Friday, August 27, 2010

Feasts and Festivals

A Jewish holiday or festival is a day or series of days observed by Jews as a holy or secular commemoration of an important event in Jewish history. In Hebrew, Jewish holidays and festivals, depending on their nature, may be called yom tov ("good day") (Yiddish: yontif) or chag ("festival") or ta'anit ("fast").

In the biblical old testament, the word feast (Hebrew: מִשְׁתֶּה mishteh) from shathah שָׁתָה to drink, first occurs in Genesis 19:3, when God rescues Lot.
1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth 2 and said, "My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way." They said, "No; we will spend the night in the town square." 3 But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. –Genesis 19:1-3
Lot was good, but there was not one more of the same character in the city. All the people of Sodom were very wicked and vile. Care was therefore taken for saving Lot and his family. Lot lingered; he dawdled. Thus many who are under convictions about their spiritual state, and the necessity of a change, shelve that necessitous work. The salvation of the most righteous men is of God's mercy, not by their own merit. We are saved by grace. God's power also must be acknowledged in bringing souls out of a sinful state. If God had not been merciful to us, our vacillating had been our ruin. Lot must flee for his life. He must not yearn after Sodom. Such commands as these are given to those who, through grace, are delivered out of a sinful state and condition. Return not to sin and Satan. Rest not in self and the world. Reach toward Christ and heaven, for that is escaping to the mountain, short of which we must not stop. Concerning this destruction, observe that it is a revelation of the wrath of God against sin and sinners of all ages.

The origins of various Jewish holidays generally can be found in Biblical mitzvot (commandments), rabbinical mandate, and modern Israeli history. Jesus of Nazareth observed every single one.


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