As a child, Advent wasn’t one of the holidays that I understood. I was raised Roman Catholic, so during those years it was as familiar to my 6-year old self as Lent– which is to say they were periods of anticipation for Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. (Oh, the crazy ways that idolatry invades everything, but I digress.) Maybe we had an advent wreath or am advent calendar around, and I remember getting them in my Catholic elementary school, but that was the limit. As I grew a little older, my family rotated through a few varieties of Protestantism, some of which certainly had Advent and some of which did not. I probably didn’t notice.
Curious about Advent in the bible? Read on!
Continue reading Advent in the Bible
Today was Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, probably the holiest day in Judaism. Technically Yom Kippur ended at sundown (and I’m chasing midnight with this post), but it’s difficult to keep a schedule and my fasting today turned my brain into mush. For the last several years, I have done my best to fast alongside my wife in support for her and her religion. I don’t know that it helps her, but it’s worth doing for the chance that it does.
As I mentioned in my previous post, this is the month of Tishri in the Jewish calendar (generally September or October) and it is a month with many holy days. Last week was Rosh Hashanah, this week is Yom Kippur, and we’re just a few days from Sukkot and Simchat Torah. After that, we get a break until Hanukkah. I have resolved this year to try and offer (as best I can) a biblical explanation for each of the holy days (and holidays) as they come around.
And even if you aren’t Jewish, Yom Kippur has the distinction of being the holiday that we get the term “scapegoat” from, using a real live goat. Read on!
Continue reading Yom Kippur in the Bible
Shana tova! Not having been raised Jewish, but living in a Jewish household, some of the customs can be downright puzzling to me. Today is the first night of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. (As with most holidays, Rosh Hashanah is one day long in Israel and two days long everywhere else. This has to do with the early Jews wanting to be VERY CERTAIN that they did the holiday on the right day, since communication to and from Jerusalem may have been spotty.) This holiday is marked by eating of apples and honey and the blowing of the shofar, the ram’s horn.
Today happens to also be the one year anniversary of my first real post to this blog. So, today marks a very real beginning of a “new year” for this site. As such, I’ve made a few light changes here and there: added an “about” box on the side, changed the tag to reflect the “religion geek” attitude the site has been adopting, and a few other things.
Enough bellybutton gazing! Let’s talk Rosh Hashanah!
Continue reading Rosh Hashanah in the Bible