Jewish tradition divides the reading of the Five Books of Moses (the Torah) in the Synagogue into 54 portions. All around the world Jewish people read the same part of Scripture on Saturday – the Sabbath. The day after Sukkot is when Jewish people celebrate a Festival that is part of a Jewish tradition called Simchat Torah, which adds greatly to the joy of the season.
On the night of Simchat Torah (the Joy of the Torah) Jews in synagogues read that last portion for the year – Moses’ blessings over the tribes at the end of Deuteronomy, only to turn the scroll back to the very beginning in Genesis, to passages on God creating the world. The symbolic transition from the end to the beginning points to the fact that the study of God’s Word has no end and is always relevant. The streets and synagogues throughout Israel are filled with singing and dancing, in celebration of God’s gift in the form of the Torah.
The portions of God’s Word selected for each Saturday’s reading include passages from all three sections of the Bible: from the Torah, the Writings, and the Prophets. Universal for both Israel and the Diaspora, Jewish people unite over their collective calling and responsibility to study and teach the Scriptures, as the chosen people of God.
The Festivals of Israel are a roadmap to redemption! They are prophecies in type and point to a great fulfillment through the Messiah, whom we believe is Jesus of Nazareth. In Him, all the festivals of Israel are fulfilled. He said this Himself when he spoke to the two men accompanying Him on the road to Emmaus,
And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:25-27)
We pray that our Jewish people will recognize that He is the way, the truth and the life and one fulfillment of all the law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17-18). Would you pray with us?
Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, please open the eyes and hearts of your chosen people and reveal Yeshua the Messiah to every seeking heart. Please use this season of the High Holidays to bring many of your beloved Jewish people to salvation through our Messiah Jesus. Amen!