Sunday, April 16, 2017

Jewish Feasts - How and Why We Should Celebrate Them (Happy Easter!)

I love Easter! I'm even more excited than usual to celebrate this year because the Spirit has been pressing many things upon my mind these last few weeks that all tie into Easter. The Lord really wants me to dig a little deeper and learn some precious gems that will bless my life, in ways I probably don't quite understand yet.

During the week of General Conference the Spirit placed in my mind on a few occasions "Resurrection power" and what that means in my life right now. I believe it was also mentioned in conference and I'm excited to go back and digest all the talks. So, Resurrection power is at the top of my list of topics to study and apply.

Next, a couple months ago, the Spirit told me to get a book that would teach me about the Jewish feasts and holy days because I needed to celebrate them. I found that odd that I would need to practice them but also intriguing. One day while on the treadmill, I saw an interview with Richard Booker who happened to be talking about this very topic. He happened to have written a book about it, Celebrating Jesus in the Biblical Feasts Expanded Edition: Discovering Their Significance to You as a Christian

For three weeks, the Spirit told me to get the book. Finally, one day I did. I was really hoping to have it read by the end of March but that has not happened. I have learned so much! I learned that the after Jesus was Resurrected, Christians continued to celebrate the Jewish holy days and feasts until around 300 A.D. Constantine did not like Jews and wanted to remove anything connected to them from Christianity. That apparently is why Christians stopped celebrating. In reality, the feasts and holy days, all teach us about the Messiah! And celebrating them can help us come to know and understand our Savior in a new way.

While reading this book, I began to wish that there was a similar book written for an LDS audience. I wanted to learn how to incorporate these celebrations into family home evenings, with children, with an added LDS perspective.

Then a couple weeks ago, I was sitting at my computer and a window opened up with a link to a podcast interview titled, "Finding Christ in Jewish Holy Days" from FairMormon of an LDS author Gale Boyd. I was so excited! I love how the Holy Ghost works. It turns out this interview was brand new (just a few days before I discovered it) - and her book covers exactly what I was hoping for, and she has a free PDF!

Richard Booker and Gale Boyd both theorize that Good Friday was actually on a Thursday. Anyways, I won't give everything away. Here are the links to the interview and free book. I also included Gale's bio below.

Gale Boyd is a convert to the LDS Church. In 1983, she and her husband decided to move their family to Israel to explore their Jewish heritage.
Gale Boyd

She was unprepared for the culture shock she experienced as an American Jewish Mormon living in Jewish Zion. Not only was there the language barrier but also the differences in money, weights and measures, Sabbath observance, and even the year was counted differently.

As she became immersed in Israeli culture, she learned about Jewish Holy Days and their symbolism.

Her experiences led her to write Days of Awe with the purpose of sharing with Latter-day Saints the Christian symbolism found in the celebration of Jewish Holy Days.

The book contains a history of Old Testament feasts, their ancient and current patterns of observance, their prophetic symbolism, and their relevance to each of us as Latter-day Saints today.

She also clears up some misconceptions about the Jewish people, their scripture, the complexity of their religion, and their history.

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