How To Celebrate and Observe A New Jewish Year – Rosh Hashanah

Since Jewish holidays begin at sunset, most home rituals related to Rosh Hashanah take place in the evening. The central home ritual of this holiday consists of a special festive meal, during which families use their nicest china and place settings, much like on a Friday evening at the beginning of Shabbat.

When Rosh Hashanah falls on Thursday and Friday (as it does in 2017), it is traditional to say an extra blessing called Eiruv Tavshilin before lighting the candles on the first night. In it, the head of the family should take bread or matzoh and an item of cooked food such as meat or fish, put them on a plate and say the blessing, which can be found here. After the blessing, that item of food is put away and saved to be eaten on Shabbat .

Note: Blessings and translations below are reprinted from the Machzor Rosh Hashanah Ashkenaz Linear as it appears on Sefaria.

Candle Lighting and Shehechiyanu
The holiday celebration begins with the lighting of candles (hadlakat nerot), symbolizing the transition from profane to sacred time, and the recitation of the blessing thanking God for enabling us to reach this season (Shehechiyanu).

Candle Lighting
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה

Blessed are You, Adonoy

אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם

our God, King of the Universe,

אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְו‍ֹתָיו

Who sanctified us with His commandments

וְצִוָּֽנוּ

and commanded us

לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל יוֹם טוֹב:

to kindle the Yom Tov light.

Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu l’hadlik ner shel yom tov.

Shehechiyanu
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה

Blessed are You, Adonoy

אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם

our God, King of the Universe,

שֶׁהֶחֱיָֽנוּ וְקִיְּמָֽנוּ

Who has kept us alive and sustained us

וְהִגִּיעָֽנוּ לַזְמַן הַזֶּה:

and brought us to this season.

Barukh ata adonai elohenu melekh ha’olam, shehecheyanu, v’kiyimanu, v’higiyanu la’z’man ha’zeh

Kiddush (Blessing Over Wine)
Next, one sanctifies the holiday by reciting the special Kiddush (blessing over wine) for Rosh Hashanah. It is a custom to ensure that all family members and guests are able to participate by holding and drinking from their own cup of wine or grape juice. As with all other festivals, it is traditional to recite the Shehechiyanu prayer again after the Kiddush and before drinking.

Hamotzi
Before partaking of the meal, one recites hamotzi, the blessing over bread. This is also a feature of Friday night Shabbat meals in which this blessing is made over challah, the traditional twisted egg loaves. (The text of the Hamotzi on Rosh Hashanah is exactly the same as the text on Shabbat.) However, because Rosh Hashanah celebrates the cyclical passage of time and the recurring progression of seasons and holidays, it is customary to make the blessing over round loaves of sweet raisin bread, symbolizing the circle of life and the revolving seasons. And because we want to ensure that the coming year will be a sweet one, filled with good and joyous experiences, the bread is sweetened by drizzling honey over the pieces of bread as one is about to eat.

בָּרוּך אַתָּה אַדָנָי אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶך הָעוֹלָם הָמוֹציא לֶחם מן הַארץ

Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, hamotzi lechem min ha’aretz.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has brought forth bread from the earth.

Blessing Over the Apples
To express the hope that it will be a sweet year, one of the most well-known and popular customs of Rosh Hashanah is to eat apples dipped in honey. Why? It is a tradition to eat a newly ripened fruit for the first time that season, and since Rosh Hashanah falls around the beginning of apple season, the apple has become that “first fruit.” This provides us with the opportunity to recite the blessings both over the apple (bore pri ha’etz: who creates the fruit of the tree) as well as another Shehechiyanu. And then, before eating the fruit dipped in honey, we ask God “to renew this year for us with sweetness and happiness.”

Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha’olam borei p’ri ha’eitz.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the tree.

round challah bread

Birkat Hamazon (Grace After Meals)
After the meal, one recites the Birkat Hamazon, the “grace after meals,” including all the special additions marking the festival of Rosh Hashanah.

Since Rosh Hashanah is a two-day festival, all of the above rituals are repeated the second evening as well, except that there is a tradition among some people to use a different newly ripened fruit of the season, such as pomegranates. This is a popular Rosh Hashanah fruit for several reasons, first because it is mentioned as being one of the native fruits of the land of Israel (see Deuteronomy 8:8), and second, because of the traditional claim that there are 613 of the juicy sweet seeds in each fruit, which corresponds to the number of commandments in the Torah. When eating a pomegranate, it is not necessary to dip it in honey since its seeds are sweet enough by themselves.

A festive meal with Kiddush over wine and Hamotzi over round loaves of raisin bread can also be enjoyed for lunch each day of Rosh Hashanah. At this time of year, one greets one’s friends and family with the greeting “Shanah Tovah,” which means “(May you enjoy) a good new year.” Over the course of the last century or so it has become customary to send family and friends Rosh Hashanah greeting cards.

A Warrior Czech President Milos Zeman rioted New York

An important topic of the contemporary world is a lack of courage for us. Israel needs real solidarity of other states without conditions, President Milos Zeman said during his speech at the site of the famous Jewish Foundation Gershon Jacobson Jewish Continuity Foundation in New York, taking the Bojovnik Award for the Truth.

Photo: Hanka Brozkova – KPR

Popisek: President Milos Zeman receives the Fighter for the Truth award

President Milos Zeman was honored in the New York City at the prestigious meeting of American and world Jewish community representatives on Monday night with the Fighter of the Truth Award. The head of state appreciation won for the lifetime support of the State of Israel and Jewish ideas in general.

Our presidents on the podium in front of VIP audiences celebrated the celebrated American billionaire, philanthropist and president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder, celebrating a speech full of superlatives about the Czech Republic, Czechoslovakia and Zeman himself.

Milos Zeman began to finish magnificently for the stormy applause of standing. “We face the threats of the current world, and the word” solidarity “is not enough,” Zeman said in a thank-you speech at the foundation of the foundation. “We have to ask what are the risks and threats and which also pose a risk to the Jewish state of Israel,” Zeman said. According to Zeman, such a risk is Islamic terrorism, about which he intends to stand at the UN plenum.

“An important issue is lack of courage. Let’s talk about cowardice, hesitancy, hypocrisy, “Zeman said. “But we are also talking about solidarity with the conditions,” he added in a narrative of how some other states are coming to the state of Israel. All democratic countries, according to Zeman, recognize that every sovereign state needs a capital city, a safe border. Only in the case of the state of Israel some countries have a problem with Zeman and add the word “but”. According to them, Jerusalem is not the capital of the state of Israel, Zeman said. Just as Israel does not have the right to react militarily to missile launchers of Palestinian radicals from the Gaza Strip. Such an approach, according to Zeman, is that “solidarity with the conditions”.

“But we need solidarity, without conditions,” Zeman said. “We need a new candle against darkness, concrete actions and not just words,” he added. One such candle would, according to Zeman, be the relocation of embassies of democratic states from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “I proposed the Czech embassy a few years ago. We need concrete steps towards real and unconditional solidarity, “he said.

The whole speech by Milos Zeman at the gala evening “4th Annual The Algemeiner Jewish 100”:

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, a shawl!

 

Thanks for the nice invitation. I’m very glad to be here. Two years ago at the AIPAC Congress, I was paraphrasing the famous John Kennedy slogan: Ich bin ein Berliner (I am a Berliner). And I said, I am a Jew (I am a Jew). And Jehudi. Anyway, this is not enough. Faced with the risks of the contemporary world, only the verbal form of solidarity is not enough. 

What is the risk of the current world facing the Jewish community and the state of Israel? First, it is Islamic terrorism, about which I will speak at the United Nations General Assembly tomorrow. And because I am not polite, I will not talk about international terrorism, but about Islamic terrorism. But the topic that is important to our debate is different. Let’s talk about lack of courage. Let’s talk about cowardice, hesitation, hypocrisy. About solidarity that is conditional. I call her “solidarity, but”. I will give you some examples: Yes, of course, we support the state of Israel, but it is not the Jewish state of Israel. Yes, we encourage each country to have its capital, but we do not support Jerusalem as the capital. Yes, we fully support the right of Israel to secure borders, but the Golan Heights can not be part of Israeli territory. And so on, and so on. Every killer from Palestine is a fighter for freedom. And if someone sends a missile from Gaza to Israel, we condemn it, but you can not react by bombing the Gaza Strip yourself. This is solidarity, but, but … 

And these absolutely contradict what solidarity is. We need solidarity without but. In other words, we need unreserved solidarity with the Jews and the State of Israel. What should we do today? Now we need a candle against the dark. We need concrete actions rather than words. And such a candle could be the relocation of embassies of democratic states from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I proposed this relocation of the Czech embassy four years ago during my visit to Israel, and Prime Minister Netanyahu said to me then: If it does, I give you my own house. I hope that his promise is still valid. After a similar thing to me, Donald Trump promised, it may be a good impetus for some daring countries. 

So, this is a concrete solution, a concrete gesture, a concrete step towards true solidarity and not just the word. Dear friends, let me end with the last sentence of the old Jewish prayer: next year in Jerusalem! Thank you!

The Reasons Why Majority Of Jews Rejected Christian Idea Of Jesus


Let’s understand why ― not in order to disparage other religions, but rather to clarify the Jewish position.

Jews do not accept Jesus as the messiah because:
1 Jesus did not fulfill the messianic prophecies.
2 Jesus did not embody the personal qualifications of the Messiah.
3 Biblical verses “referring” to Jesus are mistranslations.
4 Jewish belief is based on national revelation.
But first, some background: What exactly is the Messiah?
The word “Messiah” is an English rendering of the Hebrew word Mashiach, which means “anointed.” It usually refers to a person initiated into God’s service by being anointed with oil. (Exodus 29:7, 1-Kings 1:39, 2-Kings 9:3)

1 Jesus Did Not Fulfill the Messianic Prophecies

What is the Messiah supposed to accomplish? One of the central themes of biblical prophecy is the promise of a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of God. (Isaiah 2:1-4, 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)
Specifically, the Bible says he will:
1 Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
2 Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).
3 Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4)
4 Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: “God will be King over all the world ― on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One” (Zechariah 14:9).

If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be the Messiah.
Because no one has ever fulfilled the Bible’s description of this future King, Jews still await the coming of the Messiah. All past Messianic claimants, including Jesus of Nazareth, Bar Cochba and Shabbtai Tzvi have been rejected.
Christians counter that Jesus will fulfill these in the Second Coming. Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright; in the Bible no concept of a second coming exists.
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2) Jesus Did Not Embody the Personal Qualifications of Messiah

1 Messiah as Prophet
The Messiah will become the greatest prophet in history, second only to Moses. (Targum – Isaiah 11:2; Maimonides – Yad Teshuva 9:2)
Prophecy can only exist in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of world Jewry, a situation which has not existed since 300 BCE. During the time of Ezra, when the majority of Jews remained in Babylon, prophecy ended upon the death of the last prophets ― Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.
Jesus appeared on the scene approximately 350 years after prophecy had ended, and thus could not be a prophet.
1 Descendent of David
Many prophetic passages speak of a descendant of King David who will rule Israel during the age of perfection. (Isaiah 11:1-9; Jeremiah 23:5-6, 30:7-10, 33:14-16; Ezekiel 34:11-31, 37:21-28; Hosea 3:4-5)
The Messiah must be descended on his father’s side from King David (see Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17; Ezekiel 34:23-24). According to the Christian claim that Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, he had no father ― and thus could not have possibly fulfilled the messianic requirement of being descended on his father’s side from King David. (1)
According to Jewish sources, the Messiah will be born of human parents and possess normal physical attributes like other people. He will not be a demi-god, (2) nor will he possess supernatural qualities.
1 Torah Observance
The Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance. The Torah states that all mitzvot remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet. (Deut. 13:1-4)
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable. For example, John 9:14 records that Jesus made a paste in violation of Shabbat, which caused the Pharisees to say (verse 16), “He does not observe Shabbat!”
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3) Mistranslated Verses “Referring” to Jesus
Biblical verses can only be understood by studying the original Hebrew text ― which reveals many discrepancies in the Christian translation.
1 Virgin Birth
The Christian idea of a virgin birth is derived from the verse in Isaiah 7:14 describing an “alma” as giving birth. The word “alma” has always meant a young woman, but Christian theologians came centuries later and translated it as “virgin.” This accords Jesus’ birth with the first century pagan idea of mortals being impregnated by gods.

1 Suffering Servant
Christianity claims that Isaiah chapter 53 refers to Jesus, as the “suffering servant.”
In actuality, Isaiah 53 directly follows the theme of chapter 52, describing the exile and redemption of the Jewish people. The prophecies are written in the singular form because the Jews (“Israel”) are regarded as one unit. Throughout Jewish scripture, Israel is repeatedly called, in the singular, the “Servant of God” (see Isaiah 43:8). In fact, Isaiah states no less than 11 times in the chapters prior to 53 that the Servant of God is Israel.
When read correctly, Isaiah 53 clearly [and ironically] refers to the Jewish people being “bruised, crushed and as sheep brought to slaughter” at the hands of the nations of the world. These descriptions are used throughout Jewish scripture to graphically describe the suffering of the Jewish people (see Psalm 44).

Isaiah 53 concludes that when the Jewish people are redeemed, the nations will recognize and accept responsibility for the inordinate suffering and death of the Jews.

A Teaching Of Mikvah/Immersion/Baptism


It simply began by wanting to re-familiarize myself with what I always considered to be one of the first acts of obedience after a new Believer accepts Messiah into their spiritual heart —the act of baptism. I felt that this task should be easy enough to refresh myself during a quiet day of Shabbat! But from the beginning of settling into my spiritual feeding, what I thought I knew began to unravel itself, and what I thought I understood became only a shadow of what should be known. The teaching of baptism has haphazardly been taught throughout many generations of the Church Age. But Yehovah, in His love and concern for this last Church Period, is restoring those who deeply seek out His pure ways of worship. Ahhhh . . . how I love His timely teachings! It began in Hebrews, where I read:
Heb 6:1-3
1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.
What Yehovah permitted on this day was the intrigue that caught my eye concerning the wording of verse two which states, “the doctrine of baptisms.”
Baptism(s)! —Plural!
At that point a flood of other verses started to come into my head.
Luke 3:16
16 John (the baptizer) answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
1 Cor 12:13
13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
In those two verses alone, it speaks of four types of baptisms:
 water

 the Holy Spirit

 fire

 identification of Yeshua within the body of Believers
I always considered baptism a one-time event in life. But now I am realizing that there are different baptisms, indeed! Just as Hebrews 6:2 has now revealed in “the doctrine of baptisms.”

In Hebrews 6:2, the Amplified version reads just a bit different referring “the doctrine of baptisms” as being “ teachings about purifying;” having the word ‘teachings’ pluralized. Along with ‘teachings’ was the word, ‘purifying,’ which brought together for me where I needed to begin. For everything taught in the New Covenant will and should have its foundation laid within the Old.
I began my search by looking up all the verses that I could find pertaining to baptism and purification. I then remembered that a writing had already been done for another study on the historical aspect of purification, so I re-read what had been put together years ago. Once I felt satisfied that I could go no further, I then turned my attention toward other Believers who, like myself, have searched this matter out before me.
My first stop was with Michael Rood, a Messianic evangelist, who has done a three-part series of what he collectively calls, “The Mikvah – Doctrine of Baptisms.” His teaching included six types of mikvah-ings:
 Purification

 Repentance

 Identification with Yeshua

 Spirit

 Fire

 Suffering
Yet, I clearly see a seventh that was not mentioned in his teaching: Sanctification
Having had the word mikvah previously introduced in my life, the element that there were many different types took me off guard and still had me a bit puzzled after completing the teaching from Michael Rood. For me, a mikvah was the contained place that pooled the water; whereas, Michael Rood used the word ‘mikvah’ as also the act of being mikvah(ed). I came to accept it to be similar to the wording that we baptize in a baptismal. I had not ever given thought of the place and the act of mikvah being so similarly used, but it simply became a matter of wording within his teaching. This is not to criticize, but to give a bit of explanation to anyone else researching water purification from the Old Covenant and the elements of ‘types’ that are found within the New Covenant.
Because of the teaching from Michael Rood, a door was opened for me to walk through and the understanding was astounding. Very briefly, let me share with you what was gathered directly from his teaching; along with what I understood prior to this research. The act of Mikvah, as related in the first three, have everything to do with the covering over with water:

 Purification

 Repentant obedience; as in the immersion spoken of in Matthew 28

 Identifying with Messiah through His act of burial and resurrection into a new life

The final four have to do with our spiritual walk as we are covered over, immersed, and engulfed with the Holy Spirit sent from both, the Father and the Son! They are:

Receiving the Holy Spirit; sealing each Believer for the day of redemption Being Spirit-filled by holy fire through His teachings, fruit-bearing, and gifts Sufferings; as we learn His ways by laying down our own self-will Sanctification; being set apart from this world; walking a Spirit-filled life
I am very
that there
new Believer through obedience. I now understand it also to be the immersion of teachings, the fruit-bearing and the gifts that are received from the Holy Spirit; and not to be left unmentioned, our sealing!
appreciative of Michael Rood’s teaching and through it have become intensely aware is so much more to baptism than that of being immersed completely into water as a
The last detail needed here is to offer scripture references for each area concerning baptism(s) by what was gathered from the three-part series of Michael Rood’s broadcast called, “A Rood Awakening.”1 Below, I have selected a few scriptures to fit into each category.
TYPE OF BAPTISM
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES
Purification
Acts 21: 15-26 (in particular vss. 23-26); John 11:55
Repentance
Matt 3:11; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; Acts 19:4-5
Identification with Yeshua
Acts 2:38; Rom 6:3-4; Gal 3:27-29; 1 Peter 3:21;
Spirit
Mark 1:8; John 14:16, 26; Acts 11:15; Gal 5:22-23; 1 Cor 12:4-11
Fire
Acts 2:3-4, 17-21; 2 Cor 3:18; 2 Cor 4:6
Suffering
Rom 5:3-5; Rom 8:17-18; 2 Tim 3:12;
Sanctification
Romans 8:13-14; 2 Cor 7:1; 1 Thess 4:7-8; 1 John 3:3
Next, I want to bring in the word meanings of mikvah/baptism from the Strong’s Concordance.
MIKVAH:
OT:4723 miqveh (mik-veh'); or miqveh (1 Kings 10:28) (mik-vay'); or miqve' (2 Chron 1:16) (mik-vay'); from OT:6960;* something waited for, i.e. confidence (objective or subjective); also a collection, i.e. (of water) a pond, or (of men and horses) a caravan or drove:
KJV – abiding, gathering together, hope, linen yarn, plenty [of water], pool.
* OT:6960 qavah (kaw-vaw'); a primitive root; to bind together (perhaps by twisting), i.e. collect; (figuratively) to expect:
KJV – gather (together), look, patiently, tarry, wait (for, on, upon).

MIKVAH:
OT:4724 miqvah (mik-vaw'); feminine of OT:4723; a collection, i.e. (of water) a reservoir:
KJV – ditch.2
The word – MIKVAH – can now be easier discerned as to how it is used scripturally within the Hebrew usage of the word. But mikvah went through a total word translation once its concept was written into the Greek text of Yehovah’s Word; for there was no word-perfect Greek translation for this word. So the concept of mikvah was then translated into Greek from the many variations of the word – BAPTO –
BAPTIST, BAPTIZE, BAPTISM, WASHING, DIP
NT:911 bapto (bap'-to); a primary verb; to overwhelm, i.e. cover wholly with a fluid; in the N. T. only in a qualified or specially, sense, i.e. (literally) to moisten (a part of one's person), or (by implication) to stain (as with dye):
KJV – dip.
BAPTIST, BAPTIZE
NT:907 baptizo (bap-tid'-zo); from a derivative of NT:911; to immerse, submerge; to make overwhelmed (i.e. fully wet); used only (in the N. T.) of ceremonial ablution, especially (technically) of the ordinance of Christian baptism:
KJV – Baptist, baptize, wash.
BAPTISM
NT:908 baptisma (bap'-tis-mah); from NT:907; immersion, baptism (technically or figuratively):
KJV – baptism.
BAPTISM, WASHING
NT:909 baptismos (bap-tis-mos'); from NT:907; ablution (ceremonial or Christian): KJV – baptism, washing.
BAPTIST
NT:910 Baptistes (bap-tis-tace'); from NT:907; a baptizer, as an epithet of Christ's forerunner:
KJV – Baptist.3
From the teaching of Michael Rood to the word comparison of the Strong’s Concordance, I then took a venture onto the internet. There are many who have written on this very subject about baptisms, plural. But one article in particular stood out from the rest. So in conclusion, I would like to introduce some of the introduction which was found on an excellent website which presents a study called, “Mikvah: A Study of Immersion/Baptism” by Peggy Pryor. In part, she states:
“The Greek word for baptism is baptizo meaning to immerse or dip a cloth into a vat of dye. The word is derived from an industry of dying cloth in Lebanon. The vats used to hold the different colors of dye, and the process of placing the cloth into the vats was called baptizo. As time passed the ritual purity process of immersion began to be known as baptism. The Hebrew word for immersion is tevilah and means literally immersing in a ritual bath known as a mikvah. Immersion is the act of washing performed to correct a condition of ritual impurity and restore the impure to a state of ritual purity. It is never for the purpose of cleaning or bathing the body.
“The mikvah/ritual bath was of great importance to the first century Jew. It was understood that if a community or village had only enough money for a synagogue or a mikvah, the mikvah would be built first. The Torah speaks of numerous things that make a person Tomeh/ritually unclean, and a number of processes of purification. The one act required in all purification processes was immersion in the mikvah.
“Life for the average Jew, in the average village, depended on access to the mikvah. A man from the tribe of Levi, a son of Aaron could not assume his office as priest until he had gone through a mikvah. Before a person could be tahor/ritually clean to enter the grounds of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, he must be immersed in the mikvah. The severest punishment was imposed on a person for entering the Temple area in the state of tomeh/ritual impurity. A woman in her monthly cycle was required to wear special clothing so all would know that she was in a state of niddah (ritually unclean due to monthly cycle). She would not be tahor/ritually clean until after entering the mikvah. Immersion in a mikvah is an integral part of conversion to Judaism. Without immersion conversion is not valid. There are many more times an immersion in a mikvah is customary, we will endeavor to explore as many as space permits.
“There are two basic parts of Torah, one is the written Torah consisting of the first five books of the Bible, with which we are all familiar. The second part of Torah is just as important but not as well known. It is what we call the Oral Torah or unwritten law. This was handed down orally from generation to generation for about 1,500 years. About the third century C.E. Oral Torah was put into writing by Rabbi Yehudah the Prince and is the foundation of Mishnah. The Talmud was formed after discussion and commentary was added. All Jewish law is derived from this Oral Torah. We might call it the "how to" book. Detail instructions on how to carry out all worship, the festivals, sacrifices, commandments, including ritual purification and preparing the mikvah are in Oral Torah.
“The Mikvah is a ritual bath, the Hebrew word mikvah means a "pool" or "gathering" of water. Two direct references in the Bible to Mikvah are in the Bible. In Leviticus 11:36 it is written:
"Only a spring and a pit, a gathering (Mikvah) of water, shall be clean…"
“The second is Jeremiah 17:12-13 as it is written:
"A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. {13} O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters".
“The word translated hope in verse 13 is Mikvah thus giving us the understanding that Messiah is the cleansing fountain/Mikvah or hope of Israel.
“While Messiah still hung, on the cross a Roman "soldier pierced His side, immediately there came out blood and water"; John 19:34 NAS the opening of the cleansing fountain or Mikvah for Israel. In Zechariah 13:1 it is written:
"In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness."4
The entirety of Peggy Pryor’s teaching is very informative. If you are finding that you are benefitting from this study concerning Mikvah/Water Purification/Baptisms, I strongly suggest that you continue on with her five-part series of this subject. Not out of laziness on my part, but I hold a firm opinion that there is no need for me to write further regarding this teaching when Yehovah has already, through His Spirit, used another servant to write the complexity of this topic down. She covers all that I had originally planned to address. Her website can be found below in the endnotes of this study. May Yehovah bless your continued reading as you pursue to learn more concerning “the doctrine of baptism(s).”
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The Jewishness of Jesus: Some Religious Implications For Gentile Christians By Jewish Christian


The Jewishness of Jesus: Some Religious Implications For Gentile Christians By Jewish Christian

The one whom Christians cliam is the foundation, the cornerstone of their religion is Jesus or Yeshua, as he was really called, which was a popular variant of Joshua – meaning “the L-rd is salvation.” It is interesting to note that Jesus was himself not a Christian. He in fact was a Jew. He did not go to Mass, or indeed any worship service, on Sunday morning. He went to services on the Sabbath. He did not go to church. He went to synagogue. He did not speak Greek, Latin, Church Slavonic, German, or English. He spoke Hebrew and Aramaic – two semitic languages. He had a Jewish mother, which means he probably looked a lot like other Jews, i.e., dark hair and complexion, perhaps with a so-called Roman nose, not too large in stature. No one addressed him as Father, Paster, Reverend, or Minister. But he was addressed as Rabbi. He did not read the New Testament, nor did he think it the inspired word of G-d. He did read the Hebrew Bible and thought it the Holy Scriptures. He never recited the Rosary, chanted Hospodi pomilui at a litany, nor sang a Wesleyan hymn. Rather, he recited the psalms; he died with one on his lips: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani?” (My G-d, my G-d, why have you abandoned me?) He did not celebrate Christmas and Easter. He celebrated Shavout and Passover – not communion, but a Seder. To repeat, Jesus was not a Christian. He was a Jew. He was Rabbi Yeshua. 

Rabbi Yeshua was not a mediocre, run-of-the-mill, secularized Jew. He was a very observant Jew. He wore tzitzit (the dancing fringes seen on observant Jew today) – recall the story of the woman with the twelve-year flow of blood who but touched the fringe of his clothes. What is really important to remember is that, whatever Luther or any other Protestant interpreter of Paul – or Paul himself – said, Rabbi Yeshua did not ocme to dispense with or do away with the Torah, the Law. He came to carry it out. One Orthodox Israeli scholar, Pinchas Lapide, said of Yeshua:

“never and nowhere broke the Law of Moses, the Torah of Moses, nor did he in any way provoke its infringement – it is entirely false to say that he did… This Jesus was a faithful to the Law as I would hope to be. I even suspect that Jesus was more faithful to the Law than I am – and I am an Orthodox Jew.” – (Pinchas Lapid and Hans Kung, “Is Jesus a Bond or Barrier? A Jewish-Christian dialogue,” [summer, 1977] 473)

Jesus, Yeshua himself makes the claim about keeping the Law, the Torah – until the end of the world. There is no notion whasover of the abolishment of the Law in his words – and it should be remembered that they are recorded by Matthew: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the prophets; I came not to destroy but to carry out” (plerosai, literally, to implement; Mt.5:17-19). Another Israeli Orthodox Jewish scholar put it this way: “Yeshua was “a Torah-true Jew” (David Flusser, Jesus in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten (Reinbeck, 1968), p.43). A Jewish professor of Rabbinics at Cambridge University stated the same idea thus: “Nor can I accept that Jesus’ purpose was to do away with Judaism as he found it. He had his criticisms, to be sure, but he wanted to perfect the Law of Moses, not annul it. The Christian hostility to this law strikes me as a betrayal of Jesus’ teaching” (Nicholas de Lange, “Who is Jesus?” Sidic, vol.12, no.3 [1979], p.12). The scholar of Judaistics, Johann Maier, made the same point: “There is no evidence that Jesus had intended a suspension of the Torah. Rather, he was perceived as so devout that the Pharisees displayed an even positive interest in him and viewed him as worthy or travelling around with. Likewise, the Jewish-Christian community saw no reason to give up the Torah either in theory or practice… In no individual concrete case – neither in relation to the Sabbath healing, nor in ritual practice, nor in the question of divorce – is there a fundamental conflict with “the Law” (Johann Maier, “Jesus von Nazareth und sein Verhaltnis zum Judentum aus der Sicht eines Judaisten,” 1980, pg.95). 

It should be clear upon the briefest reflection that those Christians who attempt to set up some sort of dichotomy between the Law and grace, as if Judaism were a religion only of Law and Christianity were a religion only of grace – whaever they might be – in this regard are not followers of Jesus, of Rabbi Yeshua. He at any rate was committed to the keeping of the Law, the Torah, “as long as heaven and earth last!” and “whoever breaks even the smallest of the commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be the least in the Reign of Heaven.”

A Jewish Parent Versus Child Relationships


Judaism commands us to respect our mothers and fathers.
As with other human relationships, Jewish parents and their children (both adult and minor) are, in traditional Judaism, bound to each other by a series of commanded responsibilities and sacred practices. Most societies emphasize reverence for parents; post-biblical Judaism appears to have gone further than its contemporaries in mandating that parents provide for their children with very specific preparations for the future. Furthermore, Judaism sees parents and offspring as bound to each other not only for practical or humanistic reasons, but also as a way of honoring God.

Parenting in the Torah

The Torah includes numerous mitzvot regarding parent-child interaction. Fathers must circumcise sons on their eighth day of life (Genesis 17:10-14). Parents may not sacrifice their children, neither to a foreign deity (Leviticus 20:1) nor to God. Incest is strictly forbidden (Leviticus 18:6-7). Parents are responsible for educating their children (Deuteronomy 11:19). First-born sons must be redeemed from the priesthood (Exodus 13:2,13). Insults to parents are subject to grave punishment (Leviticus 20:9).

Honoring parents (kibbud av va’em) is among the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 5:16); the requirement to show them reverence appears in Leviticus (19:1-3). The language of these two commandments provides motivations for their observance. The wording in Exodus (nearly identical in Deuteronomy) states that one who honors parents will lengthen one’s life and continue one’s link to the land of Israel: “Honor your father and your mother so that your days will be lengthened on the land Adonai your God gave to you.” The motivation here is one of a promised reward.

In Leviticus, we find that reverence is part of participating in God’s holy plan: “And Adonai spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Speak to all the community of the Children of Israel, and say to them — ‘You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy. A man shall revere his mother and his father and observe my Sabbaths; I am Adonai your God.’ ”

These laws generated much discussion among the rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud. Much of their wisdom is found in the Talmud ic tractate Kiddushin, surrounding the following teaching:

All the mitzvot of the son [incumbent] upon the father–men are obligated and women are exempt. And all the mitzvot of the father [incumbent] upon the son–both men and women are obligated. (Mishnah Kiddushin 1:7, Babylonian Talmud Kiddushin 29a)

The ensuing discussion (continuing in the Talmud until 32a) contains definitions of these two categories, explanations of their gender distinctions (e.g.mothers cannot be obligated to do for sons mitzvot that they are not commanded to do themselves), biblical derivations, stories and role-models regarding performance of the commandments. Fathers are obligated to circumcise, redeem, teach Torah to, acquire a wife for, and teach a craft to sons.

Both sons and daughters must honor mothers and fathers by providing them with food and drink, clothing and covering them, and providing for their mobility. Children show reverence by not standing or sitting in a parent’s place, contradicting his/her words, or opposing a parent in a dispute.

Spiritual Aspects of Parenthood

Along with these practical concerns, we also are provided a deeply spiritual understanding of the bond between child and parent. After connecting biblical verses pertaining to honor of parents and honor of God, the Talmudic sages offer the following statement: “There are three partners in a person–the Holy One of Blessing, one’s father, and one’s mother. The Holy One of Blessing said [to the ones who honor their parents], ‘I rest over them as if I dwelled among them and they honored me.’ ” Parents are seen as partners in God’s creation of each human being; therefore, to honor one’s parents is to honor God. Similarly, to display disregard, disrespect, or violence toward one’s parents is to do so to God.

The place of parent as God’s representative is further emphasized through the mitzvah to teach one’s children Torah — God’s word. Adoptive, step- and foster parents are included in this sacred relationship — “He who brings up a child is to be called its father, not he who gave birth” (Shemot Rabbah 46:5 and elsewhere) — although the mutual legal obligations are not, strictly speaking, identical. Parents offering the traditional Friday night blessing to their children do so as God’s emissaries.

The Incredible Power Of The Hebrew Alphabet


In various places throughout the teachings of the Golden Dawn, it is stated emphatically that the Hebrew letters are magical symbols. For this reason, each student should learn how to form them and write them. Good calligraphy was often absent in the old Order, for I have seen manuscripts that go back a long way, in which the Hebrew letters are atrociously formed. If there is any magic in such an alphabet, the intent is defeated by deformed and ill-formed letters.

The student should make a point of learning in some way to write, print or letter these alphabets correctly. A good calligraphic pen, producing thick and thin lines is an absolute essential. A quill must have originally been used centuries ago, but the lettering pens of today are so much superior. If you don’t know how to go about it, it might be the easiest thing to enquire at a local university where Semitic languages are taught to be put in touch with a senior student who can then show you how to write the letters. Failing this, contact a local synagogue.

They will not harm you, cook you, or try to convert you. They may be curious as to why you want to know such a feat, but you can make up a half a dozen explanations to account for that – including the truth, that you are studying the Qabalah. They may know less about that than you, but at least they may be able to teach you how to write the letters correctly and that is half the battle won. I n the Zohar there is a pretty legend, rather long-winded but eloquent, about each letter of the alphabet, and how B, the second letter of the alphabet, came to be used as the first letter of the first word of the Bible – Berashith meaning In the Beginning.

There are two main translations of the Zohar that you could make use of, depending on which one you may have access to. Some of the libraries may have the translation of Simon and Sperling; others may have the shorter but earlier version of Nurho de Manhar. (Wizard Book Shelf, San Diego, CA. 1978). Regardless of whose translation you use, read or study the account of each letter appearing before God imploring Him to use that particular letter for the first word of Genesis. It is interesting reading, full of symbolism of one kind or another, and may throw a great deal of light for you on the motives for Mathers’ statement that Hebrew letters are magical symbols and as such must be treated with respect and honor.

“Rabbi Chananya spake, and said: Before creation began, the alphabetical letters were in reversed order; thus the two first words in the Book of Genesis, Berashith, bara, begin with B; the next two, Alhim, ath, with A. Why did it not commence with A, the first letter?

The reason of this inversion is as follows: For two thousand years before the creation of the world the letters were concealed and hidden, being objects of divine pleasure and delight.

“When the Divine Being, however, willed to create the world, all the letters appeared before His presence in their reverse order.

The first ascended and said: Lord of the Universe! let it please Thee to create the world by me, as I am the final letter of the word Emeth - (truth), which is graven on Thy signet ring. Thou Thyself art called Emeth, and therefore it will become Thee, the great King, to begin and create the world by me: Said the Holy One (blessed by He):Thou, oh, Tav, are indeed worthy, but I cannot create the world by thee; for thou art destined to be not only the characteristic emblem borne by faithful students of the law, from beginning to end, but also the associate of Maveth (death), of which thou art the final letter.

Therefore the creation of the world cannot, must not, be through thee.’

 “After Tav had disappeared, Sh ascended and said: I pray Thee, Lord of the Universe, as bearing Thy great name Shaddai (almighty), to create the world by me, by the holy name that becometh Thee only.' Said the Holy One:Thou art truly, o Shin, worthy, pure and true; but letters that go to form lying and falsehood will associate themselves with thee. viz.: Koph (Q) and Resh (R), and with thee will make up SheQeR (a lie), Falsehood, in order that it may be received and credited, come first with the appearance of truth (Sh), which thou representest, and for this reason I will not create the world by thee.’ So Shin departed and Q and R, having heard these words, dared not present themselves before the divine presence.

 ” T Z then went before Him, saying: Because I mark the Zaddikim (the righteous), and Thou Thyself hearest me in Thy name, Zaddik (righteous), and also it is written, The righteous Lord loveth righteousness, it will become Thee to create the world by me.' Then said the Holy One:Zaddi, Zaddi, thou art truly righteous, but thou must keep thyself concealed, and thy occult meaning must not be made known or b:,:;ome revealed; and therefore thou must not be used in the creation of the world. Thy original form was a rod, symbol of the male principle, surmounted by Yod, a letter of the holy Name, and also of the Holy Covenant, and emblem of the male principle. (By this, reference is made to the first man, who was androgynous, with faces turning one to the right, the other to the left, as symbolized in the figure of Zaddi in the Hebrew alphabet). But the time will come that thou shall be divided, and thy faces shall then be turned to each other.’

“Zaddi then departed, and P ascended and said: 1 am the beginning of the salvation (Peragna) and deliverance (Peduth) thou will execute in the world. It will be fitting to create it by me."Thou art worthy,' replied the Holy One,but thou also givest rise to Evil (Peshang), and in thy form resemblest those animals who walk with drooping heads, like wicked men who go about with bowed heads and extended hands. I will not, therefore, create the world by thee.’

” T o the letter Ayin, the initial of the word Avon (iniquity), though it claimed the origination of Anaya (Modesty), the Holy One said: `I shall not create the world by thee.’ And forthwith Ayin departed.

“S then went and pleaded: 1 am near (Samech) to the fallen ones, as it is written: The Lord upholdeth (soumekh) all them that fall. Thou must return, Samech, to thy place,' was the reply of the Holy One, and must not leave it; for if thou dost, what will become of the fallen, who will need and look to thee for aid and support?' Samech forthwith returned, and was followed by N, who said:Oh thou Holy One! that Thou mayest be venerated in praises (Nura tehillim), and also because the praise of the righteous will be a Nava (delight), let it please Thee to create the world by me.’ To whom He replied: `Nun, return thou to thy place with the fallen (Nephelim), for whose sake Samech hath gone back to her place, and lean for support upon her.’

“M then followed after, saying: Thou wilt by me be called Malech (king)."Truly so,'said He,but I will not, for all that, create the world by thee. Go back at once to thy place with thy companion letters, L and CH; for there must be a King, and for the world to be without one would not be seemly. At that moment CH descended from off the throne of light and splendor, exclaiming; I am thy glory, create the world by me.' As it stood trembling with excitement before the Holy One, two hundred thousand worlds together with the throne itself were seized with a sudden tremor and seemed ready to fall.Caph, Caph!’ cried the Holy One, `what hast thou done? I will not create the world by thee, for thou beginnest Chala (ruin, loss). Return at once to thy place on the throne of glory and abide there!’ Then Caph retired and went back to its place.

 ” Y next appeared and claimed that being the initial letter in the divine name YHVH, it was the best for the work of creation. But the Holy One replied: `Let it suffice thee to be what THE COMPLETE GOLDEN DAWN SYSTEM OF MAGIC 28 thou art, chief letter in my name and foremost in all my designs, thou must remain where and as thou art!’

Then came T and spake before the Eternal One: Create the world by me, for in me alone is thy goodness (Tobh) and uprightness, for attributes of Thee."I will not, Oh Teth,'replied the Holy One,use thee in the creation of the world, because the goodness within thee is hidden and concealed from sight as it is written, How great is Thy goodness which Thou hidest from them that fear Thee.' Seeing thou wilt remain invisible to the world I am about to create, and furthermore because of the goodness hidden within thee, the gates of the temple will sink into the earth as it is written,Her gates are sunk into the ground,’ and besides all this, thou with thy comrade the letter Cheth (CH) composed sin. Therefore, these letters will never enter in the names of the twelve holy tribes. On hearing these words Ch went not before the Holy One, but returned at once to its place.

 “Z then went up and urged its claim, saying: Thy children will through me keep the Sabbath, as it is written: Remember (Zecor) the Sabbath to keep it holy. Thou, Oh Zain,' replied the Holy one,art of too warlike a form, resembling as thou dost a spear. I cannot use thee in the creation of the world.’

When Z heard this decision, like N it retired and gave place to V, who said: I am a letter in thy Holy name.' The Eternal One answered and said,remain contented, Oh V that together with H you are in the great name. I shall not choose you by whom to create the world.’

” D . accompanied by G, went before the Divine Presence. To them it was said, `Let it suffice you, that so long as you are conjoined and associated, there will always be the poor on the earth who will need succor and help. Daleth (D) – poverty and Gimel (G) – help or the benefactor. Therefore both of you keep together, the one helping the other.'(In the Hebrew alphabet G and D are successive letters).

“Then came B and said : Create the world by me, because I am the initial letter of Beracha (blessing) and through me all will bless thee, both in the world above as in the world below. "Truly, Oh B,' said the Holy One,I will surely create the world by thee only.’

“Hearing these words, A remained in its place and went not into the Divine Presence, who therefore exclaimed Aleph (A) Aleph! why comest thou not before me as all the other letters'?' Then replied A:Lord and sovereign of the universe, it is because I have observed that (B excepted) they have returned as they went, without success. Why therefore, should I come before thee, since thou hast already given B the great and precious gift we all of us craved and desired. Moreover, it becometh not the monarch of the universe to withdraw and take back his presents from one subject and give them to another.’ To these words, the Holy One responded: `Aleph, Aleph! Thou shalt be the first of all letters and my unity shall be symbolized only by thee. In all conceptions and ideas human or divine, in every act and deed begun, carried on and completed, in all of them shalt thou be the first, the beginning.’

“Therefore did the Holy One make the letters of the celestial alphabet, capitals, and those of the earthly, small, each corresponding to one another. Therefore also the Book of Genesis begins with two words whose initials are B, viz/ : Berashith Bara (in the beginning VOLUME ONE 29 created) followed by two others, whose initials are A, viz.,Alhim ath (God, the substance of) to show that the letters of these alphabets celestial and earthly are one and the same by which every creature and thing in the universe has been formed and produced.”