Holidays

 

Holidays

Tu B’Shevat

Tu B’Shevat means the 15th of the month called Shevat.  It is the new year for trees, specifically, the way to keep track of the ages of trees based on Leviticus 19:23-25 which explains that the people couldn’t eat the fruit of a tree until it was in its fifth year.  The actual holiday is not mandated in Scripture, but we enjoy the traditions associated with it.  Some customs for Tu B’Shevat are to eat a new fruit, to eat one of the Seven Species (crops that are abundant in Israel according to Scripture), to plant a tree or to send money to Israel to help plant trees.

Purim

Purim means “lots” and is the holiday when we remember Esther and her story during a time in Jewish history when “lots” were cast to select a day to destroy the Jewish people.  G-d protected His people from their enemies through the faithfulness of Mordecai and his cousin Hadassah (Esther), so we give thanks during this festival each year.  In Esther 9:22, we read that we are to celebrate by “feasting and rejoicing and sending portions of food to one another and gifts to the poor” so we do just that.  We also eat plenty of hamantashen (triangular shaped cookies filled with sweet jam) to remind us of Haman’s defeat and retell the accounts of the book of Esther accompanied by blotting out Haman’s name with booing and groggers (noisemakers).  We are also continually thankful for His promise to Abraham to protect the Jewish people that we read in Genesis 12:3 which says, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Beth Hallel will have a Purim Party on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the MJCC.  There will be delicious hamantashen, great company, the Purim story telling and our annual costume parade, as well.  Therefore, no matter your age, please come in costume.  For mishloach manot (the tradition that comes from Esther 9:22 where it mentions, “the sending of portions one man to another, and gifts to the poor,”) this year, we ask that each family bring canned foods (at least one per person) which will be given to families in need. All are welcome!

 

Pesach and Chag HaMatzah

Pesach (Passover) literally means “to pass over” something and refers to G-d’s promise to pass over every household that had the blood of the sacrificial lamb on its doorpost on the night that He sent the Angel of Death to take the first born boy of every household in Egypt. (Exodus 12:13)  He then delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt altogether through the obedience of Moses.  Pesach is followed by Chag HaMatzah (the Feast of Unleavened Bread), which lasts for seven days as seen in Leviticus 23:5-8.  Based on Exodus 12, we remove all leavening from our houses in remembrance of the fact that the Israelites had to move quickly during their escape and didn’t have time to wait for bread to rise.  We also have a traditional seder meal during which we eat certain symbolic foods in a specific order, as “seder” means “order.”  The Passover story is one of redemption and extremely meaningful from a Messianic perspective as we remove leaven (sin) from our homes and put our hope in Yeshua the Messiah, the sacrificial lamb who became our Pesach and has delivered us.

Beth Hallel’s 2017 Passover Seder will be Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $38 per person if purchased on or before March 19th and $45/person if purchased on or after March 20th. The evening will include energetic leaders to guide us through the Haggadah and a delicious 4 course meal. To order tickets, call 770-641-3000 ext. 0. Please keep in mind that there will not be any refunds.
Our children will also enjoy their annual Chocolate Seder on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

REGISTER HERE FOR THE CHOCOLATE SEDER!

Resurrection Day

The Messiah provided final atonement for sin by sacrificing His unblemished life and conquering death by His resurrection.  This is a day to celebrate indeed!  Yeshua observed Pesach at a seder with his closest followers before being betrayed.  On the first day of Pesach (the day after the seder), He laid down His life and then was in the grave for 3 days.  Then, He arose, just as prophesied.

Based on the fact that Passover begins on the night of April 10th this year, we will celebrate the Messiah’s resurrection on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. with a joyful service.  All are welcome!

Yom Ha’atzmaut

This is the Israeli Independence Day (the 5th of Iyar on the Hebrew calendar) when we remember the miracle of May 14, 1948 when David Ben Gurion read the Proclamation of the establishment of the State of Israel, officially ending the British Mandate.  It is a joyful celebration of G-d’s faithfulness to His people.
There will be a very special event at Beth Hallel on Monday, May 1, 2017 at 7:00 pm that will begin by observing Yom HaZikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day) and honoring the memory of the fallen soldiers of the IDF.  Then, we will transition into a time of thanking the Lord for His reestablishment of the nation of Israel and rejoicing and celebrating this country’s miraculous independence.  All are welcome!

Shavuot

Shavuot (weeks) is a holiday that comes seven weeks after Pesach (described in Leviticus 23:15-21 and Deuteronomy 16:10).  Some non-Jewish people call it Pentecost (fiftieth) because it occurs 50 days after Pesach, too.  In Leviticus, the holiday is referred to as Bikkurim (first fruits) because it actually is when the latter first fruits were offered to G-d.  This is one of three feasts that Jewish men are to travel to Jerusalem to celebrate according to Deuteronomy 16:10.  It is a holiday on which to be thankful for the early harvest and hopeful for a good fall harvest.  Shavuot is also when Moses received the Law for which we are always grateful and when the early believers first saw the Ruach HaKodesh at work as recorded in the book of Acts.  Traditionally, plants, greenery, fruit and flowers are used to decorate for this holiday as it is a harvest holiday.  Also, it is customary to eat dairy food, remembering that the dietary laws were given to Moses and because Scripture is called the milk of the Word.
Beth Hallel will have a Shavuot service on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.  A special dairy oneg will follow the service.  All are welcome!

Rosh HaShanah

Rosh HaShanah means Head of the Year and has this name because it is considered the “spiritual” new year even though it falls during the seventh month of the year on the Hebrew calendar.  In Scripture, it is called Yom Teruah (The Day of Sounding/Festival of Trumpets) and is described in Leviticus 23:23-25.  Rosh HaShanah is a day to focus on repentance and making changes that will lead to a new year that will please G-d.  In fact, Rosh Hashanah is the first of the Yomim Nora’im (Ten Days Of Awe) the last of which is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  We eat tzimmes (carrots with honey), honey cake and apples and honey, symbolizing our hope for a sweet new year.  The shofar is a key part of the services, sounding as a “wake-up call” to us, as well as to hail G-d, the King of Kings and the One who will be our Judge.  With great anticipation, we look forward to the day when the shofar will sound signaling Messiah’s return and the regathering of those who are united with Him.

 

  • Erev Rosh HaShanah Service & Sweet Oneg – Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Rosh HaShanah Service & Luncheon – Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 11:00 a.m.
  • Tashlich – Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 4:30 pm.  Location will be announced soon.

No tickets required for either of these services.

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement and is considered the most solemn of all the Jewish holy days.  This was the one day each year when the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies to make atonement for all the Israelites.  In Leviticus 16, Scripture contains the details of the ceremony in which 2 goats were sacrificed – one killed as a blood sacrifice and one as a scapegoat, symbolically removing the sins of the people from the camp.  This is how G-d allowed the Jewish people to receive atonement for their sins, following their days of repentance.  In Leviticus 23:26-32, G-d commanded that the Israelites set this day apart from all others forever, no matter where they might live.  We fast from sundown on the ninth of Tishri until sundown on the tenth of Tishri and spend that time humbling ourselves before G-d.  Jewish people all over the world pray that their names will be written in the Book of Life for another year and hope for a sweet year as they end the fast with a joyous meal together.  As Messianic Jews, we have full joy and confidence, believing that Yeshua became the sacrifice that G-d required to make atonement for our sins.

 

  • Kol Nidre Service – Friday, September 29, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.
  • Yom Kippur Service – Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 11:00 a.m.
  • Yizkor Service – Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Prayer and Worship – Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 2:30 p.m.
  • Neilah Service – Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Break-the-Fast – Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 7:15 p.m.

No tickets required for any of these services.

Sukkot

Sukkot (booths) is also known as the Feast of Tabernacles.  Leviticus 23:33-44 shows that it was a harvest holiday as it was the time to bring in the latter harvest and it also was a time for the people to remember that G-d dwelled with the Israelites during the 40 year period they spent in the wilderness living in temporary booths.  We celebrate Sukkot by building sukkot in the yards of our homes and synagogues, decorating them and dwelling in them (to varying degrees) for the week.  We wave the “Four Species” made up of a lulav (palm branch) and etrog (citrus fruit from Israel) along with the hadas (myrtle) and arava (willow) in all directions focusing on the fact that G-d is omnipresent.  It was a time of joy in the hope for winter rains to come and was prophetically demonstrating the joy that would come when the living waters of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) would be poured out on all Israel.  As Messianic Jews, we are anticipating with great joy the day when the Kingdom of G-d will come to the redeemed earth and He will dwell with His people in all His glory!
Beth Hallel will have a Sukkot service on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.  All are welcome!  Our beautiful sukkah will be up and decorated all week so plan to come early or stay for a while following the service to spend time in it.
We will also have our Beth Hallel Sukkot Family Picnic in a park on Sunday, October 8, 2017 from 12:00-4:00 p.m.  This will be a time for our Beth Hallel families to enjoy each other’s company with food, music, dance, games, crafts, softball, face painting and of course, a sukkah!

Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah

Shemini Atzeret means the Eighth Day of Assembly and refers to the closing of Sukkot.  As we read in Leviticus 23:36, Shemini Atzeret is a Shabbat and a day for a holy convocation.  Simchat Torah (Rejoicing in the Law) is the day corresponding to Shemini Atzeret.  Every year, the Torah is read in synagogue services by reading one portion each week.  Simchat Torah is the day when the final chapters of Deuteronomy and the first chapters of Genesis are read, completing and restarting the annual cycle.  We celebrate the gift of the Torah with music and dance and take great delight in the goodness of G-d’s perfect Word.
Beth Hallel will have a Simchat Torah service on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.   This is usually our most joyous Torah service of the entire year.  We will process around the congregation, literally following G-d’s Word  and waving Israeli flags, while the Torah is rolled all the way back to Genesis 1:1 to prepare to read it yet again.  All are welcome!

Hanukkah

Hanukkah (dedication) is the Feast of Dedication and also commonly referred to as the Festival of Lights.  It is an eight day holiday recalling a time of great oppression for the Jewish people under the reign of Antiochus IV who desecrated the Temple and prohibited Jewish people from practicing Judaism.  The defeat of this leader and his people was accomplished by a revolt led by Matthias the Hasmonean and his son Judah Maccabee.  The Maccabees and their followers took on the heavy task of restoring the Temple.  The menorah in the Temple was supposed to burn continually, but was found with only enough oil to last for one day.  It would take eight days for more oil to be prepared, but they decided to light it anyway.  Miraculously, the tiny bit of oil lasted all eight days until the new oil was ready.  The eight day festival of Hanukkah was established to celebrate this miraculous event and the rededication of the Temple.  We commemorate these events by lighting candles in a Hanukkiah (menorah with nine branches – eight for the eight day miracle and an extra called the shammash (servant) to light the others) and by eating foods cooked in oil such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (Israeli doughnuts).  We also play with dreidels (spinning tops) to remember how the Jewish children covered up the fact that they were studying Torah when soldiers came by.  This holiday is prophesied about in the book of Daniel (chapter 8) and special because we know that Yeshua celebrated it in the very same Temple that the Maccabees rededicated (John 10:22).
Beth Hallel will have the annual Hanukkah party on Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.  As always, there will be food, music, dance, activities for children, dreidels, latkes, gelt, lots of menorahs and more!  All are welcome!