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Israel 2016: Finding Shabbat in Gi’vat Ye’arim

 

bfb161015-shabbat-tableShabbat (Sabbath) in a Jewish community in Israel is different from Shabbat at home in America.  What we have experienced in Israel may be similar to what one would encounter in an American Jewish community, but it is new to us.  We non-Jewish Sabbath keepers, even those of us who have been keeping Shabbat for many years, are still finding our way.  What we know is that Messiah Yeshua kept it, that He taught His disciples to continue obeying the commandments, and that we want to do as He did because we love Him so much.

Our Christian traditions have forbidden us from keeping Shabbat ever since the days of Emperor Constantine, and many of the Jewish traditions seem to make Shabbat incomprehensibly complicated.  Even so, we know that Shabbat is a bubble in time which occurs once in seven days.  When we enter that bubble, we come into a place where YHVH is waiting.  America continues at its frenetic pace around us, with its Saturday football games, festivals, work opportunities, soccer matches, and all the myriad other things we deemed important for much of our lives.  For us that world drifts into the shadows as we turn our attention inward toward home, family, gathering with friends, and meeting with the holy, loving, and kind God Who has invited us to be still and know that He is indeed God.

This is not to say that our Shabbat observance is perfect.  We live in a world where Shabbat is not even a word most people recognize, nor a concept they understand.  We juggle our schedules as best we can to avoid any normal business, work, travel, or other things which keep us from this divine appointment.  That in itself strains relationships with family and friends who do not esteem the day as we do.  Then there are the constant temptations to bend the rules:  to finish that one last bit of work just after the sun sets, or to check up on the scores when our favorite teams are playing, or to compromise by meeting our non-Shabbat-keeping family at a restaurant early on Saturday evening.  We do our best not to be legalistic, but to manage these competing requirements of life in Babylon while obeying our King.

This is where we begin to identify with our Jewish brethren.  They have been living this balancing act for millennia, and it is logical that we look to them for inspiration.  Thus we have come to Gi’vat Ye’arim, not even knowing that we have come here for reasons the Almighty had determined before we even heard of the place.

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Growing the Nation Through Shabbat

Here’s what is coming up on The Remnant Road on Hebrew Nation Radio for Monday, August 15:

160815 Pappas - National ShabbatWhat exactly is a National Shabbat?  Very simply, it is a gathering of people on the day YHVH designated as His special day to worship Him as part of His covenant people of Israel.
This week we welcome Tzefanyah Pappas, co-founder of the B’ney Yosef National Shabbat movement. In the year since the first National Shabbat in North Georgia, the phenomenon has spread from coast to coast in the United States, and north to Canada.  Tzefanyah will tell us how that happened and what we can expect in the near future.  He will also talk about how you can participate in a National Shabbat, or maybe even host one in your area! Join us for an encouraging and surprising discussion about the awakening that is beginning to touch every segment of YHVH’s people.

Remnant Road 01The Remnant Road, with co-hosts Al McCarn and Daniel Holdings, is the Monday edition of the Hebrew Nation Morning Show.  You can listen live at 11:00–1:00 EST, 8:00-10:00 PST at http://hebrewnationonline.com/, and on podcast at any time.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2016.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Our Baby is Alive and Well! A Report on the Growth of B’ney Yosef North America

Great celebration attended the birth of B'ney Yosef North America on March 6, 2016.

Great celebration attended the birth of B’ney Yosef North America on March 6, 2016.

Parents know very well that the excitement of a child’s birth fades very quickly as reality of life with a newborn infant sets in.  After the ordeal of labor and delivery, the rapid passage of news by phone calls and Facebook posts, and the welcome of a seemingly endless stream of family and friends, a rather dull routine sets in.  Much to the frustration of older siblings, the baby does very little except sleep, eat, cry, and . . . well, you know.  It will be quite some time before the child gains controls of its limbs, and still more time before it can sit up on its own and even begin to think about crawling.  Only after that can the child progress toward walking, talking, feeding itself, and learning how to be polite in public.

A newborn organization goes through these same growth stages.  Whether it is a company, a ministry, or a nation, the newborn still requires time and nurture before it can stand on its own.

Such is the case with our newborn, B’ney Yosef North America.  BYNA is barely one month old, and although there is not much visible to the public, this child is healthy and growing just as it should.

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Enjoying Shabbat in the Desert!

B'ney Yosef National Shabbat NewFolks in Arizona are so excited about the B’ney Yosef National Shabbat that they can’t contain it in one single day!  Living Messiah Ministries in Mesa, AZ, is hosting an Erev Shabbat gathering on Friday, March 25 (which includes an original puppet play created for Purim this year), and a National Shabbat observance on Saturday, March 26.  Here are the details:


Arizona

B’NEY YOSEF NATIONAL SHABBAT IN MESA, ARIZONA

March 25 – 26, 2016

You are invited to join us for a National Shabbat weekend. Come and meet others that will be joining us from surrounding states and the land of Israel.

BFB160324 Living Messiah MapWhere: Living Messiah Ministries, 19 North Robson, Mesa, AZ 85201

When:

  • Erev Shabbat (Friday Evening, March 25)
    – 6:30 – 9:00 pm: Blessing Banquet & Esther Story Puppet Presentation

    – This meal is provided by Living Messiah Ministries
    – Friday’s meal will be taco / salad bar + desserts
    – Suggested donation is $10 per adult, $5 per child (age 6-13)
  • Shabbat – Gathering Together (Saturday, March 26)
    – 12:00 Lunch – Bring a Fruit, Potato, Pasta or Green Salad to Share

    – 12:45 – 2:45 – Relationship Building
    – 3:00 – 4:00 – Praise and Worship – Kerry Alexander and Jubilation Band
    – 4:00 – 5:00 – Ephraim and Rimona Frank
    – 5:00 – 8:00 pm – Oneg (Share a Meal) and Fellowship

Living Messiah


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2015-2016.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Celebrating Shabbat Texas Style!

B'ney Yosef National Shabbat New

Fischer Park in New Braunfels, TX, site of the first Central Texas National Shabbat.

Fischer Park in New Braunfels, TX, site of the first Central Texas National Shabbat.

The National Shabbat movement arrived in the Lone Star State through a gathering of about 100 people on March 19 at Fischer Park in the city of New Braunfels.  As with National Shabbats in Georgia and South Carolina, some participants traveled many hours to get there, coming from as far away as Sabine Pass on the Louisiana border, Wichita Falls near the Oklahoma border, Arlington in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, and Corpus Christi on the Gulf Coast.  Most of those assembled in New Braunfels came from around Austin (Georgetown, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Kyle) and San Antonio (Boerne, Converse, Poteet, Adkins, Floresville), with a significant number from the Houston area (Katy, Sugarland, Pasadena). Please click here to continue reading

B’ney Yosef National Shabbat Has Come to Central Texas!

B'ney Yosef National Shabbat NewWhat is it that brings God’s people together faster than anything else?  How about praising and worshipping our Creator together on the day He set aside for that purpose?  That is the purpose of the B’ney Yosef National Shabbat:

“Once a month, there will be a Shabbat [Sabbath] experience that will bring Northern Israelites together from fellowships, congregations, and homes to express and declare to Avinu (our Father) that we are the people of Northern Israel.  There will be no teaching, but occasional presentations about our national restoration and Scriptural discussions promoting a national outlook.”  – B’ney Yosef National Shabbat Vision Statement

The National Shabbat first appeared in Georgia, and then South Carolina, and now it’s coming to Central Texas on March 19, 2016.  Here are the details:


TexasCENTRAL TEXAS NATIONAL SHABBAT

  • When: Saturday, March 19 from 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM
  • Where: Fischer Park, 1820 McQueeney Road, New Braunfels, TX 78130, off I-35 between San Antonio and Austin. For map and directions click here.  
  • To download a .PDF of Fischer Park click here:  Fischer Park Map
  • For planning purposes, we would appreciate if you visit this link and RSVP:

http://www.evite.com/event/0365QHHKN63W5AFUGEPF3Q27Z5EN3Q?gid=034AHN2IISIN6E4W2EPF35LHV35GXA

  • Gather with us as we celebrate Shabbat as the Nation of B’ney Yosef (Children of Joseph) of the House of Israel. Those who choose to arrive at 12 noon will begin our time of fellowship eating lunch together. 
  • We will hear opening greetings and Scriptures, and then take time to praise and worship Yeshua our King!
  • Ephraim and Rimona Frank from Israel will be sharing, along with Sister Kaye, who lived in Aqaba, Jordan, for 25 years. We will hear the report from the B’ney Yosef North America Summit in Tampa, Florida, and be given a glimpse of expectations for the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress to be held in Ariel, Israel this October.
  • We look for the possibility of folks from across Texas and even neighboring states to join us. You won’t want to miss meeting fellow Hebrews of B’ney Yosef!!
  • There is no charge for this gathering, but we will have an offering box available for those who would like to help with the costs of the National Shabbat.
  • Please bring sufficient food for your family for the evening meal also, as well as any snacks and drinks that you and your family may require. PLEASE BRING FOOD FOR YOUR OWN FAMILY ONLY!!  Due to park regulations we are not able to have shared food at this gathering.  ALSO, PLEASE BRING LAWN CHAIRS.
  • All children and teens will be expected to have PARENTAL supervision AT ALL TIMES, please!!
  • We mention here this park rule: GLASS beverage containers are prohibited at the park.
  • To make sure everyone has the best possible National Shabbat experience, please click here to review additional park rules:  Central Texas National Shabbat – Fischer Park Rules

BFB160308 Fischer Park - New Braunfels


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2015-2016.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Fox Byte 5775 #22-23: Vayakhel (And He Assembled) / Pekudei (Accounts Of)

וַיַּקְהֵל / פְקוּדֵיּ

The Traveler (Eric Menyuk) and Wesley (Wil Wheaton) discuss the connection of Space and Time and Thought in "Where No One Has Gone Before" (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Episode 5.  Photo from The Viewscreen.)

The Traveler (Eric Menyuk) and Wesley (Wil Wheaton) discuss the connection of Space and Time and Thought in “Where No One Has Gone Before” (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Episode 5. Photo from The Viewscreen.)

What is the secret of the success of Star Trek?  Since 1966 three generations of science fiction fans have followed the adventures of four separate crews on the starship Enterprise, as well as other heroes of Gene Roddenberry’s creation through six TV series and 12 movies.  There must be something more to the Star Trek universe than adventure stories, special visual effects, and outlandish aliens.  Perhaps it is that Star Trek provides us with an opportunity to imagine, to push the boundaries of what is “real”, at least according to what we encounter in our everyday lives.

Certainly that was a key ingredient in the original series, the popularity of which has long outlived the three short seasons it was on the air.  In 1987, Star Trek:  The Next Generation picked up the mantle and carried on that boundary-pushing tradition.  In “Where No One Has Gone Before”, the fifth episode of its first season, a propulsion expert named Kosinski (Stanley Kamel) comes aboard the USS Enterprise to make modifications to the ship’s engines that will enhance their performance.  What we soon learn is that Mr. Kosinski’s equations are meaningless by themselves; the real power behind the modifications is the presence of Kosinski’s assistant, an alien known only as the Traveler (Eric Menyuk).  In the first test, the Enterprise moves faster than ever thought possible into a region of space far beyond our galaxy, a result which astonishes not only the ship’s officers, but Kosinski as well.  Only young Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) notices the Traveler’s role in the proceedings.  As the officers argue among themselves, he draws near to the Traveler to learn the truth.  Their conversation includes a very interesting bit of dialogue:

Wesley:  Is Mister Kosinski like he sounds?  A joke?

Traveler:  No, that’s too cruel.  He has sensed some small part of it.

Wesley:  That space and time and thought aren’t the separate things they appear to be?  I just thought the formula you were using said something like that.

Later in the episode, the Traveler explains, “You do understand, don’t you that thought is the basis of all reality?  The energy of thought, to put it in your terms, is very powerful.”  And with that we have an articulation from a fantastic science fiction television show of a profound truth first explained by Moses 3,500 years ago.

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Bechukotai: Why Would God Curse His People? – AlephBeta

Is it possible that Jews could teach Christians about the Bible?  Could Jews even teach Christians something about their own theology?  If Christians have the revelation of Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah), then what more is there that Jews could teach them?

How about this:  Jews can teach us the depths of God’s interaction with mankind from the beginning of time.  They can do this because Jews have received the oracles of God.  The Creator of the Universe has given to the Jews a number of things that Christians think only they have received.  The Apostle Paul lists these special things in Romans 9:1-5

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About That Great Sabbath Debate

BFB140430 Sabbath

As expected, the debate between Jim Staley and Chris Rosebrough gave us two full hours of very lively and informative discussion on the question of whether Christians should keep the Sabbath.  The link to the archived debate is now available from Passion for Truth Ministries here:

First of all, I compliment Jim Staley and Chris Rosebrough for their courage and candor throughout the debate.  Both men prepared well and acquitted themselves as one would expect of brothers in Yeshua who disagree on a matter.  The debate did get heated in points, reflecting the passion both men hold for the question of the Sabbath, but it never degenerated into a name-calling shouting match, such as we have become accustomed to seeing in political debates and cable news opinion pieces.  That alone is reason to applaud the participants.  As moderator, Joseph Farah had little to do but state the rules, keep the time, and wrap up the discussion at the end.

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Should Christians Keep the Sabbath?

BFB140430 SabbathWhy do Christians keep only 9 of the 10 commandments?  The fourth commandment says:

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.  In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.  For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.  Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”  (Exodus 20:9-11 NKJV)

For 1700 years the official day of worship for the Christian world has been Sunday, not the seventh-day Sabbath (the day we call Saturday).  Who made that change?  Was it God or man?  If it was God, where did He say so?  If it was a human innovation, should we follow the traditions of man or the commandments of God?

These questions are at the heart of the Hebrew Roots movement.  They are questions which Christians and the church in all its organized forms must confront.  It is therefore timely that World Net Daily is sponsoring a debate on this issue on Saturday, May 10, 6 p.m. EDT.  The debate, moderated by WND founder Joseph Farah, will feature Pastor Jim Staley of Passion for Truth Ministries and Pastor Chris Rosebrough of Passion for Truth Fellowship.  For more details see the WND article here.

This should be a lively and instructive debate.  I plan to watch, and I hope you will also!

Should Christians Keep the Sabbath?

Update:  For a review of the debate and a link to view it on Youtube, see About that Great Sabbath Debate.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2014.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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