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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Yom Kippur (יום כיפור)

Yesterday was the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur. I noticed it on my calendar this year, and since I am taking Hebrew right now, the word Yom caught my eye. “Hey, I know that word!” It means “day.” I know... that’s no great feat of translation prowess, but it's still cool to see something you’ve seen all your life and have it finally click. So, I knew that yom meant day, but had no idea what kippur was. Wikipedia to the rescue! Kippur means atonement. This is the Day of Atonement, the day the high preist goes into the holy of holies to make atonement to God for the Jewish people, the most holy day for the Jewish people.

So, what impact should this holiday have on Christians? Should we go to the temple? Should we not wear leather shoes? I don’t know about those traditions, but perhaps there is something to be learned here. We know that Jesus was the final sacrifice, and that there remains no sacrifice for sin after Jesus. Easter is when we celebrate Jesus resurrection. However, what I think we fail to connect is the deep significance of Jewish tradition with Jesus’ death. We forget that Jesus was a Jew, he was not a Christian. His death and resurrection fulfilled Jewish prophesy, not Christian prophesy. Christianity is the new dispensation, but also the continuation of what God started with the Jews. Jesus died on Passover, an all-to-often forgotten fact. Jesus was the Passover Lamb, symbolic of the lamb sacrificed as the destroyer took the first born sons of Egypt. I think that some things are best not forgotten in antiquity. I think we should remember Passover, remember Yom Kippur. While I don’t advocate that we attend temple services, I do suggest we remember what God did for us by sending his perfect sacrifice. In Jewish tradition Yom Kippur is a solemn time of fasting and prayer, and I think we should observe it as such. We should observe it with reflection, soul searching, repentance, fasting, and prayer. I stumbled on it too late this year, but next year I think I will plan to observe the day. What do you think?


Blogger Rachel said...

Amen. I have often thought about how we should some how still remember and celebrate the feasts of the old testiment. God's character is revealed to us through his acts in the old testiment and we should definately remember them.

10/04/2006 8:25 AM  

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