Re: Chaplains Corner
Sorry I am late today, but I have a good excuse.
Leviticus 16:29-30 (KJV);
“And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.”
In the Hebrew calendar, today is tenth day of the seventh month, known as Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Even Jews that do not observe any other Jewish customs will observe this most important holiday of the year.
Today, Jews seek atonement for their sins against God. Sins against their fellow man must be atoned for by seeking reconciliation with them, righting the wrongs committed against them if possible. But those sins must be taken care of before today, for this day is ONLY for atoning for the sins against God. On this day, God's books are closed and judgment is complete for the next year.
Observant Jews will attend synagogue service starting at 8 or 9 AM today and continuing until about 3 PM this afternoon. They usually go home for an afternoon nap following this, and return at 5 or 6 this evening for services which will continue until nightfall. The Shofar is then blown in one long blast, which ends the days observances.
Besides the services, Jews have restrictions today. For a full 25 hour period, they will not work, eat or drink (even water). Some will also not bathe, wash, use cosmetics, deodorants or wear leather shoes. They will also refrain from sexual relations. As always, these restrictions do not apply to children under 9, women between the onset of labor and three days after childbirth, or anyone else that would suffer a threat to life or health by following them.
As with all Jewish days, today actually began yesterday at sundown. And Yom Kippur services started yesterday just after sundown. So, for the first time ever, we decided to attend a Jewish service. Last night Judy and I drove for two hours to get to a synagogue in Jackson, where we attended a 7 PM service that was for both Yom Kippur and Shabbat, which do not coincide often. We sat there and joined these Jewish people in smiting our chests with our fist as we asked God to forgive us our sins against Him. I looked around at these people who have been through persecution after persecution, yet with tears in their eyes they beseeched God to forgive them for any ill will they harbored in their hearts against any fellow human being. We both found tears welling up in our eyes. The presence of God at this service was almost overwhelming as we watched the reverence they showed toward the scrolls which they removed from the Ark several times during the service. We did our best to follow along in a service that was chanted, sung and spoken in both English and Hebrew. When it was dismissed, I checked my watch – I could not believe that we had been there for two hours already! Almost everyone there came up to us before or after the service and introduced themselves, welcomed us to the service, and invited us to return today for the LONG service.
Wish your Jewish friends an Easy Fast today, and that their names be written in the book of life.
And if anyone believes that God does not hear the prayers of the Jews, I encourage you to attend one of their services.
Your mind will be changed.
God bless you, guys -
Christ told me to arm myself. If you want me disarmed - - Molon Labe.