I have longed for thy salvation, O L-RD; and thy Torah is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments. Psalm 119:174-176

06 October 2011

Yom Kippur

Purple Tea Roses - Photo by J. Stahl
Leviticus 16:1-16:34 & Numbers 29:7-29:11
The Book of Jonah, Isaiah 57:14-58:14; Micah 7:18-20
Matthew 25

Yom Kippur

"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God."
(See: Leviticus 23:26 – 32)

After Yom Teruah there is a fifteen day period during which one more festivals is celebrated, Yom Kippur...

According to traditional Judaism, the Ten Days of Awe between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur are for the people to have a final chance at repentance before the books are closed and the gates of Heaven are sealed...

Yom Kippur / Day of Atonement symbolizes the reconciliation of Yahweh and all mankind. Both the Passover and the Day of Atonement teach us about the forgiveness of sin and our reconciliation with Yahweh through Mashiach Yeshua’s sacrifice. However, although the Passover is applied personally for all whom trust in Yeshua for salvation, Yom Kippur carries universal implications. Even though it speaks nationally of Israel who were delivered from Egyptian bondage (being a slave to the world system), it was appropriated personally through each household having make preparation of the Pesach Lamb. Moreover, the Day of Atonement pictures an essential additional step in .
God's salvation plan is not to be found in the symbolism of the Passover. All people suffer the tragic consequences of sin, and in Passover we see that the judgment is removed from us. However, this doesn’t take care of sin. Yom Kippur involves not only the forgiveness of sin; it pictures the removal of sin. We see this in the ceremony that was followed by Israel for centuries during Yom Kippur, and outlined in Vayikra / Leviticus 16:1 – 28. Without recounting the whole passage, I will just outline the ceremony in part.

Two goats were brought before cohen hagadol / the high priest, and by the process of lots, one was chosen to be a sacrifice and the other for a scapegoat. The sacrificial goat was offered for the sins of all Israel and pictures the death of Yeshua haMashiach for our sin. The scapegoat had the hands of cohen hagadol laid upon him, thus symbolically transferring the sins of the people of Israel to its head, then it was lead outside of the camp into and area where no man dwelt, and released. Tradition says it was pushed off a cliff, but there is no Scriptural backing for this. Also, many have tried to make hasatan a co-redeemer, by claiming the scapegoat was a type of hasatan who would bear our sins into the Lake of Fire when he was cast there in Revelation 20. Again there is no Scriptural support for this view. What it really represents is the secondary purpose of Mashiach. While Yeshua haMashiach died in our place, He also bore our sins and carried them away. Let’s look at a couple of references to substantiate this:

“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Ivrim / Hebrews 9:28)

“And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” (Yochanan Alef / I John 3:5)

Mashiach was to bear our sins, and He was to take them away.  Furthermore in Micah 7:19 we read: “He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”

And in a similar vein in Tehillim / Psalm 103:12 we read: “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

Thus we see that Mashiach fulfills the position of both goats, the sacrificial goat and the scapegoat. In the future Yom Kippur, not only will we have full realization of the removal of our sins, but it will also be the time when the rest of the word who has not repented be judged as guilty. Then will come the final bowl judgments.
--Torah Teacher Rick Taylor zt"l

Parents customarily bless their children with the priestly benediction and often with an additional special blessing... “May it be the will of our Father in Heaven to put into your heart love and reverence for Him. May the reverence for God accompany you all the days of your life that you may not commit sin. May your longing be for the Bible and God's commandments. May your eyes be directed straight, your mouth speak wisdom, your heart strive for holiness. May your hands be occupied with good deeds and your feet hasten to do the will of your Father in Heaven. May He give you pious sons and daughters who will occupy themselves with Torah and good deeds all the days of their lives; may your womb be blessed. May He grant you sustenance through legitimate means, without stress and with profit, out of His hand that is wide open and not through the handouts of other human beings. May this sustenance direct you toward the service of God. May you be inscribed and sealed unto a good, long life, you and all the righteous of Israel. Amen.”  -International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

The Jewish people believe that on this day God enters his verdict in books which are sealed. This day is, essentially, according to "Judaism 101," your last appeal, your last chance to change the judgment, to demonstrate your repentance and to make amends. At the beginning of Yom Kippur in the synagogues the cantors sing the Kol Nidrei ( "All vows"), which is a fascinating disclaimer, with its touching melodic phrases:

"All personal vows we are likely to make, all personal oaths and pledges we are likely to take between this Yom Kippur and the next Yom Kippur, we publicly renounce. . . . Let our personal vows, pledges and oaths be considered neither vows nor pledges nor oaths."

The leader and the congregation then say together three times, "May all the people of Israel be forgiven, including all the strangers who live in their midst, for all the people are in fault." 

In the synagague services as Yom Kippur ends, there will be a long shofar blast. Ten days ago, Yom Teruah, the "day of alarm/shouting," is also called the Feast of Trumpets, but the word trumpet (shofar) is not mentioned in the Bible concerning Yom Teruah. Now think about this: Leviticus actually stipulates that today a shofar is to sound on Yom Kippur.

"Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion." (Hebrews 3: 15)

The service at the end of Yom Kippur is often called THE CLOSING OF THE GATES.

It is said that "Yom Kippur is the happiest day of the year, for on this day the Holy One, Blessed be He, atones for Israel." The feeling of joyful anticipation is palpable. After many arduous weeks of intensive soul-searching and reflection, stock-taking and personal assessment, we arrive at this most solemn of days, ready to stand before our Creator in judgment.
 -The Temple Institute

Additional reading:
Ariel Ben Lyman's PDF on Yom Kippur

National Jewish Outreach on Yom Kippur
The Temple Institute: Yom Kippur in The Holy Temple
One Torah For All's PDF teaching on Yom Kippur 2010
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn's (of "Hope of the World" radio program) congregation Beth Israel Yom Kippur service on Youtube
All about Yom Kippurim
The Fear of Yom Kippur
The Torah Tablets of Yom Kippur (PDF)
A Yom Kippur Lifestyle (PDF)
Virtual Jerusalem's Ask the Rabbi: The Shofar on Yom Kippur