Honey Cakes & Sunny October!

We are all so excited that it’s finally October.  Although the weather hasn’t cooled down yet, and it still feels almost as hot as August, at least we can go out and enjoy the daily sunshine and have water-play!  Every Thursday we’ve been going on different adventures where my mom comes along, I love seeing the kids get to enjoy her and soak up her joyful presence.  It’s perfect for having nice long talks with her, too, while the kids are busy playing, we can talk about more serious things.  It’s just such a blessing.

This past weekend was a busy one, with all the preparations for Rosh Hashanah (the Feast of Trumpets) being set for Sunday, I spent Friday and Saturday preparing for the feast at our house.  I love how the, “holiday season,” officially starts now for us with the Messianic holy days.  After having a wonderful feast with our family and my parents and brother, we went to the Messianic church I’d visit with them growing up as a child.  We were officially Baptist, but we went back on the High Holy Days, especially Yom Kippur, which is next week, and is more commonly known as, The Day of Atonement.  That holiday has always been one of my most favorite ones due to it’s connection to Jesus as the official and eternal-lasting sacrifice, the promise and prophecy He fulfilled through Easter.  However each of the High Holy Days from the Old Testament seem to contain prophecies that Jesus fulfilled or is set to fulfill, God’s plans are simply beautiful perfection.

Apparently many believe that the Feast of Trumpets is one of the ones that have yet to be fulfilled, and will possibly be marked by Jesus’ second coming, when He comes with the blasts of trumpets (4 passages in the New Testament that I know of, and even more in the Old Testament mention the trumpets blasting).  Rosh Hashanah is now celebrated by traditional Jews as being the Jewish New Year, but historians believe they picked up this pagan practice while exiled in Babylon, because the celebration and New Year aligns with the Babylonians’ New Year (that and the Bible never mentions it being for the, “new year,”).  So celebrating it as their New Year possibly became a pagan tradition added to their already religious holiday, much like how most of us have Christmas trees at Christ’s birth.  It was probably easier to celebrate their own religious holiday when it lined up with the Babylonian’s New Year, as it would draw less attention, but it’s nice to go back to it’s roots and discover it as God intended.

In the Old Testament, it’s mysterious how the Holy Days were always said to need to celebrated because they were holy to God Himself.  The Jews didn’t just make these holidays up, they were commanded to observe them, and even to be joyful, and not to mourn because they were holy to the Lord.

When the Jews returned from exile in Babylon, and after Nehemiah had successfully rallied the Remnant of Jews there to build their wall to protect their city of Jerusalem, they began officially celebrating the Holy Days within their city again. It was such an emotionally moving experience for them to be back in Jerusalem again finally, after so many years of oppression and exile, that many were weeping as their laws were read.

“They read the book of the law of God, translating and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was read.  Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to all of them,

“This day is holy to the Lord your God.  Do not mourn or weep.”

For all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law.

Then he said to them, “Go and eat what is rich, drink what is sweet, and send portions to those who have nothing prepared, since today is holy to our Lord.

Do not grieve, because your strength comes from rejoicing in the Lord.”

Nehemiah 8:8-10

I loved focusing on that last week, just the thought of putting our emotions or attitudes aside to be joyful for the Lord.  And how mysterious that our strength comes from rejoicing in the Lord, no matter your emotions.  I find it all just very wonderful and instructive. ❤

Our oldest went to a party and missed out on all the baking, but our 2 year old girl made the honey cakes, and our 4 year old boy did the entire apple kuchen cake (minus the peeling, coring and chopping of the apples) – I was so proud of how much they really helped!  And the cakes all came out delicious and heavenly!!!!  Definitely a great nod to the, “new year,” as it’s usually celebrated with apples and honey.

Apple Kuchen is like a giant cinnamon roll inside, with apples and frosting on the top!

Then tonight we went out for our family tradition of getting all our pumpkins on the first weekend of October.  It was so great to see the kids search for the perfect pumpkin to carve, and pick out some little ones for decorations.  Watching your kids experience the holidays and your own family traditions has got to be one of the best things about parenthood.  Their faces light up, you can see the awe and wonder in their eyes, and I can tell just how magical it all is from the perspective of a child.

I’ll have to add more pumpkin patch pictures later on this weekend.  I’d love to hear what other families do for the holidays in regard to traditions.  We’re set to host Thanksgiving and Christmas at our house this year, mostly due to the pregnancy and our family’s planning around making it easier for us.  I’ve never hosted those bigger holidays, any tips for hosting would be welcome as well 😀

***

“These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart.

Repeat them to your children.

Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead.

Write them on the doorposts of your home and on your gates.”

Deut. 6:6-9

***

 

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3 thoughts on “Honey Cakes & Sunny October!

  1. I have always loved how the Old Testament and New Testament are mirror images of each other. The Old Testament begins with the story of Creation; the New Testament begins with the life of Christ, literally a new beginning. The Old Testament tells the story of the patriarchs; the New Testament tells the story of the fathers of the early church. And so on. Then you have both wrapping up with prophecy.

  2. It could be a connection with Babylon, but there is also the tradition that Yom Kippur also is, on the Hebrew calendar, the anniversary of the sixth (?) day of Creation. I am not enough of a classicist to say for sure, if even the classicists have a firm answer. (often they don’t)

    Either way, celebrating some of the Jewish holy days as Gentile believers has been a huge blessing to my family. It’s a great way of understanding the Scriptures in their totality.

    And regarding your Apfelkuchen, “oy, vi schein!” (did I get that about right? I do OK in German, Middle German, and a touch of Hebrew, but my Yiddish…..”oy” is all I can say)

  3. Yom Kippur (this evening) is incredibly special! I have heard that it’s connected to creation, but I’ve never heard the Rabbi’s talk about that during the service usually. The Bible does specifically call it, The Day of Atonement 🙂 so they focus on that and what it means, how Jesus fulfilled it. It was where after 10 days of repentance from sin, making amends with God and others, an ultimate sacrifice and scapegoat was picked to pass the sins of the people onto, to completely redeem them again, but only for the past year. Christ, the true ultimate sacrifice, was the one who was the real scapegoat and the only one who could make our sins that were scarlet, white as snow. This ceremony was when the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies (once a year… behind the veil the normal people weren’t able to go beyond, this was that moment) and if he himself hadn’t gone through all the ritual purification and making amends for his own sins and family’s sins, he’d die and they’d have to drag him out by a rope around his ankle. It was intense. They even would send the cloth that had the scarlet blood of the animals used off our of the city, and while it was leaving, it was said it would physically turn white! It didn’t though, according to the Talmud (Jewish commentary) for 40 years before the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, so around when Jesus’ mission/crucifixion was, it stopped turning white, possibly meaning God was no longer accepting their blood sacrifices in that way. Jesus was the last blood sacrifice. Of course the Jews reject this was the reason, although they admit it did stop turning white, they refuse to believe it had anything to do with Jesus and get pretty miffed at anyone who suggests it points to that. The veil of the Holy of Holies was also torn at the moment of His death, as we know in the Bible.

    I’m glad your family benefits from celebrating some of the Jewish Holy days… we only really do Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), Sukkot (Festival of Booths/Tents), and then Purim (Remembering Esther’s story and God’s Salvation) and Passover (Easter!). We haven’t always been able to go to the services though with little ones.

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