Tel Aviv. Not exactly the ‘holy city’ like Jerusalem and not exactly the quiet atmosphere of the Galilee…. but every city in all of Israel comes together for this day.
No public transportation. No personal vehicles allowed on any street. No stores or businesses open…. nothing but a day of country-wide fasting…. and bike riding.
It’s traditional on Yom Kippur, because of the no-car rule, for everyone to ride their bicycles in the streets. Here are a couple pics down on the beach road of good ol’ Tel Aviv. I will admit it was kinda cool walking down the middle of the road with everyone else, not having to worry about traffic!
As my mom said today, in the beginning of her email…
When it rains, it pours.
Well, its pouring!
…I’ve recently started up knitting again, and for anyone who knits (or knows the process) pulling on that single string can unravel the entire project. I feel like at this moment someone is pulling on my family’s sweater string, and we are slowly losing the shape of what looked like a beautiful, close-knit sweater. As fast as I try to knit the stitches together, its just not as fast as the rate of that string being tugged….
So The Time Has Come.
In the OT, people fasted for various reasons:
- Distress/grief (David for the loss of his son… the 7-day fast after the death of Saul)
- Repentance/Atonement (The Ninevites after Jonah’s warning… and even today in Israel on Yom Kipur)
- Spiritual Preparation (Daniel before receiving the revelation… Moses before receiving the 10 Commandments… and even Jesus for 40 days in the desert)
I have decided that I, too, must begin the journey.
I don’t know for how long I will fast; but I do know that like those before me, I am expecting a BIG breakthrough. As hard as I try, I can do nothing on my own. I need His help! I am holding God to HIS promises. I am praying for the future and well-being of my family, the people I love most in this world. I am taking back what the world has stolen from us, and I’m not letting go. It won’t be easy, but nothing of true value is gained with little effort.
Therefore, if you would be willing to remember us in your prayers and keep me accountable to follow through, I would be eternally grateful!
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord….plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with ALL your heart.
Although I am not Jewish, I am preparing for my return to Israel by observing today’s Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur. Every country I have been in I have celebrated/observed the holiday’s and traditions of that culture (within reason). I think its important to dive into the culture, modeled after Hudson Taylor with his ministry in China. So, today I am joining my Jewish friends in the observing of Yom Kippur.
A little background on the holiday. Yom Kippur is known to us as the Day of Atonement, a day set aside to atone for all your sins from the past year. It is traditionally the last day to show repentance and change your ways before the new year begins.
Most non-practicing Jews observe Yom Kippur and even attend synagogue (sorta like many Christians who attend church on Christmas or Easter service). Yom Kippur is a Sabbath… no working at all. It is a day of complete fasting, eating and also drinking (water too). Hard-core traditions do not allow washing and bathing as well (don’t worry….I won’t take it that far).
Now that you are caught up a bit you know what I will and will not be doing today. I think the hardest will be abstaining from drinking anything at all, I mean come on…no coffee???
I will end on this note… Thanks to Jesus, we can have Yom Kippur every minute of everyday (with the eating, drinking, and bathing too). I am so grateful I can talk to my God whenever I need to 🙂 Have a wonderful Yom Kippur!!!