“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance.” – Exodus 12:14
Celebrating the Jewish Festivals remains a very important part of Israeli / Jewish culture to this day, reminding Israelis of the Lord’s faithfulness. After all He did protect the Israelites and supplied all their needs while moving from Egypt to the Promised Land! The traditions, elements and prayers that accompany the Jewish festivals speak to us as Messianic Jews and to Christians worldwide as they remind us about God’s everlasting protection, provision and promises.
At Voice of Judah Israel we rejoice in celebrating the Lord’s festivals like Pesach (Passover), Shavuot (Pentecost), Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), Hanukkah (Festival of Lights) and Purim (Feast of Lots). We invite Holocaust Survivors, new Jewish immigrants, Israelis in need and single mothers and their children to join with us in celebration. During these celebrations we see people reconnecting with the God of Israel as we share God’s love with them. We really love the changed hearts due to Him showing His love, character and wonderful plan of redemption for mankind through the symbols and meanings of these festivals.
Passover commemorates the Israel’s deliverance from bondage and slavery in Egypt. God used Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. God commanded that Passover was to be celebrated as an ordinance for generations to come. Passover is also one of the Jewish Festivals God told us celebrate in Jerusalem.
The Shavuot celebration is fifty days after the first Shabbat in Passover; it is also known as the Feast of Harvest or the Feast of Weeks. During Shavuot an offering of new grain from the summer wheat harvest is presented to the Lord. It is a symbol of thankfulness and gladness for the Lord’s blessing upon the harvest.
Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)
Sukkot is a 7-day celebration of the fall harvest. During this time tabernacles or booths are raised up to commemorate God’s care and protection of the Israelites during their forty years in the desert. Sukkot reminds us to this day of God’s provision and faithfulness.
Hanukkah (Feast of Dedication/Lights)
Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire. It also celebrates the miraculous provision of oil for the menorah in the temple. After cleansing the temple only enough oil was found to keep the menorah (the symbol of God’s presence) burning for one day, but God performed a miracle and the oil burned for 8 days for the rededication of the temple.
Purim (Feast of Lots)
Purim celebrates the deliverance of the Jews by the Jewish queen, Esther (Hadassah) in Shushan, Persia. This yearly feast is a joyous celebration commemorating the foiled plot of Haman to destroy all of the Jews in King Xerxes kingdom in Persia.