Beth Yeshua Torah Procession July 4, 2015. The opening video is that of worship at Congregation Beth Yeshua, which is located in Macon, Georgia. A time of great honor and respect is shown when the Torah is carried around the interior of the sanctuary (see notes below). The video is one of still photographs that were made during a Sabbath worship service (Sabbath lasts from Friday at sunset until Saturday at sunset). As I have viewed this video (many times), I have been drawn to the facial expressions of the people, in which I see “smiling faces on happy people.” Those same people show expressions of solemn and reverential respect. As I have viewed the Torah procession, I have been awe-struck, due to the honor and respect that the people give to the Torah, which is of God’s Holy Word. In the video you will also see prayer shawls being worn (talit). (https://www.myjewishlearning.com/?s=talit
Torah means, “teachings”(I have also seen “teaching). The Torah contains the first five books of the Bible, “Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.” Much of Exodus through Deuteronomy contains the Law, of which Christ fulfilled (Matthew 5:17), when He breathed His last breath on the cross at Calvary, and said,” it is finished” (John 19:30).
Congregation Beth Yeshua is identified as a Messianic Jewish congregation. Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ attend this congregation. Consider its website statement.
What is Messianic Judasim? http://www.bethyeshuainternational.com/shalom/messianic-judaism/
Messianic Judaism is a movement of Jewish people from all walks of life, who believe that Yeshua (Jesus in Hebrew) is the promised Jewish Messiah and Savior for Israel and the world. Messianic Jews have not stopped being Jewish. On the contrary, we have continued to remain strongly Jewish in our identity, lifestyle, and belief that Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah and the fulfillment of true Biblical Judaism.
Consider Mirrian Webster’s Dictionary definition of “Reverence;” consider the two passages of scripture which follow.
Mirriam Webster Dictionary https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reverence
Definition of reverence
1 : honor or respect felt or shown : DEFERENCE
especially : profound adoring awed respect
2 : a gesture of respect (such as a bow
Habakkuk 2:20 Living Bible (TLB)
20 “But the Lord is in his holy Temple; let all the earth be silent before him.”
Proverbs 14:26-27 Living Bible (TLB)
26 Reverence for God gives a man deep strength; his children have a place of refuge and security.
27 Reverence for the Lord is a fountain of life; its waters keep a man from death.
As you read through this article, and engage in worship through the opening and closing worship videos, consider your own desires for increased and heightened times of worship and praise.
The following links come from “My Jewish Learning,” which is a Jewish site (non-Messianic). Information is provided about the Torah and the parading of the Torah around the interior of a sanctuary. https://www.myjewishlearning.com/about-us/
The Torah (Hebrew for “the teachings”) is the name given to the Five Books of Moses which come at the very beginning of the Bible. These books form the basis of all Jewish law and practice. A Torah scroll is a parchment scroll on which all five books have been inscribed by a specially trained calligrapher. Torah scrolls are typically kept in synagogues, in a special cabinet called an ark.
The First of the Five Books of Moses begins with the creation of the world out of the void. It ends with the last days of Moses. Each week a different sidrah (Torah portion) is read on Saturday morning in traditional synagogues. Here is a list of the Torah portions for the entire year and a brief summary of their contents.
Taking Out the Torah
The Torah service begins with the chanting of a series of biblical verses, primarily from the Book of Psalms, describing God’s grandeur and role as king of the universe. In every synagogue, the Torah scrolls are kept in a cabinet called the Aron haKodesh, or holy ark. In Sephardic congregations, the cabinet is called a Teivah (ark).
Parading the Torah
Once the Torah is removed, the leader holds the Torah in front of the community and leads the community in chanting the central doxologies of Jewish faith, “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4), “One is our God, great is our Lord, holy is His name,” and “Proclaim the Lord’s greatness with me; let us exalt God together” (Psalms 34:4). As the Torah is then paraded around the sanctuary, the congregation sings a series of verses from I Chronicles 29:11 and Psalm 99:5 and 9, which state, “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the splendor. Yours is the triumph and the majesty…Exalt the Lord and worship God, for He is holy…” These verses are intended to accent the presence of God as concretized in the text of the Torah and the drama of marching the Torah.
The Torah’s Five Books
The English names for each of the Torah’s five book are actually Greek, and like the Rabbinic names for the books, they describe the contents. The common names for the books come from a significant word in the beginning verses of the book. The following are the names of the five books and a brief summary of each (click on them for longer summaries):
Genesis (“Origins”)/Bereishit (“In the Beginning”)
Genesis tells the story of creation, Noah and the flood, and the selection of Abraham and Sarah and their family as the bearers of God’s covenant. Stories of sibling conflict and the long narratives of Jacob and his favorite son Joseph conclude with the family dwelling in Egypt.
Exodus (“The Road Out”)/Shemot (“Names”)
Exodus tells of how the family of Jacob grew and then was enslaved in Egypt. The baby Moses, born of Israelites but adopted by Pharaoh, becomes God’s prophet who, after bringing 10 plagues down upon Egypt, leads the Israelites through the Red Sea to freedom and to the revelation at Mount Sinai. The story of the Israelites worshipping the golden calf, which follows soon after the revelation at Mount Sinai, is almost obscured by lengthy materials on the building of a sanctuary (tabernacle) in the wilderness.
Leviticus (“Laws of the Levites”)/Vayikra (“And God Called”)
Leviticus deals mostly with laws of Israelite sacrificial worship. Related rules include the basis for Jewish dietary laws (kashrut) and issues of purity and impurity. The holiness code, which describes a sanctified communal life, is a highlight of the book.
Numbers (“The Census”)/Bamidbar (“In the Wilderness”)
Numbers begins with a census of the Israelites and the tribe of Levi. A group of Israelites spy out the land of Canaan; their discouraging report sends them back into the desert for an additional 38 years, during which the Israelites continue to behave badly, rebelling against the authority of Moses and his brother Aaron, and having illicit relations with Moabite women.
Deuteronomy (“Second Law”)/Devarim (“Words”)
Deuteronomy is Moses’ final message to the people of Israel before they cross over the Jordan River into Israel. Moses reminds the people of how God has redeemed the people from Egypt and of the details of the covenant between Israel and God. In stark language, Moses describes the rewards for observance of the laws of the covenant and the punishment for disobedience. Finally, Moses passes along his authority to Joshua who will lead the people into the land.
Let the Weight of Your Glory Fall – by Paul Wilbur.wmv
This song of worship was recorded live during the Feast of Tabernacles in 1999, in Jerusalem, Israel.
Shabbat Shalom (Sabbath of peace)
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