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Feast- and Shabbat-Commentary: Yom Kippur and the Messianic Believer

Feast- and Shabbatreading for
„JOM KIPPUR“ Isaiah 57:14 – 58:14 and the complete book of Jona

Our sins are cleansed by the blood of Yeshua, our Savior and Messiah, but we are fasting and praying for our nation as priests and representatives of the High Priest Yeshua today!
By Michael Schneider, nai israel today, Jerusalem

In the current Jewish year 5768 that just started ten days ago, Yom Kippur falls on a shabbat. Every other day of fasting that falls on a shabbat is delayed or accelerated, be it Tisha Be’Av or the 17th-Tammus-Fasting, because on the holy shabbat you should not fast – except if it is Yom Kippur.

In case of Yom Kippur, because it is described in the Bible also as “Shabbat shabbaton” (meaning “times two”) it is permitted to fast even on Shabbat. Already on Friday eve after sunset it starts. Neither eating or drinking is permitted till next sunset.

“Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God” Leviticus 23:27-28

“It is a sabbath of solemn rest (shabbat shabbaton) for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever.” Leviticus 16:31

The word “afflict your souls” is an interesting term in the Hebrew language: initem nafshotehem. Out of the same word root we get “torment the soul”, agony and also “poor in spirit.”
Yes, how do we humble ourself? Through affliction and torment of our soul like Paul the apostle wrote. A broken heart and contrite spirit as King David wrote in Psalm 51.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” – our Lord Yeshua said! Our will must be submitted to Him. How has the “affliction of soul” became fasting? See Isaiah 58. Here we find in verse 3 the word-paralell: ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’ It address to the Yom Kippur fasting where we need humble our souls through fasting and prayers!

On Yom Kippur – according to Jewish tradition – the gates of heaven are been closed and so also the Books in front of God. God’s Judgment has fallen over man. Therefore we wish each other the blessing: “May you be signed and sealed in the book of life!”!

In the Ten Days of Repentance from Rosh HaShanah to Yom Kippur numerous times the shofar horn is blown (some say even 100 times) to awake man to penitence, that man should search his heart and ask God and man for forgiveness. In Israel on Yom Kippur the streets are free of traffic, no cars, and the people walking in white to synagogues plead for mercy of “Avinu malkenu..” Our Father, our King!
Starting with the Kol Nidre prayer, when all the vows are loosed, until the Ne’ila-closing prayer where the assembly proclaim seven times “Adonai hu ha-Elohim – The Lord is God!” – concluded with the blowing of a shofar that breaks the fasting.

“Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land.” Leviticus 25:9
“Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, at the full moon, on our solemn feast day.” Psalm 81:4.
Yes, from the Day of the Blowing (in Shofars; Yom Teru’a that is today called Rosh HaShanah) until the Feast and Fasting of Yom Kippur!

More and more Messianic Jewish are today fasting on Yom Kippur, because Yeshua is our High Priest and we are his body and representatives, and so we should intercede and ask for mercies and forgiveness on this special day for our people in prayers and fasting – as once the High priest did when he entered once a year the Holy of Holies.

But when we are doing it let us do it as our Lord Yeshua commanded us in the Sermon of Mount:
“Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:16-18
Yes, He just told us how, not if!
Messianic Believers also read from the New Testament book of Hebrews on Yom Kippur, especially chapters 5-7, which speak about Yeshua as the High Priest according to “the order of Melchizedek.”
For Jewish believers, Yom Kippur is not so much a day of our personal cleansing as it is one of prayer and intercession on behalf of our people, the people of Israel. Of course, we must have a clean heart when approaching God in this matter, just like the Temple priest did before he asked for mercies over his people.
Our sins are cleansed by the blood of Yeshua, our Savior and Messiah, but we are fasting and praying for our nation as priests and representatives of the High Priest Yeshua today!

Chatima tova! – May you be signed and sealed in the book of life!



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