what is frail man that You consider him?
open my lips that my mouth may declare Your praises….
You are the King of all Kings
how could my prayer ever reach You?
via tears and a heart rent?
There is but one, unchangeable truth
I could repent
deny my flesh
prostrate myself day and night
I could walk upright, firm, just….
the salvation of my soul
there is one way, one trust to hold
He entered, bearing his own blood
this is atonement
covering the heavenly Altar with reality
yet himself, alive…poured it out
What is the purpose of any of these things
if we are but a vapor and a whisper and a glance and a blink
if I had the answer, there would be no purpose to seek
so I offer this flesh
diminish it, tear it open to Your truth
expose to me the reasons, Your design over my instinct
I slowly approach the wave of white wings
who bend and bow toward the place Your glory once rested
seeking their Savior, asking for His arrival
reveal to us all the purpose…not of our mere survival
not making it through another day
expose for us my King the directive for each one of our LIVES
make us servants
fashion us into willing children who obey
SHABBAT SHALOM AND L’SHANAH TOVAH TIKATEV V’TAIHATEM
May you all have an easy and meaningful fast.
A beautiful melody wafts in from the other room,
there is the scent of cleaners and perfumes…
I sit with a break to think for a moment,
eve of the Fast. What a time of preparation, the Priests would be separated from their families and practice and practice.
This is the one day, one could enter the holy place…the holy of holies, once. Tonight. The people would gather in prayer and supplication, afflicting themselves refraining from food, luxury, pleasure…why?
To remember, not in comfort…not by food…are we alive, really alive.
It is because our Maker had a desire and a design.
He didn’t have to make us but He wanted to.
Each day He need not recreate us, but somehow…He wills that too.
All the things that He said would be are coming true…
some people are scoffing, others are awakening anew.
Plague, famine, woe, sword, terror, exile…war.
Lord when it comes, may we in Your shadow stand…cleansed of our transgressions, moving at Your command.
An army clothed in white, may we take up the charge of priests and kings.
May we be enabled to praise You, loudly…clear…throughout each torrent of the reckoning. Justice, Just…Compassionate King.
Inscribe us in the book of Life, not survival…Life, eternally.
Isaiah 58; 1 “Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet, And declare to My people their transgression And to the house of Jacob their sins. 2 “Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways, As a nation that has done righteousness And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for just decisions, They delight in the nearness ofGod.”
Yom Kippur, the day of covering… cover.
Covering what? What is this day really about? It’s one of the Feasts of the Lord but it is a Fast Day wherein we “afflict” ourselves. But what does the text really say, first read it in the English and lets break it apart in the Hebrew.
Vayikra (Leviticus) 16; 29 “This shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall humble your souls and not do any work, whether the native, or the alien who sojourns among you; 30 for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord. 31 It is to be a sabbath of solemn rest for you, that you may humble your souls; it is a permanent statute.
H5769 `owlam (o-lawm’-. the vanishing point; generally, time out of mind (past or future); eternity; always.
H6031 `anah aw-naw’)-to depress literally or figuratively.
H5315 nephesh (neh’-fesh)- a breathing creature, vitality.
H3722 kaphar (kaw-far’-) to cover (specifically with bitumen); figuratively, to expiate or condone, to placate or cancel.
H3605 kol (kole)- the whole; hence, all, any or every.
H2891 taher ( taw-hare’)- to be bright; i.e. to be pure (physical sound, clear, unadulterated, morally, innocent or holy).
Leviticus 16 says… And this shall be as an eternal (OWLAM) statute for you; in the seventh month, on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict (ANAH) your SOUL (NEPHESH), and you shall not do any work neither the native nor the stranger who dwells among you. For on this day HE shall COVER OVER (KAPHAR) you to cleanse you (TAHER). Before the faces of the Lord, you shall be clean (TAHER) from all (ALL) your sins. It is a Sabbath of Sabbaths (SHABBAT SHABBATON) of rest for you, and you shall afflict (ANAH) your SOUL (NEPHESH). It is an eternal (OWLAM) statute.
What is so important about this day? Why does it really matter? Can’t we… aren’t we expected to live in a state of continued repentance and supplication? Sure, but…do we really live up to that expectation? I know I don’t. Why?
I believe it’s because we NEED appointed times. Times of rejoicing, times for remembering, times for reconsidering, times for reconciliation…times to repent.
This year I recollected a ritual that came purely from what I felt personally led to do a few Yom Kippur’s ago. Years ago while praying and taking in the time of evaluating the significance of “standing in the Holy Heavenly courtroom”…I wrote out a list. An honest, no holds barred, bare and exposed list of all the secrets and hidden sins I could recognize, that the Lord illuminated for me.
I wrote this list and after I prayed, toward the end of the fast I buried the list. It is because of the things that were confessed in that list I realized I DESERVED THE BURIAL. It was because of my transgressions that I had been guilty and deserving of death. By burying my sins in the earth and embracing the realization that I had found forgiveness and therefore… hope to fulfill the potential I hence had obtained for the coming year…I was able to bury my guilt and it was as if I was as well burying the evil decree against me. That which my Savior Yeshua nailed to the cross.
The list has changed over the years and this Yom Kippur THAT CHANGE in the list is what was most profound to me. The changes God has made in these years, the transformation of the list. This year I came to these prayers thinking, well the Lord has done a mighty work! Yes and amein but the thing about it is…there is still a list, and until my body actually does go down into that dirt, there WILL BE A LIST.
I want you to take a minute and look at this. These are the sins, a list of sins we are meant to confess. They are not so much notations of each individual, but categories. There could be many personalized bullet points between each one, there could be none that apply to you. But if you really think about the deep and wide meanings behind and within each of these “sins”, I think you might be surprised AS I WAS, how many do apply.
This years confession has been a humbling experience. I am very thankful to know I have such a long way to go, thankful because I know I am not in this alone. My KING is the one revealing these things to my SOUL and I pray that this day especially we can all take the time to make this APPOINTMENT to HUMBLE our SOULS and REPENT before Him wholeheartedly.
Keep in mind this is an ancient list, it is amazing how applicable it is for today.
As it is said…You know the secrets of the universe, and the hidden most mysteries of all the living. You probe all innermost chambers and test thoughts and emotions. Nothing is hidden from You and nothing is concealed from Your eyes. And so may it be Your will, HASHEM, our God and the God of our forefathers, that You forgive us for all our errors, and You pardon us for all our iniquities, and You atone for us for all our willful sins.
Ancient (and Modern ♥) LIST:
sins committed under duress and willingly, through hardness of the heart, without knowledge, with the utterance of the lips, in public or in private…
wrongdoing a neighbor
sessions of vice
contempt for parents and teachers
desecration of Your Holy Name
the Evil Inclination
food and drink
idle chatter of the lips
throwing off Your yoke
entrapping a friend
a begrudging eye
legs that run to do evil
extending a hand
confusion of the heart
The POINT? What can we TRULY take away from this day?
Something I learned is this. Confession, true confession and true repentance should not effect our today alone, TRUE REPENTANCE effects our TOMORROW, our FUTURE. God has given us the free will, the free will to choose today to take up our charge and strive to make lasting, evident and meaningful CHANGES in our lives.
” It is human nature for people to rationalize their shortcomings in their own minds as unavoidable or even to define them as virtues. As long as someone refuses to acknowledge his wrongdoing, he can not repent sincerely. ” Rambam
I challenge you to make a list…pray, and whether physically or internally….BURY IT. Because today IS an appointed time to do so. Today our King Who has all authority says He will cover ALL our sins with much more that just dirt. We are covered by the blood of the Lamb…and today, we are found NOT GUILTY!
My God, Before I was formed I was unworthy, and now that I have been formed, it is as if I had not been formed. I am dust in my life I will surely be so in my death. Behold- before You I am like a vessel filled with humiliation and shame, may it be Your will my God, and the God of the Forefathers, that I NOT SIN AGAIN. And what I have sinned before You, may You cleanse in Your abundant mercy.
May Your Name be blessed and Exalted our King, and may You inscribe all the Children of Your Covenant for a good life.
B’Shem Yeshua HaMashiac