Secret Link Between the Feasts
Two seemingly opposite holidays on the Hebrew calendar are inseparably linked by a single powerful ingredient. One holiday involves self-denial, the strictest fasting, and avoiding anything which might offer comfort to the body. The other holiday is gay and festive, replete with feasting, gorging on excessive deserts, and public frivolity.
The former holiday is Yom Kippur, haShabbat Shabbaton, the Sabbath of Sabbaths and Day of Atonement in Leviticus 23:27. The latter holiday is Purim, which is Mordecai’s Day in Esther 9:20-22.
On Yom Kippur, it is habit among religious Jews to give tzedakah(charity) before the fast begins. They give generously because tzedakah is considered to be a great source of merit. Charity, they claim, even offers protection against the harsh judgments of Almighty God on this day of affliction. In other words, selfless charity – alongside repentance and prayer – overcomes a death sentence and brings redemption on Yom Kippur.
Yeshua declares something similar to a rich young man. The man expressed to the Messiah how diligently he had kept the commandments in the Torah. “You still lack one thing,” Yeshua replied. “Sell all your possessions and give your money to the poor. Then, you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me” (Mark 10:21-22). In the words of Yeshua, charity completes the commandments.
Charity, and relieving the burden of neighbors in trouble, will soon be the focus once more. Purim, the holiday which is linked to Yom Kippur, is fast approaching. It begins the evening of Wednesday, February 28. Purim magnifies the importance of charity with the understanding that it is by the Almighty’s “charity” we are granted life and breath. For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.
Published February 13, 2018