Shalom and welcome to ST's Giant Sabbath /Spring 2009 issue!
This has been quite an undertaking, but one that has been on my heart to do for a long time. Most women who come into Torah obedience enter in through the Sabbath so this has been long over due. The goal was to have one place on the site where women who are searching could get all the information on the Sabbath. In addition to the who, what, where, when and how of Sabbath, we also have some wonderful guest articles. Because this is such an important topic, especially for those seeking, this issue will have a permanent link on the home page. It will also grow from time to time as the Ruach Hakodesh (the Holy Spirit) guides.
I could not have done all of this without a lot of help. I want to think Rabbi Daniel Klutstein of Tikvat Israel in Hawaii, who has been a wonderful mentor and guide for all of the information that I have provided. He also contributed one of the articles, and his weekly Torah study questions are featured on the Torah page of this site. I also want to thank all of the guest writers who took time out of their busy schedules to share what the Father had revealed to them, and what was on their hearts. Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank those of you who took the time to email your "Sabbath reflections". You will find them interspersed throughout this issue.
I pray this issue is a blessing for you as you continue to follow in His ways.
As with all of the articles on this website, you may save them to your computer and also print them, however, please keep them intact and make no changes.
A Biblical and Messianic View of the Annual Shabbatot is an overview of Yahweh's moedim (appointed times) which He commands us to keep. This includes the weekly Sabbath. It was written by Ahavah Worrab. Ahavah lives with her husband and shares her life with two idiosyncratic cats. She has held a variety of posts throughout her working life, including PA and technical author at a prestigious blue-chip company, and is a qualified driving instructor. In her early twenties Ahavah came to personal acceptance of Yeshua HaMashiach after a dramatic and powerful conversion experience. In the intervening 29 years her obedience to the quiet promptings of the Ruach HaKodesh has led her gently into a Torah-observant life-style.
Keeping YaHWeHʼs Sabbath is a beautiful time which my heart looks forward to every Friday at Sunset. My very body groans with anticipation and my soul finds true rest and peace with our Savior and Master. It is truly a special set apart time of which no other day can even compare.
Rabbi Daniel Klutstein is a Messianic Rabbi and counselor. He is also the congregational leader ofTikvat Yisrael, located in Hawaii.
This is THE DAY when we can focus on HIM and spend time with HIM and only HIM. We can fellowship with other believers, read the WORD, study the WORD, pray, laugh, cry, dance in Praise, dance to Worship HIM, enjoy his creation, enjoy family and loved ones, sit silently before HIM waiting for a WORD from HIM, enjoy all HE has created and sometimes we even sleep, depending on how HE is leading us on that day. We love the Sabbath and love how we experience the Shalom that only HE can give (John 14:27). ~ Sharon
Some of the women who come to Sarah’s Tent have already begun to keep Sabbath, and have been doing so for awhile. However, for the benefit of those just beginning or for those feeling the prompting in their spirit to investigate this matter further, the information below will help in your understanding of what Yahweh says the Sabbath is.
How do we properly keep the Sabbath? How do we keep it kadosh, (set apart, holy)? First we need to understand that Sabbath is not like the other days of the week, therefore we do not do what we usually do. It is a day of worship and rest.
As a full time mother of three who also home educates, my week never ended. As we began to understand the instructions in the Bible that still pertained to us as believers, we began to keep the seventh day holy and set apart. But initially I kept the Sabbath for my own personal sanity. Here was a very tangible and doable way to have closure my week. It was refreshing to have my Heavenly Father tell me to stop, rest and take a break from my weekly duties. I could exhale on Friday evening as I sat in a clean home for a special meal with my family and be fully refreshed and ready for the next week of work. The hardest part was explaining to my friends how much it blessed me to keep the seventh day Sabbath. ~Navah
The article below contains advice on Sabbath preparation, what you need if you want to have a traditional Sabbath table, my favorite recipe for challah bread, and instructions for braiding.
I have already discussed physical preparation of Sabbath, but I want to deal now with something that is often neglected - our spiritual preparation for this set apart day. Contrary to what some may think, it is not an easy thing to turn the outside world off for one day, and set aside all your cares. We must prepare ourselves as well as our homes for our weekly appointment with the Father.
Sabbath, for me, means a time of rest and reclaiming everything that the week took from me. It's a time of family, ministering, freedom, and sitting at my Master's feet. Reaching out to those who are in need, whether it be a smile, money, or time. And since Jesus/Yeshua is the Lord of the Sabbath, I would like to make this a habit EVERYDAY. ~ Rosemary
Why is it necessary to have a special service on Erev Shabbat? It is all part of recognizing this one day has been set apart by Yahweh, and thanking Him for it. It separates the set apart day from the common days of the week.
If kept in the home, this is done right before the meal. It must begin before sunset (if you light candles), after all work, including cooking is complete. Your table is set, and everyone has gathered round. A sense of peace fills the air. This is what everyone has worked towards. It is now time to begin Shabbat!
Traditionally we begin Erev Shabbat approximately 15 minutes before sunset. This ensures we are not lighting candles after the sun has set. There are some websites that you can input your zip code and it will give you the time of sunset. One such site is http://www.calendar-updates.com/sun.asp. Another site is chabad.org, a Hasidic website. If your city isn’t listed, skip down to the zip code option. The candle lighting time you get will be 18 minutes before actual sunset time. This is a nice site, because you can also subscribe to receive an emails for the candle lighting time in your area each week.
The following service is the same one that my family uses. It is a Messianic Erev Shabbat service. Please feel free to download and print as many copies as you like for your personal use, or as a guide to create your own. In parenthesis I have placed special notes which offer some explanation as to why certain things are done. This is especially helpful when you have guests who are not familiar with the traditions of beginning Sabbath.
**A special word regarding the breaking of the bread and kiddush (blessing of wine). This is NOT communion. That remembrance is done at Passover. The bread you will be taking at the Shabbat table is leaven, therefore it cannot represent the body of Yeshua. Yeshua is the sacrifice without spot or blemish, and leaven (yeast) represents sin. Remember to let all things be done in proper order.
Sabbath is the ONE day I live for all week. It is the ONE day, I can snuggle into the enveloping love of my Savior and allow my longing for Him to overflow into the security of His strong arms. Digging into His Word and absorbing the blessing and rejuvenation He has for me are unparalleled blessings. ~ Joyce
Tzitzit For Women
Maximize Your Sabbath Through Deliberate Table Fellowship is written by Mikhal Daniel. Mikhal is a mother of two. She and her husband of 18 years live in Albuquerque, New Mexico and facilitate a Torah Obedient, Messiah Centered Fellowship in their home, (www.CommunityOfTheWay.com). Mikhal will graduate from Liberty University with a Master of Divinity this Fall 2009, and she hopes to continue writing and developing resources for parents and children who love Yeshua and also seek to obey God’s Commandments as they learn to walk in the footsteps of their Messiah. Mikhal recently finished a Children’s Prayer Book: A Messianic Siddur and its companion book, Children’s Picture Prayer Book: Sh’ma, V’ahavta, and Shemoneh Esrei that will be available for purchase at www.torahkidsresource.com this May 2009. She is also the owner of the site Tzitzit For Women, a minsitry which guides women in the wearing of tzizit.
I have grown to love the feeling of total blessed Peace that seemed to flow into the house as the evening dusk folds itself gently around the house of a Friday evening. A Peace that is so Sweet you could almost taste it. As the first stars twinkle, I light my candles and said the prayers of thanksgiving to welcome the L-rd's blessed Presence into our home. Just as countless other brothers and sisters were doing the world over. And finally in the L-rd's Rest I am content. ~ Ahavah
Sabbath Rest is an excerpt from Bonnie Wills’ new double-book entitled: They Are Trying to Kill Us and It’s Time to Fight Back. These books are freely available on her website: www.its-time.info under the Free Books link at the top of the page. While you are there, check out some of Bonnie’s other books, articles and audio files, which delve more deeply into this topic.
They Are Trying to Kill Us exposes the global elite’s plan to eliminate as much as 80% of the world’s population through starvation and disease. More and more people are being diagnosed with major illnesses like cancer and diabetes. Could it be that the cause of this increase is simple as the foods we eat? Could the major corporations who manufacture the foods we consume be putting ingredients into their products that cause diseases like diabetes and heart disease? Worse yet, could they really be doing this while knowing full well that these ingredients are harmful to our health? Is there really a plan for the future of this world that is so brilliant, so cunning, and so evil as to take multiple generations of people to carry it out?
It’s Time to Fight Back reveals some of the simple changes that we can make to protect our family’s health and well-being. If it is true, and the average citizen of the planet earth is under attack through the very food we eat, is there anything we can do about it? If so, what? How do we know whom to trust? Man thrived for thousands of years before all of these additives and preservatives, vaccines and medications were ever invented. What did our ancestors do to survive before all of our modern conveniences? Can we relearn those ancient ways before it is too late? What can we do to survive the epidemic of illness and disease that is now sweeping the globe?
Regardless of how well we eat or how much exercise we get, we still need to get plenty of rest in order to maintain proper health. Could it be that Adonai understood this concept back when He first created us? Could this be why we were given the command to rest? How difficult can it be for us to follow this command? Some times it can be harder than you’d think!
The first time I kept Sabbath I felt like wishing EVERY day of the week was the Sabbath. But, then I instantly heard the Ruach of Elohyim say: Carla, there's only ONE weekly Sabbath, do not make the mistake as the gentiles have (and you, also, once did) and "sanctify" any other day of the week as My Set-Apart Sabbath. The Sabbath is My Day kept Qodesh for you to meet with Me and to learn of Me and to be strenghten in Me, so "take off your sandals" as you are to meet with me as I have proscribed. ~Carla
Below you will find links to websites that have different activities and ideas for your children for Sabbath.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TorahTruth/ In the file section of this Yahoo Group, Ruth has created printout activities on the parashot, (weekly Torah readings)Very nice! This is a very low volume email list.
Restoration of Torah Free children's lessons on the parashot on each of the parashot. These lessons as well as the ones at Torah truth above are free.
First Fruits of Zion Children Torah Club. Individual lessons on each parashot, which also includes some Hebrew. Nice for younger children. If you are already Torah Club members if you get 50% off the price for the Children's Torah Club. If not the price is $20 a month for all the materials. Good for ages 6-11. FFOZ also has free resources for teens and children 2-12 each month. Torah Teens / Torah Kids Membership to access thiese materials is free.
Young girls may also like the All of a Kind Family series, which is available individually and in box set. It is the story of a poor Jewish immigrant family living in NYC before WWI. My youngest daughter read this books and loved them. The following is the Amazon.com review:
There's something to be said for a book that makes you wish you'd been part of a poor immigrant family living in New York's upper east side on the eve of World War I. Sydney Taylor's time-honored classic does just that. Life is rich for the five mischievous girls in the family. They find adventure in visiting the library, going to market with Mama, even dusting the front room. Young readers who have never shared a bedroom with four siblings, with no television in sight, will vicariously experience the simple, old-fashioned pleasures of talk, make-believe, and pilfered penny candy. The family's Jewish faith strengthens their ties to each other, while providing still more excitement and opportunity for mischief. Readers unfamiliar with Judaism will learn with the girls during each beautifully depicted holiday. This lively family, subject of four more "all-of-a- kind" books, is full of unique characters, all deftly illustrated by Helen John. Taylor based the stories on her own childhood family, and the true-life quality of her writing gives this classic its page-turning appeal. (Ages 9 to 12)
(Books are not listed in the order that they were written. Read the description to get the proper order. Also, some of the books are for some reason priced very high. You may want to look elsewhere on the internet for them, or check your local library)
Sabbath is a time of rest for myself and for the Creation. For me, it's an intentional time of refraining from creating, working, logging on, and tuning in. I rejoice that not only am I resting, but so is the earth. In these days of ecological breakdown, I feel it is more important than ever. ~ Rebekah
I hope you all were blessed by the information shared here. Until the summer issue, shalom, and may you and your loved ones be blessed in the upcoming Feasts!
Listen to me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek Yahweh: look to the rock whence you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for when he was but one I called him, and I blessed him, and made him many.