Worship = 12/9/23

Mountain Of The Lord

Come let us go up, come let us go up
To the mountain of the LORD
Who can ascend His holy hill
Who can approach His Holy Place
Only the one with clean hands and a pure heart (repeat)Come let us go up, come let us go up
To the mountain of the LORD

Lift up your heads, O mighty gates
And be lifted up, O ancient doors
So that the King of Glory may enter in

Nations will come to celebrate
Adonai will teach us His ways
And the God of Israel will send the rain

And the law will go out from Zion
From Jerusalem His Word
All creation will know your Name
Forever Your praises proclaim

Who can ascend His holy hill
Who can approach His Holy Place
Only the ones who are washed by the Lamb

David Danced/Heavens Be Glad
Let the heavens be glad, let the earth rejoice
Let the nations say the Lord reigns (repeat)
King of Glory
Open up, you ancient doors
Fling wide, you gates
And let the King of glory
Come in and take His placeWe want to see You lifted high above all things
And crowned as King, King of glory
For You are good and we will sing
And shout Your praise, King of glory
King of glory. 

And every knee will bow, every heart confess, Yeshua You are lord
Yeshua, you are Lord of all. 
We’ll sing, with a shout we’ll proclaim that You are God,
You are our King of Glory
Endless Song

All Your sons and all Your daughters
Around the table for You Father
We have come to make
Your heart glad
All creation waits and trembles
God come reveal all of Your children
We long for You to make us one
Make us one

Our cry is rising to Your throne
Heaven and earth joining along
Oh how the heart of Your bride longs
To see You high and lifted up

We join in the endless song
We join in the endless song
We join in the endless song
You are Holy, You are Holy
We join in the endless song
We join in the endless song
We join in the endless song
Ata Kadosh, Ata Kadosh

You are great and greatly to be praised
You are great and worthy is Your name


O daughters of Zion
O Abraham’s sons
Hear the words of your Father
Hear His promise of love
I will make you a blessing
So count the stars if you can
You will be a great nation
I will give you this land

I will bring you back home
I’ll bring you back home, oh my children
You will no longer roam
Lost and alone in the night
There is nothing on earth that could take you away
Once I gather you under my wings
I will bring you all back home again

Though you’ve wandered like strangers
To the ends of the earth
I will send you a savior
I will finish my work
You have no other shepherd
You have no other lord
Green pastures are waiting in Zion once more

I will bring you back home
I’ll bring you back home, oh my children
You will no longer roam
Lost and alone in the night
There is nothing on earth that could take you away
Once I gather you under my wings
I will bring you all back home

So we pray for the peace
But look to the East
For the Sun rises sudden and fierce
Every prophet and priest and king in the City
Will look on the One they have pierced
We will mourn for the One we have pierced

But don’t fear o my daughters
Or sons of Abraham
I will wash you with water
I will offer the Lamb
Though your sins were like scarlet
They’ll be whiter than snow
I have always been with you
I will never let go

I will bring you back home
I’ll bring you back home, oh my children
You will no longer roam
Lost and alone in the night
There is nothing on earth that could take you away
I will gather you under my wings
I will bring you all back home
Oh I will bring you all back home again

Adonai Eloheinu
Adonai echad
(Shema Israel)
Adonai Eloheinu
Adonai echad
(Shema Israel)
Adonai Eloheinu
Adonai echad
(Shema Israel)
Adonai Eloheinu
Adonai echad

The Choice, a Hanukkah Story

The Festival of Dedication, often called the Festival of Lights, is NOT one of the Appointed Times. There is no command to keep it. Yet I still think it’s worth the time to remember. This story has never, in my lifetime, seemed more needed.

Hanukkah is an amazing and timeless story. Even though it happened thousands of years ago, it still resonates across cultures, societies, families, and faith communities because we all love the story of an underdog who wins.  

In this story, the Jews have been conquered by the Greeks, oppressed and they rise up, See, conquered people are often compelled, and many times brutalized into abandoning history, culture, even spiritual identity. The conquerors have a mandate to homogenize their fresh territory and eliminate opposition. It’s important to make sure you can hold on to the land that you have gained. Very few cultures, to be fair, have been peacefully assimilated into another culture. Regardless of scale, whether it is tribal, national, or international, conflict is very unlikely to be resolved peacefully. No matter how good it looks at the beginning. At one point there will come a time where you have to make a choice to stand for what is right and good in the face of what seems comfortable, expedient, or even peaceful.  

Historically, In a revolution, when people have stood and said, “No More!” and it ends well, we do notice. Hanukkah is one of those times that is noticed and remembered . But only if you know the story.  

So, the story is this.  

It has been over a century since the Greeks conquered Israel. A nation of tribes now reduced primarily to Judah and a fraction of the nation David ruled. The year is approximately 167 BCE. and Mathias the Hasmonean Jew has been watching his people systematically decimated by cultural infusion, spiritual compromise, and finally outright idolatry and physical abuse. There is no record he was personally taking a stand other than moving into the hills perhaps? We do know he is away from populated areas and city centers.  

For generations, the Greeks had been gradually imposing their faith, religious practices, and morality. Under Alexander the Great and Ptolemy it was mostly a benevolent and gradual imposition of Greek thoughts and philosophies. This insinuation, the subtle insinuation of ideals and express prompted a more gradual insinuation of ideals and expression prompted the transition from a more Torah observant community and toward a modern and socially acceptable Hellenistic way of living. Progress! 

Eventually, however, as is the case with clashing world views, there came leaders who were far more antagonistic toward things that did not line up with their practices. And these kings went as far as to infiltrate the priesthood, further confusing the Jews. These kings defiled the temple, forbade circumcision and other spiritual and religious practices, and even set up altars to their own gods. Anyone who stood against them was persecuted. Even executed. Some graphic, brutal and horrific things were done.  

Now on that scale I cannot relate to Matthias. I have not personally witnessed that. I know there is persecution happening throughout the world. But even on a small scale it is not hard for me to imagine their frustration with the gradual decline of their society. It’s not hard for me to imagine that world because many of the values I hold regarding family and faith, morality and society are challenged right now. It is not hard to imagine how fed up they might have been. In fact, for us it is a daily struggle. Social media, our inbox, our screens, even our grocery stores. It happens all the time. And we know the pressure to be drawn to and assimilated into a worldly identity. We feel the urge to compromise what we believe because we want to belong. We want to be safe. We want to succeed. 
What’s harder to imagine, in that world, is the moment during the assimilation process when we say, “Hey! This far, no further.” When we do take a stand to reject a final encroachment. We make a choice that shocks us out of complacency.  

With his five sons, Matthias had watched family, friends, and generations over the years embrace and adopt ways contrary to the regulations and practices established in Scripture.  

Finally, they had to choose a side. And that time was ripe for revolution. 

For the Maccabees that moment came when the Greek soldier asked Matthias and his sons to sacrifice to an idol. Their neighbor stepped forward to do that and Matthias stopped him. They had a choice to make and they could not sit in their house and shake their heads at the Hellenized Jews around them. They could not compare their own righteousness to failures witnessed on the streets or in their places of worship. This was not happening to the people around them now. It was happening to them. To him. To Matthias. In their village. At their front doorstep.  

And he said no. He rejected the call to idolatry and led his family and other jews in a revolt that achieved the impossible.  

A single moment of defiance against a worldview eager to destroy their faith was enough to spark a revolution that resulted in shocking victory.  

The revolt lasted about 7 years, and many died. Matthias did. He did not see the temple restored. In fact, his son Judah, “The Hammer”, finished the fight. How many did not see the end of it? I do not know. But I do know they did reclaim the temple. I do know they purified the altar and instituted a celebration so meaningful we still celebrate today all over the world. I do know it was even remembered by Messiah Yeshua in John 10 and those of us who want to be like Him,to live like Him? We can identify with Him through this celebration as well.  

22 Then came Hanukkah{Feast of Dedication}; it was winter in Jerusalem. 23 Yeshua was walking in the Temple around Solomon’s Colonnade.” John 10:22-23 TLV 

It’s right there. He did it. So can we.  


There are a lot of stories about Hanukkah regarding oil and various aspects of the revolt. Many traditions have resulted because of those stories. Miracles stated that this happened.  

One of those is that many foods are cooked in oil. So, obviously Hanukkah means donuts and latkes. Latkes are potato pancakes, and they are delicious!  

Now, I do not know if the story of the oil being miraculously replenished until new oil could be purified is true. I do know that a lit menorah is part of the maintenance and function of the temple and It seems to have been extinguished at some point. Eight days to process new oil for the menorah is an accurate reading of the text so an eight-day celebration to remember isn’t a stretch. Not too far-fetched.  

I just do not know if that miracle is true. As interesting as it might be.  

The miracle of the oil is a remarkable idea that captivates our hearts and many sermons have been preached about it. To tell us that God can sustain us when we feel inadequate, and empty is true and shown to be true throughout Scripture. From the Israelites in the wilderness to the widow woman and her sons… Yeshua as he fed the crowds. The idea that God can make enough from a little is absolutely true. So, no, I have no need to argue with that or fight about whether or not the miracle happened.   

I am sure the allusions to the Hanukkah story are meaningful with or without that dramatic element. But here is something I do know. Something that is undeniable and absolutely true.  

The Maccabees did not give in to the pressure to deny the Lord. They did not give in and let their culture, their faith, and their identity be destroyed and overwritten by the secular and idolatrous conquerors. They did not become like the world around them. 

Why do we remember Hanukkah? Because donuts. Obviously. Just kidding! 

Because we have been given a testimony of a people who were given victory in the face of overwhelming odds.  

They were not given victory so they could say they won. They were not given success because the Jews were now to dominate the Greeks and take their place on the international stage. They were given this moment; they were delivered because they dared to live and fight for the very thing, they were willing to die for. And that thing was obedience to Yahweh. To God. Honoring YHWH. Keeping His commands. Living in the ways He established in Scripture.  

Hanukkah is important and worth remembering and worth celebrating. Then AND now. Because we will never be in a world that does not wish to assimilate us to look more like them and less like Yeshua. We will always be faced with a choice to compromise or to fight for truth and righteousness.  

So this is a story worth repeating at least once a year and one we should be sharing with our children and with each other as well.  

A Yom Kippur Journey

This year, as we prepare our hearts for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, we have walked through Elul and, hopefully, have made ourselves available for repentance before men and our YHWH.  For some insight into the process and practice of teshuva, read this article HERE about the month of Elul and the process of repentance.

“At its most basic point, according to the 13th-century Jewish philosopher Maimonides, teshuvah is “returning” to where we have previously failed and doing what we can to ensure we are not making the same mistake a second time.” 

After shouting in the Feast of Trumpets with our shofars, we spend 10 days of contemplation and preparation for meeting with YHWH on this solemn, holy day.  You can find a discussion about the commands and the observances in  What’s A Yom Kippur?

this is to be a permanent regulation for you that on the tenth day of the seventh month you are to deny yourselves and not do any kind of work, both the citizen and the foreigner living with you. 30 For on this day, atonement will be made for you to purify you; you will be clean before Adonai from all your sins. 31It is a Shabbat of complete rest for you, and you are to deny yourselves. This is a permanent regulation.” Leviticus 16:29-31

Yom (Yohm) meaning “day” in Hebrew and Kippur (Ki-poor)from the root word “atone” brings us to what is arguably the holiest day of the Biblical year.  With the observance of this festival come the two conjoined fundamentals of repentance and atonement.

Jay Carper, of American Torah, has a few thoughts on the importance of making ourselves “right” during this season.  Read More “A Yom Kippur Journey”

ELUL – A Time To Return

The month of Elul, the time period before the Fall Feasts, is known as a time of returning.  Of teshuvah, or returning.  Since the 14th century, ELUL has been referred to as the acronym:

As we prepare our lives, families, and homes to celebrate the exuberance of Yom Teruah, the solemnity of Yom Kippur, and the jubilant joy of Sukkot, I don’t want to forget to prepare my heart as well.  I don’t want to forget who I serve, honor, and obey.  Or the One I am intended to reflect to the world.

What does it mean to engage in teshuvah? What does this word mean? Why does it matter?

At its most basic point, according to the 13th-century Jewish philosopher Maimonides, teshuvah is “returning” to where we have previously failed and doing what we can to ensure we are not making the same mistake a second time.

Here are some guidelines for biblical repentance and returning to YHWH and to our fellow man. 

“Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘When a man or woman commits any kind of sin against another person and thus breaks faith with Adonai, he incurs guilt. He must confess the sin which he has committed; and he must make full restitution for his guilt, add twenty percent and give it to the victim of his sin.”  Numbers 5:6-7 CJB

(All Scripture references  from the Complete Jewish Bible unless noted otherwise)

Repentance should be out loud. 

“A person guilty of any of these things is to confess in what manner he sinned.” Leviticus 5:5

James wasn’t making a new rule for the body of Messiah. He was referring to the commands of the Torah.

Therefore, openly acknowledge your sins to one another, and pray for each other, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

Does this mean we yell our sins to each other in some sort of bizarre exhibitionism?  No. 

If we have sinned against man, and I promise you that we know when we have, we should go to this man and speak to him.  Have we sinned corporately? Confess publicly. We don’t have to make up offenses. We all stumble as we walk.  And we know it.

What if we have sinned against YHWH? Again, we know.  Confess to Him.

Even though He knows our inward being better than we do, we should speak to Him.  We should always speak for there is no way to atonement without confession. There is no understanding of our need for redemption if we do not recognize and verbalize where we have fallen. 

Even the High Priest, as he put his hands on the azazel, the scapegoat, had to proclaim over it, confess if you will, the sins of Israel upon its head before releasing it to the wilderness if it is to be a shadow of atonement Yeshua gave for us with His life. (Leviticus 16:21)

Repentance should cost us.

There is a price for sin. There is a price for an offense. We shouldn’t be satisfied with an “I’m sorry” shrug and handshake.  If and when we have wronged others we should be diligent to make things right with them.  Plus extra.  If we have stolen, return what we stole plus 20%.  If we have wronged someone on other levels we should work diligently to serve them, at our expense, above and beyond what seems fair.

Repentance is not about equity. It is about grace and restitution. 

If we have harmed someone we shouldn’t be satisfied with words only but should serve them with actions, as unto the Lord, without compensation.   It is in our selfishness that we sin and, in His strength, we receive the opportunities to walk in generosity.  Our rights to hold to our pride are often the very things keeping us from recognizing that we have even sinned in the first place.

But what is repentance?

“Let the wicked person abandon his way and the evil person his thoughts; let him return to Adonai, and he will have mercy on him;
let him return to our God, for he will freely forgive.”
Isaiah 55:7

Repentance is turning away completely from both the action and the thoughts and returning completely to YHWH.

Moshe went back to Adonai and said, “Please! These people have committed a terrible sin: they have made themselves a god out of gold. Exodus 32:31

He who conceals his sins will not succeed; he who confesses and abandons them will gain mercy. Proverbs 28:13

Repentance is having the courage or even the desperation to speak specifically about your sin, whether before man or YHWH, because your desire for mercy is greater than your passion for your sin.

How do you express repentance?

  1. Grief.  Often we are emotionally moved to tears or other expressions as we realize the depth of our own depravity and weakness. That moment of revelation when we see how far we have removed ourselves from openness and unity with YHWH.
  2. Give gifts, donations, or other acts of service. Make restitution to those we have wronged. Don’t know how? Find a way. Do not cease the effort until you do.
  3. Distance ourselves from the thing or area in which we have sinned. 

John the Baptist, Yochanan the Immerser, tells us there should always be proof of our repentance. 

If you have really turned from your sins, produce fruit that will prove it!!” Luke 3:8a

In reference to true repentance, Maimonides says the repentant is one who has had. “…his identity changed as if saying, ‘I am now another person, and not that person who perpetrated those misdeeds,’ to completely change his conduct for the good and straight path, and to exile himself… because it leads him to submissiveness and to be meek and humble-spirited.

What leads us to sin? What gives us permission to give in to temptation? Pride. Fear. Anxiety. Lack of trust. Selfishness.  Our fallen nature.  None of these are excuses to remain in sin.  We have a way out. 

What are the benefits of repentance?

How blessed are those whose offense is forgiven,
those whose sin is covered!
Psalm 32:1

He who conceals his sins will not succeed;  he who confesses and abandons them will gain mercy. Proverbs 28:13

Mercy and blessing.  Future. Hope. Restored relationships with others.  Restored relationship with Yeshua.  Anointed ministry.  Clear communication with the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit. 

What are you waiting for?  

Any time of the year, but especially during this season, return to your beloved.  Remember who you are.  Remove those things which stand in the way of your worship, your ministry, your relationships with YHWH, and the people in your life.  It is work. It should be. But I challenge you to stop being satisfied with your status quo and seek the Lord while He is near. Prepare your hearts to meet Him on His appointed days.

Seek Adonai while he is available, call on him while he is still nearby. Isaiah 55:6

The Beauty of Searching

Elul is similar to the word “Search” in Aramaic and is the perfect way to describe the season of Teshuvah leading us to Tashlich and Mikveh.

But what does that even mean?

Traditionally, people all over the world prepare for the New Year on Yom Teruah with the blasting of the shofar filling the air every day and the cacophony of blasts during the feast. This explosion of sound is then followed by the solemnity of the 10 Days of Awe leading to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

Elul is marked by a focus on righting wrongs and resolving elements of relationship distresses caused or experienced in the previous year or years. It is a time of returning to the Lord and to each other.  In a sense, it is an emotional and spiritual reset. 

Everyone knows we can’t repent of things of which we are ignorant and, in those areas, our hope is for the Ruach HaKodesh to lead us and for the blood of Yeshua to cover our lack of insight or knowledge. 

However, if you are a fellow human, we are aware we all have plenty of ways we have fallen short.  Teshuvah is taking the initiative to create a focused time to take those records of wrong and wipe the slate clean on both personal and spiritual levels.

As a Hebrew word that has come to mean repentance, teshuvah literally means “return”.  In Judaism, this means it has become an element in the atoning for sin.  As believers in Yeshua, we know there is only One who atones for our sin, so this repentance and returning isn’t about earning or achieving something we have already been freely given. 

As believers seeking deeper relationship with each other and our God, repentance for the times we’ve missed the mark is integral to that growth. It is also a reflection of His love for us and of our love for Him.  Taking this time during Elul (the month prior to Yom Teruah, which falls on Rosh Chodesh Tishrei) to evaluate ourselves while we spiritually clean house is not only a good idea it’s a biblical idea. 

Yeshua, in Matthew 5, speaks clearly to the idea of reconciling and restoring relationships broken by disagreement, anger, bitterness, and judgment within His people.  Matthew 5:23, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

When did people bring gifts to the altar? 

Offerings and gifts were for the head of the month, Rosh Chodesh, at the beginning and culmination of vows, in gratitude for God’s provision and intervention, and, very specifically, on the High Holy Days, the biblical feasts.

The very core of Teshuvah through the actions of repenting or returning to those we love and those we are to be in community or fellowship with is integral to approaching God and prepares our hearts to follow Him in closer and deeper ways as we mature in our faith.

More than any other time of the year, as Yom Teruah brings in the Days of Awe and leads us toward Yom Kippur, our Day of Atonement, this is the season we eagerly prepare to be a beautiful bride, without spot or wrinkle, dressed in pure white, ready for our Bridegroom.  The practice of Yom Kippur on an annual basis is a time of practicing for the wedding day to come. We want to be completely ready for Him without the hindrance of failed promises, regrets over poor behavior, or the hidden sins keeping us from boldly approaching Him with gratitude and confidence.

Now, we know we cannot make our selves righteous. However, we can be part of making ourselves ready. 

Elul gives us time to examine and contemplate our condition. Seeking the Ruach and trusting Him to speak to us about how we should live and if there are those we have offended, those who have offended us, things which need to be made right so we can look ahead to the Days of Awe with joy and anticipation are a measure of Adonai’s grace and compassion as well as His unending patience with our fumbling faith.  

So what are the Days of Awe?  Dating back to 3rd venture BCE the recognition of this time period is attributed to Rabbi Yohanan and would have been part of Yeshua’s expression of the season as He celebrated within the community in Israel.

A famous poem, in Judaism, says there is a period between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur where we can “avert the severe decree” through repentance, prayer, and charity.  The requirements for repentance include a change of mind, a feeling of regret, and a determination to change, along with an effort to repair the effects of one’s misdeed(s).

10 is the biblical number of completion and has also come to symbolize responsibility and, as it correlates to the 10 Words (Commandments), is seen as a symbol of obedience and responsibility of God’s people toward His law.

Those 10 days, beyond Yom Teruah and aided by the deepening the focus and intensity of Teshuvah, give us a chance to prepare our to receive His blessing and walk with clear conscience as we step, more fully than ever before, into the beauty of His atonement for our sins and the hope of our eternal future with Him.

“The Ten Days of Repentance are seen as an opportunity for change. And since the extremes of complete righteousness and complete wickedness are few and far between, Rosh Hashanah functions, for the majority of people, as the opening of a trial that extends until Yom Kippur. It is an unusual trial. Most trials are intended to determine responsibility for past deeds. This one, however, has an added dimension: determining what can be done about future deeds. The Ten Days of Repentance are crucial to the outcome of the trial, since our verdict is determined both by our attitude toward our misdeeds and by our attempts to rectify them by changing ourselves.” ‘Rabbi Reuven Hammer.

Which leads us back to tashlich. An action directly related to Teshuvah and a symbolic gesture of casting bread as a representation of sins into a moving body of water. This tradition is reflective of Micah 7:19.  As the prophet says,  “He will take us back in love; He will cover up our iniquities. You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”

Tashlich is not a biblical mandate but rather a practice that could have been done during the time of Yeshua.

 Josephus refers to a decree the Halicarnassians made to permit the Jews to “Perform their holy rites according to the Jewish laws and have their places of prayer by the sea, according to the customs of their forefathers.” Some believe that this refers to the practice of tashlich. It is up for debate. 

Here’s what we do know for sure. This did become a common practice in the 13th century so it’s at least been around that long.

Personally, I love the deliberate thoughtfulness of taking a piece of bread and, with each piece I tear off, taking the time to contemplate my heart, repent of the things the Ruach reveals to me, and cast those things physically away from me. 

The cycle of Teshuvah and tashlich is one of repentance followed by a symbolic gesture of release while speaking a prayer of repentance and acknowledgment of YHVH’s compassion and kindness.

Which leads us to Mikveh. An action, when put in the right context, becomes a natural outflow of both repentance and prayer.

Mikveh is the forefather of what we know as baptism.  It is a full immersion or “T’vilah” in water by an individual alone under the supervision of another but without any “help” except for accountability to insure total immersion. Mikveh is a noun which has become a verb through use.  We “t’vilah” in a “mikveh”.  But now we call the whole experience mikveh and I’ll keep that going for easier communication.

Why mikveh? When mikveh?

Basically the first rule of thumb is to mikveh anytime there is a change of status. 

Moses was told to “consecrate the sons of Aaron into the service of the priesthood” and these men, when their status changed, were required to be immersed. 

Leviticus 16:1-4, as Moses is given the parameters of how to approach YHVH in the tabernacle. In verse 4, the priest is told to dress in linen and to bathe his body in water before wearing them.

In particular, the priest would mikveh before Yom Kippur.  According to tradition, he would immerse and change clothes five times beginning and ending with the golden garments.

Mikveh is also used for “Niddah” or ritual purification.  There are actions or behaviors as well as body functions specified in Torah which would cause a person to become ritually unclean (Tumah) and then actions which can be taken to become ritually clean (Tahor). Those commandments are directly related to when or how someone is allowed to enter the temple or not based on their level of spiritual cleanliness.  The temple no longer exists and these commands do not apply to gatherings or synagogues.  In one area, however, they speak specifically to personal hygiene for women. Leviticus 15:9

The third reason for mikveh is for conversion and by that, I mean all those who turn from sin, who come out of idolatry and polytheism to the embrace of the One and only true Elohim.  This is not a process of turning non-jews into jews or attaining a special status. 

Biblically, all nations and peoples, including Israel, are to demonstrate “conversion” through mikveh.  Yeshua said for us to “repent and be baptized” and following that mandate has become integral to the expression of conversion universally in the Body of Messiah.

In Deuteronomy 29:10-17 God tells the people who they are, who is expected to stand before Him, and what they have been saved from.  In Exodus 19:10 he says they should wash their clothing which also implies in the original text that they should wash their bodies as well. 

In relation to conversion, mikveh is also often used as a symbol of the rededication of one’s life to Adonai and a reflection of a renewed commitment to follow Him.

Symbolically, mikveh can be related to the crossing of the Red Sea. In the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament) I Corinthians 10:1 reminds us of the crossing through the sea and how they “immersed” themselves into Moses. Which of course, refers to their transformation into a people of the Torah.

The final area where the term mikveh is used is in regards to pots and dishes in relation to their use in Jewish community.  It has largely lost its biblically intended purpose for temple vessels and is mainly used in Orthodox households.  Numbers 31:21 speaks to the purification of those temple utensils and vessels and the following purification and washing of those who were in charge of that task so that they might participate in tabernacle worship.

In addition to the very physical aspect of clean dishes, I can’t help but also think about 2 Corinthians 4:7 and how we are “earthen vessels” holding the treasures of the Lord. The New Living Translation says it beautifully “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”

We wouldn’t only wash a plate once and consider it always clean, would we? Why would we have any different need for short accounts and maintaining a continual posture of cleanliness manifested by an external expression such as mikveh? Not for salvation, not for redemption, not for sanctification. As a reminder of our need to be continually washed and renewed by our Heavenly Father.

As a believer and follower of Yeshua, mikveh is a symbol of our submission to Messiah and our commitment to love and obey Him.  It is a beautiful public demonstration of a change in status, a desire to be purified, and a fresh start.   The initial moment of declaration when we made a public profession of our rejection of the ways of the world and have embraced Yeshua and His ways, whenever that occurred in our walk of faith, is not the only time we can take advantage of being washed, of making a public declaration, and of making ourselves ready to approach our Abba with joy and confidence.

Teshuvah.  Returning to our Father and repenting of the ways of sin and brokenness that the Ruach reveals to us.

Tashlich.  Casting our sin away from us and declaring His mercy and goodness.

Mikveh.  Being washed clean, made ready for service, publicly rededicating ourselves to Him and to His service.

Two strong biblically supported practices and one simple tradition that bring us to the Days of Awe leading us to the Holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur. Our wedding day.  The day of At One Ment.