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February 25, 2011
I personally love all things Jewish. Their traditions intrigue me and I feel most comfortable with their ways of worship. This is mainly because the Jewish traditions and feasts and such were meant to give glory to GOD in all they do. In many of the Jewish things I see JESUS just as the Bible said we would in:
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
I believe that the true Sabbath is Friday evening through Saturday evening (Gen 1:5, Gen 2:2-3) and I celebrate the feast days that are listed in the Leviticus 23 and I see their prophetic “shadow” of JESUS in them all. The Lord has been working on me about some of the traditions. I do not believe that the traditions that the priests made are bad, but I was brought to realize they are not all scriptural. Much of the traditions are from their “Oral Law” and not “Thus sayeth the Lord” written in my Bible. My main desire is to follow my Bible to the best of my abilities and not to put the traditions of “men” higher than the Word of GOD. JESUS scolded many for doing that, like in:
Mark 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
I flat out reject all things pagan therefore not taking on any of the more popular secular traditions and holidays that the United States is known for. With the Jewish customs, I need to know what is scripture and what is not. If I can feel the Lord in the Jewish tradition or see how it fits into the prophetic revelation of Christ and if it can be used as a teaching tool then I am all for it. Anything that brings a person closer to GOD or glorifies HIM is what I want to celebrate. I know GOD has put it on my heart that if anything becomes a mundane “ritual” and a burden or if I can not do these things with a delight for GOD in my heart, then I should not do them. So as with all things I am “testing the spirit” of the different Jewish traditions. I have learned if I do not understand or know why the tradition was done then it has no meaning and I feel nothing. So I must dig deeper and look for Jesus in all things or I have to quit doing it until it is revealed to me.
We keep the seventh day Sabbath (which is Biblical) along with some of the traditions (non-biblical). This past Sabbath I made a quick and easy version of the traditional braided bread called Challah. Now I have to admit, I do not have a clue as to why they do this or how it references to Jesus but I went ahead and did it because we like bread and we dip it in Velveeta Rotel dip and it is yummy.
Take three rolls of Pillsbury French Loaf bread.
Pop them out and line them up.
With Anna’s help holding the end, I braided the three rolls of bread.
Squish the ends together so they don’t unravel while it bakes. I found out through my Googling that I should have tried to get it to have twelve lumps. I will braid it tighter next time!
Turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself. I do have to admit it needed to be bakes a little longer but it was still yummy with the cheese dip.
I also have to admit, I felt nothing bringing us closer to GOD through this tradition. So I have to look into the meaning behind the Challah more than just a scripture about the sacrificial offerings that I believe are no longer in effect because Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice.
So while I am writing this blog I am also Googling and looking for answers. I found a site that talks called The Straight Dope that tells of the origin of the tradition. A quick sample of the site:
“The transition from Temple worship to synagogue and home happened over that next century or two. The priestly offering of showbread was replaced by the everyman offering of challah, and the Temple altar was symbolically replaced by the Sabbath table in the home.”
I also came upon a site called “Jewish Recipes”. I really liked how they put this statement.
“When we feel hungry for a slice of bread, this is really our soul’s desire for its spiritual essence. Food feeds body and soul. When we take challah we are saying: basic bread helps me have the strength to serve my Creator; by using the energy to do mitzvos (or good deeds), I am spiritually nourished. Food is not about simply keeping me alive. It is about helping me live for the purpose for which I was created. “
I decided to ask a good friend of mine, Tim Stewart, who also observes Sabbath. Here is his response to my question of “What does Challah mean to us now?”
“It’s nothing commanded, but the challa has some purposes. 1–it’s food, which may sound simple, but it’s a reminder of God’s provision. 2–it recalls the gathering of manna in the wilderness, and on the 6th day, they gathered 2 loaves because they couldn’t gather on Shabbat. The two loaves are a reminder of God’s leading them through the wilderness and providing every need in times of leanness. And it’s braided together to represent how the community of God is braided together, knit together for the glory of God. And of course, then there’s Yeshua, the bread of heaven!”Although I am not 100% sold on how I personally feel about it I never count something as a worthless experience because if nothing else doing it made me search into the scriptures and Bible history more and now I at least know why. I will have to wait till next Sabbath to see how I feel about it but I really feel now that I know why, it will be a more spiritual experience. ~Shabbat Shalom~
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