Inside Israel – 1st Installment of Yom Kippur

Hello again! Please forgive me for sending another post out today, but J of Jerusalem had much to share lately. Here is one of her letters about Yom Kippur. God bless you and lead you on, as you pray and worship Him! Now, here’s J . . .

Having come down with a nasty case of bronchitis just before our Rosh h’ Shana dinner, it seems as if the days of this ‘week of awe’ have been compressed. As I have shared before, Yom Kippur is the holiest and most solemn day in the Jewish year; the day of repentance…of atonement…of searching for ‘approval’ before a Holy God. (Exodus 35 – Deut 16:29-34, Levit 23:26-32, Deut 16, just to list a few of the many scriptures) Where as last week the joyful greetings filled the air ‘Shana tova omevorach!’ (Good and blessed year!), this week, in contrast, the hushed greeting is voiced between friends and strangers alike “Gamar khatima tova” (may you finish [your repentance and fasting] with a ‘stamp of approval’ or ‘good signature). It is loosely translated into English as “May your name be found in the book of life” and it is a very serious desire. I am very uncomfortable with this greeting and have searched for years for appropriate alternatives. I have tried to say that I KNOW that I am engraved in The Lamb’s Book of Life…but am I saying this for my benefit or for theirs? What does it mean to the hearers? “Amen! L’col am yisroel!” (Amen! And all of the house of Israel!) I have been answering this year, but my heart aches for my brethren, who wonder and agonize and work to attain. (this under 5 minute video sent to me by a sister will help you understand how deeply Jews seek to understand real repentance – repentance from a modern Jewish view: Does God really care about the nuances of my life?)

This year the fast begins on Friday evening at sundown until an hour after sundown on Saturday evening. The streets will be silent and empty and no cars will be moving. A quiet spirit of …not quite ‘mourning’…not quite ‘heaviness’… would you understand if I say a ‘closet spirit’ (?) seems to rest over us…closet in that it is private, not shared…a feeling that everyone IS standing alone before God, although so often in groups in synagogues.

As believers, most of us join in with the prayer and fasting, but having peace with God, we pray for our nation, after we have searched our own souls.
My personal search began early this year and I am so thankful that God answers prayer and chastens those whom He loves.
And just as I think that I have a measure of victory…He tries my heart and shows me that I must continue to press into His mercy. He did that for me today in an unusual way…for it was on the train this morning.

For those of you who don’t know me…I’m SHORT! For those of you who USED to know me (in the flesh) I’m SHORTER! (under 5’) Age can do that I guess. I also used to be some 90 pounds (40 kilos) larger. When I lived in the ‘old country’, my ‘shortness’ stood out A LOT, but I didn’t think about it that much. Here, I blend in better as ‘short’ is the general stature. HOWEVER…I am at the short end of short, and having lost the weight, I might now be considered rather ‘small’. Sometimes, in crowded buses, trains or in the shuk, I can feel down right diminutive. I get stepped on and knocked into a lot just because, well, I’m not ‘much there’. It can be very trying. I can get annoyed and loose my peace. I can be ‘not kind’, and I didn’t realize to what extent it had become a ‘work of the flesh’. Today I was given a firm reminder in a way that broke my heart.

I was standing in a corner in the crowded lite rail car, holding on to a pole for stability when a young, rather hefty woman in her late 20s or perhaps 30 stood in front of me. She didn’t just ‘stand’ in front of me, but she was about 3 inches from me and leaned against the pole squishing my hand. I didn’t budge. (not that I could have moved back…my back was against the rear door) Instead of moving my hand away I tightened my muscles. She pressed harder. It became a ‘war’. There were other bars and other places to stand. I was tired. I was set against her. This type of event happens daily. This one was about to take a different turn. Suddenly the young woman collapsed onto the floor. She wasn’t having a seizure, but the look on her face was of something awful. She was only partially conscious. I called for a doctor or nurse but there was none in the car. I directed someone near the other door to press the button and call for the driver to send help. This procedure on the lite rail was new to everyone but the driver finally got the message and many of us left the train. I ran to the front window to make sure that the driver knew someone was in need of help and I saw that he was calling for someone. Minutes later I heard the ambulance.

As I began walking to the shuk I was praying for the woman and I couldn’t shake off the feeling of the expression on her face. There was such a deep grief on her face. Working, as I do, in a doctor’s office, I have gotten to help in a number of emergencies and been the first one on hand when someone lost consciousness and needed help, what was different here? Some look very frightened, or pained…but this girl looked grieved and alone. I continued to pray for her. I began to wonder, if I had not been walking in the flesh…reacting to her ‘assault’ on ‘my space’… would I perhaps have been able to discern her need? I wondered if I had been less concerned with my SELF if The Lord might have nudged me to see her … It was just so obvious to me, suddenly, how I was in desperate need of His mercy to die to myself … again… kita aleph… first grade…this is basic, foundational stuff…AND (He reminded me) a glaring answer to a prayer that I had been praying, crying out to Him :…’Lord! Show me where I am not yet dead to self! Show me where flesh still rules me!’ My embarrassment turned to loving thankfulness as I was flooded afresh with joy at His faithfulness to answer prayer…to not only SHOW us our hidden sins, but that He Himself had already opened the door of forgiveness and deliverance wide…and the NAME of that door is the door of repentance; the door of repentance with the precious Blood of The Lamb on the lintels there of! Oh that my people would see and understand! He has left them a picture…a road map…AND A PROMISE! “And so all Israel will be saved…” Romans 11:26

I must be off to bed. This is just a few ‘notes from the day’. Thank you for letting me take your time. May we all be found in Him in (HIS) peace…for His glory. I plan to write more on Yom Kippur if not before. Lovingly, your sis

ani b’derek

Published in: on October 9, 2011 at 9:06 pm  Comments (2)  
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  1. Thank you Deb… Please keep posting these letters from your friend even though not many people comment. You don’t know who may read them.
    I’m very mindful of Yom Kippur this year and thankful for our Ha Gadol / High Priest Yeshua Ha Mashiach! He made a New Covenenat with the Houses of Judah and Israel yet most of them don’t know or accept it yet.
    Soon He will reveal Himself as the Anointed One who makes atonement for their sins… as well as ours.. with His own blood… who rose from death and went through the veil into the Heavenly Sanctuary and sprinkled it there on the mercy seat… and took away the Veil so that all may come personally to the Father through Him as our High Priest after the Order of Melchizedeck.!!!!!! This is mighty thing as explained in the Book of Hebrews… that where there was a change of Covenent there had to be a change of Priesthood!
    As I read the last paragraphs of this letter an anointing went over my back and spread onto my face and legs as a “witness” from the Holy Spirit of His Truth.As I write this I can still feel Him covering me with His blessings. Thank you Lord!!!!! What a priceless gift to partake of the Heavenly Gift and all by just accepting YAHVEH’s Grace.
    Blessings to you and your friend J. she is so open to the Holy Spirit… and by the way what she shared and her repentance for bad feelings towards the woman who wasn’t well… shows the sort of things we all need to repent of… not just on Yom Kippur but daily so that we can stay in that close Marrital Love with Yeshua… forgiven and covered by the Blood of the “Lamb of God” who is also our High Priest.
    Love… Susan.

  2. Thank you so much. Susan! I forward comments here on to J and you bless her so much. When I first started blogging, I tried this and that on Sundays, but had such a peace and joy about getting to share these. 🙂 I know you understand.
    God bless you, forgiven and covered one!
    love and prayers!

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