passover Seder table.

Chag Pesach Sameach!

History repeats itself . . .

First there were the Israelites in Bible times, who were saved from sudden slaughter when they obeyed God by putting blood on the lintels and doorposts of their home. The Angel of Death passed over, and the Hebrew children lived to tell their great story of God’s faithfulness.

Fast-forward to today.

Now, we as people of faith can celebrate being saved from certain death when we apply the blood of Yeshua our Messiah to our lives and repent of those sins that kept us in our own personal bondage.

To help you celebrate this wonderful occasion, we have put together some Passover resources so that you can be educated and inspired by the beauty of this holy feast.

May we together—both Jew and Gentile—celebrate the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world!

Jewish Voice Ministries International

Passover Webcast Tonight . . . From a Messianic Jewish Perspective

Jewish Voice Webcast bannerWebcast online only. Catch it live tonight!

Topic: Passover and the Passover Seder

Time: 5-6pm PT, 8-9pm ET

Host: Rabbi Jonathan Bernis

Guest: Rabbi Tim Hyslip

More info and to watch: http://www.jewishvoice.org/media/television-show/monthly-webcast.html

Jewish Voice Ministries International

What’s Up With the Dreidel?

chanukah-dreidelHistory reveals that there was a time when the Syrians forbid study of the Torah. Those Jewish People who were serious about continuing to study the Hebrew Scriptures despite their difficult circumstances studied in secret. They kept spinning tops called dreidels handy. This way if Jews were found studying, they could quickly pretend that had only been playing.

Outside of Israel, a dreidel contains the Hebrew letters “nun,” “gimel,” “hay,” and “shin” on  its four sides. These letters stand for “Nes gadol haya sham,” which means, “A great miracle happened there,” referring to Israel.

The letters also stand for the gifts you get depending on which letter lands face up after the dreidel has been spun. To play the dreidel game, each player starts with the same amount of tokens, typically chocolate coins called gelt. Each player puts one token in the pot. Players take turns spinning the dreidel. Then each player follows the directions of what to do next depending on what Hebrew letter lands face up:

Nun = “nisht,” which means you don’t do anything

Gimel = “gants,” which means take the whole pot of chocolate coins, or gelt

Hay = “halb,” which means to take half the chocolate coins

Shin = “shtel,” which means you have to add chocolate coins to the pot

The game ends when a single player wins all the chocolate coins.

Happy Chanukah!

Jewish Voice Ministries International

Why I Celebrate Chanukah

iStock_000007213707LargeBy Jack Zimmerman,
Staff Evangelist for Jewish Voice

Ah, the aroma of potato pancakes frying in oil. This can mean only one thing—Chanukah has again arrived!

It’s that special time of year when we Jews celebrate the fact that when the Second Temple was desecrated around 164 B.C. by Antiochus and his troops, there was only enough oil to last for one day in the lampstand at the re-dedication ceremony. Miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days, and—voila!—there you go . . . instant Jewish holiday!

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York (the other Holy Land), I have memories of lighting another candle each night on the traditional Chanukah menorah. One day, however, the Zimmerman family took note that electricity had indeed been discovered, and that small screw-in bulbs rather than candles were much easier to use and didn’t drip like the candles did.

One year at Chanukah, we had a Chanukah bush. This is basically the Jewish version of a Christmas tree. On steroids.

Our response to the traditional Douglas fir at Christmas was a multi-colored metallic frilled bush, which could also be used to give you better reception on your television set, long after the holiday had ended and long before the advent of cable. (more…)

Chanukah: The Rekindling of Righteousness

GIFTWhat if Chanukah is more than just candles and presents? What if it isn’t really the memorial of a miracle? What if the real Chanukah story is actually a rallying cry for the Jewish People, and a graphic exhortation to all who have dedicated their lives to serve the Messiah Yeshua?

Today, the occasional, passing homage to the real story of Chanukah is too often lost in the buzz of wintertime festivities. As a result, what many do not remember about Chanukah is its unsettling, unsanitized, and all-too-important origins.

The real story of Chanukah is a story of turmoil and upheaval for the nation of Israel. It is a story about the attempted assimilation of the Jewish People, and the anti-Semitic spirit set against them. It is a story of sin and corruption; oppression and persecution; liberty and—ultimately—victory.

The real story of Chanukah begins approximately 200 years before Yeshua, with the latest of Israel’s foreign dictators, Antiochus Epiphanes, slaughtering many of the people of Israel, plundering the city of Jerusalem, and taking women, children, and livestock captive. He then enforced the widespread adoption of his very own one-world religion that could seal the fate not only of Israel, but of all the surrounding nations.

With so many Jews having already willingly subjected themselves to Antiochus’ rule, the next step in securing Israeli acceptance of his religion was to make the keeping of Torah and the continuation of the Temple service crimes against the state. By the abolition or abrogation of anything related to the Torah and the Temple service, everything that defined and distinguished Israel from the nations would be eliminated. The king’s scheme was ingenious, the goal astonishingly self-evident: Cause the Jews to “forget” who they are, and one can rule the world. (more…)