Attn Newcomers: You may wish to read the Overview post first.


More Jewish Holidays, 2009:

(This is taken from the book in the right-hand column, "What Every Christian Should Know About the Jewish People." It would be beneficial to read the Overview first, here.)

The Jewish "High Holiday" season begins at sundown September 18th with the eve of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah (pronounced rush ha-sha-na and sometimes spelled Rosh Ha’Shanah). Synagogues will herald in the Jewish New Year with the blowing of the shofar, a trumpet-like musical instrument made from a ram's horn. Thus, Rosh Hashanah is also known as The Feast of Trumpets (“Yom Teruah”). The command from God to observe the Jewish New Year can be found in Leviticus 23:23:

The LORD said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites: 'On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts’.”

This year will be 5770 on the Jewish calendar, dating back to the beginning of Jewish recorded history.

Following Rosh Hashanah ten days later is the Jewish Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur (pronounced yome ki-poor'), from sundown on September 27th to sundown the next day. Every Jewish person who is “of age” (thirteen and over) is required to fast and refrain from any work for the entire twenty-four hours. Jewish people who observe this holiday may spend some of this day at a synagogue praying for God's forgiveness of sins, and approach people whose forgiveness they seek.

God's original command for Yom Kippur was this: "This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: On the tenth day of the seventh month you must deny yourselves and not do any work…because on this day atonement will be made for you to cleanse you. Then, before the Lord you will be clean from all your sins….” (Leviticus 16:29-30, excerpts, NIV).

From Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur are the “Ten Days of Awe”. Leading up to Yom Kippur, Orthodox Jews recite the “slichot”, prayers of repentance.

Can Christians commemorate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur?
Christians and “Jewish believers in Jesus” should agree that all people who believe in God need confession and repentance. The Jewish observance of Yom Kippur is a serious thing not to be taken lightly.

Although Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the ultimate sacrifice for all sins (Romans 6:10) , we can still commemorate the Jewish Day of Atonement as a reminder to be truly repentant. Our attitude in demonstrating to our friends of Jewish and other faiths that we know the difference between right and wrong, is a good witness, a picture worth 1000 words.

Now, say to your Jewish friends "Shanah Tovah" (have a great Jewish New Year)!


Thought for the Day...

In Genesis 12:3, the Lord tells Abraham (paraphrased): I will bless those who bless you (the Jews), and curse those who curse you.


Overview: How Much do Christians Know About the Jewish People?

  • -How can Christians gain a fresh, love-filled perspective toward the Jewish people today?
  • -What makes a person consider him or herself Jewish?
  • -Why are Jewish people hesitant to accept the Gospel message of Christ as Messiah?
  • -How can "The Church" speak up for Israel's existence?
  • -And the often-debated question: "Do Jewish people really need to be “converted”?
Even if you don’t know any Jewish people, maybe you've wondered why it's so hard for them to accept the New Testament. Or you want to know how our two religions can work together in these times of renewed anti-Semitism and anti-Christianity. And you want to be prepared as a witness should you befriend a Jewish person...

This blog is for Christians to learn more about the Jewish faith, the "Jewishness" of Jesus, how to help Jewish people believe that the whole Bible is truth, and much more. Who better to explain all this than a Jewish person who has found Jesus as her Lord and Savior?

When Sheryl Young's husband rediscovered Jesus after many years, she thought, "How can I, a girl from a Jewish family, be married to a Christian?" She set out to prove the Gospel wrong. But the moment she studied the Old Testament and dared to compare it with the New, everything changed. She fell in love with her Messiah, saw her Jewish heritage with new appreciative eyes, and realized the two could fit perfectly together.

The posts here are excerpts from Sheryl's book, What Every Christian Should Know about the Jewish People which was in print from 2008-2013. The book is no longer available, but please enjoy the posted information, and may God bless your newfound knowledge about the Jewish people. A better relationship between Christians and Jews is much needed in today's world.

(What Every Christian Should Know about the Jewish People: Improving the Church's Relationship with God's Original Chosen Nation © 2008, Sheryl Young, Wine Press/Pleasant Word Publishing)

Enjoy learning some popular Hebrew words and something about them.

Adonai – (Ah-doe-nigh) – A Jewish word for God. Many Jewish people feel spelling out the name God in print is a sacrilege, because it is too holy. They will usually write G-d. Since God can also be Elohim, or even where we get Yaweh and Jehovah, there are many Hebrew spellings for its different contexts.

Bar Mitzvah – A Jewish boy’s confirmation at or near his thirteenth birthday. “Bar” indicates a son. In biblical times, King David may have been identified as David bar Jesse, meaning David the son of Jesse.

Bat Mitzvah (sometimes called Bas Mitzvah) – A Jewish girl’s confirmation at or near her thirteenth birthday. “Bat” (pronounced “bot”) indicates daughter.

Cantor – The synagogue official who leads the congregation in songs and prayers…their Worship Leader.

Chutzpah – Guts, courage, zeal. Make a guttural “ch” by pressing your tongue on the roof of your mouth and breathing out, then add -ootzpah!

Dreydl (“draydil”) – A little toy at Hanukkah – a spinning top.

Gelt – Money. You may have heard of “Hanukkah gelt”, which is chocolate wrapped in gold foil to look like coins at that holiday – or if you’re lucky, a gift of real money!

Kibbutz – An agricultural community in Israel where families live and participate in a combined farming effort. This was started around the Russian Revolution in the early 1900's when Jews made “aliyah” to Israel. Today, there are still about 250 “kibbutzim” (the plural). Not to be confused with “kibitz”, which means to talk, joke or gossip amongst a group of people.

Kosher – Food which conforms to Jewish dietary law; what food is called after a blessing by a
rabbi has been executed. For animal flesh, all blood has to be properly drained and parts inappropriate for consumption discarded. When a Jewish person obeys all dietary laws, like not eating milk with meat in the same meal, we say they are kosher, or they keep a kosher home.

L’chaim! (“le-chayeem”) – Cheers! Let’s raise our glasses and toast to life!

Mazel Tov (“mahzl-tuv”) – Congratulations!

Meshpochah – Pronounced just like it looks, with a guttural “ch”, it means Family.

Mezuzot (or Mezuzah) – The little scroll that Jewish people have on their front doorposts. This comes from Deuteronomy 6:8: “You shall carve it (God’s word) upon your doorposts.” It actually has a tiny piece of parchment inside.

Mitzvah – A happy event.

Mogen David – The traditional six-pointed Star of David, also a popular Jewish wine.

Pareve (“pahriv”) – Neutral food, containing neither milk nor dairy, i.e., a kosher person can eat it with other items. We often see these labels on food products at Passover time.

Shabbat (“shah-bot”) – Sabbath, the Holy Day, from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown.

Talmud – A collection of rabbinical teachings and commentaries.

Shalom - Hello, goodbye, peace.

Torah – The Five Books of Moses or sometimes the whole Old Testament in general.

Yarmulke (“your-mull-key”) – the little skull cap worn by Jewish men for worshipping; some wear it at all times.

Yiddish – A language spoken by European Jews which may be any combination of Hebrew, German, Russian and the Slavic languages (from Romania, Yugoslavia, etc).