DIY TISHA B’AV – THE NINTH DAY OF AV

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On Tisha b’Av it is not the holy building or even the holy city we mourn; it is the hatred in the hearts of men that destroyed them both.**

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, Tisha b’Av arrives at the height of summer. Here, in the midst of our summer fun, we are asked to stop and face the reality of human suffering.

“Suffering humanizes us. Ignoring suffering dehumanizes us… Attunement to suffering makes us more compassionate. It also helps us appreciate where we come from and all that it took to get us to where we are. We have to remind ourselves that we don’t diminish our happiness when we spend a day or a few weeks meditating on the tragedies of history from which we emerged. We become more grateful, holding tightly to our blessed life because we can.”***

Download Tisha b’Av

* Baruch Nachshon
** Bill Bullock, The Rabbi’s Son
*** Erica Brown, In The Narrow Places, from Introduction

DIY SHAVUOT / PENTECOST

yoram raanan, giving of the torah

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When G-d gave the Torah, not a bird sang, no fowl flew, no ox lowed, the angels spread no wing, the Seraphim did not declare “Holy, Holy, Holy…”
The sea did not rage, people did not speak, but the world was in utter silence.
And there came forth the Voice, “I am the Lord your G-d…”**

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* Yoram Raanan, Giving Of The Torah
** Shemot Rabbah 29

 

DIY PESACH / PASSOVER

Chana Zelig*

The Israelites were about to go free. Nine of the ten plagues had already taken place. The tenth, they knew would be the last… Moses gathered the people and instructed them on the preparations they were to make. By any standard it was an epic moment.

For 210 years the Israelites had been in exile. They had experienced suffering, slavery, and attempted genocide. Now they were about to begin the journey know to history as the Exodus.

What would Moses say? He might have spoken about freedom, or the promised destination, the “land flowing with milk and honey.” He might have chosen to speak about the arduous journey that lay ahead…

Instead he spoke about children, and the distant future, and the duty to pass on memory to generations yet unborn. Three times he turned to the theme:

And if your children should ask you, “What is this rite you perform?” you shall say… (Exodus 12:26-27)

And you shall tell your child on that day, “It is because of what the Lord did for me when I went out of Egypt.

(Exodus 13:8)

And if in that time your children should ask you, “What is this?” you shall say to him… (Exodus 13:14)**

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* Chana Zelig, Pesach
** Rabbi Sacks, The Jonathan Sacks Haggada, pg. 16

DIY PURIM

Bracha Lavee

Bracha Lavee, Purim Tapestry

A midrash that has perplexed many Torah scholars is connected with Megillat Esther (Book of Esther) where we read, “These days of Purim will never cease among the Jews” (9:28). The Midrash says, “All the other festivals are destined to fall away, but Purim shall always remain” (Shochar Tov, Mishle 9).

Rabbi Twerski asks, “How can this be? We know that nothing in the Torah will ever be obsolete? How can the Midrash say that there will be no observance of Passover, Shavuot or Sukkot?

Various interpretations have been offered, but it still remains enigmatic. However, one thing is clear: Purim is of extraordinary importance. Indeed, some sefarim say that Yom Kippur, which the Torah refers to as Yom HaKippurim, means that it is a day similar to Purim. The holiest day of the year, yet it is only “like” Purim.”*

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* Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski, The Superiority of Purim

DIY HANUKKAH

albert benaroyaAlbert Benaroya,  Israeli Artist of Judaica and Still Life

By the twenty-fifth of Kislev, we are ready to experience the deepest moment of winter …

By the twenty-fifth of every lunar month, the moon has gone into exile. The nights are dark, and getting darker. And late in Kislev, we are close to the moment of the winter solstice – when the sun is also in exile. The day is at it’s shortest and the night at it’s longest, before the sunlight begins to return.

It is the darkest moment of the year, the moment when it is easiest to believe that the light will never return; the moment it is easiest to feel despair.

At this moment, we celebrate Hanukkah.*

Download DIY HANUKKAH

* Arthur Waskow, Seasons of Our Joy, pg. 87

DIY – SHABBAT

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EVERY SEVENTH SUNSET, Shabbat comes. Whether heralded or not, welcomed or not, on the eve of the seventh day Shabbat comes. Brushed with the dew of Creation, Shabbat is different from the other Jewish holidays. It does not mark a historical event or a seasonal harvest. It is not dependent upon the phases of the moon, and it existed even before there was a Jewish people.

Shabbat is, as it were, G-d’s holiday, the eternal seventh day of Creation,
the day of completion and rest…

Shabbat is not just for Jews; it is for everyone. The whole world is invited, indeed deserves to celebrate this day of menuchah**, Jews and non-Jews, old and young, poor and rich, bosses and laborers. In G-d’s world, everyone is equal, and everyone can share in the vision.***

Download pdf DIY Shabbat

* Oil painting by Ligtenberg, Blue and White Gallery, Jerusalem

** What is menucha?   “After the six days of creation-what did the universe still lack? Menucha. Came the Sabbath, came menucha, and the universe was complete… To the biblical mind menucha is the same as happiness and stillness, as peace and harmony. The word with which Job described the state after life he was longing for is derived from the same root as menucha. It is the state wherein man lies still, wherein the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest. It is the state in which there is no strife and no fighting, no fear and no distrust. The essence of a good life is menucha.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside still waters” (the waters of menuchot). In later times menucha became a synonym for the life in the world to come, for eternal life.”
– Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

*** Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin, The Tapestry of Jewish Time A Spiritual Guide to Holidays and Life-Cycle Events, pg. 35

DIY – FALL FEASTS

Shalom dear friends and fellow talmidim – students of the precious Word of God,

L’Shanah Tovah!  May you have a Good Year!

As we cross over the threshold of the new Hebrew calendar year may you and your loved ones be blessed with the goodness and sweetness of G-d.
May you be filled with the Shalom and joy to be found in the fullness of our Father’s
lovingkindness as expressed in His Son Yeshua,
in whose Book of Life we are written.

Keren and Cindy

Lilian Shoshan*

…on each of the holidays, we shed our worldly garb and embark on a voyage that transcends the confines of time and space, a journey “to behold the sweetness of God” (Psalm 27:4).

Download pdf DIY Fall Feast

*Pomegranate Oil by Lilian Shoshan
** Avraham Yaakov Finkel, The Essence Of The Holy Days, from the introduction

DIY FEASTS

DIY – Do It Yourself – Festivals is a project of our hearts. We long for you to know the joy of these celebrations and the intimacy of meeting G-d our Father in them. Each Feast reminds us of who G-d is and who we are in Him – His children ‘born again’ by His Spirit in Yeshua ha’Mashiach, Messiah Jesus.

But, many have not grown up in a home that celebrates the Biblical Festivals and so we often are asked, “Where does one start?” This is our answer…

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DIY Feasts are ’How To’ guides to jumpstart you in actively participating in the rhythm and flow of our Father’s Biblical Calendar.

At HIS-ISRAEL we are about learning, doing, and sharing. To explore more in-depth understanding of each Feast (and to find additional recipes and craft ideas) please visit the drop down menu on the Home page titled Appointments with God.

As you learn the relevance and meaning of these Mo’adim – appointed times – and also move into the celebrating of them, we hope you will look for opportunities to share the discovery and enjoyment with others.