Friday, September 17, 2021

Reflections on Yom Kippur

 



These are the Scriptures I reflected on during Yom Kippur:

Leviticus 23, especially this:

26 Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: 27 “However, the tenth day of this seventh month is Yom Kippur,[f] a holy convocation to you, so you are to afflict yourselves. You are to bring an offering made by fire to Adonai. 28 You are not to do any kind of work on that set day, for it is Yom Kippur, to make atonement for you before Adonai your God. 29 For anyone who does not deny himself on that day must be cut off from his people. 30 Anyone who does any kind of work on that day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You should do no kind of work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It is to be a Shabbat of solemn rest for you, and you are to humble your souls. On the ninth day of the month in the evening—from evening until evening—you are to keep your Shabbat.”

 On Yom Kippur, we gathered together at the synagogue for a holy convocation - a solemn, serioius service where we reflect on our sins.  We ask forgiveness of those sins, and thank Him for the blood of Yeshua that pays for them.  We wear white clothing as a reminder that we are made pure because of His sacrifice.

During the service, we read and meditated on a long list of sins.  Many of these reminded me of sins I had allowed to creep into my life once again.  I repented (teshuvah) and asked forgiveness.

We are also reminded to go to the people we have hurt, to ask their forgiveness, and to make amends. 

Matthew 5:7
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Matthew 6:14
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Matthew 18:35
That is how My heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

Mark 11:26
But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. 
 
On Yom Kippur, we are also reminded of this:
 
Matthew 18:15 Now if your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault while you’re with him alone. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take with you one or two more, so that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. 17 But if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to Messiah’s community. And if he refuses to listen even to Messiah’s community, let him be to you as a pagan and a tax collector.
 
That last one is the most difficult one for me.  I have a very forgiving heart, and I don't have a hard time admitting I'm wrong and asking forgiveness, but confronting others and talking about what they did to hurt me is very difficult.  I have to pray long and hard on that before I do it to make sure of what to say, when to say it, and the right attitude in how to say it.   It's a soul-searching process that I take very seriously.

On Yom Kippur, we are told to fast, and yesterday I meditated on this passage from Isaiah 58:

“Is not this the fast I choose:
to release the bonds of wickedness,
to untie the cords of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to tear off every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
to bring the homeless poor into your house?
When you see the naked, to cover him,
and not hide yourself from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will spring up speedily.
Your righteousness will go before you,
the glory of Adonai as your rear guard.”
Then you will call, and Adonai will answer.
You will cry and He will say, “Here I am.”
If you get rid of the yoke among you—
finger-pointing and badmouthing—
10 If you give yourself to the hungry,
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then your light will rise in darkness,
and your gloom will be like midday.
11 Then Adonai will guide you continually,
    satisfy your soul in drought
    and strengthen your bones.
You will be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water whose waters never fail.
12 Some of you will rebuild the ancient ruins,
will raise up the age-old foundations,
will be called Repairer of the Breach,
    Restorer of Streets for Dwelling.
13 If you turn back your foot from Shabbat,
from doing your pleasure on My holy day,
and call Shabbat a delight,
    the holy day of Adonai honorable,
If you honor it, not going your own ways,
    not seeking your own pleasure,
    nor speaking your usual speech,
14 then You will delight yourself in Adonai,
and I will let you ride over the heights of the earth,
I will feed you with the heritage of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of Adonai has spoken.

I'm still pondering this passage, taking it slowly and seriously.  I'll post more on this another day.  

Finally, I'm reflecting on Psalm 32:1 - "Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is pardoned."  Oh, Halleluyah! Thank You, Father for Your forgiveness through Yeshua Hamashiach, and for the forgiveness of others I've sinned against.  If not for Your great love and mercy, I don't know where I would be.  Thank You for saving me and calling me to be a part of Your Kingdom.  I am so blessed.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Shana Tovah - Happy 5782

 

  

                                       L'SHANA TOVAH 

HAPPY NEW YEAR, 5782

We'll be observing this commanded feast tonight at our synagogue. This holiday is called Rosh Hashanah - and  Feast of Trumpets because the blowing of the shofar is the focus.  We also make the challah round on this holiday as a reminder that the time has come around once again for us to refocus our lives on ADONAI.  The cycle begins and we rejoice.



During the service at our synagogue, there are 100 notes blown on the shofar. Here is a video so that you can hear how it sounds.  The chanting by the rabbi tells the musician how many times to blow the shofar.

That last note is very long.  I am amazed at how long the one in the video continued, because blowing the shofar is not easy, and blowing  it for 100 notes is even harder.  To have the breath to end like that is great.
 
The shofar blasts are a call to repentance and prayer and a reminder to be in awe of Adonai. Thus, the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is known as The Ten Days of Awe. 

For the ten days, we take time to reflect on our lives and ask G-d to reveal any hidden sins.  We also ask Him to show us if any relationships need to be mended.  If so, we go to that person and ask forgiveness.  It is a solemn time of humbling ourselves before Him.  We remember, with grateful hearts, that without Yeshua's shed blood we would not have forgiveness.  His sacrifice gave us that gift. 

You can learn more about the Feast of Trumpets HERE
 

After the service, we eat lots of apples dipped in honey, and wish each other a sweet year ahead.

One of the things that awes me about the High Holy Days is that all Jews come aside to observe this holiday. In some towns, all businesses close down for the entire ten days.  I saw this quote and it caused me to think and I hope you, my Gail-Friends, will ponder it, too:

  “Since the days of Pentecost, has the whole church ever put aside every other work and waited upon him for ten days, that the Spirit’s power might be manifested? We give too much attention to method and machinery and resources, and too little to the source of power” –J. Hudson Taylor

Did you know that Pentecost is actually the Jewish holiday of Shavuot?  The Jews were in Jerusalem that day to obey God's command.  The observance of Rosh Hashanah and the Ten Days of Awe are also commanded by Adonai.  




Friday, September 3, 2021

Golden Cottage Happenings

 

 

Greetings Gail-Friends:

It's been a while...'cause I've been super busy.  I haven't been writing much lately because I've been focusing on art.  A friend  and fellow artist, Joy, and I are sharing booth space in the Green Circle Art Gallery in Cocoa Village.  I had some paintings done, but needed more, so that's what I've been doing, Gail-Friends.  Here's a photo of our space:

Last month, Rabbi Jem and I went to the Authors for Authors writers conference where I met Yvonne Mason, a fellow Georgia gal.  She invited me to be on her radio show, which I was happy to do.  Yvonne is so interesting to talk with, and she really put me at ease.  The show was not scripted, so we just chatted for an hour -- not so much about my books, but about God working our lives.  After the introductory song, the talking begins at the 4:45 mark Here's the link to the show:   Gail Golden interview

 Mr dear husband and I are members of the Space Coast Writers Guild, and he entered their recent short story contest -- Mischief.  Well, being the mischievous type, he entered a story -- and won second prize -- and $150.  I'm so proud of him!  

 

 

 

The plan-demic continues, and I've decided to keep my focus on Adonai.  He is my healer.  Sometimes I'm tempted to get anxious and/or depressed about the way things are going in my beloved country, but Adonai is also my Comforter and the Lifter of My Head.  Here are a couple of paintings I've done in the past that I hope will encourage you to keep your eyes on Him, too.

 


 

 

Focusing on God's Word, my blessings, helping others, doing art, listening to praise music -- all of these things are wise choices for times like these.  Also, I'm focusing on the beauty around me.  Here's some of it: 

I live in paradise - this is a marina near Cocoa Village.
Date palm flowers
This little duckie went to the Authors for Authors writers conference
beauty on my fence
my dear husband and our blind doxie reading the paper together - precious!

Blessings to you all, dear Gail-Friends.  Would love to hear what's happening in your world!