Thursday, November 17, 2022

Shabbat Shalom! from Japan, Shabbat Project: Vayera Challah in Hebrew Letters!


 
 Then Adonai appeared to him at Mamre’s large trees while he was sitting in the entrance of his tent during the heat of the day 
{...}  
Please let a little water be brought so you can wash your feet, and make yourselves comfortable under the tree.  
 And let me bring a bit of bread so that you can refresh yourselves— 
Genesis 18:1~5 (exerpts)
 
Firstly, Shabbat Shalom!!
Secondly, the photo above is from the past week`s Shabbat, a testimony from Japan.  We were blessed to participate in this years Shabbat Project in the Shabbat of `Vayera`.

Yay! We did it!   For the 3rd year I participated in the Shabbat Project.
It is a worldwide initiative where Jewish people all around the world join in to keep the Shabbat together.  They encourage hosting events like Challah bakes, Friday night dinners, learning from the Parsha, or other ways to put in action a gesture of hospitality to reach out to others to celebrate the Shabbat and share God`s love by coming together at the Shabbat Table!  I love this initiative and have had a tradition of making a Challah in the shape of the Hebrew Letters spelling Vayera for this special Shbbat.  And this year added to that a community dinner on Friday night.  Every year it is held on the Parsha of Vayera. 
 
That is the Torah Portion where the LORD appears to Abraham in front of his tent on a hot day and sends angels to tell Abraham and Sarah that they will have the long awaited child and seed from which the Nation of Israel would be established.  Abraham and Sarah always were ready to entertain guests and share about the truth of the one true God.  
 
Vayera means `and He appeared`.  My Vayera prayer according to that word is,  `May the LORD appear to us this Shabbat`.  May He appear to all those who know Him and to those who do not  know Him yet!




In between the rising of the dough, Aimei and I pray from our AHAVA prayer sheet, the week pictured is in Parsha Vayera.


For the past 2 years, this year is my third year, we have participated from Japan in the worldwide initiative to `Keep Shabbat Together` which is called the Shabbat Project.  We do the `challah portion` together on `zoom` from two different parts of Japan.  Please join us next time!!

 

To be continued ....
 
Love,
❤️
Shayndel 
 
 

 

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Hod Ve Hadar! Splendor and Majesty ~~ Succah Reflections and Fragrant Beginnings









They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works. Psalm 145:5
 


The Beautiful fruit of the beautiful tree

On the first day you are to take choice fruit of trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook, and rejoice before ADONAI your God for seven days.

Leviticus 23:40

I am lingering a little in the fragrance of the fruit called an etrog, which is a fruit associated with the Feast of Sukkot.  It has a fragrance that reaches my heart with the love of G-d and speaks of His Majesty.  I know, a heart cannot exactly `smell`, and a fragrance does not `speak`, but this fruit makes me think outside of the regular dimensions, and stretches my senses, that is how divine the fragrance is!  I hope to release even a little of that fragrance here in a blog post. 

In the verse that introduces the commandment to rejoice for Sukkot (Lev. 23:40 above), there is the mention of taking 4 species.  One of them as you can see in the verse (and in the photos as represented by the etrog), is the "choice fruit of the trees".  The Jewish sages have a discussion on this `choice fruit`, or sometimes translated as `beautiful fruit`.  They ask the question, does the modifier `beautiful` describe the fruit , or does it describe the tree?  That is the midrashic question around this fruit.

I don`t know the grammatical answer, but what spoke to me was the word itself in the Hebrew that describes the fruit, or the tree.  The word is HADAR.  It ultimately modifies and points us to the Majesty of the LORD God Almighty Himself!

This word, HADAR, הֲדַר~ which modifies the fruit or fruit tree, actually means splendor, honor, ornament, majesty!

The first time the word HADAR is used in the Torah (in all of the bible) is here in Leviticus 23:40, and after that we see this word HADAR is used to describe God`s splendor and majesty. We sometimes see it paired with HOD or KAVOD, as it speaks of God`s glory and His majesty.

הֲדַר, כְּבוֹד הוֹדֶךָ--    וְדִבְרֵי נִפְלְאֹתֶיךָ אָשִׂיחָה

They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works. Psalm 145:5

The four species together are also said to represent different parts of the body.  The fruit which is called an Etrog represents the heart.  The palm leaves the spine, the myrtle the eyes, and the willow the lips.

Taken together we can see how they represent worshiping God with our whole self, with every part of us,  as in Deuteronomy 6:4,

 Love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Connecting back to the Garden and forward to the Redemption!

We recently started in a new Torah cycle from the book of Genesis.  When I read about the fruit, that Eve took when tempted by the serpent, I noticed how It was described as pleasing to the eye.

I was thinking when I read it this time of this description of  `pleasing to the eye`,  as compared to the beauty of the fruit in Leviticus 23:40.  That which represents the deepest expression of God`s majesty, and His beauty that we see from the heart, is something that He reveals when we seek after intimacy with HIm... with all our heart.

I felt that G-d was speaking about how growing in obedience to Him is a way in which we grow into seeing His majesty and splendor.  

Those are some of my Succah reflections and fragrant beginnings.  As we start a new Torah cycle,  we are already in the third Parsha (Torah Portion)!  I will hope to catch up a little to where we are now, going into `Vayera` , which means `And He appeared` and comes from the root word `To see`!!

If anyone would like to join in following the Torah portions together, please let me know in the comment or in an e-mail (ahavaprayerandmovement@gmail.com).    I send out a weekly AHAVA  Parsha Prayer Sheet, which gives a short introduction to the Parsha and scriptures related to the weekly portion to pray for your loved ones, schools, community,  and for Israel!  

Blessings and LOVE ~  AHAVA!

Love,

Shayndel

Splendor and majesty are before Him.
Strength and beauty are in His Sanctuary. 

Psalm 96:6

PS Interestingly, after I wrote this post, I found that it was not just my discovery about the fruit representing God`s majesty!! I saw this article  on a Jewish website describing how each element is also describing an aspect of G-d, and relating to a verse in the Tanakh! I love that when the Holy Spirit leads us to our own discoveries, and then after we find the discovery that was already made!!

Each species has a particular reference to God, according to a Midrash in Leviticus Rabbah, 83: the etrog is symbolic of Psalm 104:1: “You are clothed in glory and majesty”; the palm is used because it is said Psalms 92:13: “The righteous bloom like date-palm”; the myrtle signifies Zechariah 1:8: “And he stood among the myrtle-trees”; the willow is significant because it is written in Psalms 68:5: “Extol Him who rides on the clouds (aravot), the Lord is His name.”

 PS notes to myself:

put a few photos of the succah here!

Article HERE  for how to make a fragrant spice box out of an etrog after Sukkot !!

 

 

Monday, October 24, 2022

Rosh Hashanah Rainbow

 




 

I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.  Genesis 9:13

Teshuvah Diary

(note:`Teshuvah` is the Hebrew word for `return` as in `return to G-d.  It is a word for the Fall Feasts which are all about returning to G-d. )

My Dad said it never rains on the Jewish holidays. 

When I was a child we always walked together as a family to the synagogue on the Jewish Holidays.  Note that we always called them that, but in my `Return` to G-d` all these years later, I understand that these are the Feasts of the LORD and for all His children and for all who would walk in His ways!

As my Dad declared that it never rains, so it was, anyway to my memory it never did rain on the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah* and Yom Kippur!  So this year, when at last I made it to celebrate the High Holidays with my Dad in Long Island, NY where we are from, we found ourselves on the way to shul (synagogue) on the eve of the first of the holidays, the new month of Tishrei, and it was raining.

Before I get to the rainbow, I just want to tell a little of the back story which is that my Dad and I had this `appointment` since June,  to meet on G-d`s appointed days and to spend the High Holidays together.  I almost went back to the US in June, as I wanted to see my Dad, who recently turned 90. As these days with our parents are precioius and I live so far~ Japan, if anyone is just joining in~  I wanted to go and spend the spring Holiday of Shavout there with him, but we both realized it would be too much to make the trip twice and that we would wait for this `appointed time` in the Fall. 

So after waiting a half of year, at last I was here and thankful to be going to the synagogue with my Dad.  We were on our way, at the entance to the month-long feasts.  

And here it was, raining. 

I said to my Dad, `You said it never rains on the Jewish Holidays`.  And my Dad almost matter-of-factly replied, `yes, but... there`s a rainbow`.  

A rainbow? I didn`t see any rainbow.

I looked in front of me and just saw rain on the windshield (we live a little too far now from the synagogue to walk, and so we were in the car).  I was like a kid in disbelief in that moment, not knowing where he was coming from in saying that.  Its possible in all my years I may never have even heard my Dad speak of a rainbow ever.  We are alike in certain ways, but he is the opposite of me in one sense that he is very practical, and his vocabulary is more nuts and bolts, and less rainbows.  I love my Dad.

I looked again and didn`t see any rainbow and felt a great dissonance in that moment.  It was raining and we were on the way to the synagogue with my Dad and here he was bringing up a rainbow?!

Then we curved around the road and a burst of light shined in front of us and my Dad, who was driving, said that he couldn`t see.  It was dangerous as the light was so bright!  At this hour of the sunset, the setting sun appeared in a glow.  The Glory of G-d was bursting through.  Just in the nick of time!

And then as we were going over the bridge over a small canal to enter the town, there it was, over us, the hugest rainbow I ever saw.  

A full rainbow!   I was so excited now like a child whose hopes were returned and faith affirmed,  proud of a father who wasn`t letting me down, and who saw it first.   I exclaimed my excitement and must have started Praising G-d who put it there for us so clearly! 

My Dad stopped the car for me to take a picture.  Even though I had been rushing him not to be late to shul, in this moment we both were suspended in time under the rainbow.  

The rain had stopped!! When we continued on, we saw the sun going down over the small town where the synagogue is, in such a perfect glow of radiance.  Again it was the LORD showing His Glory on this eve of the Rosh HaShanah, and this Rosh Chodesh.  

I can say clearly that this was no doubt Him showing us that it was a very special `Rosh Chodesh` and even Rosh HaShanah, as the new month and all holidays start at sunset on the Jewish calendar.  He was so clearly showing the sunset and the rainbow entrance to the month and year. **

With that we continued on through the town as G-d brought the rainbow in front of us, and highlighted each view putting the rainbow there scene after scene: over the town, over the supermarket, over the fire department, it was such a gracious unfolding as we were now in His peace and in His Holy Spirit presence.   When we arrived at the synagogue, the rainbow was now hidden from view from clouds, and we entered the service.

Dad and I have to sit on opposite sides as it is an Orthodox synagogue and the women are on one side and men on the other.  My dad signaled me to sit in the aisle opposite him so we were near, and when the Cantor sang the Shehechiyanu blessing, I don`t know if my Dad noticed, but I was completeley in tears!!   We made it!

Shehechiyanu is a blessing where we thank God for the miracle of  sustaining us and bringing  us to this day. It is said on the `first` of something and is said on most of the Holidays to mark the special occasion with thanksgiving.

 בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה, יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ, מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha-olam, shehecheyanu, v'kiy'manu, v'higiyanu laz'man ha-zeh. 
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

I must also add, when the Cantor sung the blessing, in his amazing cantorial voice and the first time I`d heard him in 3 years, I also saw not only the miracle of my being here in this generation with my Dad, but I felt all the history of the Jewish people of our nation of Israel, since the beginning of Creation and since Abraham, and even before.  And continuing God`s Covenant Promises to the Jewish people to return them to the Promised Land, as God is bringing us home.

Amen and Amen!  With all thanks in Yeshua who brings us back to the Father and who returns the children to the fathers and the fathers to the children, to prepare the way and make a prepared people! ***

Blessings and Love, 

Shayndel

❤️

A few notes:

1.  As I write this it will be the new month of Cheshvan, when we have come out of the Fall Feasts, and we land into a month where we have rolled back the Torah Scroll and start at the beginning.   We just read the story of Creation, in Bereishit and now It happens that this week we are in Parsha Noah, the second portion in the Torah.  A connection to the rainbow!

 2. *Rosh Hashanah is another name given to what is actually the Biblical Feast of Trumpets, and begins on the First day of the Seventh Month of Tishrei.  Jewish people refer to it as the Jewish New Year, and the shofar is blown throughout the holiday in a pattern of blasts culminating on the last great trumpet at Yom Kippur.  

3.  **Note also that the actual Biblical New Year is in Spring! When the children of Israel came out of Egypt, G-d gave the first commandment to them which was to observe the first month of spring time.  (see Exodus 12)

4.  ***As I post this, I am reminded of the verse from Malachi 4:6 about the fathers returning to the children and the children to the fathers.  That verse is also repeated and referred to in the gospel of Luke.  I just was shown a teaching explaining this verse as it speaks about the `return` (Teshuvah!) of the Jewish people to their Messiah and physically to the land of Israel which is necessary preparations for Messiah`s return!  

And he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to the children and the disobedient ones to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready for Adonai a prepared people.

Luke 1:17



Sunday, September 25, 2022

Happiokai Sukkah!






Dear Friends, this post is actually from last year`s Sukkot Festival!! I am posting it now as we are coming once again to Sukkot. I apologize for my not posting for so long! And now as we prepare for the Fall Feasts, I am reflecting on the year before we enter into the new year of 5783 and realized that I had written this post and never posted it! I hope it will encourage you to get ready for Sukkot,  and all the Fall Feasts!!  It is now the last week of the month of Elul, a time of Teshuavah, and leading into a time for all God`s people to Tabernacle as One!!

....................... 

Note in the title, `Happiokai` means `Recital`

Every year my voice training teacher makes a student recital for her students, to share songs and encourage one another.  This year the recital was postponed 3 times, for reasons you can imagine due to restrictions on gatherings.  The third time when I checked the date on my Biblical calendar I saw that the date was to be on the first day of the Festival of Sukkot.  I told my teacher I wasn`t sure if I could join.  Then I realized, I could join IF we were able to celebrate the festival.  So I asked her if we could celebrate the festival by having a Sukkah there and sharing about the Feast of the LORD and she agreed.

I was over joyed and as our commandment for the Feast of Sukkot is to rejoice before the LORD, I was already seeing that this was His hand upon the scheduling and that it would be a joyous time and a chance to be a testimony for Him and to share about Sukkot with my community.

It turned out to be a wonderful time and I made the Sukkah specially for the festive time, and brought in flowers and decoration. My singing teacher even contributed the Palm leaves for the top, from her Father`s trees!!  

 I look forward to sharing more of the Feasts and special times of the LORD in Japan, as we know in the days of Moschiach, all the nations will come to Zion to worship the King of Kings and the Glory of the God of Israel will be known throughout the earth!!

 



Shana Tova!

 

Shana Tova!! Happy and Sweet Year 5783!

You crown the year with Your goodness.
Your wagon tracks drip with abundance.  Psalm 65:12

A round challah represents a crown!  

Today at sundown begins the appointed times of the Fall Feasts, beginning with the Feast  of Yom Teruah, and Rosh Hashanah.   We celebrate the crowning of the King and that He is master of all Creation!  A day the shofar is blown and we crown God as the King over our lives!!  As we also enter a new year 5783 since creation on the Hebrew civil calendar.

In-gathering from 4 corners!

The way it is woven together in 4 strands, the round challah also reminds me of the in-gathering of the Jewish people from the 4 corners of the earth.   We celebrate that in-gathering and when all nations will come to worship the King of Kings in Jerusalem!

I wanted to post a challah, as its been a long time!! As we are getting ready to enter into the Fall Feasts of the LORD, at Challah and Cherry Blossoms I  wish you a happy and sweet new year and joyous Fall Feasts and blessed Yom Teruah!! 

This is a day of celebration, a day of Salvation, a day to return fully and wholly to the LORD in a season of Teshuvah (Repentance and Return) and make Him King of your life from now and forevermore!!

Much Love, 

❤️

Shayndel

 

It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in

  Isaiah 40:22

This verse too reminds me of the way the round shape represents the earth as we give glory to God the Creator and Master of the Universe!!  The Biblical name of the Feast that we enter into tonight is Yom Teruah!  Blow the trumpet in Zion and may we hear the shofar sound from wherever we are as our King is calling us to return from the four corners of the earth as He will be returning to Zion to be crowned as King over all the Earth!!

As much as I would like to express it in a challah, of course I cannot express all that I would like in a challah!! But I hope you will enjoy it with the sweetness of honey.

Chag Sameach!! Much Love!










Can you see how the weaving of the 4 strands can be seen to express the in-gathering from the 4 corners of the earth!!

 

 

❤️



Monday, June 27, 2022

A Torah for Japan ~ Part 2: The Flying Scroll



Subsequently, the Ark carried its bearers in the air and crossed the Jordan, as it is stated: “When all the people were completely passed over, the Ark of the Lord passed on, and the priests, before the people” (Joshua 4:11)

The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to him:  Uzzah, the Ark carried its bearers when it crossed the Jordan; all the more so is it not clear that it can carry itself?

Another midrash says that rather than being carried by its bearers, the Ark in fact carried its bearers inches above the ground (Sotah 35a)

Like the verses above, I also experienced this in that I didn’t carry the Torah.

God carried it. 

He `sent` angels ahead of me to lift it at every point from Florida to New York to Japan.  He carried the Torah.

When I arrived in New York JFK with an extra oversized box, My Dad was surprised, to say the least.  I told him his house would be blessed by having the Torah there, sharing with him the story of Obed Edom when King David brought the ark there before returning to Jerusalem. 

Then it was reported to King David saying, "ADONAI has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God."  So David went and brought the ark of God up from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with joy.    2Samuel 6:12

And it was a blessed trip.   All thanks and glory to God for His being with us every step of the way.  I am reminded of that so that when I am in more `regular` seeming moments in my every day life, I remember, yes God is with us always even when it is not that kind of highlighted `adventure`, He is with us!  Reminder to myself, and I hope an encouragement to you!

From New York to Japan was the next challenge.   I had to quarrantine two weeks in Tokyo in two different locations, before being able to fly on another airplane to the city where I live.  It was the time of the strictest regulations in Japan (again all thanks to God, the restrictions were reduced during the last few days of my quarantine it was announced that the restriction had been lifted and shortened to 10 days, shortened from 14!)

I remember one moment that was exhilirating, in an unexpected kind of way.  I was in the taxi going from the first quarantine hotel to the next, feeling a sense of freedom to be released even for this interim!  The box with the Torah scroll was next to me on the seat.  I felt an exhilaration of joy as we passed along Tokyo streets, by shops with  signs and all the letters in Japanese, as a new light was shining on this cityscape, the light of the Torah, as though the letters of the Word could not contain themselves and were being released! 

I hoped to open the scroll in the hotel room quarantine but there was really no place to open it in the  hotel rooms.  I realized I would have to wait until I get back to `the city of Joanne`! I did open the box though,  and found there was a `tallit` with the word `CHAI` (see post below about the Hebrew word Chai) in a word spelling LIFE all over the Tallit.

The scroll was wrapped so well and fit in the box so perfectly that I sensed it was divinely wrapped to make it on the journey.  I didn`t want to open it until it was the right time that I could  have enough space to unfold it.

Once again I lifted up my eyes and behold, I saw a flying scroll!

Then the angel asked me, "What do you see?"   I replied, "I see a flying scroll twenty cubits long and ten cubits wide."

 Zechariah 5:1 ~ 2

Why do I mention the flying scroll? Because at last when I made it to the plane that would take me home, the Pilot of pilots arranged our flight path to fly the Torah directly over the top of Mt. Fuji!!!  A prophetic proclamation and a joyous homecoming,  welcoming the God of Israel with the Torah over Japan...

From the Taxi, the `cloud` of God`s glory!
 





reading Isaiah 42 on the plane, while flying over Japan with the Torah on board...The islands will wait for His Torah!



HalleluYah!!  To be continued...❤️


 


Monday, June 20, 2022

A Torah for Japan! Part 1: Torah of Life!



The righteous will flourish like a palm tree.
He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  Psalm 92:13
 
Florida Palm trees remind me of Shabbat Psalm, Psalm 92!

The Hebrew word `CHAI` from the Parsha Prayer Sheet in Vayechi

A Torah for Japan!

The island nations wait for Your Torah!   Isaiah 42:4

A Torah Scroll for Japan!! A Story in a few Parts and continuing...

I went back to the US for a visit in December to visit my Dad and celebrate his 90th Birthday.

On the way I attended a conference in Florida, where little unbeknownst to me I would be going back to Japan with a Torah Scroll!!

On my way to see my Dad I made a stop in Florida to attend a Messianic conference that was being held on my birthday! It seemed like a miracle that it was still in the middle of the pandemic and tough restrictions were in place, and yet the LORD opened up the door for me to go on this trip to see my Dad and have this stopover,  a gift from heaven in itself! 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.   Jacob (James) 1:17

The day I received the Torah was on the day of my birthday.  It was the Shabbat Parsha Vayechi.

The Parsha was significant because  this year Vayechi was on my birthday, Dec. 18.  Vayechi contains the Hebrew word `Chai` (חי‎) which means life, and is expressed in the  number 18.  Seeing this parsha for life on the 18th and it also being my birthday I knew there was something special on this day.  I felt in my spirit that `this Torah portion is for me`, like  a `Bat Mitzvah`portion!! As I never sensed that before, I was expectant, though not knowing just in what way!

The Torah will go forth from Zion and the word of God from Jerusalem

The Torah scroll came to Florida all the way from Jerusalem, with a young man named Israel and his family, who are active in ministry for the restoration of Israel.  I told a dear new friend who I had just met at the conference that when I saw the Torah, the LORD put it in my heart to bring the scroll back to Japan!  She was 100 percent in agreement, and even offered to co-partner with me in getting the Torah.  She wanted to bless the LORD in sending His word forth, and to bless Japan!!  It was decided that afternoon before the end of the Shabbat, that after Shabbat we would purchase the scroll together!! Israel wrapped it carefully as I would be on my journey to NY for the next part of my trip to see my Dad the next day!

I didn`t know how I was going to carry the scroll and my big suitcase that I had with me for a month-long trip!!  Even the suitcase alone was a challenge when making the various international and domestic transfers.  And yet I went forward in faith and knew that the LORD would carry it, and so He did!

HalleluYah! To be continued...

*from verse Micah 4:2, Isaiah 2:3 

Love, 

Shayndel

 

     

This photo is from a divine moment when someone unexpectedly jumped into the photo!! A moment itself can be a gift from heaven! If you do not recognize who it is, or even if you do, please enjoy and be blessed by this song below!!!


❤️❤️❤️

How majestic is Your Name
 
Chorus
There is none like You
There is none like You
Together we proclaim
The power of Your Name
There is none like You
https://lyricstranslate.com/ja/joshua-aaron-none-you-lyrics.html

 Song: There is None like You, by Joshua Aaron

(Thanks to Yeshua, it was a blessing to be able to hear live, as it is one of the songs he played at the conference)

How Majestic is Your Name in all the Earth!

 Chorus lyrics:

There is none like You

Together we proclaim

The power of Your Name,

There is None like You. 




How majestic is Your Name
 
Chorus
There is none like You
There is none like You
Together we proclaim
The power of Your Name
There is none like You
https://lyricstranslate.com/ja/joshua-aaron-none-you-lyrics.html
How majestic is Your Name
 
Chorus
There is none like You
There is none like You
Together we proclaim
The power of Your Name
There is none like You
https://lyricstranslate.com/ja/joshua-aaron-none-you-lyrics.html

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Apple Matzah and the book of Ruth

 



Apple Matzah Kugel! Dreaming of Jewish comfort foods in Japan!

 

Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her lover? Under the apple tree I awakened you...  Song of Songs 8:5

I had a dream during the days of the counting of the Omer.   The dream was a close up of  a blog post!! The post ( in the dream, note: it wasn`t a `real life` post!) was on one of our dear friends`s Blog and it was a post on "Apple Matzah and the Book of Ruth".  Maybe  I had this dream to remind me to come back to the blog, as it was during my extended break!!

In any case I ended up making Apple Matzah (Kugel!) thanks to the dream and will just share a little about the dream and the Apple Matzah here and see where the post will take us!

The post in the dream was written and formatted different from her usual posts. It was in text colors like pink and orange and she shared about apple matzah and interspersed the post with insights from the book of Ruth!!

Ruth was an eishet chayil, a woman of valor (from Ruth 3:11)

I woke up in the morning wondering about this apple matzah!! I had never heard of it, and now I wanted to make it!  And yet I had no matzah, so I  settled for looking to see if there was such a thing `out there`.  When I googled `apple matzah` I found something called Apple Matzah Kugel!!! I wanted to make it but had no more matzah after Passover has passed, and I don`t know where to get it in Japan after Passover.  So I decided to do something extravagant, and ordered Matzah from the US by Amazon!! 

 Boaz was an ish gibbor chayil, a prominent man of valor (from Ruth 2:1)

The matzah arrived during the last few days of the omer count, actually it was on Ascension Day (40 days into counting the Omer, see Acts 1), so that excited me! I had been fasting for a 3-day  fast to seek the LORD about some things related to Shavuot, so I had a matzah `break-fast` communion with Yeshua on the day the matzah arrived!!

Naomi`s bitterness was changed to joy by the union of Ruth and Boaz and her return to the land of Israel and to God`s covenant promises for her life.  The people prayed that her household prosper in Ephrath and be renowned in Bethlehem (from Ruth 4:11).   Again the word Chayil is used here to mean `prosper`.

During the last days of the Omer count, I made Apple Matzah and brought it to a friends house for the Shabbat before Shavuot!!  The taste was not what everyone is used to, though thankfully some liked it!! I loved it, it was like a Jewish comfort food that I might have tasted in my childhood, and it was somehow the perfect Shavuot dish to add to a repertoire.  It only contains a little milk so it is not too heavy, and has apples and cinnamon so can be a good desert not too sweet but enough sweetness to taste and see how good the LORD is.  Try it at your Shabbat or Feasts! And notice I have sprinkled a few insights from the book of Ruth just like in the dream!

The geneology that ends the book of Ruth (Ruth 4:18~22)  is the geneology that starts the book of Matthew (Matthew 1:1~6), showing the seamless way God has given us the story of Ruth and her Kinsman redeemer, Boaz, and connected us to the genealogy of Yeshua who comes from their union.  Yeshua is the Redeemer, or Goel of Israel!!  It is a beautiful story of covenant love and chesed.  We can also learn from the way Ruth accepted God`s commandments and identified with Israel。 We can also see in it the beauty of Jew and Gentile coming together to help us understand the purposes of God for Israel,  as Ruth, who was a Moabite,  loved Israel and the God of Israel and joined herself with Naomi with the famous verse,

Where you go I will go, and where you stay, I will stay.

Your people will be my people, and your God my God.  

Ruth 1:16~17

Below I will share the name of a book I read this season in regards to  Messianic insights into the book of Ruth. It was good and a recommendation during this season or anytime as a devotional study!

I pray you had a blessed time of Shavuot.  And now, the revelation that I was waiting to see where this post will lead!  The Holy Spirit showed me to wonderful scriptures about apples and relating to Shavuot!! As Shavuot is the holiday where we  We thank God and receive His revelation anew,  we celebrate the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai and over 1000 years later on the very same day the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples of Yeshua (Greek, Pentecost)!!

SO I will end the post with these verses about apples and Torah and God`s Love!

Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my lover among the sons.  In his shadow I delighted to sit, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.  Song of Songs 2:3

Sustain me with raisin cakes, refresh me with apples ~ for I am weak with love.  Song of Songs 2:5 (you may recognize this verse from my famous raisin cakes which just happen to be the bread I often make in the period leading up to Shavuot!)

 Keep my mitzvot and live, my teaching as the apple of your eye.  Proverbs 7:2

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, Psalm 17:8

Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word aptly spoken.  Proverbs 25:11

For thus says ADONAI-Tzva`ot, He has sent me after glory to the nations that plundered you --because whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye --   Zechariah 2:12

Oh and last but not least! 

The recipe, HERE is the one  I used .  It was  easy and good, though of course you will need to obtain 4 sheets of matzah.  Enjoy!

The book I recommended above, Messianic Life Lessons from the Book of Ruth can be found HERE

Thank you DUTA for inspiring the dream,  and that I was able to express it in a post and hopefully return to more regularly blogging again!! 

Blessings and Shabbat Shalom!

Love,💕

Shayndel

Chag Shavuot Sameach from Japan! Love, Shayndel💖