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Judaism and Last Great Feast

They don't Understand ... but we can know!

                     JUDAISM AND THE LAST GREAT FEAST


From the book "Festivals of the Jewish Year" by Theodor H.
Gaster, written in 1952/53.

(Remember you are reading Judaism, which contains truth with
error - Keith Hunt)


LAST GREAT FESTIVAL

THE FEAST OF AZERETH 
THE REJOICING IN THE LAW


     The Feast of Booths is followed immediately by a festival
which is called in the Bible by the name "Azereth." The meaning
of this term (conventionally rendered "Solemn Assembly"), and
hence the original significance of the festival, is quite
uncertain, no explanation of it being given in the Scriptural
text. In the Book of Deuteronomy, however, it is applied also 
(16:8) to the last day of Passover, and in the Mishnah to the
Feast of Weeks, while its Arabic equivalent is today the current
term for Easter. It must therefore have applied in the first
place to some feature of the seasonal celebrations common alike
to the vernal and autumnal harvests. What this feature was can
only be guessed, but seeing that the root of the word "azereth"
normally means "restrain," it is not impossible that it
originally denoted a day of abstinence and austerity which marked
the end of the reaping and the real beginning of the new
agricultural cycle.

(And that sybolism means the end of one age and the start of
another age - namely the Great White Throne Judgment age, when
all who were never granted an opportunity for salvation will be
given the Bible, and the Spirit of the Lord to come to understand
the ONLY way to salvation through Jesus Christ. See my study
called "The Great White Throne Judgment" - Keith Hunt)


     The Festival of Azereth coincides in part with the extra day
which was added to the Feast of Booths in the time of the Second
Temple. 

(No! Not in the time of the second Temple at all, but from the
beginning, given to Moses in Leviticus 23 - Keith Hunt)


     Since, however, it is really an independent festival, it is
itself observed by orthodox and conservative Jews for two days.

(It was never a two day festival as given by the Lord, that is
Jewish traditions and additions. Albert Edersheim, the Jewish
Christian scholar, proves from the Bible that indeed this 8th day
of Lev.23 was and is a seperate Festival. I have given what
Edersheim writes concerning that proof elsewhere on this Website - 
Keith Hunt)


     The second of these days is known as the festival of
the Rejoicing in the Law (Hebrew, Simhath Torah). 
     On the eve of the festival, all but one of the sacred
scrolls of the Law are paraded in procession around the
synagogue, members of the congregation alternating in the
privilege of shouldering the precious burden. At the head of the
procession march children waving flags inscribed, in Hebrew, with
the words, "Flag of the camp of Judah," or carrying poles
surmounted by scooped apples in which candles are inserted. The
latter are fancifully supposed to symbolize the Law which
"enlighteneth the eyes."

(Surely in the fulfilment of this feast day, the blinded and
unknowing of mind, will have the Bible and salvation enlightening
the eye of their mind - Keith Hunt)


     In the morning, the last and first portions of the
Pentateuch are read respectively by two members of the community
known as the Bridegroom of the Law and the Bridegroom of the
First Portion. Throughout the service, these two bridegrooms hold
the sacred scrolls in their arms, and when they are summoned to
the rostrum to read their portions, the choir strikes up with a
gay song of welcome.
     The privilege of serving as "bridegroom" on this occasion is
greatly coveted, and in many congregations it is sold at auction
on a preceding Sabbath, the proceeds going to charity or to the
maintenance of the synagogue.
     The institution of Simhath Torah is not attested earlier
than the eleventh century, and appears to have originated in
western Europe. It was inspired by the fact that the annual cycle
of Pentateuchal readings in fact begins anew on the following
Sabbath. The more ancient custom was, however, to read the Law in
the synagogue in "triennial" cycles, and this explains why the
festival is of comparatively recent origin.

(In the Bible it has always been there, and was observed by
Israel under Moses, and all righteous leaders - Keith Hunt)


     Nor is it by any means the universal practice to have two
"bridegrooms." In Eastern rites, as also in Rome, the same person
reads both the last and the first portion, while elsewhere the
honor is shared by three members of the congregation.
     The whole ceremony is really a mystical imitation of the
wedding service, and symbolizes that marriage of Israel to the
Law which the ancient exegetes read into the Biblical Song of
Songs and which served as one way of expressing the Covenant
relationship. The bridegrooms, for instance, are attended by
"bridesmen"--counterparts of the modern "best man"--who sit
beside them and assist them. The procession with the scrolls is
very probably an imitation of the common wedding custom of
walking seven (or three) times around the bridal couple, a custom
which was originally motivated by the idea of forming a closed
circle in order to prevent the assaults of demons. Moreover,
while the procession is moving around the synagogue, it is
customary in some parts for bystanders to pelt it with nuts, in
imitation of an ancient practice common especially at Roman
weddings. According to some authorities, this was a fertility
charm; but the more probable explanation is that the nuts were
designed to hit the invisible demons and evil spirits who were
believed to be hovering around the bridegroom and bride, ready to
work mischief upon them.

(Fitting, as in the Great Last Feast, salvation will be opened to
billions, who never had a chance before [think of children dying
at birth or shortly after; think of those you never heard the
Gospel, had no one to tell them about Christ Jesus; think of many
others who never had a chance for salvation] and the demons will
have a hard time fighting the Spirit of the Lord in that age -
Keith Hunt)


     Not impossibly, the custom of celebrating the "Rejoicing in
the Law" as a wedding was inspired by the idea of sublimating to
a more spiritual plane the common folkusage of staging a mock
wedding at harvest festivals, this ceremony representing the
union of natural forces for the production of the year's
fertility.

     A special feature of the service is the fact that on this
day children under the age of thirteen - that is, children who
have not yet attained religious majority - are called
collectively to the reading of the Law. The way in which this is
done is that after the conclusion of the regular Lesson, an adult
member of the congregation (usually one distinguished by learning
and piety) is summoned to the rostrum. The precentor then repeats
the final verses of the Lesson, while all the children stand
behind him, a large white praying-shawl (tallith) being spread
over their heads like a canopy. When the adult escort recites the
customary blessings before and after the reading, the entire
congregation joins in. At the end of the reading, the rabbi turns
to the children and pronounces a special blessing over them,
repeating especially the words uttered by Jacob when he blessed
Ephraim and Manasseh (Gen. 48:16): "The angel who hath redeemed
me from all evil, bless the lads."

     The regular service of the synagogue is interspersed with
special chants and hymns celebrating, in fanciful terms, the
"Giving of the Law." (In the last age, the Word of God, the Law
of God, will still be proclaimed as holy, and righteous, the way
our lives should be lived, when accepting Jesus as Savior and
becoming a child of the Father - Keith Hunt).  One of the most
familiar of these (of unknown authorship and date) describes how
all the angels gathered around the throne of God, expressing
their amazement when the mortal Moses ascended Mount Sinai to
receive the tablets of stone. The following is Israel Zangwill's
spirited and famous rendering:


The angels came a-mustering, 
A-mustering, a-mustering 
The angels came a-clustering 
Around the sapphire throne.

A-questioning of one another,
Of one another, of one another,
A-questioning each one his brother 
Around the sapphire throne.

Pray, who is he, and where is he, 
And where is he, and where is he, 
Whose shining casts--so fair is he--
A shadow on the throne?

Pray, who has up to heaven come,
To heaven come, to heaven come, 
Through all the circles seven come, 
To fetch the Torah down?

'Tis Moses up to heaven come,
To heaven come, to heaven come; 
Through all the circles seven come, 
To fetch the Torah down! 8


     This poem is chanted to a rousing melody at the conclusion
of the procession with the scrolls of the Law. Its real purport
is to emphasize the cosmic significance of the event at the
mountain - the fact that even the heavenly host participated in
it.

     Another poem on the same theme, written in a somewhat more
literary vein, also deserves quotation. It comes from the pen of
Amittai ben Shephatiah, who lived at Oria, Italy, in the tenth
century and revolves around the Biblical verse (Isa. 6:3), "Holy,
holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts," the solemn recitation of which
forms a central and sacred moment in every synagogal service:


Through the heavenly casements 
A gentle music rings; 
Through the clear and cloudless sky 
Sounds a low, soft melody 
And all the welkin rings:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts.

......

8 Hithkabezu mal'achim; Adler-Davis, p.203.
......


The rainbow in the firmament 
Is shot with colors three, 9 
And in those threefold tints and flames 
The glory of the Lord proclaims,
A threefold litany:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts.

Enoch, who from mortal flesh
Was turn'd by God to flame, 10
to Sits like a teacher in the height, 
Imparting to the Sons of Light
The song which they declaim:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts.

The while the Angel of the Law 
Takes in his hand the fire, 
And as he wreathes a crown with it, 
To crown the words of Holy Writ, 11 
Sings with the heavenly choir: 
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts.

And he who is the Prince of Storms, 
Whose winds do rage and roar, 
Repeats in every thunder-crash, 
Retells in every lightning flash, 
The threefold message o'er:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts.

All the great lights of heaven, 
Bear and Orion bright, 
Proclaim the constancy of Him
......

9 The basic colors of the spectrum are three: red, blue, and
yellow.
10 It was a common medieval belief that Enoch, the patriarch who
"walked with God, and was not, for God took him" (Gen. 5:24), was
turned into the fiery angel, Metatron.
11 Rabbinic fantasy asserted that the Law was originally written
by God "in black flame upon white flame," and that every letter
of it was surmounted by a fiery crown.
......


Whose light ne'er darkens nor grows dim 
Nor ever fades from sight:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts.

The curtain-folds of heaven
Are hung with tinkling bells;
When they by morning winds are stirred, 
A music of the spheres is heard,
As each one rings and tells:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts. 
......

12 Eshnabe shehakim; Adler-Davis, p.246.

                         .........................


NOTE:

Ah, some truth to the majesty given on this last feast, to the
Law and Word of the Holy and Mighty God. When you meditate upon
the GLORY of that age, the last age before the New heaven and New
earth and coming down from heaven of the Father, to dwell with
His children (Revelation 21,22), it will be the glory of billions
of babies, children, and people, who never had a chance for
salvation, GIVEN the understanding of the Bible, the books
opened, the book of LIFE, and having their judgment time as to
what they will do with the understanding of truth. Truly it will
be an age of AWE and GLORY - of SALVATION for billions. You need
to study my study called "The Great White Throne Judgment."

Keith Hunt

September 2009


 
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