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Posts by Joseph Shulam

Life in Israel During the Feast of Trumpets

Arthur Szyk's illustration of Rosh Hashanah, from The Holiday Series: Six Paintings of Jewish Holidays, 1948

Shanah Tovah, to all of our brothers and sisters around the world! We are about to enter the season of the high holidays, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot – one after the other. Rosh Hashanah, the Feast of Trumpets Rosh Hashanah falls on the first day of the seventh month of Tishrei. The biblical name for Rosh Hashanah is the Feast of Trumpets. The reason that Israel blew the trumpets on the first day of the seventh month is because we essentially adapted the old Babylonian Canaanite calendar. But according to the Babylonian calendar, the first day of the…

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A Call to Give God Our Best: A Biblical Study on Shavuot


There are three pilgrimage feasts in the Torah: Passover, Shavuot, and Succoth (which is the Feast of Tabernacles). On these feasts, Jews and non-Jews from all around the world would gather in Jerusalem to worship the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Feast of Shavuot was very special because it ended 50 days of harvest and gathering of God’s wealth in the provisions of the land. One of the main aspects of this Feast of Shavuot was the bringing of the firstfruits to the Lord’s house in Jerusalem, and presenting them to the priests and Levites in…

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A Biblical Explanation of Israel’s Days of Remembrance


Israel is keeping a day of remembrance twice in the next few days. The first day of remembrance is for the Holocaust of the Jews in Europe during World War II. In Europe these days, there is a strong tug to stop remembering those days of World War II, and especially the plight of the Jewish people in what is called the Nazi Holocaust. Some very intelligent people in Europe and around the world ask the following question: Why do you Jews want to remember those terrible, horrid, days of Auschwitz? Of Bergen-Belzen, and Mathousen, or Sobibor? The most important…

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Why Do I Fast and Pray on Yom Kippur?

A “Shamash” (sexton) blowing the shofar before Yom Kippur at the Ohel Moed Sephardi Synagogue in Tel Aviv, 1960.

A dear friend of mine declared that, since Yeshua had accomplished eternal atonement, there was no need to fast and pray on Yom Kippur in order to obtain atonement. To tell you the truth, I was rather flabbergasted at his statement. First of all, nobody in our congregation thinks by fasting and praying on Yom Kippur he gains atonement. If we say that the Messiah has provided the atonement and obviated the need for the Day of Atonement, then by the same logic we may say that Christ is our passover sacrificed for us, so there is no need to…

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