Happy Feast of Tabernacles and Upcoming Events

Tricia Miller, Ph.D.

Dear Christian Leaders,

This evening at sundown marks the beginning of what many of us know as  the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot in Hebrew. Sukkot is the third of  three biblical feasts (following Pesach, or Passover, and Shavuot, or  Pentecost), for which the Jewish people are commanded to go up to  Jerusalem.

The Feast of Tabernacles has been celebrated for approximately 3,300  years and commemorates the 40 years the Israelites spent in the desert  after being delivered from slavery in Egypt. According to Leviticus  23:33-44, the people are commanded to observe the holiday by living in  temporary booths (sukkot) for seven days in remembrance of how God  sheltered, protected and provided for them in the wilderness.  Furthermore, they are to observe this festival "throughout the ages"  (Lev. 23:41) and in so doing, they are to teach future generations (Lev.  23:43).

This is an important Jewish holiday for obvious reasons. However,  according to the Scriptures, Sukkot is also to be observed by Gentiles -  the Goyim from the nations of the world. In the context of calamitous  events, the prophet Zechariah describes how people from all nations will  make an annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles  (Zech. 14:16-19). So, in addition to Sukkot being a time of  commemorating God's protection, provision and preservation of the Jewish  people, this important biblical festival provides Christians with  understanding for current times, in which Gentiles go up to Jerusalem to  celebrate in accordance with Zechariah's prophecy.

Inspired by Zechariah 14, and in recognition of the biblical and  prophetic significance of the reestablishment of the Jewish State in the  land of Israel, a small group of Christians celebrated the Feast of  Tabernacles in Jerusalem in 1980 for the first time. Since that first  observance 40 years ago, an ever-increasing number of Christians gather  every year in Jerusalem in recognition of this sacred holiday. Multiple  thousands from all over the world participate in the annual celebration  hosted by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem,  and the Christian commemoration of Sukkot has spread worldwide among  millions of Christians who stand with Israel and the Jewish people, and  comprehend the Hebrew roots of their Christian faith.

Israel's Appreciation of Christian support for the Jewish State

The  importance of Christian support for Israel and the Jewish people is well  understood by the people and government of Israel. In recognition of,  and in appreciation for this support, the Israeli government established  the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus in  2004. The Caucus acknowledges the contribution that Christians in  America, Europe, and around the world are making to the security of the  State of Israel and to the welfare of the Jewish people.

According to their website:

"The mission of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus is to build direct  lines of communication, cooperation, and coordination, between the  Knesset and Christian leaders around the world. We strive to establish  relationships between the members of Knesset and leaders of Churches,  Christian organizations, and political representatives worldwide. The  Knesset Christian Allies Caucus has attracted an increasingly diverse  and growing number of Christian leaders globally. The Caucus works with  Christians who support Israel alongside those who are undecided on their  position towards Israel. Many Christians recognize that their belief in  the Bible connects them to the land and the people of Israel. On this  basis, we work together to achieve our goals."

In  2006, the U.S. House of Representatives formed the first reciprocal  caucus to the Knesset Caucus - the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus.  Since then, additional caucuses have been formed all over the world under the umbrella organization of the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF),  which was formed in 2007 to coordinate the activities of caucuses from  around the globe. Together they work to bring a unified voice on issues  regarding Israel by educating, empowering and supporting the initiatives  of the growing worldwide legislator network. 

This year, in honor of the holiday of Sukkot, the Israel Allies  Foundation published its first annual list of Israel's Top 50 Christian  Allies. These honorees have all demonstrated a deep love for, and  history of support for, the State of Israel - which is the direct result  of their Christian faith. The list includes pastors, former  politicians, organizational leaders, and businessmen. For a complete  list of these friends of Israel and the Jewish people, go here.

As we enter this seven day period of the Feast of Tabernacles, may we be  encouraged by our knowledge of the everlasting protection and provision  of God for these times in which we live, and may we be strengthened in  our commitment to stand and act in support of the Jewish people and the  State of Israel.

Chag Sukkot Sameach - Happy Sukkot!!

UPCOMING EVENTS

CAMERA's Partnership of Christians and Jews is pleased to announce that we will host a webinar on Thursday, October 22nd, at 1:00 pm ET, titled  "What does the Christian Testament REALLY Say about the Jews?" This in-depth seminar will feature Dr. Brad Young, translator and publisher of the Hebrew Heritage Bible Newer Translation, a  new version that affirms the Christian Testament's Hebrew heritage and  allows the modern reader to understand what the first century audience  actually heard. 

Dr. Brad Young (Ph.D. Hebrew University) is emeritus Professor of  Biblical Literature in Judaic Christian Studies in the Graduate School  of Theology at Oral Roberts University. He has taught advanced language  and translation courses as well as the Jewish foundations of early  Christianity to graduate students for over thirty years. In addition to  his well-known research on the life of Jesus, he as devoted much energy  to interfaith dialogue to build relationships between the Jewish and  Christian communities. He is the author of numerous books including, Jesus the Jewish Theologian, The Parables: Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation, Meet the Rabbis, and Paul the Jewish Theologian.

Stay tuned for registration information to follow and please forward it to your friends!

On Sunday, November 1, at 7:00 pm ET, the Partnership's Tricia Miller will speak on the topic "The Source, Scope and Solution to Antisemitism"​ during a webinar hosted by the Friends of Israel.