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§243 Sukkot

October 12, 2008

Another week gone. Tomorrow, Sunday, a regular working day. And then Monday “WHAM”, the next holiday comes up. It’s Sukkot. The Feast of Tabernacles. We have already finished building the Sukka. We’ll do the decorations on Monday with the kids. The kids must be a part of decorating. It’s our christmas tree. Basically, when we decided to get rid of the christmas celebrations, we divided the different traditions into four. Pagan related – put a stop to it. Jesus birth related – move to Sukkot. Decoration related – move to Sukkot. Winter related – move to Hannukka. Why Jesus birth at Sukkot you asked? You’ll see. Keep reading.

After Yom Kippur, when we ask for forgiveness, we can see ourselves as righteous. Shouldn’t that be celebrated with a feast of happiness? “Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” (Psalm 97:11). The basic commandment of Sukkot is in Leviticus 23:39-43:

“Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”

So, the feasts of the fall are all celebrations of the future – Rosh haShana – the feast of trumpets. The day of the return of Jesus. Yom Kippur, day of atonement – Judgement day, and finally Sukkot – when we sit with the Lord in his kingdom. Sukkot is also one of the three feasts of pilgrimage to the temple. It closes a circle that way. Sukkot – birth of Jesus. Passover – death on the cross. Shavuot – Holy Spirit, and finally Sukkot again – kingdom of heaven.

Agriculturally it’s the feast of the fruit harvest. The harvest of the firstborn fruits. Firstborn fruit. Also a picture of the Messiah.

So why do we need to have this Sukka? First of all, the obvious, written answer – because we dwelled in sukkot in the desert. It’s related to the Exodus. It’s about trusting God to lead us to where we need to be. It’s about God with us. Imanuel. It’s in the fall, when it starts to get chilly outside. We’re thrown outside by God at the time of the year when it’s starting to be cold. Because we shall do it for the mitsva’s and the tradition’s sake, not because it’s pleasant. It’s about remembering that God is in charge, and we need to trust him to lead us right. It’s a temporary building to remind us that our life is a short temporary time. It’s also about the Messiah who took his temporary dwelling among us. Yeshua was, with a little New Testament math, probably born on Sukkot. He was born in a Sukka.

Also, the Sukka is the only mitsva that you have all around you. When you enter a sukka on sukkot, you’re inside the mitsva. It’s like a divine hug. This symbol of Yeshua our Messiah – all around us. For seven days.

There’s also the ushpizin – we have make believe guests every day of the sukkot week. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Josef, Moses, Aaron, and David. What do they all have in common? They all lived like nomads at some point in their life (or their entire life). This ushpizin gets its final climax in the Messiah who travelled all over Israel to preach and teach. This could explain Peter’s reaction when he saw Jesus together with Moses and Elijah – he wanted to build a sukka, one for each. Did that happen at sukkot…?

Sukkot is the holiday of the holidays. Whenever the bible states “the holiday” without saying which, it is Sukkot. It’s harder to relate to it than to Passover as we don’t have a specific historic occurence to tie to it. Because it’s tied more to the future. But we can still relate to the birth of the Messiah which was in the past, we can look forward to what God has promised us in the future, and we can look around us in the present and see that we are not nomads, we have a pretty good life. It could be much worse. We can see that we are dependent on God and vulnerable to the environment. Back then, the wheather. Nowadays to the USA stock market. We are never protected. We always need God. And as a people that has lived as nomads for so long, it is good to remember.

If I can finish this with a zionistic tone, I also wish to state that we will live in our sukkas for seven days. And then go back to our real houses. It is to remember, it is not for real. For we are no longer nomads. We are Home. We are in Israel. And we will never ever ever be moved again. The USA can make up as many road maps they want, and they can make up plans to steal our land to create a 23rd arab country as much as they want. We will not move. If God is with us, who can go against us?

3 comments

  1. Hello,

    I find your blog and I have read some at your blog this morning! My name is Anders Branderud and my origin is Sweden just like yours. I am 23 years old. One high goal of mine is to live in ישראל.

    You write: “yeshua was, with a little New Testament math, probably born on Sukkot.”
    Historical fact is that Ribi Yehoshua was born 0529 7 BCE. Read more here:
    http://www.netzarim.co.il ; History Museum (left menu); then click at Times & Seasons (top menu); Christmas

    And the most important historical fact is that the only way to follow this Ribi Yehoshua is by practising Torah and Halakhah non-selectively. That is the only way to get כיפור according to תורה.

    Ribi Yehoshua said:

    “Don’t think that I came to uproot the Torah or the Neviim [prophets], but rather I came to reconcile them with the Oral Law of emet (truth). Should the heavens and ha-aretz (the land, particularly referring to Israel) exchange places, still, not even one ‘ (yod) nor one ` (qeren) of the Oral Law of Mosheh shall so much as exchange places; until it shall become that it is all being fully ratified and performed non-selectively. For whoever deletes one Oral Law from the Torah, or shall teach others such, by those in the Realm of the heavens he shall be called “deleted.” Both he who preserves and he who teaches them shall be called Ribi in the Realm of the heavens. For I tell you that unless your Tzedaqah (righteousness) is over and above that of the Sophrim, and of the [probably ‘Herodian’] Rabbinic-Perushim (corrupted to “Pharisees”), there is no way you will enter into the Realm of the heavens! “
    Netzarim Reconstruction of Hebrew Matityahu 5:17-20.

    Be blessed when you practise Torah and its mitzwot!

    Anders Branderud
    Geir Toshav, Netzarim in Ra’anana in Israel (www.netzarim.co.il) who is followers of Ribi Yehoshua – the Messiah – in Orthodox Judaism


  2. Dear Anders,

    Interesting insight. However, I must disagree regarding your views on the oral law. Yeshua clearly talked against the perushim (pharisees) that they added to people’s burden of mitsvot. The mitsvot are intended to be a blessing, not a curse. Exactly what does the netzarim reconstruction of this passage base itself on?

    Your website is filled with Hebrew words. I usually prefer to use words people can understand, rather than force them to learn Hebrew words. But I guess it gives you a bigger feel of authenticy…😉

    I am concerned that you on your website state that “I regard NT (which Christians call their “New Testament”) as a document that contradicts Tana”kh; and therefore I regard it as a false document, which I don’t follow”. How do you regard the teachings of Sha’ul (Paul)? Do you dismiss him as a hellenistic anti-jewish traitor, or do you study his teachings? I always get sad when I hear of Jews who believe in the Messiah but reject Sha’ul’s teachings because of the false interpretations the church has given him throughout the years. Shaul never said that we should break the mitsvot and he never said anything against the Torah. Read the NT as it is without the church biased interpretation.

    The only way to get Kippur is through doing your outmost to keep the Torah, and for what you did not keep – true repentance and belief in the death and resurrection of the Messiah, who was the ultimate sacrifice. This is my firm belief. Judging by what you write and from your website, I am not entirely sure you’re onboard with this. Am I correct?

    To separate Yeshua, the historic Messiah from Jesus, the Roman and Christian concept, is a new idea that your organization has brought up. I’m sorry, but it doesn’t work. We all believe in the same God and the same Messiah. Some christians have a few wrong ideas, some of them are very far from the truth, just as many of our jewish brothers are. It’s still the same God and the same Jeshua, whatever you wish to call him.

    I see you found this faith in the Torah quite recently. God bless you, I’m glad he has shown you the light. But be careful not to take it too far. This netsarim movement seems to me a bit separatists, and the minute you have the idea that “this movement has the ultimate truth and everyone else are false, I follow my leader’s teachings whatever he says” – it’s time to run.

    I noted there is no Hebrew website. Is your movement English speakers only, or are there israelis? Any connections with Yosef Shulam or David Tel-Tsur?

    I see that you have been in contact with the Swedish Messianic organisation Shalom. I met their leader Stig-Åke when he visited Israel a few weeks ago. They are good people. I do disagree with their techings of the trinity, but they do accept trinity believers in their congregation, and they see us as brothers in faith. I can oversee disagreements in small theology details, but a movement that disqualifies other movements is ultimately disqualifying itself. This goes for Tel-Tsur. He boldly states on his website in Hebrew that all who believe in the trinity are idol worshippers.

    There’s no such thing as a historic fact. What sources are you basing this on? How reliable are those sources? And what do you mean with 05297BCE?

    I see you once was studying with Word of Life. How are things going there? I am getting concerned for their increased interest in catholisism. I can understand evangelic protestants’ thirst for a history and a tradition. But they’re looking in the wrong places…

    God bless you in all your endeavors. If you’re ever visiting Jerusalem, let me know. We seem to have a lot in common. I was very militantly anti-traditional christianity too when I found the truth. With the time it dissappears and you find that they are too people. A few mistaken ideas, but people who do believe in the God of Israel. Much closer to God than any atheist. I have felt the annointment of the Holy Spirit and God’s movement too often in the Word of Life church to be able to totally dismiss them.

    Please read what I wrote about christmas last year (Search for “Turkish bishops and Jeremiah”). I think it will give you an idea of how I view the goyish christianity and let me know what you think.

    God bless you.


  3. glad youre having fun, i miss every jewish holiday, but im still hebrew in heaven!!



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