Shabbat's just around the corner! Here are some things that I hope will enrich your Shabbat experience.
We're currently in fifty day countup to the Festival of Weeks - Shavuot in Hebrew, or, as it's often called in Greek, Pentecost.
This countup is called counting the Omer. Omer is the Hebrew word for the sheaf that was waved on the first day of the countup, on the day after the Festival Shabbat. In Jewish tradition, it's the responsibility of each person to count for themselves up to Shavuot, as the Torah says in Leviticus 23:15, "count for yourselves." That's easy for the first week or two. Then it gets a little harder to remember to do it every day, and to remember which day of the Omer you're on. "Are we on day 37, or day 38?!"
That, my friend, is where this handly little app comes in. OmerCounter will tell which day of the Omer it is, ask if you've counted it yet, and teach you the traditional blessing too! Loving God and keeping his commands has never been easier. (Yes, that was intended to sound like an infomercial.)
Caleb is following Yeshua in a Hebrew way! Here's his story.
I was a Christian for my entire life. I went to church every Sunday with my family and tried my best to do what was taught. As a kid I was homeschooled and had a great childhood, playing sports (basketball was my favorite) and going on fieldtrips and the like. Despite this, I was never “free in Christ” as they say. After I started school in the seventh grade, I developed extreme social anxiety disorder and depression (officially diagnosed at fifteen). At one time I was even suicidal. Basically, I lived in the fight or flight mode of extreme anxiety all the time, and this led me to be extremely depressed, thinking that I would spend the rest of my life that way. Psychologist’s appointments did nothing, and anti-depressants just sort of made me numb, but didn’t really work to eliminate either problem.
Due to the anxiety, my stomach hurt all the time, meaning I felt sick all the time due to the nervousness, which meant basically permanent really super intense butterflies. I was also underweight. The stress caused my hair to start to fall out at the age of thirteen, which increased the nervousness. Being a fifteen/sixteen year old with the hairline of a forty year old attracted more attention to myself than I could stand. This led to more depression, and I retreated into myself more, and gave up on basketball. I can’t even count all of the tear filled nights that I begged God to set me free, to let me be normal, to take away the fear. After high school I resigned myself to the fact that I would always live in this bondage of fear and depression. I was dating my future wife and though I loved her and she loved me, our relationship struggled because of my behavior pretty much anywhere in public. Not to mention, that I sometimes took out the frustration of my predicament on her by starting fights or tuning out.
About four years ago, when I was twenty-one, my mom started studying Torah. I gave her a hard time about it, saying it wasn’t for us anymore and that, “Jesus did away with it,” basically parroting what I had been taught my whole life. Well, shortly after she celebrated her first Passover, I decided to look into what she was saying about the Torah and the Feasts. I found that it made sense and I started studying more and all of a sudden I realized my anxiety was disappearing. My depression was gone and I felt like I had finally found something I had been missing my whole life. It was amazing, my mom celebrated her first Passover, and shortly after that God delivered me, her firstborn son, from bondage- A complete miracle. Since then I have gotten married and I even have a son now; things I never thought I could be capable of due to the bondage I was in. Yeshua is the Torah made flesh and realizing that and trying to become more like Him released me from bondage (just as He said, the truth will set you free). I have a basic knowledge of Hebrew, but now I feel I am at the point that I need to really dig in and learn His language so that I can become closer to Him. Not to mention, that I want to teach my children about Yeshua and it would be nice to teach them in Hebrew. So, that is why I signed up for your class and am super excited to begin to really learn the language of my Messiah!
Are you following Yeshua in a Hebrew way? If so, the Holy Language tribe would love to hear your story, and we would love to help you tell it! Here's how.
Modern Hebrew with Elihana Elia this Monday evening, watch here!
NO Biblical Hebrew with Rabbi Derek Leman this Thursday evening.
Live Shabbat services this Friday evening and Saturday morning, join us here!