Festivals


Happy Sukkot everyone!

This is my second year of celebrating Sukkot however, it is the first time I have actually built a sukkah. What a great experience. We went through several revisions to the original plan and learned some valuable lessons along the way (our first attempt was about as sturdy as a jellyfish).

sukkah

sukkah

Even now there are changes I plan on incorporating in next year’s model but I have to admit I’m quite proud of our first attempt 🙂 I would have liked to close in the sides with lattice but the budget for this year was already maxed out. Also, next year I will be adding more roof trusses to support all the branches (4 is just not enough).

The bronze bowls on the black stakes in front of the sukkah are filled with citronella oil in order to help ward off the swarm of mosquitoes that fill the night air. We also added some blue string lights for a little extra ambiance.  (Sorry the last pic is so blurry)

Already we have been able to enjoy a couple of meals under the moon and stars. How awesome it is to look up though the branches and admire YAH’s beautiful work! I hope your Sukkot is filled with happiness and great rejoicing!

sukkah

sukkah

night sukkah

night sukkah

Sound the shofar

Already it is Elul. Tonight we begin the sixth month knowing that the Fall Festivals are almost upon us. Yom Teruah is merely one short month away. I wonder what this year’s Yom Kippur will be like. Most of all, I look forward to the rejoicing at Sukkot.

This year my son and I are planing on building a sukkah in our backyard. We neglected to do this last year and I feel like we missed out on a special opportunity. If you have any tips or suggestions for a first-timer I’d love to hear them, I have a feeling we are going to need all the help we can get 🙂

Yerushalyim is on the horizon! As of this writing I am less than three weeks away from beginning a trip to a land that I have longed to see since my conversion began. It was only a short time ago that I was thinking I might never get the chance to daven at the Kotel. Now it’s so close I can almost touch it!

YHWH’s blessings are truly amazing! He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. All we have to do is trust in Him and realize we are His servants not vice-versa. I will be bringing my camera with me so when I return I hope to have a collection of pictures to show you, along with plenty of new post topics.

We will also have the privilege of being at Mount Sinai on Shavu’ot (Festival of Weeks). What a joy it will be to stand at the mountain where Mosheh and Yisra’el received the Torah from the voice of YHWH Himself! I have to admit when I first learned of our itinerary I was disappointed that we would not be in Yerushalyim for Shavu’ot. Then when I learned we would be at Mount Sinai I had to stop and thank YAH for his greatness! Our Father loves us so much and looks out for our welfare even when we aren’t looking. I wonder if when I meet Him, He will tell me of all the instances where He guided and protected me while I wasn’t paying attention?

If you haven’t read A Personal Letter yet I would ask you to take a couple of minutes and check it out. Unfortunately, we are still lacking funds to complete our payment obligations. Todah and may YHWH bless you and guard you!

No chametz

No chametz

As I write this we are only 3 days away from Pesach! I have so longed for my first Passover and now it is barreling down at me like a freight train (but in a good way).

My family and I have begun the process of removing the chametz (leaven) from both our houses and our lives. As instructed by the Torah, we will not be eating leavened bread for the period of the Passover. Additionally, we will be working on removing the chametz from our own personal lives.

This past Erev Shabbat (Friday evening) I asked my family to make a written list of what needed to be removed from their lives, what they felt necessary to work on in order to lead a more pleasing life to YHWH. We will use this list as a daily reminder of just how important this Festival really is. Each person’s list is private in that no one is allowed to take a peek at another’s.

Now to claim that the average person can lead a sinless life would be foolish. There was only one man that was ever able to accomplish this but does that mean that we shouldn’t even try? Are we to just throw our hands in the air and exclaim “I give up!” Of course not.

For those of us that have children think about how pleasing it is when they listen to us, when they make an honest effort to do what we ask of them. How much more so for YHWH when we obey Him and make an honest effort to listen to His commands? I think all too often we forget that we are all children in YAH’s eyes (myself included).

We are now a little over a week away from Pesach! Once again my feelings of anticipation start to build up inside as this will be my first time celebrating the Passover and taking part in the Seder.

Before I go any further I have to offer a sincere apology to my readers, (more…)

Visions of Paul Newman and Tom Cruise walking into a pool hall, sharks looking over their prey, flash through my head as my daughter sits down at the dining room table. This petite young girl with innocent eyes sizes us up and then proceeds to shut us out, winning both games tonight.

We all decided we would play two games per night with the winner(s) getting to eat two coins each. Last night my daughter, aka the ringer, won our family’s first ever dreidel game convincingly by spinning Gimmel 5 times in a row. Actually, she spun 9 Gimmels in a row as we wanted to see just how long she could continue. Immediately my son and I concluded she must be using a loaded dreidel, so a switch was made. No luck, the onslaught continued tonight with two more victories in her gelt belt bringing her record to 3-1.

Something must be done. She has to be stopped. There’s too much chocolate at stake here!

Gelt

Gelt

Chanukah is quickly approaching and I was in the mood for something funny. So, without further ado… Enjoy!

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