I have begun this Yom HaKippurim (Yom Kippur) with a short clip that I videotaped last evening at sunset. The vague light you see in the midst of the darkness is the last dregs of day light on October 3rd 2014. I went to a beautiful outlook (scenic landscape), which overlooks a mountain range. Here I blew the Shofar, ushering in the beginning of The Day of Atonement, the beginning of a Fast. A calling out to the urgency of this Holy Day, a day to Repent and make amends; being inscribed in the Lambs Book of Life. A day to think on what we would be or have, if not for the Blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ), as well as the day being a rehearsal for the Salvation of the Nation of Israel; a sacred memorial.
As I blew the Shofar I was able to recognize the amount of miles the sound of the Shofar was carrying into and through. Such an open space, and yet, even more so did the sound travel as I recognize the Heavenlies above and the unseen realm all around. The faint echo you hear in the clip was even grander in person. Most amazing and unexpected, was a sound I heard after I was done blowing the Shofar. As I released the Shofar from my lips, I began to acclimate myself from the built up pressure in my head which had ensued from blowing on this trumpet-like “instrument”. I took a moment to remember the echo among the quiet that exists. I look out into the far reaches and just take a breath, and experience a momentary state of awe. Suddenly my ears receive something! Far off, starting so faint but obvious, was the sound of coyotes and/or wolves. I won’t speculate as to which, because either is possible; wolves are plausible because of the tone of the sound, as well as the way in which I heard the singular and plural howls. As I listened closer, along with my counterpart, which I had brought along for the occasion, we began to hear more howls from different portions of the mountains we were looking at. They were so far off, yet the sound was so vivid in its identity. How wonderful that we woke up those that live so far removed from civilization. They communicated back and amongst each other in a special way. This day was being proclaimed throughout the region. Praise Be to God!
Let us look at two important scriptures in the Bible that highlight this Fall Feast Day…
“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—whether native-born or a foreigner residing among you— 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.
It is a day of sabbath rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance.
The priest who is anointed and ordained to succeed his father as high priest is to make atonement.
He is to put on the sacred linen garments and make atonement for the Most Holy Place, for the tent of meeting and the altar, and for the priests and all the members of the community.
“This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites.”
And it was done, as the Lord commanded Moses.
The Lord said to Moses, “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement.
Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present a food offering to the Lord.
Do not do any work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the Lord your God.
Those who do not deny themselves on that day must be cut off from their people.
I will destroy from among their people anyone who does any work on that day.
You shall do no work at all.
This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.
It is a day of sabbath rest for you, and you must deny yourselves.
From the evening of the ninth day of the month until the following evening you are to observe your sabbath.”
Here I put aside all expectation. I put aside myself. Today culminates the Ten Days of Awe; Ten Days of Repentance. A time of reflection. A time of repentance. A time to give the old, the warn out, the used and abused, the desecrated and jaded, the stigmatized self and the selfish self, the victimized and brutalized, the scathed and fragmented self, the parts of us separated from God; we must give it all to God. Holding onto not one piece of it.
What is this day all about?
This “call” started on the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Teruah) which began at sunset on September 24th 2014. The first 24 hours of the Fall Feasts was steeped in the Blowing of the Shofar. A call to Repentance; this call would echo for the next 10 days, leading us to this Day of Atonement. In very practical terms, one can recall the sins and iniquities of the past year; and in cases where there is no precedence (one who has never observed this feast or repented before) one can look over their whole life thus far. If it suits one well, a list can be made; jotting down all the things we must give to God. Our shortcomings, where we miss the mark, as well as our inner crookedness and perversity, and willfull departure and disobedience, is all something to be given to God. After all…
“There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.”
Yom Kippur in Days of Old…its origins.
Every year on this most holy and solemn day, the Jewish high priest would enter the Most Holy Place of the Temple to sprinkle the blood of bulls and goats (together with a “scapegoat”) upon the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant:
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Leviticus 17:11
In modern times, Jews around the world prepare for Yom Kippur by submersing themselves in a ritual bath (“mikvah”), giving to charity and lighting memorial candles. As the Day of Atonement begins (sunset on 9 Tishrei), Jews “afflict their souls” with repentance and fasting for nearly 26 hours, observing other rituals of abstinence, and gathering for five prayer services.
One of the main prayers prayed on Yom Kippur is called the ‘Al Chet’. It is a prayer of repentance. “For the sin which we have committed before you…” and throughout the long list of sins mentioned, it is then said – “Forgive us, pardon us, and grant us atonement”. The last service concludes with a resounding shout of “Hear O Israel . . . God is one!” together with celebration songs and dances and one blast of the shofar. In unity, the people declare, “Next year in Jerusalem!”
A joyful feast follows the solemnities of the Day of Atonement as the people rejoice in the mercy of God to cleanse and forgive. And who was the true High Priest who offered His Blood once and for all, forgiving and cleansing all who receive Him? Yeshua the Messiah, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! Hallelujah!
We, as believers thank the Lord for forgiving us, pardoning us, and granting us atonement through the blood of Yeshua.
–this section (Yom Kippur in Days of Old) was written by Jewish Voice Ministries
The Fasting Aspect of the Feast
Denying yourself as stated in the two Levitical Scriptures I notated above, is likened to afflicting your soul. There is a Hebrew phrase which says “anitem et naf’shotechem” which means “to make poor your souls”. This may sound horrible to you initially, however, lets look deeper for a moment.
Matthew 5:3-10Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 16:24If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.
We, Who Know Christ
We are in a particular position of already being atoned for while still observing this Feast. The Truth that we are already Saved and Atoned for does not take away from the blessings presented to us by the Lord God. If anything we are so truly Blessed! As I have shared this is a great time of reflection and repentance…something we should do on a regular basis, perhaps this once a year Feast is a great reminder! In addition is the looking upon this day as a rehearsal for the Salvation of the Nation of Israel (the day when they will recognize the identity of the Messiah).
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved.
As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
It is also a day to be grateful for our ability to be covered completely and fully by Yeshua HaMashiach. By participating in this, recognizing our sins, repenting, fasting, observing, and then giving it all to God through the Blood of Jesus Christ, we are surely ensuring that we will be inscribed and sealed in the Lambs Book of Life! Halleluiah!
“Come now, let us settle the matter,”says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
The epitome of what Jesus (Yeshua), the Anointed One, has done for us is shown in Isaiah 53. Many Jews do not recognize the first coming of Jesus here; the Suffering Servant. Yet this clearly shows how He has atoned for us. There is such power and prophecy in this scripture. Take it all in and be Blessed!
Awake, awake, Zion, clothe yourself with strength!
Put on your garments of splendor, Jerusalem, the holy city.
The uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again.
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their face she was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
I want to share a few Hebraic Blessings with you, as well as a few quotes of well wishes.
“‘“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’
L’chaim bi’shua! = to life in Yeshua!
G’mar Chatimah Tovah! = May you be Sealed for a Good Year!
Tzom Kal = Easy Fast (hoping your fast is easy)
May you be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life.
God Bless You,
Nichole M LaChapelle