Thursday, September 27, 2018

HaShannah Rabba: Sukkot 7th Day Reading

RaYBaSH’s Torah Thoughts
HaShannah Rabba
Sukkot 7th Day
Numbers 29:32-34
Amos 9:11-12
John 7
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr

Numbers 29:32-34

“And on the seventh day seven bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish: And their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering.”  

The Sacrifices of Sukkot:

·       The Feast of (Sukkot) Tabernacles there were a total of 71 bullocks, one for each nation and one for Israel.
·       15 rams, the number fifteen symbolizes the Completion of God's Grace, and His Kingdom. The Completion of God's Grace   3 x 5. The fifteenth day of the first month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the symbol of the sinless body. The fifteenth day of the seventh month is the Feast of Tabernacles.  The Feast of Tabernacles marks the end of the sixth day of man and the beginning of the seventh day of the Kingdom.
·       105 lambs. The number 105 is made up of three Hebrew letters, Ayin, Lamed and Hey, and it creates the word meaning to rise or to go up. Going up is always referred to as going up to meet G-d on the Temple Mount to sacrifice and fellowship with Him. This speaks to us that ADONAI is King and we are created to serve and worship Him. This testifies to the obligation of the word to recognize and follow through with these facts.

·       8 goats offered during the feast, with accompanying meal and drink offerings. Eight is the number symbolizing new beginnings, speaking of a new week and a New Era, a New World, a Heavenly Divine Kingdom Age to Come. Goats also remind us of Yom Kippur and alludes to the fact that this new rule and world will be without sin and will be forever new.

Amos 9:11-12

 “In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, and wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by My name,” declares the Lord who does this.”

The Feast of Trumpets symbolizes the resurrection, and Atonement symbolizes the Day of the Lord. It follows then that Tabernacles is the true ingathering of all of His saints at Jerusalem.
Apparently, God intends to use the future Feast of Tabernacles in the kingdom as the reference counter for the number of years in the millennial reign. The Feast of Tabernacles, therefore, will commemorate not only our ancestors’ Exodus from Egypt, but also our Greater Exodus (the tribulation saints - the final generation) leading into the Promised Kingdom. This is consistent with God’s promise concerning the kingdom of David. King David served as the king of Israel for 40 years and held the greatest amount of territory in Israel’s history. God’s promise is to raise up David’s booth (tabernacle) in the same manner in the Messiah’s kingdom.

John 7

On another Sukkot (John 7) we see falls on the heels of a very controversial time in Yeshua’s ministry as many Jewish authorities sought to kill him at this time. In chapter six of the Besorah of Yochannon (Gospel of John) we see Yeshua from Pesach (Passover) to Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) feeding 5,000, calming storms, walking on water, proclaiming Himself to be heavenly bread and the sustainer of life itself, in other words saying He was G-d in the flesh. This is also the chapter and verse 6:66 where it says many of his talmidim abandoned Him due to his unorthodox and mystical teachings about Himself which they misunderstood and took out of context.

Now we find the communities in an uproar about Him and it is time to celebrate Sukkot. His half-brothers from Miriam and Yosef, not believing His claims and possibly thinking He is crazy or possessed Himself, challenges Yeshua to stop poking around in secret and proclaim Himself publicly with signs and wonders to be the Messiah if indeed He is so. But as Yeshua said it wasn’t the right time to do this, implying there would be a right time to do what they challenged Him to do. So for now, Yeshua takes of his Rabbi’s tallit and kippah and dresses like a commoner and goes to the Festival of Sukkot incognito to escape the Jewish authorities who sought His life and He begins to teach the people looking like an uneducated, average Jewish Joe and thus the people say at first,


“How does this Man know letters, not having learned?” (The Scriptures) Yochannon 7:15


Then through His teaching the people realize it is Yeshua in disguise and thus teaching them not to judge a book by its cover, but its content (John 7:24). The lesson hits home and the people become divided regarding if He is the Messiah and if so are the Jewish Authorities conspiring to keep this fact from the common man? By this time His detractors are gathering to try and apprehend Him, but they verse mysteriously says that they could not nab Him.


“Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.  (John 7:30, KJV)”

Next we see Yeshua at the Sukkot water pouring ceremony:

“He who has not witnessed the rejoicing at the water-drawing huts has, throughout the whole of his life, witnessed no real rejoicing.” (Sukkah 53b).

Yeshua wasn’t against man made traditions or Oral Torah as long as it didn’t nullify the Written Torah. For in the Brit Chadasha we find Yeshua keeping holidays and traditions not commanded in the Written Torah.
During the “Last Supper” Yeshua went by the Haggadah, the liturgy of the Passover Seder. We find Him at the Temple during Chanukah, the “Feast of Dedication” and in John chapter seven we find Him at this Water Pouring Ceremony (Simchat Beit HaShoava) during the last day of Sukkot ('Hoshana Rabbah' - 'The Great Salvation’) mentioned in the Talmud in the text above!

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."” John 7:37-38 (NKJ)

If one carefully studies Talmud and Jewish traditions you will find where Yeshua even added himself into those things as well as the prophecies in the Torah and Tanak.
So how did this water pouring ceremony become such a fixed part of Judaism, even to this day?
“When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, one of the special Sukkot observances was to pour water on the Altar. The drawing of water for this purpose was preceded by all-night celebrations in the Temple courtyard; on the 15 steps leading to the azarah (inner courtyard) stood Levites while playing a variety of musical instruments, sages danced and juggled burning torches, and huge oil-burning lamps illuminated the entire city. The singing and dancing went on until daybreak, when a procession would make its way to the Shiloach Spring which flowed in a valley below the Temple to "draw water with joy." "One who did not see the joy of the water-drawing celebrations," declared the sages of the Talmud, "has not seen joy in his life."
While water was poured each day of the festival, the special celebrations were held only on Chol Hamoed since many of the elements of the celebration (e.g., the playing of musical instruments) are forbidden on Yom Tov.
Today, we commemorate these joyous celebrations by holding Simchat Beit HaShoeivah ("joy of the water drawing") events in the streets, with music and dancing. The Lubavitcher Rebbe initiated the custom of holding such celebrations on Shabbat and Yom Tov as well -- without musical instruments of course. The fact that we cannot celebrate as we did in the Temple, said the Rebbe, means that we are free to celebrate the joy of Sukkot with singing and dancing every day of the festival.” –

 And why was this ritual so significant, especially in Yeshua’s time?
Well, first off the Cohenim (Levitical Priests) had a special schedule during Sukkot:
The Kohanim were divided into three divisions and each day of Sukkot there was a special ritual. Division one sacrificed the animals and items prescribed out in Numbers 29. Division two went to the East Gate of the Temple and headed to the Motzah Valley where they would discard the sacrificial ashes at the start of Shabbat. While there they would cut 25 foot willows and they would line up across the road holding the willows. About 30 feet behind them would be another row of priests with willow branches. They would then begin to march waving the willows in a swooshing motion creating the sound of the Ruach (Wind), symbolizing the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit. Division three in the meantime would be heading down to the pool of Siloam, meaning “peaceful flowing waters” (John 9:7, 11). The Cohen HaGadol (High Priest) was in this third group and he had a golden flask and drew the water called mayim chayim (living waters) because any water that was flowing was considered “living”. The High Priests assistant had a silver flash of wine. Both Groups would return to the Temple with the sound of the Shofar upon their arrival. One man would play the flute, the flute player was called “the pierced one” and symbolizes the Messiah (Psa. 22:16, Zech. 12:10, John 19:34-37, Rev. 1:7) and the flute players led the procession of the “wind” and “water” carrying priests. The Willow carriers would circle the Brazen Sacrificial Altar seven times while singing Psalm 118:25-26; the sacrificial division of priests would lay the slain sacrifices on the altar. Then the Cohen HaGadol and his assistant the ascended the altar and all Israel gathered into the Temple courts and sang a song called “Mayim (Water)” based on Isa. 12:3 according to Mishnah Sukkot 5:1. Then the High Priest poured out the water on the southwest corner of the altar on the horn, and then the wine was poured out as the Willow holders leaned their branches against the altar and made a sort of Sukkah.
According to the Mishnah Rosh HaShannah 1:2f says that it is during Sukkot that G-d decides who gets rains for next year and how much. Sukkot is also that time after Yom Kippur when it is said that the fate of each human is decided for the next year and the books in heaven are closed. So this is probably another reason for the water pouring ceremony, a type of supplication for rains.
These rituals and ceremonies are no where commanded in the Torah but the Rabbis and Sages feel by the spelling inconsistencies in Numbers 29 that spell the word ‘mayim” they nonetheless base the tradition of the water pouring ceremony on the Torah itself.
Rabbi Akiva (Ta'anit 2b) asserted that the water libation was alluded to in the Torah with the use of the plural form nesakhehah ("drink-offerings thereof") on the sixth day (Numbers 29:31), reflecting that one of the two libations consists of water.
“On Succoth even the humblest of all has its place on the Altar: water. The Midrash tells us that at the time of creation, the waters cried out to G-d that everyone has a place on the Altar -- oxen, sheep, wheat, barley, oil, wine. All except for water. The waters threatened to engulf the world until G-d promised them that on the festival of Succoth, Israel would offer a libation of humble water on the Altar, accompanied by SIMCHAS BEIS HASHO-EVA, "the Joy of the Water Drawing", which was so great that it brought people to prophecy.

The water libation on Succoth is not written explicitly in the Torah but only allusively. Three seemingly minute anomalies in the Hebrew phrasing of the laws of the offerings of the second, sixth and seventh days of the festival of Succoth, enable us to trace the letters of the word Hebrew word MAYIM -- WATER -- running through the Hebrew text (see Rashi on Numbers 29:18).” – Gil Marks

Three anomalies are derived from looking at how words are rendered differently on the second, sixth, and seventh days of the Festival:

1. Second day - "their libations" (Heb. niskeyhem נסקיהם), where there is an extra "yod" (י) and an extra "final mem" (ם) in the usual rendering of "its libation" (Heb. niskah נסקה).
2. Sixth day - "its libations" (Heb. niskeyhah נסקיה), where the usual rendering of "its libation" (Heb. niskah נסקה) has an extra "yod" (י).
3. Seventh day - "after the manner" (Heb. KaMishpatam כמשפטם), which has an extra "final mem" (ם) when compared to the other instances of "after the manner" (Heb. KaMishpat כמשפט) in this passage.
These anomalies actually gives us two extra "mems" and two extra "yods", however the Hebrew word for "water" (Heb. "mayim" מים) only needs one of the "yods". What are we to do with the extra "yod"? That lies in the realm of the Kabbalah and we will not delve into that here.
And obviously Yeshua had NO PROBLEM with it and included Himself with in the derived tradition.
A custom, a tradition, something that the Pharisees and Sadducees did; something that made it into the Talmud that Yeshua did not oppose but participated in and used to proclaim His divine Messiahship! Therefore it stands to reason His own talmidim were there and participated too and the believers that came after his resurrection and ascension.
We see now why He said:

"If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."

A further fulfillment was when Yeshua was executed on the Roman cross and blood (symbolizing the wine) and water flowed (John 19:34).
ADONAI the Father obviously didn’t have a problem with this man made ritual for HE told Yeshua to go and deliver such a message, for Yeshua speaks only what the Father bids Him to (John 5:19, 30; 8:28; 14:28).

So we see that Yeshua, all through out His life celebrated Sukkot, even at the risk of death.