Friday, March 15, 2019

Holidays; Holy and Pagan: Miscellaneous Holidays


Miscellaneous Holidays

Tu B'Shevat


Biblical Month: 15th of Shevat


Secular Month: Jan./Feb.


Tu B’Shevat is like the Jewish Arbor Day or Jewish Earth Day. It’s the New Years for Trees and it is customary in warm climates to plant plants and trees, in colder climates one decorates ones house with house plants and small trees that can be planted in a pot and then planted in the spring.


Most Jewish sources consider 15 Shevat as the New Year both for designating fruits as orlah (that is, forbidden to eat, because they have grown during the first three years after a tree's planting) and for separating fruits for tithing. This date was selected "because most of the winter rains are over" (Rosh Ha Shannah 14a), the sap has begun to rise, and the fruit has started to ripen. Fruits that have just begun to ripen--from the blossoming stage up to one third of full growth--are attributed to the previous year, whereas fruits that are more mature on 15 Shevat apply to the upcoming year. As with vegetables and grains, fruits that budded during one "fiscal year" could not be used as tithes on those that budded in another year.



Lag B’Omer


Biblical Month: 18th of Iyar


Secular Month: April/May


You may be saying to yourself, “I’ve never heard of that holiday!” Well, that’s likely because it’s a Jewish holiday, and if you’re not Jewish you probably have never heard of it.  I have celebrated this holiday before and it’s a fun holiday if any Believer wishes to participate in it.


Lag B’Omer takes place during the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer which counts up to the High Holy Day of Shavu’ot (Pentecost). The 33rd day of the Omer takes place on Iyar 18th on the Hebrew Calendar.


Lag B’Omer itself is not a High Holy Day, but a Traditional Jewish Holiday recounting the Talmudic account of 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva who die at the hand of ADONAI via a plague during the counting of the Omer because his students didn’t show proper respect towards one another. The 33rd day is when the plague ended. So to commemorate this we traditionally have our haircut at this time so as to show that we have no more reason to mourn, but to rejoice, because in Judaism, when we are in mourning we leave our hair unkempt. Jewish children traditionally do not get their hair cut until the age of three when on this day it is cut for the first time.


Also commemorated on this day is the death of a great sage from the Mishnah era, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai who ironically was one of the surviving students of Rabbi Akiva and is believed to have authored the Mystical Kabbalistic Jewish work called the Zohar.


It is also traditional to light bonfires, symbolizing the Light of Torah that shone through the Zohar which Rabbi Yochai had supposedly authored; also bonfires were set to signal war and thus remind us of the Jewish revolt against Rome by General Bar Kochba. Since we have bonfires we also naturally cook out on this day as well as play with bows and arrows because it was said that a rainbow was never seen during Rabbi Yochai’s lifetime, because of him it was a righteous generation where the thought to destroy the world and then relent, hence seeing the rainbow and remembering the covenant, never crossed the mind of God during that time. Also it commemorates temporary victories by the weaponry and armies of General Bar Kochba who revolted against Rome, but because Rabbi Akiva foolishly endorsed Bar Kochba as the Messiah, the revolt ultimately failed.


There is also a legend that Rabbi Akiva and his surviving students would go out into the wilderness to study Torah at a time when it was illegal to do so under Roman occupation and the bow and arrows were taken so as not to raise suspicions of their true intentions.


Tish B’Av


Biblical Month: 9th of Av

Secular Month: July/August

The Hebrew month of Av is of Babylonian origin and can be found in the Talmud around the 3rd century. It is the 11th month of the civil year and the 5th of the ecclesiastical year.

The Month of Av is best known for, as the Talmud says in Taanit 29a “When we enter [the month of Av] our joy is diminished.” This is due to all the tragic events that occurred in that month to the Hebrew people, especially on the 9th of Av (Tish B’Av), which in ancient times was the happiest day of the year and now is the darkest and saddest day of the whole Hebrew.

The name “Av” means, “Father” and is derived from the root word meaning “to will” or “to desire.” Clearly fathers and THE FATHER (YHWH) suffered anguish on this day. Earthly fathers lost their families, possessions and the physical representations of their faith and THE FATHER had to suffer to the disobedience of His children which caused Him to have to allow such things to happen for the purpose of discipline as promised in Deut. 27-28.

The Month of Av corresponds to the Hebrew Letter “Tet.” It is shaped like and symbolizes a womb, and in Hebrew numerology (Gematria) is equal to the number 9, which in turn corresponds to the 9 months of pregnancy. In the month of Av the 9 months are condensed and concentrated into 9 days, from Rosh Chodesh Av (the yahrzeit of Aaron the high priest, whose name comes from the word "pregnant") to the 9th of Av, the day, which legend has it is the birthday of Messiah, but we know this to really be Sukkot.


Av’s Zodiacal Sign is Mazal: Leo - Aryeh

According to: http://www.inner.org/times/av/av.htm “The aryeh symbolizes the super-rational power of Divine will (the meaning of the name Av, as mentioned above). The initial manifestation of G-d's will to destroy (the Temple) was in truth purely for the sake of reconstructing (the Temple with all of its spiritual meaning and significance for Israel and the entire world) for eternity.

In the words of our sages (Yalkut Shimoni, Yermiyahu, 259 ): "The lion [Nevudchanetzar, who is referred to in the Bible as a lion--Yermiyahu 4:7] came on the month of the lion [Av] and destroyed the lion [the Temple, which is referred to in the Bible, especially with regard to the alter, as a lion], in order that the lion [G-d, of Whom is said 'the lion roars, who shall not fear'--Amos 3:8] come on the month of the lion and rebuild the lion."

This secret is also reflected in the numerical value of aryeh. Aryeh in gematria = 216 = gevurah ("might"). Gevurah is the Divine power responsible for tzimtzum (contraction and diminution of Divine light and energy, as is said with regard to the beginning of Av: "When Av enters we diminish in joy" [Mishnah Ta'anit 26:]) and destruction. But 216 = 3 ? 72. 72 = chesed ("lovingkindness"), the Divine power which "builds" all of reality, as is said (Psalms 89:3): "the world is built with [by the power of] chesed." Three times chesed corresponds to the building of all three Temples, who are all contained and find their eternal consummation in the third Temple, to be built speedily in our days by Moshiach. For this reason the aryeh appears to the right, in the place of chesed, in the Divine Chariot (Ezekiel 1:10).”

The Tribe of Israel for the month of Av is Shimon

Shimon comes from the word "to hear," and refers to the sin of the spies on the 9th of Av who caused Israel to hear their evil report of the Land and thus disobey God by refusing to take it. We are to work on the spiritual attribute of hearing on this month. We need to hear our sins and repent of them.

“Shimon is the only tribe that Moses did not explicitly bless at the end of the Torah. This was due to his "frustration" with the tribe of Shimon because of their involvement (more than all the other tribes) in the sin of Pe'or (prostitution with foreign women, which resulted in idolatry). The name Shimon divides into two words which spell sham avon, "there is iniquity."-- http://www.inner.org/times/av/av.htm

But also was due to the fact they were eventually absorbed in to the tribe of Judah.

As alluded to before, the sense of the month of Av is, Hearing. Not just to hear, but to hear, understand and obey. That is to hear, understand and obey the Torah.


The body part represented by the month of Av is the Left Kidney, a filter, a time of the year when we need to filter our lives and rid it of any sin which is spiritual toxin, mourn over our condition and then be healed and restored.
Av 9th

It is ironic how our nature is bent on recollecting the tragic things in life, and yet it’s so hard it seems to remember the good things that happen to us. Guys have a hard time remembering one of the best day of their life (or it SHOULD be), the day they got married. Wives are always hounding them every year about remembering that special day. Women on the other hand often (purposely albeit) forget their own birthday. How many of us remember or commemorate the day we had our Bar / Bat Mitzvah, or when we came to Messiah? We often have a bad habit about forgetting special, joyous events. Maybe this is why God commanded us to celebrate the Feasts He lays out on Leviticus Chapter 23? Yet it is easy, almost too easy it seems for us to remember the bad things in life. The day a loved one died, the day we were told that we have cancer, the day our house burnt down, the day Kennedy was shot, the day the Space Shuttle blew up, the day the twin towers fell, the day that Hurricane Katrina hit.

It is no different with Israel. God commands us to celebrate joyous days on our Calendar (Lev 23). Yet we as a Jewish Tradition have added a very tragic day to remember on the Holy Calendar. That is the day of Tish B’Av. You see, God has allowed exceedingly tragic events to occur in Israel's history on the 9th Day of Av.

"This day of fasting, known as Tisha Be-Av is a day of mourning and remembrance of Israel's loss of their sacred Temple. It is one of the most historically significant anniversaries in the life of their nation and is commemorated by Jews throughout the world as the tragic day when God withdrew His Presence and they wept as their precious Temple burned to the ground. Throughout Israel's history, the ninth of Av has witnessed eight of the greatest disasters in their nation's history." (Grant Jeffrey, "Armageddon: Appointment With Destiny", p. 72)

Here are a few of the events that occurred on Tish B’Av:

“In 423 BCE, the first Holy Temple was destroyed by fire, as Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonian troops conquered Jerusalem. Also on this day, the second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. According to the Talmud (Taanit there), the destruction of the Second Temple actually did not occur on the ninth of Av, but it's thematically linked to the fast day (and that the destructive fire began on that date - even if it was consumed the next day).” – Aish.com


It is said that the 1st Temple was destroyed on account of Idol Worship, and that the 2nd Temple was destroyed because of lack of brotherly love among Israel.

Tish B'Av has long been a day of calamity for the Jewish people: on this day, during the time of Moses, Jews in the desert accepted the slanderous report of the 12 Spies, resulting in the decree postponing enter to the Land of Israel. Other grave misfortunes throughout Jewish history occurred on the Ninth of Av: The Spanish Inquisition culminated with the expulsion of Jews from Spain on Tish B'Av in 1492. World War I broke out on the eve of Tish B'Av in 1914 when Germany declared war on Russia; German resentment from the war set the stage for the Holocaust. On the eve of Tish B'Av 1942, the mass deportation began of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto, en route to Treblinka. Today, Tish B'Av is the Jewish national day of mourning, when we don't eat, drink or bathe. Lights in the synagogue are dimmed, and we read the Book of Lamentations, Jeremiah's poetic lament over the destruction of Jerusalem.
 
Here are more specifics on some of those events:
 
 
“1. Exodus Generation Condemned to Die in Desert (1312 BCE) 
 
On the Ninth of Av of the year 2449 from creation (1312 BCE), the generation of Jews who came out of Egypt under Moses' leadership 16 months earlier were condemned to die in the desert and the entry into the Land of Israel was delayed for 40 years.
 
As related in Numbers 14, when the Spies that Moses sent to the Land of Canaan returned with their disheartening report (see "Today in Jewish History " for yesterday, Av 8), the people wept all night -- the night of Av 9th -- proclaiming that they'd rather return to Egypt than attempt to conquer and settle it; G-d decreed that the entire generation will wander in the desert for 40 years until that last of them died out, and that their children, under the leadership of Joshua, will enter the land He promised as Israel's heritage.
 
This is the first of five national tragedies that occurred on Av 9 listed by the Talmud (Taanit 4:6), due to which the day was designated as a fast day. The other four are: the destruction of the two Temples, the fall of Betar, and the plowing over of Jerusalem. 
 
2. Holy Temples Destroyed (423 BCE and 69 CE) 
 
Both the first and second Holy Temples which stood in Jerusalem were destroyed on Av 9: the First Temple by the Babylonians in the year 3338 from creation (423 BCE), and the second by the Romans in 3829 (69 CE).
 
The Temples' destruction represents the greatest tragedy in Jewish history, for it marks our descent into Galut--the state of physical exile and spiritual displacement in which we still find ourselves today. Thus the Destruction is mourned as a tragedy that affects our lives today, 2,000 years later, no less than the very generation that experienced it firsthand.
 
3. Fall of Betar (133 CE) 
 
Betar, the last stronghold in the heroic Bar Kochba rebellion, fell to the Romans on the 9th of Av of the year 3893 (133 CE) after a three-year siege. 580,000 Jews died by starvation or the sword, including Bar Kochba, the leader of the rebellion.
 
4. Expulsion from England (1290) 
 
The Jews of England were expelled by King Edward I on this date in 1290.
 
5. The Spanish Expulsion (1492) 
 
The Jews of Spain were expelled by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella on the 9th of Av of 1492, terminating many centuries of flourishing Jewish life in that country.” – Chabad.org
 
 
Hebrew Year
Common Year
Historic Event of Tisha B’Av (9th of Av)
2448
(1312)
Spies return from 40 days in Israel with evil reports of the Land of Israel. Jewish people cry in despair, give up hope of entering the Land of Israel.
3340
(421)
Destruction of First Temple by the Babylonians, under Nebuchadnezzar. About 100,000 Jews killed during invasion. Exile of remaining tribes in southern kingdom to Babylon and Persia.
3830
70
Destruction of Second Temple by Romans, under Titus. Over 2,500,000 Jews die as a result of war, famine and disease. Over 1,000,000 Jews exiled to all parts of the Roman Empire. Over 100,000 Jews sold as slaves by Romans. Jews killed and tortured in gladiatorial "games" and pagan celebrations.
3892
132
Bar Kochba revolt crushed. Betar destroyed - over 10,000 killed.
3893
133
Turnus Rufus ploughs site of Temple. Romans build pagan city of Aelia Capitolina on site of Jerusalem.
4855

?
1095

1242
-First Crusade declared by Pope Urban II. 10,000 Jews killed in first month of Crusade. Crusades bring death and destruction to thousands of Jews; totally obliterate many communities in Rhineland and France.
-Talmud Burned
5050
1290
Expulsion of Jews from England, accompanied by pogroms and confiscation of books and property.
5252
1492
Inquisition in Spain and Portugal culminates in the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. Families separated, many die by drowning, massive loss of property.
5674
1914
Britain and Russia declare war on Germany. First World War begins. First World War issues unresolved, ultimately causing Second World War and Holocaust. 75% of all Jews in war zones. Jews in armies of all sides - 120,000 Jewish casualties in armies. Over 400 pogroms immediately following war in Hungary, Ukraine, Poland and Russia.
5702
1942
Deportations from Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka concentration camp begin.
5749
1989
Iraq walks out of talks with Kuwait.
5754

5755
1994

2005
-The deadly bombing the building of the AMIA (the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina) which killed 86 people and wounded some 300 others.
- Prime Minister Ariel Sharon imposed a "National State of Emergency" August 14, and began the forced evacuation of settlements in the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements.

To answer my question above; “Why do we remember tragic events?” Well, in this case, so remember so we won’t be doomed to repeat the cause for these tragedies to occurring… our sins, our falling away from the Torah.
 
 
Customs and Traditions of Tish B’Av:
 
 
Tish B'Av becomes known as the Black Fast -- a symbol of all the persecutions endured by Israel, the day of tears predicted way back in the desert. Mourning the destruction of the Temple and the exile of Israel, we abstain from eating and drinking, bathing, the wearing of leather footwear, and marital relations--for the night and day of Av 9 (i.e., from sundown on Av 8 to nightfall on Av 9). It is customary to sit on the floor or a low stool until after mid-day. Torah study is restricted to laws of mourning, passages describing the destruction of the Temple, and the like. The tefillin are worn only during the afternoon Mincha prayers. 
 
Mourning into Dancing:
 
Yet the Ninth of Av is also a day of hope. The Talmud relates that Moshiach ("anointed one"--the Messiah), was born at the very moment that the Temple was set aflame and the Galut (Exile) began. [This is in keeping with the teachings of our sages that, "In every generation is born a descendent of Judah who is worthy to become Israel's Moshiach"(Bartinoro on Ruth); "When the time will come, G-d will reveal Himself to him and send him, and then the spirit of Moshiach, which is hidden and secreted on high, will be manifested in him" (Chattam Sofer).]
 
 
Now, we as Believers know that Messiah was born during the Festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles). This is the time in which we build a Sukkah (Tabernacle) and weather permitting, live out in them to commemorate our ancestors living in a similar way while they were in the Wilderness.
 
 
John 1 says that the Word (Yeshua the Living Torah) became flesh and “Sukkah-ed” (“Tabernacled”) among us.  
 
 
So what are we to make of this tradition of Moshiach being born on Tish B’Av?
 
 
Perhaps, just maybe the Third Temple will be finished and dedicated on this day thus heralding the Messianic Age?
 
 
“Then shall maidens dance gaily, young men and old alike. I will turn their mourning to joy; I will comfort them and cheer them in their grief.” – Jeremiah 31:13
 
 
“Abaye said: Joy will come to us on Tish B’Av, for in the future the Holy One will make that day a holiday, as it is said: “I will turn your mourning to joy.”” – Pesikta Rabbati 28:4
 

Groundhog Day


Oh it’s just a quaint and innocent tradition dealing with the changing of the seasons, right?


Ground Hog Day (Feb. 2nd) falls on the Pagan Calendar as Imbolic; when daylight first makes significant progress against the night. We all know that according to folklore and tradition, if it’s cloudy when the groundhog emerges from its den on this day and the groundhog fails to see its shadow, then the spring weather will come early, sometime before the vernal equinox; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and winter weather will continue for another six weeks.






So Why and Ground Hog?


“The transition of Candlemas and other ancient celebrations to Groundhog Day dates back to the time of the Roman conquest of Northern Europe: the Christian celebration of Candlemas was associated with songs like this one:

If Candlemas be fair and bright
Come, winter, have another flight
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, 
Go, winter, and come not again.

This practice of divining the weather on this day spread to Germany, and was brought to this country by some of its first German settlers, also known as Pennsylvania Dutch: hence the location of the most famous groundhog. Also, the groundhog (also known affectionately as a woodchuck) was not the original prototypical weather-divining creature: in Europe it was a hedgehog. But early American settlers were nothing if not adaptable, and so the local creature most closely resembling a hedgehog was chosen for this ritual. Like hedgehogs, groundhogs are no-nonsense, practical animals; the same can be said for bears and badgers, who were also associated with weather divination in European folklore. If a groundhog sees his shadow on the 2nd, some inner sense tells him it's not spring yet (does he feel the chill in the air most clear winter days have? or is the sunny day from an early thaw, which often presages a return to wintry weather?) --and he hightails it back to his burrow. Likewise, humans observe midwinter as a milestone, a moment which is on the cusp of change, between the harsh, cold winds of winter and the fragrant, sensual breezes of spring.” -
http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usma&c=holidays&id=2635


Notice the quote above is from a witchcraft website! Should there be any doubt this is not a holiday Believers in Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) should give attention to? But leave it to the Catholics to turn it into a “Christian” holiday.


Imbolic is also known in the Catholic Tradition as Candlemas:

“Candlemas is a very old holiday with a Christian-Pagan history. Its Christian version is called the Purification of the Virgin and is the end/culmination of the forty day period after Mary God-Bearer had her baby on December 25.  Women had to wait forty days after childbirth before entering a church or Temple again due to "uncleanliness". This waiting period is still observed in Eastern Orthodox Christian churches today, and all Christian churches schedule the Christening for forty days after the birth in keeping with this ancient purification practice. Therefore today is Yeshua’s Christening or Naming Day when an exorcism is performed and the baby formally enters the Church.
This special forty-day period in the Christian calendar is one of four such in the esoteric Church year.  The other three forty-day periods are:  Fall Equinox  (Sept 21) to Halloween/All Saints Day (Oct. 31, Nov.1), Spring Equinox (Mar 21)  to May Day (May 1) and of course, Lent.  Lent is the forty-day period beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday every year.  
Candlemas is a church “adaptation” of a pagan goddess holiday called Imbolc where people light candles to banish dark spooks. Candlemas is celebrated on the same day as that pagan holiday, February 2nd. The word Imbolc, variously spelled Imbolg, Oimelc and Imelg, means “ewe-milk” because this is the time lambs were born in old England, Ireland and most of Europe thus bringing back the flow of ewe’s milk. -- https://northernway.org/school/way/calendar/candlemas.html


Valentine’s Day


Each pagan holiday has a Christian religious front, Valentine’s Day, now called Saint Valentine’s Day is no different. In short it is said to commemorate Saint Valentine who secretly married couples during a time when the powers that be denied marriage to certain people, or without the bride first consummating with the king prior to her husband. Other legends surround this day and this so called Saint.

Ironically, the sad fact is that the majority people never question the origin of the customs and traditions in which they involve themselves in. The Majority of folks do not ask the obvious and hard questions but instead do what everybody else is doing, never stopping to consider how the ADONAI feels about such celebrations.

Valentine’s Day is a day preoccupied with the heart (the emotions), consider what Jeremiah said via the inspiration of ADONAI: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his wages, and according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:9-10

So, what are the origins of this unusual day? Why the color red, and where did the heart shape come from (Because it doesn’t resemble a real human heart at all), and what does it mean?

“In the days of the Roman Empire, the month of February was the last and shortest month of the year. February originally had 30 days, but when Julius Caesar named the month of July after himself, he decided to make that month longer and shortened February to 29 days while making July a month of 31 days. Later when Octavius Caesar, also known as Augustus, came to power, he named the month of August after himself, and not be outdone he also subtracted a day from February and gave the month of August 31 days. To this very day it remains that way. The ancient Romans believed that every month had a spirit that gained in strength and reached its peak or apex of power in the middle or ides of the month. This was usually the 15th day, and it was a day when witches and augurs, or soothsayers worked their magic. An augur was a person filled with a spirit of divination, and from the word augur we get the word “inaugurate”, which means to “take omens”. Since February had been robbed by Caesars and had only 28 days, the ides of February became the 14th day of that month. Since the Ides of a month was celebrated on the preceding eve, the month of February was unique, because it was the 13th day that became the eve of the Ides that month, and it became a very important pagan holiday in the Empire of Rome. The sacred day of February 14th was called “Lupercalia” or “day of the wolf.” This was a day that was sacred to the sexual frenzy of the goddess Juno. This day also honored the Roman gods, Lupercus and Faunus, as well as the legendary twin brothers, who supposedly founded Rome, Remus and Romulus. These two are said to have been suckled by wolves in a cave on Palatine Hill in Rome. The cave was called Lupercal and was the center of the celebrating on the eve of Lupercalia or February 14th. On this day, Lupercalia, which was later named Valentine’s Day, the Luperci or priests of Lupercus dressed in goatskins for a bloody ceremony. The priests of Lupercus, the wolf god, would sacrifice goats and a dog and then smear themselves with blood. These priests, made red with sacrificial blood, would run around Palatine Hill in a wild frenzy while carving a goatskin thong called a “februa.” Women would sit all around the hill, as the bloody priests would strike them with the goatskin thongs to make them fertile. The young women would then gather in the city and their names were put in boxes. These “love notes” were called “billets.” The men of Rome would draw a billet, and the woman whose name was on it became his sexual lust partner with whom he would fornicate until the next Lupercalia or February 14th.
Thus, February 14th became a day of unbridled sexual lust. The color “red” was sacred to that day because of the blood and the “heart shape” that is popular to this day. The heart-shape was not a representation of the human heart, which looks nothing like it. This shape represents the human female matrix or opening to the chamber of sacred copulation.
When the Gnostic Catholic Church began to get a foothold in Rome around the 3rd century A.D., they became known as Valentinians. The Catholic Valentinians retained the sexual license of the festival in what they called “angels in a nuptial chamber”, which was also called the “sacrament of copulation.” This was said to be a re-enactment of the marriage of “Sophia and the Redeemer.” As the participants of the February 14th ritual began their sexual sacrament, presided over and watched by the priests known as Valentinians, the following literary was spoken: “Let the seed of light descend into thy bridal chamber, receive the bridegroom… open thine arms to embrace him. Behold, grace has descended upon thee.” -- http://www.triumphpro.com/valentine_s_day.htm

Again we see that the pagan holiday was replaced by a saint of the Catholic Church. The Christian veneer slathered over and synced with the pagan reality and truth of holiday.

It should go without saying that the Believers in Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) should avoid Valentine’s. No matter the watering down of the original pagan origins, it still contains all the elements and meaning of the pagan holiday and in the eyes of the LORD, it’s still the satanic and carnal day of “Lupercalia,” the “Day of the Wolf.” We have heard of the “wolf whistle,” it’s slang for when men lust after a woman and whistle to vocalize their inner lustful cravings. Well, we all know in reality that wolves do not. This is a nod to Lepercalia, the spirit of unbridled lust.

The Origin of Cupid



So where hid the fat naked archer baby with wings come from?


“The central figure of Valentine’s Day is Cupid, the Roman god of love. He is called Eros in Greek mythology. Myths describe Cupid as a handsome lad who united lovers whenever he could. Early images show him as an athletic young man, but by the mid-300’s B.C. he had evolved to a chubby naked infant with wings, holding a bow and arrows. If one was shot by one of his arrows, he or she supposedly fell in love.” - http://www.triumphpro.com/valentine_s_day.htm

Eros is where we get the word for sexual arousal, “Erotic.”

The origin of Cupid and his prominence in pagan religion is discussed in Hislop’s Two Babylons. He mentions that the ancient poet Aristophanes declared “we are informed that he from whom both ‘mighty ones’ and gods derived their origin, was none other than the winged boy Cupid.” In a footnote Hislop declares, “Aristophanes says that Eros or Cupid produced the ‘birds’ and ‘gods’ by ‘mingling all things.’ This evidently points to the meaning of the name Bel, which signifies at once ‘the mingler’ and ‘the confounder. This name properly belonged to the father of Nimrod, but, as the son is represented as identified with the father, we have evidence that the name descended to the son and others by inheritance” (page 40).
Cupid occupied the very same position as Ninus the “son” did to Rhea, the mother of the gods. Nimrod was the first of the “mighty ones” after the Flood, as we read in Genesis, “Cush became the father of Nimrod; he was the first on earth to become a mighty warrior. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD” (Gen.10:8-9).
Thus Cupid, the god of love, was none other than the infant NIMROD, the one who taught rebellion against the LORD, Yahveh, after the Flood – the one who led the revolt against God’s laws, and who attempted to build the tower of Babel, to strike against heaven and the heavenly host! Cupid is pictured as a child hunter, with bow and arrows, and grew up to be “the mighty hunter before [i.e. against] the LORD.”
The Latin for word “Valentine” alludes to this major trait of Nimrod, the mighty hunter. The Latin word for “Valentine” is “Valentinus,” a proper name derived from the word valens which means “to be strong. It literally means, “strong, powerful, mighty.” Nimrod was, remember, the “MIGHTY hunter against the Lord.” He was renown in the ancient world for his muscular strength skillful hunting and bowmanship, and war-waging prowess.
The Moffatt Translation says, “Ethiopia produced Nimrod, the first man on earth to be a despot (he was a mighty hunter before the Eternal; hence the proverb, ‘Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Eternal’). His empire at first was Babylon, Uruk, Akkad, and Kalneh, in the land of Shinar; from which he pushed out into Assyria . . .” (Gen.10:8-11).
Nimrod was not only physically powerful, and skillful at hunting game, including voracious leopards and lions, but he was also a “hunter” of the souls of men, who strove to lead mankind into idolatry, and worship of pagan gods, of whom he was considered the chief – a man who declared himself to be “God” in the flesh.
Aristophanes says that the boy Cupid, a “winged one,” produced all the birds, “winged ones,” occupying the very position of Ninus, the “son,” thus identifying him with Nimrod. “Ninus is Nimrod,” said the ancient historian Appolodorus (Hislop. Page 40).”- http://www.triumphpro.com/valentine_s_day.htm

The Origin of the Valentine’s Heart

“Ideograms are scattered throughout our past, and they serve a very valuable function. Nevertheless, I'm going to ask you to see the heart symbol in a different, yet connected way, because I believe it to be a sacred shape . For many in the Earthwise community that heart symbol is our version of Sheila-Na-Gig. Sheela-na-Gigs are figurative carvings of naked women displaying an exaggerated vulva. They are found on churches, castles and other buildings, particularly in Ireland and Britain. This concept has been discussed by feminists for many years, and was recently re-stated by author Gloria Steinem in her wonderful forward to The Vagina Monologues. She writes: "The shape we call a heart, whose symmetry resembles the vulva far more than the asymmetry of the organ that shares its name, is probably a residual female genital symbol. (Such symbols) were reduced from power to romance by centuries of male dominance. I thought of this while watching little girls drawing hearts in their notebooks, even dotting their i's with hearts, and I wondered: Were they magnetized by this primordial shape because it was so like their own bodies?"" – A pagan website.

“The heart-shape was not a representation of the human heart, which looks nothing like it. This shape represents the human female matrix or opening to the chamber of sacred copulation." – Last Day Trumpet Ministries



The “heart” shape is said to be the shape of the female body from behind when bending over. It is also considered to depict features of the female genitalia, the pubic mound or vulva when open and spread out. A Sumerian cuneiform symbol for "woman" closely resembles the heart shape, and is believed to directly depict the pubic mound.



Now a days the pagan illusions is well hid and has soften edges, but without it being said, everyone knows most adults on this day goes out to dinner and a movie, lavish expensive gifts on each other and ends the night in bed. So it’s still about sex.

Today, Valentine’s day it is nothing but a capitalistic, hedonistic, commercial, economic enterprise that has nothing to do with true love, all it says is, “buy, buy, buy,” and if you don’t you are made to feel guilty and that you truly don’t love So and So. Look, I don’t need Valentine’s Day or even my Anniversary to show my wife, or my family and friends that I love them. I should do that every day, every chance I get. Buy my actions and words and not necessarily by my wallet.

Saint Patrick’s Day


March 17th, Saint Patrick’s Day; a day to honor Saint Patrick (By the way, His name wasn’t even Patrick, it was MaewynSuccat. He became known as Patrick named after his place of burial), who overpowered Druids and chased out snakes and evangelized Ireland by explaining the triune God with a shamrock, right? 



We all know the tradition to wear green on this day, but Protestants wore orange in protest of the observance of this day. Catholics believed such a person deserved to be punished, and what was out right lynch mobs against Protestant Christians simply became getting pinched.


Where does the Leprechaun comes from?



Green clad, jolly, ginger bearded elves who are obsessed with gold and playing tricks, where did they originate and what do they represent?


“Leprechauns account for some of the emphasis on green (as do the shamrocks) as these were thought to be little green men dressed in shoe makers’ clothes who hide their gold in a pot at the end of a rainbow. When people, even those “in the church” don’t know the Lord, worship, regardless of who or what is worshipped, is considered as equally valid worship. So what if you mix two religions. If you’re not born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God and therefore you cannot recognize the tragic consequences of mixing faith in Yeshua with pagan practices. Like oil and water, they don’t mix and no righteousness comes out of it. Fear, superstition and spiritual confusion result. Worst of all is that there are eternal consequences to not knowing or practicing the truth.
… wiccan was essentially nature worship. The belief is in “elementals” which are creatures that have evolved in the four elements of fire, air, earth and water. These are known as gnomes, sylphs, salamanders, and undines which are further identified as pixies, fairies, trolls, dwarfs, goblins, leprechauns, banshees, moss people, elves and fauns, and other such creatures, all of which were involved in magic and sorcery. Unknowingly, the Irish were trafficking with demon spirits, the same demon spirits that new age and occult practices involve themselves with today. According to Wikipedia – Origins of Easter, these are “light beings” which can “slip into whatever form your mind imagines as a means to communicate with your spirit.” That means there are demonic forces communicating with your spirit when you are involved with these magical entities. They are used strongly in ceremonial magic and practices of nature-worship or wicca. Leprechauns are thought to take you to their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and while the origin of this idea is unknown, it does appear to be an incantation for a spirit to produce what a greedy person desires.

All of these “elementals” answer to a Faun named Pan who is the god of the nature elementals. Pan is a man with horns on his head and a goat’s lower body, which is typically pictured as satan. Think of Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia. Pan is also known as the Egyptian Baphomet which is the sabbatical goat which is worshipped as satan at the witches’ Sabbath, which just happens to coincide with many major Catholic holy days. How come? Good old Constantine again, through his “Christianizing” pagan beliefs while he was emperor.

During the middle ages, under the church/State rule of the Roman Catholic church (the only church incidentally; it is our common heritage, Catholic and Protestant, before the Reformation), labeled Saturday as the “witches Sabbath” and persecuted all who worshipped God and His Messiah on this day. And who would those people be who would have been persecuted? The Jews, of course, and any who refused to give up the Lord’s Sabbath day. In keeping the Sabbath they were in effect taking the stand that the church had no right to change God’s laws and His times. They suffered great persecution because of it.”-
Lonnie Lane https://sidroth.org/articles/leprechauns-are-not-kosher-lane/


Today it has devolved into an Irish Pride Festival and just another reason to party and get drunk.


“Celtic pagans were worshippers of nature spirits but while under Roman domination, they adopted some of Rome’s gods as well. The beer drinking that is associated with Irish pubs had its origin in worship of the Roman god Dionysius, the god of beer or ale. Beer drinking, it appears, took on religious significance. The phrase, “to drown the shamrock” means to go drinking on St. Patrick’s day and is a major part of the St. Patrick’s day celebrations, as are the parades, another part of pagan culture.” – Lonnie Lane https://sidroth.org/articles/leprechauns-are-not-kosher-lane/



It’s interesting also to note that eating greens and drinking beer was the pagan worship of Balak and Balaam, the ones who attempted to prophecy a curse on Israel and get them to stumble into pagan idolatry (Numbers 22).


Saint Patrick’s day, again, another holiday, pawned off by the Catholics as innocent fun that has a pagan and lurid past in which Believers in Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) should have nothing to do with.


April Fool’s Day


Innocent pranks and fun right? Wrong.


But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. – Matt. 5:22


The only true fool is one who does not believe in God.


The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. – Psa. 14:1, 53:1


Some pranks are not funny at all.


Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen. – Deut. 27:18


As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport? – Prov. 26:18-19

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. – Eph. 5:1-4

Some say it all started in 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII decreed the adoption of his, “Gregorian calendar,” which moved New Year’s Day from the end of March to Jan. 1. The change was published far and but not everyone got the message and continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1 and such were ridiculed and called “fools,” because of it. Here we see the Catholics hand in it again.

Some say that it goes even further back than that to an old pagan renewal festival of the Spring marked by revelry, disguises, orgies, feasting, drunkenness and all out mayhem.

There are other pagan days that correlate with April fool’s day. For example, Hilaria; in late March the Romans honored the resurrection of Attis, son of the Great Mother Cybele, with the “Hilaria” celebration. The observance included merriment and disguises.


Festival of Lud observed by the Northern Europeans was an ancient festival to honor Lud, the Celtic god of humor.


Feast of Fools, the medieval Festus Fatuorum (Feast of Fools) came from the feast to Saturnalia. Customs included electing a Lord of Misrule and made fun of church religious rituals and customs in a most disrespectful and blasphemous manner.


There was a festival practiced in areas of Britain during the Middle Ages that had similarities to April Fool's Day. The day was called, Hoke-Tide (or Hock-Tide) and it was celebrated near Easter time. Men and women would stop total strangers of the opposite sex and tie them up, only untying them when a price was paid.


So you see, anyway you slice it, April Fool’s Day does not honor God in anyway and actually degrades the pinnacle of His creation; Mankind.




Thursday, March 14, 2019

Holidays; Holy and Pagan: Chanukah and Christmas


Chanukah (Feast of Dedication) and Christmas

Chanukah


Biblical Month: Kislev


Secular Month: November/December


 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, how long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. – John 10:22-24


Chanukah, to the misconception of almost everyone, like the Feasts of the LORD in Leviticus 23, Chanukah is for every Believer in Yeshua the Messiah.


Chanukah has a long history, longer than many people may think.  The majority of the people believe Chanukah was established and instituted between the 500 year gap of the writing of the Tanak (O.T.) and the Renewed Covenant (N.T.), during the time of the Levitical family of the Maccabees, when they took back the Temple from the Greco-Syrian invaders and rededicated it and got it back up and running again.  People think that since it has no connection to canonical Scripture, it has no relevance or place in their lives.  They think it’s purely a “Jewish thing”, when in reality King Solomon instituted it, the Maccabees re-instituted it  and made it what it is today, and Yeshua the Messiah celebrated it, and will re-institute it again when the 3rd Temple is built! 


Chanukah is NOT the “Jewish Christmas”; it has NOTHING to do with Tammuz, Santa Clause, or the birth of Jesus.  The only commonalities between Christmas and Chanukah is that we exchange and give gifts, which is more of a modern institution in reactions to Christmas, and it steamed from the fact that Jews gave (Tzedakah) charity on Biblical and Jewish holidays.  Also sometimes greenery is hung, not because of the reasons people do it for Christmas, but because the Maccabees used Chanukah to also celebrate a late Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) which is a type of harvest festival in which greenery was hung as decoration.


In I Kings 8 and II Chronicles 7, it speaks of King Solomon fulfilling the lifelong dream of his father David and himself, of having built the Holy Temple of YHWH.  It says the he “Chanukah-ed” it, dedicated it, and had a 7 day festival and ended it on the 8th day, hence 8 days of Chanukah, just as we have today.


In Ezra 6:16-17 it tells of the Babylonian exiles who have returned to Jerusalem and have built and Chanukah-ed the 2nd Temple.  Verse 16 says that “The children of the captivity kept the “Chanukah” of this house of G-D with joy.”


In I Maccabees 4:52-59 and II Maccabees 10:1-8 it recounts the reason we celebrate Chanukah today.  After Yehudah (Judah) Maccabee recaptures the 2nd Temple and began to cleanse it and restore the service of it, they were about to light the Holy Menorah when they discovered they only had enough oil for it to stay lit for one day.  It took 7 days to produce more, but they lit it anyway and a miracle occurred, the Menorah stayed lit a whole 7 days until more was made!


Apparently the dates for celebrating Chanukah have changed throughout the ages.  A new date for each time the Temple was built and dedicated, or cleansed and rededicated.  But to this day we keep the days set forth by the Maccabees in I Maccabees 4:59 and II Maccabees 10:8 because that was the last rededication until the Messiah returns to build the 3rd Holy Temple.  Chanukah today commemorates the rededication of the Temple, the defeat of the Greco-Syrian invaders, affirms our Jewishness, and commemorates the miracle of the oil. 


Because of II Maccabees 10:8 commanding the Jewish people to keep the 25th day of the month of Kislev and the 7 days that follow, we see Yeshua in John 10:22-23 keeping Chanukah!  If Messiah celebrated Chanukah, that’s good enough for me!  I want to do it to, I want to be as much like my Messiah as I possibly can, I want to do what He did, and experience what He experienced.


So what does Chanukah mean for Believers in Messiah Yeshua?


As mentioned before, the Temple is important to the Messiah, and He kept the Festival of Chanukah there.  But on a Spiritual level WE are the Temples of GOD (I Cor. 3:16; 6:15-20; II Cor. 6:15-18; Eph. 2:18-22) and every so often the invaders of Self and Sin desecrate that sacred place and we need to wage all-out war, kick out the invaders, cleanse and rededicate ourselves back to GOD and His Torah.  This is exactly what we do at Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (Lev. 23:26-32), so I like to think of Chanukah as Yom Kippur part two!


Jews!  Stand up and be counted.  Rededicate yourself to GOD and His Torah.


Christians!  Toss out that Christmas tree (Jer. 10:3-4), and grab a Menorah!  The only “birthday” the Messiah celebrated at this time of the year wasn’t His own, but the Temples!  How could we not do likewise!?



Chanukah and Christmas


Once I received some snail mail by a Messianic evangelical missions group and the first words to greet my eyes in bold blue letters was “Merry Messiahmas!” I laughed at the idiocy and was annoyed by the ignorance and or blatant syncretism.  As if simply replacing the Greek word “Christ” for the Hebrew word “Messiah” makes the pagan holiday of Christmas okay for people to celebrate.  Breaking it down it’s,  “The mass of the Christ” which the Catholics instituted, that’s the Roman pagan roots, but taking it further back to its original roots in Babylon it’s, “Christ-Tammuz”, meaning, “The anointed one Tammuz”, which was Nimrod’s son, whom he had with his mother, who was eventually gored to death by a wild boar, in which people get that bore back for killing their god-man by eating the good ol’ Easter ham, and whom women mourn during Lent (Ezk. 8:14 ).


December 25th was never, and will never be the birthday of Yeshua the Messiah.


1.    December 25th is a solar date and We Jews go by the lunar calendar, the two do not coincide.
2.    It is claimed that no one knows for sure the exact date the Messiah was born.  However, we do know He was born on the first day of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles and circumcised the 8th day of the Festival.  We were never commanded to celebrate His birth, but if you want to, please do it at the right time of the year, during Sukkot.
3.    December 25th however IS the birth date of the pagan gods; Tammuz, Mithra, and Saturnalias.


Christmas was instituted by the Emperor Constantine and the Catholic Church to try to make pagans feel comfortable and be more receptive to “Christianity”.  All they did was take a pagan holiday and slap a new name on it inside and out.
“Merry Messiahmas” is no different than what the Fox network’s primetime twenty something soap, “The O.C.” did years back by having the family on the show (who was at least part Jewish) combine Christmas and Channukah together and call it “Chrismukah.” Or a  cell phone commercial I once saw that blends all the holidays together and says, “Happy Christmaramahkwanzikkah (Christmas, Ramadan, Kwanza, and Chanukah).”  It is the Babel mentality that says, “We are all one, it’s all the same anyway, so let’s all love each other and get along.” 


Celebrating Christmas would be like being married, but celebrating your wife’s birthday on your X-girlfriends birthday!  Why?  After all we are the “Bride” of Messiah and He is our “Husband,” and that would be celebrating His birth on the day of a pagan god, our former lover!  Or it’s also like if I, a Jew, would take the Swastika and assign a new meaning to it, let’s say it is the cross of Messiah humbly bent, reaching out to all four corners of the earth!  That doesn’t fly does it?  Pretty sick, perverted and insensitive of me huh?  Well, how do you feel the Messiah himself thinks about Christmas?


Christians!  You claim you’re of the Messiah, if you are, then come out of Babylon and toss that tree (Jer. 10:3-4)!


Jews!  Stop the hellenization and assimilation, come out of Rome and Greece and be Jews!


I’m not saying grab a torch and pitchfork and hunt participants of Christmas down.  The majority of people simply doesn’t know or understand the pagan roots of Christmas.  To them it’s just the time of the year to be nice to everyone.  So if someone not knowing smiles and says to you, “Merry Christmas!” or even, “Merry Messiahmas!”  A kind, neutral, non-committal response would be, “Happy Holidays!”  That way you’re being kind, returning the sentiment without celebrating or endorsing a pagan day of a pagan god.  After all, it is the “Holiday Season,” and not only Christmas but Kwanza, Chanukah, and sometimes Ramadan fall around this time of year.  If and when the opportunity presents itself, in a loving, matter-of-fact way, expose the truth concerning the pagan roots of Christmas, the real time of the year Yeshua was born, and the truth about Chanukah and how it relates to the Believer.


Yeshua celebrated Chanukah; in John 10:22 we read that Yeshua was at the Temple at the “feast of the dedication,” this is the feast known as Chanukah. If Yeshua celebrated it, why shouldn’t we? If it was important to Him, why shouldn’t it be to us as well? Yeshua was Jewish and as believers in Messiah Yeshua we are grafted in to that tree (Romans 11).


Christmas

Whose Birthday is it Anyway?


Growing up in a Christian home, sure we had a tree, lights and decorations, but it was never about Santa Clause, it was always about the celebration of the birth of Christ. “Jesus is the reason for the season,” was the slogan in our household. I know for many people reading this book the same is true. And although I have not celebrated Christmas for about 20 years I will always have very warm and fond memories of the holiday. But once I learned about the true origins of the lights, candles, wreaths, and tree and whose birthday it really was, I could no longer in a clear conscious observe this holiday.


“The word "Christmas" itself reveals who married paganism to Christianity.
The word "Christmas" is a combination of the words "Christ" and "Mass.
The word "Mass" means death and was coined originally by the Roman Catholic Church, and belongs exclusively to the church of Rome.

The ritual of the Mass involves the death of Christ, and the distribution of the "Host", a word taken from the Latin word "hostiall" meaning victim!
In short, Christmas is strictly a Roman Catholic word.

A simple study of the tactics of the Romish Church reveals that in every case, the church absorbed the customs, traditions and general paganism of every tribe, culture and nation in their efforts to increase the number of people under their control.

In short, the Romish church told all of these pagan cultures, "Bring your gods, goddesses, rituals and rites, and we will assign Christian sounding titles and names to them.” - David Meyer, Last Trumpet Ministries International

It is also believed by some that the word Christmas is made up of two words, “Christ,” meaning “anointed” and “Tammuz (tmas),” referring to the pagan god Tammuz.

Yeshua was born as we have discussed earlier during the Feats of Tabernacles (Sukkot). So why was December 25th chosen and who was born on that day?


First of all we must continue to remember that Sukkot and Christmas go by two opposite kinds of calendars. The date for Sukkot is based on the Lunar Hebraic calendar and Christmas set by the solar Gregorian calendar. So December 25th is irrelevant to the Birth of Christ.


The supposed Christian Emperor Constantine instituted December 25th as the Birth date of Christ and later Pope Julius the First officially declared it as Jesus’ birthday. But the real reason behind December 25 being chosen is because pagans in Constantine’s empire was already celebrating the Winter solstice festival to Saturnalia who was said to have been born on December 25th along with other deities Mithra and Tammuz.



Celebrating Christmas would be like being married, but celebrating your spouse’s birthday on your ex-wife or ex-girlfriends birthday!  Why?  After all we are the “Bride” of Messiah and He is our “Husband,” and that would be celebrating His birth on the day of a pagan god, our former lover!  Or it’s also like if I, a Jew, would take the Swastika and assign a new meaning to it, let’s say it is the cross of Messiah humbly bent, reaching out to all four corners of the earth!  That doesn’t fly does it?  Pretty sick, perverted and insensitive of me huh?  Well, how do you feel the Messiah himself thinks about Christmas?


Sorry, if one is to be truthful, Jesus is NOT the reason for the season, but Tammuz, Mithra and Saturnalia are.


Lights, Trees, Wreaths and Greenery


In Paganism, Christmas is around the time of Yule on its calendar; winter is the darkest time of the year. Ancient pagans would make evergreen wreaths and set candles in them as phallic symbols in attempt to sympathetically and magically give power to mother nature to “spring” back to life, to make Spring come quickly so that the greenery of new life can return and the sun can regain strength.



“The truth is that all of the customs of Christmas pre-date the birth of Jesus Christ, and a study of this would reveal that
Christmas in our day is a collection of traditions and practices taken from many cultures and nations.

The date of December 25th comes from Rome and was a celebration of the Italic god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god.

This was done long before the birth of Jesus.

It was noted by the pre-Christian Romans and other pagans, that daylight began to increase after December 22nd, when they assumed that the sun god died.
These ancients believed that the sun god rose from the dead three days later as the new-born and venerable sun.

Thus, they figured that to be the reason for increasing daylight.
This was a cause for much wild excitement and celebration. Gift giving and merriment filled the temples of ancient Rome, as sacred priests of Saturn, called dendrophori, carried wreaths of evergreen boughs in procession.” – David Meyer, Last Trumpet Ministries International


“The origins of the Advent wreath are found in the folk practices of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples who, during the cold December darkness of Eastern Europe, gathered wreaths of evergreen and lighted fires as signs of hope in a coming spring and renewed light. Christians kept these popular traditions alive, and by the 16th century Catholics and Protestants throughout Germany used these symbols to celebrate their Advent hope in Christ, the everlasting Light. From Germany the use of the Advent wreath spread to other parts of the Christian world. Traditionally, the wreath is made of four candles in a circle of evergreens with a fifth candle in the middle. Three candles are violet and the fourth is rose, but four white candles or four violet candles can also be used. Each day at home, the candles are lighted, perhaps before the evening meal-- one candle the first week, and then another each succeeding week until December 25th. A short prayer may accompany the lighting of each candle. The last candle is the middle candle. The lighting of this candle takes place on Christmas Eve. It represents Jesus Christ being born.” - http://www.thehistoryofchristmas.com/trivia/wreaths.htm


And again we have the Catholic Church attempting to “sanitize” pagan rituals to other gods.


The same is to be said about the “Christ-Tammuz” tress, recall in our Easter section, that when Tammuz was gorged to death by a wild boar his blood spilled on some evergreen stumps and they grew into full trees overnight?


“Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.

In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and longest night of the year falls on December 21 or December 22 and is called the winter solstice. Many ancient people believed that the sun was a god and that winter came every year because the sun god had become sick and weak. They celebrated the solstice because it meant that at last the sun god would begin to get well. Evergreen boughs reminded them of all the green plants that would grow again when the sun god was strong and summer would return.
The ancient Egyptians worshipped a god called Ra, who had the head of a hawk and wore the sun as a blazing disk in his crown (And is why sun disks are seen behind all catholic icons). At the solstice, when Ra began to recover from the illness, the Egyptians filled their homes with green palm rushes which symbolized for them the triumph of life over death.
Early Romans marked the solstice with a feast called the Saturnalia in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture. The Romans knew that the solstice meant that soon farms and orchards would be green and fruitful. To mark the occasion, they decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs.
In Northern Europe the mysterious Druids, the priests of the ancient Celts, also decorated their temples with evergreen boughs as a symbol of everlasting life. The fierce Vikings in Scandinavia thought that evergreens were the special plant of the sun god, Balder.
Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce. -http://www.thehistoryofchristmas.com/trivia/trees.htm (italics mine)


“In Germany, the evergreen tree was used in worship and celebration of the yule god, also in observance of the resurrected sun god.
The evergreen tree was a symbol of the essence of life and was regarded as a phallic symbol in fertility worship.” - David Meyer, Last Trumpet Ministries International

Lights were used to keep the winter stag god away and to call back and give more strength to the sun. This is but one of the reasons for the Yule Log as well, which was to be kept burning for 12 days, corresponding to the 12 days of Christmas.


“In Northern Europe, Winter festivities were once considered to be a Feast of the Dead, complete with ceremonies full of spirits, devils, and the haunting presence of the Norse god, Odin, and his night riders. One particularly durable Solstice festival was "Jol" (also known as "Jule" and pronounced "Yule"), a feast celebrated throughout Northern Europe and particularly in Scandinavia to honor Jolnir, another name for Odin. Since Odin was the god of intoxicating drink and ecstasy, as well as the god of death, Yule customs varied greatly from region to region. Odin's sacrificial beer became the specially blessed Christmas ale mentioned in medieval lore, and fresh food and drink were left on tables after Christmas feasts to feed the roaming Yuletide ghosts. Even the bonfires of former ancient times survived in the tradition of the Yule Log, perhaps the most universal of all Christmas symbols.

The origins of the Yule Log can be traced back to the Midwinter festivals in which the Norsemen indulged...nights filled with feasting, "drinking Yule" and watching the fire leap around the log burning in the home hearth. The ceremonies and beliefs associated with the Yule Log's sacred origins are closely linked to representations of health, fruitfulness and productivity. In England, the Yule was cut and dragged home by oxen or horses as the people walked alongside and sang merry songs. It was often decorated with evergreens and sometimes sprinkled with grain or cider before it was finally set alight.” - http://www.thehistoryofchristmas.com/trivia/yulelog.htm


Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. – Jer. 10:1-4


Jeremiah 10:2 speaks of the pagans being dismayed at the signs of the heavens. This relates to the days becoming shorter and the sun losing its strength in winter. Verse 3 and 4 though it is dealing with making an idol, uncannily sound an awful lot like a Christmas tree. And if it is not symbolic of a phallic idol, then why do we set our gifts beneath it as a mock offering?


In relation to other greenery of the Christmas season, all of which was to coax the sun back in duration and strength so as to bring the greenery of Spring back to the earth. Mistletoe was sacred to the Norse and Druid peoples and was thought to possess healing powers and was able to ward off evil spirits and so was hung in doorway and above cribs.


Christmas Ivy was symbolic of eternal life and the god of wine, Bacchus. Laurel on the other hand represented Apollos. Again, both of which were used to encourage Spring to arrive early.


Holly was sacred to the Druids but in Roman times it was used, along with mistletoe in the celebration of Saturnalia, and so as to avoid persecution Christians of the day would deck their home in this. The white berries of Holly were considered semen from the god and the red berries of mistletoe were said to be menstruation of the goddess Diana. Mistletoe and Holly were hung in pagan temples and was thought to promote fertility and thus kissing under the mistletoe became a thing. Wood from the Holly was often used to make magic wands.


Virtually all Christmas customs, rituals and traditions can be traced back to Babylon, Rome to the Celts or Norsemen.


Advent


Advent has its origins in the Babylonian religion, where women would weep and fast for Tammuz whose physical body was gored to death by a wild boar and his spirit ascended to help rule the heavens as a sun god.


God took and showed Ezekiel the detestable pagan Babylonian sun worship going on under the Temple precincts.


Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. – Ezk. 8:14


“One of the earliest references to Christmas being celebrated on December 25 appeared in Antioch in the middle of the second century. At that time, Christians were still persecuted. An official determination was made in the fourth century, when the Roman emperor Constantine embraced Christianity, thereby ensuring the legality of Christmas celebrations. The Council of Tours in 567 established the period of Advent as a time of fasting before Christmas. They also proclaimed the twelve days from Christmas to Epiphany a sacred, festive season.” - http://www.thehistoryofchristmas.com/trivia/advent.htm


Again, Catholicism, stemming back to the days of Constantine just covered up blatant paganism and to unite a religiously divined empire.

“When Martin Luther started the reformation on October 31st, 1517, and other reformers followed his lead, all of them took with them the paganism that was so firmly imbedded in Rome. These reformers left Christmas intact.” – David Meyer, Last Trumpet Ministries International


Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Saint Nick


Father Christmas, also known as Lord Frost is none other than the Roman god Saturnalia. To the Vikings he is none other than the All Father, Odin.


Santa Claus and or Saint Nicholas was again, the Roman Catholic Church’s attempt to bring further validation for Christians to celebrate the pagan festival along with their neighbors.


December 6, the date of his death is known as, “Saint Nicholas Day.” Santa Claus is simply a contraction for Saint Nicholas. He was a bishop in 3rd century Greece and famous for unexpected gift giving and later associated with the giving of presents during the season at the end of the year. He was quoted to say, “I am Nicholas, a sinner, Nicholas, servant of Christ Jesus.”

He was later imprisoned by Diocletian during the Christian persecution and later released by “Christian” Emperor Constantine. He also was said to have participated in the Council of Nicaea in 325.

Later this Popish saint evolved into a red suited jolly old man who snuck down people chimneys and left gifts for all.


Christmas Observance

Christmas was actually illegal to celebrate in America prior to the Civil War. The Puritans who came over from England saw the celebration as pagan and had nothing to do with true Christianity and or the birth of Christ.

“Henry the VIII may have suppressed St. Nicholas in 1542, but the Puritans tried to eliminate Christmas entirely in 1643. Shops were required to be open and churches closed, because of associations with "popery" and to stamp out the "misrule" that often led to drunkenness, excessive gambling and general licentiousness. Mince pies, mummers, holly and church services were all suppressed. This caused a lot of resistance that was expressed in a number of pamphlets being printed both for and against observing Christmas.” - http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/father-christmas/

“In England, as the authorized Bible became available to the common people by the decree of King James the II in 1611, people began to discover the pagan roots of Christmas, which are clearly revealed in Scripture.
The Puritans in England, and later in Massachusetts Colony, outlawed this holiday as witchcraft.” – David Meyer, Last Trumpet Ministries International

So you see, the celebration and observance of Christmas and all its traditions has nothing remotely at all to do with the birth of Christ, and one is just simply fooling themselves to think that it is. It is pagan to the core and Believers in Messiah Yeshua should have nothing to do with it in regards to its observance or celebration. If one truly wishes to honor and celebrate the birth of Christ, Sukkot is the perfect time to recognize it, and if that is ones true intentions, then it shouldn’t be a problem transferring that to its proper time, rather than to continue to celebrate it on December 25th. One does not have to miss out on Winter holiday celebrations and festivities, as I mentioned earlier Chanukah is perfectly find for every believer in Messiah Yeshua to observe.