The Greatest Day!
“On the last greatest day of the Feast (Sukkot – Tabernacles), Yeshua stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.” (Jn. 7:37)
The “Last Greatest Day “of the Feast of Tabernacles, known in Jewish tradition as “Hoshana Rabbah”, is your last ‘great’ opportunity for a convocation of G-d’s people, both Jews and Christians fulfilling Lev. 23:33 – 44. This observance begins this Saturday night Oct. 19 and continues through the following Sunday morning.
For seven days we will have lived and eaten in booths – really! The tradition is to build a makeshift temporary shelter to house these activities during this week, primarily recalling the Exodus wanderings in temporary shelters.
Mincha Afternoon Prayer Service 5:45 – 6:30 pm
Refreshments and dinner in the Sukkah 6:30 – 7:15 pm
Havdalah Concluding Sabbath ceremony 7:15 – 7:30 pm
Movie: “Ushpizin” 7:30 pm
Sunday, Oct.. 20th: 10:45 am -12:15 pm “Last Great Festival of Sukkot Celebration” service, including authentic Jewish prayer and circling the synagogue while processing the “Wave Offering” with the traditional beating of the willows. Bring your own Lunch in Sukkah to follow. Refreshments provided.
There are so many teachings related to this festival they are too many to enumerate in this short article. They include the Exodus wanderings, the ingredients of building of a Sukkah (Booth), decorating as if it were heaven on earth or a mini Garden of Eden as it anticipates a New Heavens and New Earth. It is eschatological and Messianic in its expectations. The thatched roof exists to remind us to look to the heavens for the dawn of the Messianic Age. Most of all it is a Harvest Festival – an ingathering festival.
The prophet Zechariah (ch.14) declared that it would be commemorated at a time when the Nations will go up to Zion to worship the King of Kings and L-rd of L-rds when “His name shall be One in all the earth”.
We are commanded to wave the Lulav (palm branch), the Myrtle branch, Willow branch, and the special fruit from Israel – the Etrog (citron); a wave offering before Him in accordance with the commandments in Lev. 23.
At Adat Yeshua Messianic Congregation, we enjoy creating an open house opportunity to all who would want to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, as we have built perhaps the most exciting, decorated and largest eat in Sukkah in Kansas City. Its interior is bedazzling with depictions of the Third Temple, the Western Wall, Israeli flags, hanging grapes and, pomegranates, and citrons! Other pictures represent creation and various Jewish themes of the season. Anyone is invited 24/7 to bring friends and families to visit along with the opportunity to fulfill the experience by bringing a meal to eat in the Sukkah (be careful – no pork or shellfish products). Great teaching opportunity for children (and pastors) to actually do what the scriptures to Israel has commanded!
This Saturday, Oct. 19, Adat Yeshua begins with the late afternoon traditional Jewish prayer service known as “Mincha”, beginning at 5:45 pm, including the singing of traditional Feats of Tabernacles Hoshanot (Hosannas) along with beautiful and authentic Jewish synagogue prayers.
From 6:30 pm through 7:15 pm we will provide all kinds of refreshments (or bring your own dinner) to eat in the Sukkah as prescribed in the scriptures. This is followed by the special closing ceremonies of the Sabbath known as “Havdalah” (separation) with its special music and candle lighting and smelling of fragrant spices at 7:15 pm. You do not want to miss this!
All this will culminate at 7:30 pm with the special showing of “Ushpizin”. It translates “Guests”, reminding us of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron and David of whom we invite to our Sukkah experience. This 90-minute Israeli film takes place amongst Hasidic (ultra-religious) Jews in Jerusalem. It is the most endearing, sensitive, emotional, spiritually inspiring films you will ever see. Really! It is great for the entire family (young childcare not provided). It takes place during Sukkot (Tabernacles), revealing faith, hope and love in ways that will leave you in joyous tears and heartfelt emotional beauty and the truest meaning of the human experience when it is said “There is only G-d”!
Sunday morning service, 10:45 am – 12:15 pm, we will have our final Sukkot service with Hakafot (circling in the synagogue) and the waving the Lulav (palm branches), along with the Etrog fruit, myrtle and willow branches. We will observe the custom to beat the willow branches into the ground, known as “havatah (beating), concluding the weeklong Festival and its observance, recognizing also another Sukkot that came and went without the coming (return) of the Messiah. Unless something REALLY happens that day!
Most intriguing is the reason why Yeshua said what he did in Jn. 7:37 on this specific day! The explanation will astound you! Come, join us as we listen to the words of Yeshua explained considering “the Last Greatest Day” of the Feast of Tabernacles. Why did he say what he said, and what do the waters of life (‘Mayim Chayim’) have to do with the outflowing of “springs of living water” he refers to, specific to the meaning and activities of this day in accordance with Temple practice?
Also, you are invited to bring your own lunch to eat in the Sukkah after the morning service at 12:30 pm. If you are going to Church that morning, prepare a lunch and bring your family afterwards. The Sukkah will be available all afternoon and into the evening. Youth groups are welcome but please give us a notification!
Rabbi Jerry Feldman
Adat Yeshua Messianic Congregation
Overland Park KS 66214