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By

Alexandra Lindstrom

Wishing You A Happy Sukkot From Har Bracha

Sukkot is the Festival of Rejoicing Tonight we are entering into the Feast of Tabernacles. This is a time to celebrate the goodness of God with friends and family, to rejoice in the LORD in Jerusalem, and to share those blessings with others. All over the land of Israel, the final preparations for the Feast of Tabernacles are being made, including preparations for rejoicing, which is specifically commanded in Deuteronomy 16. From the Mount of Blessing, we want to wish you and your family a happy and joyous Sukkot!           Our Sukkot Gift to You! The Feast of Tabernacles is a time of joy and of heading up to Jerusalem––the City of the Great King––to rejoice in the LORD! Inspired by this theme, Zac Waller has written a brand new song titled “Come on Up!” Download it now as a free Sukkot gift! Click Here to... Read MoreRead More

“You say mercy, but I say no! They must pay.” – Thoughts From Zac on Yom Kippur

Fear of God’s justice and awe of His tender mercies compete to be king on the mountain of my emotions.  He is perfect in truth, righteousness and justice and yet, in His infinite wisdom He is, at the very same time, full of compassion and loving kindness! How great is our awesome God and King! But, how can this be? Consider this story, my paraphrase of a parable I heard from Rabbi David Forman: Suppose, God forbid, that someone you love and are very close to was viciously attacked in the most diabolical way. The attacker was taken to prison and put on trial. The judge stood, heard the horrible crimes listed in gruesome detail, the villain pleads guilty and then…. The judge proclaims, “Not guilty; the case is dismissed!” If you are a normal human being, you would be outraged! Where is justice? You can’t just let a crook get off scot-free! He deserves to be severely punished! Jonah is one of the traditional Bible readings for Yom Kippur. One could say that it is appropriate because of the theme of repentance. Nineveh was doomed to destruction, they repented and God spared them. A closer look at the story reveals that there is an even deeper, Yom Kippur lesson within the story. In the book Jonah, chapter four verse two, Jonah says: “Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.” This is a direct quote from Exodus chapter thirty-four verse six, except for one major difference. Jonah says “One who relents from doing harm,” but in Exodus God says that he is “abounding in truth”. Why would Jonah deliberately leave that out? The answer is obvious. Jonah is saying that God is the judge portrayed in our previous analogy! If God says Nineveh can go scot-free just because they repent then He is not a God of truth! He is only the God of mercy and compassion. “Sight and Sound” theaters does a great job portraying this very idea in their production of the Jonah story. Jonah sings out, “You offer mercy when I want the sword. Justice calls loud and long, the wicked must perish, the meek grow strong. No mercy for those who cause such grief. It’s justice, justice I seek…You say mercy but I say no! They must pay!” So how can God maintain truth and justice simultaneously? Obviously, as Christians, we believe that God sent His Son, Yeshua, to pay our debts so that we could be free. By His blood, He has provided atonement for us. In this way, God has acted in perfect justice and truth. Jews and Christians agree that repentance is a critical component of receiving forgiveness from God. In order to receive his great mercy, we must acknowledge our wrongdoing and repent (turn around). God does not accept rebellious sinners. He fully embraces repentant sinners! This Yom Kippur, may our pride, the deadbolt on the chains of our sin, be unlocked through the key of humbly repenting and giving ourselves fully to our Creator! I think a big reason why God is compassionate is because he sees our potential. Though the Ninevites were the most wicked of people, God knew that they had the potential to repent and serve Him. Could this also be an area where God is just and merciful? Does He judge us not only by what we have done but also by what He knows we can do? I heard a pastor once say that God is “the God of second chances”. This is certainly the case with Jonah! Despite His desire to run away from God, God keeps on giving him another chance to obey and follow his calling. This Yom Kippur, let us give thanks to God who has blessed us with abundant grace and compassion while still maintaining perfect justice and fulfilling all righteousness. May we learn from our mistakes and press on to fulfill our God-given destinies! May your fast be meaningful this year, Zac... Read MoreRead More

Grapes, Elections, & the History of Judea & Samaria – Podcast

Nate Waller, project manager for HaYovel, joins Joshua on the show this week to give an update on the plentiful grape harvest before Sukkot. Next, a quick update on the political situation in Israel. Will Israel have third elections or not? Lastly, Joshua and Nate talk at length about the historical background to Judea and Samaria beginning with the Ottoman Period until the present day. Be prepared to learn some new, enlightening nuggets of history regarding the heartland of Israel and be inspired on this week’s episode of the Joshua and Caleb Report! Listen to this week’s... Read MoreRead More

HaYovel Store Sukkot Sale!

15% off everything in our online store! The Feast of Tabernacles is almost here! It’s a season of coming together with family and friends, celebrating and rejoicing in all that God has given us. We’re excited to share a special 15% discount with you on all the products in our online store. Looking for some gifts for family, friends or fellow Israel-lovers? Or maybe some Israel-inspired music, an emblazoned coffee mug or a beautiful watercolor Bible painting? Shop discounted prices any time between now and Thursday, October 10th, 2019. No promo code needed. Click Here to Shop... Read MoreRead More

Shanah Tovah – May You All Have A Sweet New Year!

Rosh HaShanah is here! Tonight we enter into one of God’s appointed times, the festival of Rosh HaShanah/Yom Teruah. It’s interesting that this festival is not listed in Deuteronomy 16, with the other festivals. Chapter 16 is very clear that Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot are festivals of joy and rejoicing. So what about Yom Teruah? Should we rejoice, or is it supposed to be a more sober time of introspection, leading up to Yom Kippur? Teruah is a Hebrew word that means blasting or shouting. This sound is generally understood to be the sound of the shofar, but could also include the voice of a person crying out. It’s interesting to look at what the blast of the shofar communicates throughout the Scriptures. It accompanied God’s presence descending on Mt. Sinai, caused the walls of Jericho to crumble, put fear into the hearts of Israel’s enemies and was the declaration of victory when God delivered Israel’s enemies into their hands. Time to coronate God the King in our lives There’s one more use for the shofar, and this is the one I would like to focus on. I believe it’s the common thread that ties all the other uses together. 2 Samuel 15 and 2 Kings 9 tell us that the shofar was blown when a king of Israel was coronated. More than that, if we look at Psalms 47 and 98, blowing the shofar is directly related to declaring the Almighty’s Kingship. The shofar blast at Sinai was God saying “Israel, I am your King.” When the walls fell at Jericho, God was showing the world that He, the God of Heaven, is the King of Israel. In 1967, Rabbi Shlomo Goren blew the shofar at the Western Wall, declaring to the world that God is King, and He has made Israel victorious over her enemies. When a King rises to power, his subjects rally around him, and his enemies tremble and are afraid. Are you fully submitted to God? Have you declared Him as your King? Yom Teruah is a day of shofar blasting – a day to coronate God as King of our lives. He is a merciful and gracious King! He is inviting all those willing to hear the sound of the shofar to accept Him as their King. Today is the day of salvation! Zephaniah speaks of the shofar blast bringing judgment on those unwilling to submit to God. The enemies of God will be defeated at the sound of the shofar – at the coronation of God as King. Perhaps this is why we aren’t directly commanded to rejoice on Yom Teruah. There are many emotions that take place when a righteous, holy, merciful king takes his throne: sobriety – seeing God’s righteous judgments; humility – because of God’s great mercies toward us; and joy – at being in His awesome presence. Come, let’s coronate the King today!  Shanah tovah... Read MoreRead More
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