Archives

Christians who celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

Christians who celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur a growing trend

BEN SALES


Some congregations maintain some of Jesus’s Jewish traditions by following the holiday schedule set out in the Old Testament

A Living Church of God congregation in San Diego celebrates the Feast of Tabernacles — the church’s name for Sukkot — in 2016. (Courtesy of the Living Church of God/via JTA)

NEW YORK (JTA) — On the night of Rosh Hashanah, thousands of people will leave work, gather in congregations across the globe and worship God, the ruler of the world. Ten days later they will begin a fast and gather again to pray, this time atoning for their sins.

On both occasions they will praise Jesus Christ and pray for his return.

They are not Jews, nor are they Jews for Jesus. Rather, these congregants are members of an evangelical Christian movement called the Living Church of God. On the days Jews know as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, these Christians celebrate what they call the Feast of Trumpets and Day of Atonement.

“We’re not trying to be Jewish,” said Dexter Wakefield, a Living Church minister and the church’s spokesman. “We’re obeying God’s commandments. The holy days have great meaning for the Christians who keep them.”

Living Church of God is one of a few evangelical groups that observes Christianity as it believes Jesus observed it, according to the dictates of the Hebrew Bible. That means no Christmas and no Easter — holidays the church rejects as pagan in origin. It also means that members observe their Sabbath like the Jews: from Friday night to Saturday night. The mainstream Christian custom of observing the Sabbath on Sunday, they believe, is another deviation from the authentic Christianity of Christ.

Christian supporters of Israel march during a parade for the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem in 2006. Thousands of Evangelical Christians participate in an annual pilgrimage to support Israel (photo credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Though the Living Church of God, which has about 10,000 members, advocates observing the Sabbath on Saturday as well as Jewish holidays, they are not Messianic Jews, who self-identify as Jewish and use Hebrew scripture and liturgy. Nor are they Seventh-day Adventists, who observe a Saturday Sabbath but no other Jewish holidays.

The church has nearly 400 congregations on six continents, and most of its membership is in North America, with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is governed by a Council of Elders and is an ideological outgrowth of the philosophy of Herbert Armstrong, whose preaching of Old Testament observance inspired several churches that see themselves outside of the evangelical mainstream.

A seder plate at the Cross Life  Church in Alvarado, Arkansas. (Courtesy)

For the Living Church of God, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur — the former begins this year on the evening of September 20 and the latter at sunset September 29 — are two of seven festivals celebrated across the year. Those festivals correspond to the five Jewish holidays commanded in the Torah – Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Passover and Shavuot. The church gets to seven by treating Shemini Atzeret, the holiday at the end of Sukkot, as a separate festival, and by splitting Passover in two – the first day and everything that comes afterward.

“These days were clearly commanded in the Old Testament, and their observance by Christ and the Apostles in the New Testament certainly ratifies them for the Christian Church,” the church’s founder, Roderick Meredith, wrote in a pamphlet. “True Christians are to keep holy the days God made holy. And we are to follow the example of Jesus and the original Apostles in so doing.”

These holidays correspond to the annual agricultural cycle, and have also taken on Jewish historical significance. But for the church, they reflect steps in the second coming of Jesus and the world’s ultimate redemption.

Rather than marking the New Year, Rosh Hashanah — a one-day holiday called the Feast of Trumpets, a reasonably literal translation of its name in the Torah, Yom T’ruah — marks the day when Jesus will appear again hailed by trumpets. Yom Kippur, translated as the Day of Atonement, marks the day when Satan will finally be defeated.

The church celebrates each day with a service — short by Jewish High Holiday standards — that includes a short and long sermon on the theme of the day, bookended by hymns. Like observant Jews, on the Day of Atonement congregants will take the day off and abstain from eating and drinking. But on the High Holidays they dispense with Jewish rituals like dipping apples in honey, wearing white robes known as kittels or blowing a shofar.

Congregants celebrate the Passover seder at the Cross Life Church in Alvarado, Arkansas. (Courtesy)

read more: Christians who celebrate…


twoje uwagi, linki, wlasne artykuly, lub wiadomosci przeslij do: webmaster@reunion68.com

 


Simulating war with Hezbollah, IDF looks to avoid past mistakes

Simulating war with Hezbollah, IDF looks to avoid past mistakes

JUDAH ARI GROSS


After war games with mock terrorist ‘killing sprees’ in Israeli communities and a counterattack in southern Lebanon, army bringing to a close its largest drill in 19 years

After a week of beating back simulated Hezbollah raids on border communities and responding to fake rocket fire over much of Israel, the IDF went on a mock offensive in southern Lebanon, as the military’s largest exercise in nearly two decades came to a culmination on Monday, a senior IDF officer said.

Last week, the army launched its largest drill since 1998, with tens of thousands of troops drilling for a war with the Hezbollah terrorist group, which the army considers to be its main threat.

The war game was run by the head of the IDF’s Northern Corps, Maj. Gen. Tamir Hyman. It included both physical actions and maneuvers by foot soldiers, land vehicles, naval vessels, helicopters and planes (including jets that reportedly broke the sound barrier over southern Lebanon), as well as computer models.

The exercised was named “Or HaDagan” after Meir Dagan, a former Mossad chief and IDF general who died last year.

In the simulation, war was sparked by a Hezbollah incursion into Israel, followed by rocket fire. “The exercise began on the defensive, with a Hezbollah initiated attack, in which it crossed the Blue Line and infiltrated [Israeli communities],” the officer said late Monday night, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“There were raids on communities near the border, killing sprees in some places,” he said.

The military focused on defending the towns along the border, practicing the evacuation first of the ones lying within four kilometers of the border with Lebanon, and working outwards to nine kilometers from the frontier.

According to the officer, this included everything up to, but not including, moving residents out of their homes, as the army did not want to disrupt the routines of local residents during this specific drill.

After the initial focus on defense, this week the army went on the attack, pretending to conduct ground maneuvers in southern Lebanon, using the similar terrain of northern Israel.

The drill will technically continue through Thursday, but is “scaling down considerably” starting Tuesday, the officer said.

Israel last fought a full-scare war with Hezbollah in 2006’s Second Lebanon War, and tensions have remained high even as the northern border has remained relatively quiet since.

This exercise was touted as a chance to practice failures or military shortcomings exposed during the war.

Led by Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah is believed to have an arsenal of between 100,000 and 150,000 short-, medium- and long-range missiles and a fighting force of some 50,000 soldiers, including reservists.

It is seen by the IDF as its main threat, representing the standard by which the Israeli army measures its preparedness.

While military officers often discuss a future conflict with the terrorist group as a matter of “when, not if,” the assessment of the IDF is that Hezbollah is not currently interested in renewed warfare with Israel at present, due to its active involvement in the Syrian civil war, which have caused it significant strategic problems.

Focus on cooperation

In Brig. Gen. (res.) Gal Hirsch’s book on the Second Lebanon War — “A Story of War, a Story of Love,” in Hebrew; “Defensive Shield,” in English — the former commander of a Northern Command division, who played a key role in the conflict, lays out many of the military’s failings: communication issues, intelligence not reaching commanders in the field and an over-reliance on air power.

While the past 11 years of quiet on the northern border are seen as a direct result of the conflict, within the military the war marks a point of negative comparison. “We’re much better since the Second Lebanon War” is a common remark from IDF officers.

The main focus of this month’s drill was therefore cooperation, the officer said, both within the Ground Forces and between the Ground Forces, Air Force and Navy.

 

read mores: Simulating war with Hezbollah …


twoje uwagi, linki, wlasne artykuly, lub wiadomosci przeslij do: webmaster@reunion68.com

 


2 Hamas fighters die in separate Gaza tunnel collapses

2 Hamas fighters die in separate Gaza tunnel collapses

FP and TOI STAFF


Terror group confirms deaths of two members of its armed wing overnight; security source says incidents took place in Gaza City, Khan Younis

Screenshot from an Iranian TV report purporting to show a new Hamas tunnel that reaches into Israeli territory, June 28, 2015. (Screenshot/Al-Alam)

Two Hamas fighters died in separate tunnel collapses in the Gaza Strip overnight, the Palestinian terror organization, which controls the territory, said on Friday.
Khalil al-Dimyati, 32, and Yusef Abu Abed, 22, were killed after two “resistance tunnels” collapsed, Hamas said, referring to tunnels used for military purposes.

It did not give details of the locations or causes of the collapses, but confirmed the two men were members of Hamas’s armed wing.
A security source said one collapse was in Gaza City, while the other was near the city of Khan Yunis.

Hamas has run Gaza for a decade and fought three wars with Israel.

Hamas has built a network of tunnels inside Gaza, as well as some under the Israeli border.

During the last round of conflict in 2014, the terror group carried out several deadly attacks on Israeli soldiers using its cross-border network.

Other tunnels are used for smuggling from Egypt, although many have been destroyed by the Egyptian authorities in recent years.

Several dozen Hamas members have died in tunnel collapses in the past year.


twoje uwagi, linki, wlasne artykuly, lub wiadomosci przeslij do: webmaster@reunion68.com

 


When Islamic ‘occupation of Europe’ becomes a reality

When Islamic ‘occupation of Europe’ becomes a reality

Noah Klieger


Op-ed: If Western European countries fail to wake up soon, they may find out within several decades—or maybe even by the end of the century—that the Muslims have become a majority in the population. The jihadists’ terror attacks in the continent are just the beginning.

Allow me to paraphrase a statement made by the late Elie Wiesel. While it’s true, he said, that not all the Germans murdered Jews—all the victims were Jewish. While it’s true that not all the Muslims are jihadists or terrorists, all (or at least an overwhelming majority of) the victims of the killing sprees across Europe are Christians (the Jews have not been a target so far, but rather a “by product”—random victims).

In the Middle East, terror organizations have been fighting each other—and Israel—for years, but this is only the situation in our region. What is the goal of the different jihadist organizations—the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and their likes—concerning Europe? To return to a situation that existed in the not-so-distant past in a number of countries in Europe, following the Ottoman Empire’s occupation expeditions. In other words, their declared aspiration is an Islamization of Europe and an elimination of “the heretics.”

Scene of recent terror attack in Barcelona. There is no, and never will be,
justification for terrorism—and to hell with political
correctness (Photo: AFP)

But Islam doesn’t necessarily need murderous terror attacks to take over the continent. Any intelligent person understands that if Western European countries fail to wake up soon, they may find out within several decades—or maybe even by the end of the century—that the Muslims have become a majority in the population. Not only is the natural growth among Muslims much higher (some say 10 times higher) than the natural growth of any other group in the population, but huge waves of immigration from Islamic countries in Africa and the Middle East keep flooding the continent. If this immigration continues, the portend of “an occupation of Europe” will turn into a reality.

Let’s take Britain, for example. Islam is today the second biggest religion in the country, every third child who is born there is given the name “Muhammad” in its different variations, and the Muslim communities in its main cities are only growing. Some of them have Muslim quarters that are essentially run as autonomies.

Many of the millions of Muslims living in the kingdom are second- and third-generation immigrants from countries that used to live under the rule of the “Empire” and whose residents automatically received a British citizenship. For example, the parents of Sadiq Khan, London’s Muslim mayor, arrived in Britain from Pakistan in the 1960s. Khan is an example of a successful integration, but he is not the exception that proves the rule. By the way, in a survey conducted about a year ago only 44 percent of London’s residents described themselves as “white British.”

Statements, protest marches or attempts to engage in a dialogue with imams will do no good when it comes to terror. The only thing that will work in this case are drastic measures making it possible to thwart attacks before they take place, even if they involve a violation of what the West refers to as “human rights.” Instead of “neutralizing” terrorists and prosecuting them after they carry out an attack, doing everything—and at all costs—to prevent the execution of a terror attack.

Hundreds of British Muslims who fought on behalf of ISIS in Syria and Iraq have returned to Britain recently. They are “ticking bombs” in their country. As someone who has been closely following the situation in Europe for years, I have often encountered explanations from different “experts” trying to find “extenuating circumstances” for the “internal” terrorists’ motives—from “cultural maladjustment” through “integration problems” to different mental difficulties. They have apparently failed to comprehend that there is no, and never will be, justification for terrorism—and to hell with political correctness.


twoje uwagi, linki, wlasne artykuly, lub wiadomosci przeslij do: webmaster@reunion68.com