HaShem's Appointed Times
By Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)
In this study I would like to examine the symbolic connections between the festivals and our relationship with HaShem. We will examine each of the festivals and note how they speak to the courtship and marriage with HaShem.
The first festival of the year is Pesach. This festival is described in the Tanach as the time when we followed HaShem into the wilderness to begin our relationship. This wilderness trek began on Pesach:
Yeremiyahu (Jeremiah) 2:1 Moreover the word of HaShem came to me, saying, 2 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith HaShem; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. 3 Israel was holiness unto HaShem, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith HaShem.
Pesach begins our courtship. Moshe as the first redeemer, and is a remez for the final redeemer (Mashiach), leads us out of Mitzrayim. Moshe is the friend of the bridegroom who comes to escort the bride who is called Israel. As we prepare for our marriage, we must leave Mitzrayim and all that supported us for the 210 years we lived in Mitzrayim. We must leave our wicked ways and begin a new life.
Yochanan (John) For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother.
This happened in two stages: first we left Egypt which is called in Hebrew: Mitzrayim. This word means “a constricted place”. Our leaving was the actual birth of the nation of Israel. Thus our relationship with HaShem really began at our birth. This feast has a Shabbat on the first and on the seventh days. This feast is also known as Chag HaMatza, the feast of Unleavened Bread. The main requirement was to avoid all leaven for seven days. Leaven, as a remez for the evil inclination, is something we do not want our lover to find in us, yet without it we would never build the world. So, for seven days we do without, but then we leave that rarefied world and return to do the work HaShem set before us. This feast begins our physical freedom from Mitzrayim which is a remez for this world. On the seventh day, of this feast, we will cross the Red Sea and leave Mitzrayim, the land of sin.
We will count forty-nine days from the second day of Pesach until Shavuot. This counting is the action of a bride who is looking forward to the time when she can be with Her Beloved, by counting the days. This period of preparation is called Sefirat HaOmer and has its own mitzva:
Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:14-16 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor fresh ears, until this selfsame day, until ye have brought the offering of your God; it is a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the day after Shabbat, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the waving; seven weeks shall there be complete; 16 even unto the morrow after the seventh week shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall present a new meal-offering unto HaShem.
This one day feast is a Shabbat. This feast is the conclusion of Pesach, to which it is attached via the counting of the Omer. This feast concludes our journey to freedom. We now have HaShem’s law and we have thereby achieved spiritual freedom. One Shavuot very soon, HaShem will give us His new covenant and we will always obey him. This is the festival of leavened bread, represented by two huge, leavened, loaves of bread.
Today, in Sefardi synagogues all around the world, they will be reading the document of betrothal between HaShem and His people. The Torah will serve as the ketubah, the marriage contract. This is the first part of a two part formal contract between HaShem and His spouse. After today, this new relationship can only be severed by a divorce. We do not live together, not do we have intimacy, but, in all other respects we are married. Today we experience the first part of the wedding ceremony, the erusin.
After the erusin ceremony, the bridegroom (HaShem and His Mashiach) will return to prepare a home for the bride. This is a time of preparation that will build in intensity as we approach the day of kiddushin, the second part of the wedding ceremony.
(Feast of Trumpets - Tishrei 1)
The Bridegroom comes!
Matityahu (Matthew) 25:1-13 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Yom Teruah is one day festival Shabbat that lasts 49 hours. This day is appointed for the resurrection of the dead and the crowning of Mashiach as King. This is the day of the King’s return to Earth. Blowing the shofar a hundred times is the major task for this day. For the last thirty days (the month of Elul) we have been repenting before our neighbor and before HaShem, to prepare for this day.
This is the only festival that no man knows the the day or hour it begins.
At this point, the preparations for the kiddushin peak. The next ten days are called Yamim Noraim, the awesome days! This is the time when The King is in the field. He has left His palace to make it easy for His bride to draw near to Him. The preparation of this time is the changing of our lives to shed the habits of sin and to repent of our sins. The goal is to repair the body and to repair our relationship with The Bridegroom.
Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Mashiach loved the congregation and gave himself up for her To make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, And to present her to himself as a radiant congregation, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
(Day of The Atonements - Tishrei 10)
Yom HaKippurim is one day festival Shabbat. This is the only day where HaShem commands us to fast and deny ourselves as we prepare for the wedding of the ages. Today is the kiddushin portion of the wedding between HaShem and His people. Jews the world over will be rehearsing this ceremony in their synagogues. As the bride and groom fast on their wedding day, so too do HaShem’s people fast today. As the bride wears white on her wedding day, so too do we wear our white kittels on this day.
Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
From this day forward, there will no longer be any more sin, because we will become one with HaShem. On this day His name will be One! This is the same thing that happens when two become one during the act of marriage. This is the day when HaShem will write His renewed covenant on our hearts:
Yeremyahu (Jeremiah) 31:31-34 Behold, the days come, saith HaShem, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith HaShem: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith HaShem, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know HaShem: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith HaShem: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
(Feast of Tabernacles - Tishrei 15 - 21)
The Wedding Feast
Yochanan (John) On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Yeshua stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.
Chag HaSuccoth is a seven day festival which has a Shabbat on the first day. On the eighth day we celebrate Shemini Atzeret. HaShem commanded that we spend these seven days in a temporary dwelling place which is like a bridal chamber. This feast is known as the feast of our joy, and was the most joyful of the feasts. On the first day of this feast, Yeshua was born.
(The Eighth Assembly - Tishrei 22)
During this special day we celebrate the beginning of the eighth millennium with a special time of intimacy with HaShem. There are no more Gentiles, only the second Adam walking in Gan eden with HaShem.
(Dedication - Kislev 25 - Tevet 2)
(Lots - Adar 14)
Day of deliverance from our enemies.
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This study was written by
Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David
Comments may be submitted to:
Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian
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Torah (תורה), meaning "teaching" or "law," includes the Five Books of Moses. The Torah is also known by its Greek name, "the Pentateuch," which similarly means "five scrolls."
Nevi'im (נביאים), meaning "Prophets." The Nevi'im are often divided into the Earlier Prophets, which are generally historical, and the Later Prophets, which contain more exhortational prophecies.
Ketuvim (כתובים), meaning "Writings," are sometimes also known by the Greek title "Hagiographa." These encompass all the remaining books, and include the Five Scrolls.
 The Hebrew word for Egypt.
 In the diaspora we celebrate the first two days and the seventh and eighth days as shabbat.
 Mitzva is the Hebrew word normally translated as “command”, but having the connotation of a good deed.