This has been an amazing feast season so far. Doug said it best when he said, “There’s just a good spirit here.” This is our sixth time through the feasts, but each time is so different.
Leading up to Yom Kippur, I was able to have some wonderful discussions with friends online about how to best celebrate Yom Kippur and teach it’s messages to our children. So I am very grateful to them for the ideas that I would like to pass on to you.
Many people wonder whether or not we should fast on Yom Kippur. Is it commanded? Is it tradition? I’m not really sure, but we do choose to fast. We feel it is a good way to afflict our souls, and see many examples of fasting being coupled with repentance, a major theme of the day. Our children do a “Daniel fast,” which is only veggies and water. We did more serious thinking about fasting this year. What does it mean? Why am I fasting? As we looked at Isaiah 58 and talked about fasts that are pleasing to YHVH, we realized that a fast for the sake of fasting means nothing. I am so thankful for the suggestion I saw in a discussion on facebook. What if we went without food for a day, and then sent money to feed those who had no food? I mentioned this idea to our kids, and suddenly, fasting had a purpose. And it was a good purpose. They were more than happy to do without if it meant someone else could have food. Even my five year old understood this. Sure, fasting was still hard for them, and near the end of the day, we had some whining. But they were such troopers! I saw a spirit of generosity and concern in them.
I am also thankful for the idea of a prayer box. We took the time to write down some things to pray for. The kids wanted to pray for the neighbors to have enough food. They wanted to pray that all of Israel would be gathered back to the land. They asked for forgiveness for the sins of our fathers. Again, I was amazed at the depth of their understanding.
We listened to Jonah on an audio Bible and talked about repentance and humility. We talked about how he was all upset about a plant that YHVH had provided for him. How often we feel like so much is owed us! We are only deserving of punishment, but YHVH chose to deliver us! Praise YHVH!
This song is about Jonah and repentance.
It’s funny how much time you have if you aren’t preparing food lol! We played a card game with the kids. We went for a leisurely walk, slowly, since we were kinda hungry lol. We had another impromptu time of teaching sitting out in our sukkah we have been preparing. We had a time of silent confession and pulled out our prayer basket to pray for those requests. (Thank you, Lusi for the idea.)
We blew the shofar! There’s just something about that sound that makes me feel like we are inviting our King to join us! He is welcome in our home. He is welcome at His feasts! He is welcome in our hearts, even if it is a painful process to clean out the filth as He directs. I hope we did a good job as a family of cleaning out our hearts on this most holy day. I hope we as a large group of believers were pleasing to Him in our desire to humble ourselves before Him.