The Day Of Affliction
By NeorahYah Yisra'el
Yom Kippurim is the Shabbat - Shabbathot; the Shabbat of Shabbats.
Many of Yisra'el are beginning to learn about the Appointed Times of Yah. We are wondering what is appropriate, and what is acceptable for us to do outside of Yerushalayim? We are in captivity. The temple does not stand. Yahoshua, HaMashiach has not returned to establish His Millennial Kingdom; all of which must be in place for the physical aspects of the feast days to re-occur, if they're required at all.
However, for now, is there anything we can do on a spiritual level regarding the feast days? How can we experience Yom Kippuriym, and more importantly, should we even try?
The answer is Yes!
We are in the Sixth Millennium, the Sixth Day by Yah's Time Clock. This is our Preparation Day; the Preparation Millennium before the return of Yahoshua, HaMashiach, of Nazareth.
Yisra'el should be preparing for the event of His return, and the coming kingdom. We should be obtaining oil for our lamps in anticipation of the bridegroom. The wicks should be trimmed and ready to be lit at His appearance, when Yahoshua, our high priest, will instruct us in the protocols of the heavenly realm.
Until then it should behoove us to do our homework, our due diligence; and that would mean to learn the things that Yah has commanded are a statute throughout our generations.
Should you slaughter a lamb, or worse, buy a butchered lamb at the market, pray over it and offer it up to Yah on the Pesach?
No. That would be silly, foolish behavior.
Or do you stand and say: 'I do not have the ordained means to do it Abba, so I choose to wait until I am shown by Yahoshua, or one of your righteous malakiym;' rather than profane what you have declared 'Set-Apart.'
That is wise behavior.
There will be others who will say: 'throughout your generations means, throughout your generations.'
Well, I am not here to argue, but I will say this: you and you alone will stand before Yahoshua one day. Each person should work out their own salvation.
In the meantime, some are being led by the Ruach HaQodesh to educate themselves in the spiritual aspects of the Mo'edim of Yah.
This article is for them.
Beginning in the evening of the 9th Day of the 7th Month of Yah's Time Clock, until the evening of the 10th Day of the same month, is Yom Kippuriym, the Day Of Atonement or, the Day of Affliction.
From evening to evening Yisra'el is commanded by Yah to afflict her souls.
Here is the Torah.
'And Yahuah spoke unto Mosheh, saying, Also on the tenth day of this seventh month is Yom Kippuriym:
it shall be a Set-Apart assembly unto you; and you shall afflict your souls, and an offering made by fire unto Yahuah.
And you shall do no work in that same day: for it is Yom Kippuriym, to make an atonement for you before Yahuah Elohaykem. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut
off from among his people.
And whatsoever soul it be that does any work in that same day, the same soul
will I destroy from among his people.
You shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute forever throughout your
generations in all your dwellings.
It shall be unto you a Shabbat of rest, and you shall afflict your souls: in the ninth
day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, shall you celebrate
your Shabbat.' ~Leviticus 23:26-32~
The phrase 'afflict your souls/beings', can be said to mean: 'afflict your appetite(s);' from which we get the phrase 'to fast.'
What is the Soul/Being?
Soul/Being - Strong's (H5315) nepes - breath; by extension: life, life force, soul, an
immaterial part of a person. The seat of 'emotion and desire;' a person as a whole,
heart, mind, will, lust, appetite, given to appetite. pleasure.
(G 5314, 5315) phagos, phago - glutton: gluttons. to eat, consume, devour:- eat, eaten,
The soul represents the immaterial desires and appetites of a person, a body.
To 'afflict your soul/being', is to deny the soul the appetites, the desires, the lusts that are innate to it.
The body is tangible. The soul is spiritual, intangible. The soul is what Yah 'sees.'
Yah judges and chastises the soul oftentimes on the physical, and sometimes on a spiritual level through conviction via the Ruach HaQodesh.
When we fast, we are interacting with Yah as He sees us; open, unguarded, not hidden within a physical frame. When done righteously, a fast is Ruach to ruach; the Creator, directly to the created. It leads to a more personal relationship with Yah, because it is in the soul's spiritual realm that Yah sees, hears, and answers our prayers. It is there that He judges the hearts, and inward parts of man.
When we seek Yah by denying the soul through fasting, we clear away 'self' motivations, and allow Yah to enter in. This is why our forefathers prayed and fasted frequently; and in the case of Yahoshua, HaMashiach, for an extended period of time.
This is the relationship Yah has with our souls/beings when we fast and pray:
Psalms 19:7 - Yah refreshes the soul.
Psalms 63:1 - Yah quenches the thirsty soul.
Psalms 69:1-21 - Yah chastens the soul.
Psalms 103:1 - We bless Yah with our souls.
Psalms 107:9 - Yah satisfies the hungry soul.
Proverbs 27:7 - A hungry soul craves what is sweet.
Yahoshua 22:5 - Serve Yah with all your soul.
Clearly, now we can see that our souls are where Yah touches us. It is the fingertip to fingertip moment, where the Creator and the created meet. So the question becomes:
How Do We Fast? How do we 'Deny the Self?'
Queen Esther simplified it for us:
'Go, gather together all the Yahudiym that are present in Shushan, and fast you
for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my
maidens will fast likewise; and so I will go into the king, which is not according
to the law: and if I perish, I perish.' ~Esther 4:16-17~
Queen Esther not only fasted and prayed for the salvation of all the Yahudiym, but also
for her own life. Others were willing to join her in this righteous fast, under penalty of
death. Multiple souls fasted and prayed for three days and three nights, communicating
with Yah on a spiritual level. We all know how the story turned out.
Another example of a righteous fast is found in the story of Yonah and the citizens of
Niyneveh. Yonah prophesied: 'Yet 40 days, and judgement would come;' and the people of Niyneveh believed. They had faith, fasted, and saved their souls/beings from destruction.
~Yonah, Chapters 1-4~
When the soul/being has a deep, profound longing or desire, the fast can, and will often exhibit the following elements:
Psalms 70:4 - Seek Yah with rejoicing and gladness.
Psalms 103:1-2 - Praise and rejoicing.
Psalms 146:1 - Praise and blessings on Yah.
Psalms 149:1-6 - Sing songs, dance, play instruments in praise of Yah.
However, songs during a fast are not always joyous. Sometimes they are lamentations, supplications; remorseful, full of suffering and misery. King David oftentimes expressed in his songs a fear that Yahuah would not turn His Face towards him, or hear his cries. He was terrified of being cast off, cast down to Sheol, or left in darkness, bereft of the light of Yah.
In Strong's Concordance (H6030,H6031) ana - to answer, reply, to sing, to be answered,
to sing about, bear witness, give account, beareth, cry, sing, sang, sung. The word Leannoth is given and Psalms 88 is cited.
Psalms 88 are the instructions King David gave to his Chief Musician, Heyman.
The introduction says:
'A Song. A Psalm of the sons of Qorach. Set to 'Mahalath Leannoth." A Maskiyl of Heyman, the Ezrachiy.'
Side note: A maskiyl is a skillful, poetic, or didactic Psalm, written to instruct the people.
Heyman, the Ezrachiy was of the seed of Qohath, one of the 3 sons of Leviy. He was a singer, and being of the priestly tribe, he was appointed by King David to the service of song in the house of Yah, after the Ark of the Covenant had rested.
~1 Chronicles 6:16-33~
The words/lyrics of the Psalm are Davids', perhaps in collaboration; but it was performed by Heyman, the Ezrachiy.
'O Yahuah Elohiym of my yeshu'ah, I have cried day and night before you:
Let my prayer come before you: incline your ear unto my cry; For my soul is
full of troubles: and my life draws nigh unto Sheol. I am counted with them
that go down to the pit: I am as a man that has no strength: Free among the
dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom you remember no more: and
they are cut off from your hand. You have laid me in the lowest pit, in
darkness, in the deeps. Your wrath lies hard upon me, and you have afflicted
me with all your waves. Celah. You have put away my acquaintance far from me;
you have made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot
come forth. My eye mourns by reason of afflicting; Yahuah, I have called daily
upon you, I have stretched out my hands unto you.
Will you show wonders to the dead? shall the Repha'iym arise and praise you?
Celah. Shall your lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or your faithfulness in
destruction? Shall your wonders be known in the dark? and your righteousness
in the land of forgetfulness? But unto you I have cried, O Yahuah; and in the
morning shall my prayer prevent you. Yahuah, why do you cast off my soul?
why do you hide your face from me? I am afflicted and ready to die from my
youth up: while I suffer your terrors I am distracted. Your fierce wrath goes
over me; your terrors have cut me off. They came round about me daily like
water; they compassed me about together. Lover and friend have you put far
from me, and my acquaintance into darkness. ~Psalms 88:1-18~
The Psalm above is a perfect example of another element of fasting. It addresses the commandment for us to afflict our souls on Yom Kippuriym; and that brings us to the question:
How Do We Afflict Our Souls?
Strong's (H 6035) anaw - humble, lowly, meek, poor.
(H6037) anwa - gentleness, meekness, humility.
(H6031) ana - submit, troubled, weakened, hurt, deny oneself.
(H6039) nut - suffering
It is obvious David is afflicting his soul in his prayer to Yahuah. He is in anguish. He is suffering. He is imploring Yahuah to hear his cries. That is the primary characteristic of a prayer that afflicts the soul.
Whatever manner the Ruach HaQodesh moves you to afflict your soul, whether it be with songs of praise, blessings, lamentations, weeping, and mourning; or any combination thereof, one quality should be evident throughout; and that is humility. Come before Yah with a humble spirit, in meekness and repentance.
Yoel 2:12-14 - Fast, weep, mourn. Tear your heart.
Daniel 9:3-5 - Prayer, supplication, fasting, sackcloth, ashes, confession.
Nehemiah 1:1-11 - Sit down, weep, mourn, fast, pray, confess, implore, intercede for others.
Psalms 35:13-14 - bow down heavily, mourn as one mourns for a mother, humble your soul.
Psalm 69:10 - Chasten your soul with fasting.
If by chance we remain unsure how we might address the soul's spiritual needs on
Yom Kippuriym, Yahuah has provided us with specific instructions on what He considers an
acceptable fast, and what pleases Him from a soul/being.
'Wherefore have you fasted, say they, and you see not? wherefore have we
afflicted our soul, and you take no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast
you find pleasure, and exact all your labors. Behold, you fast for strife and debate,
and to smite with the fist of wickedness: you shall not fast as you do this day,
to make your voice to be heard on high.
Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul?
is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes
under him? will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Yahuah?
Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo
the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you brake every yoke.
Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast
out to your house? when you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you
hide not yourself from your own flesh?
...And if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul;
then shall your light rise in obscurity, and your darkness be as the noonday.
~Isaiah 58:3-7, & 10~
So we see that in addition to the previously mentioned ways to afflict our souls on
Yom Kippuriym, we can also correct injustices, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, clothe the poor, care for our families, ease the plight of the afflicted, and give alms.
In other words, we can be a blessing to others when it's done in a spirit of fasting; and in praise and rejoicing of the mercy of Yah. We can weep, and mourn for the plight of Yisra'el and those it's been given to us to help.
Yom Kippuriym should be an individual, and personal interaction between your soul and
Yahuah Meqoddishkem. In whatever way you choose to approach Him, whether it is through fasting, songs of praise, songs of lamentations, quiet reflection, or weeping and mourning, let the desires of your soul be seen only by Yah.
In summary, do we butcher animals and serve them on a plate outside of Yerushalayim? Should we be instructed or feel compelled to totally ignore Yom Kippuriym (or any Mo'edim for that matter), solely because we are not in our land and remain in captivity? Should we regard any of the 'Appointed - Times' as 'just another day' because we are not in Yerushalayim and the Temple does not stand?
The answer is No!
On Yom Kippuriym, can we Fast and Praise Yahuah with songs of worship? Can we Afflict our souls with weeping, and mourning? Can we have repentance, and express regret and sorrow over the loss of what Yah has removed from us, while we are exiled in the land of our oppressors? In the privacy of our inner closet, can we display sorrow over our transgressions against Yahuah?
The answer is a resounding Yes!
There is another way to keep our 'Appointments' before Yahuah without the shedding of blood - Yahoshua, HaMashiach has already fulfilled that requirement; and yet, 'throughout your generations' means exactly throughout your generations.
Yom Kippuriym is a day when Yahuah has assured us His face is turned towards us. What a blessing! Do not waste an opportunity to let your prayers, praise, supplications and repentances, be heard in the heavens. Do not forego your chance to lay your spiritual 'offerings' before Him; and may your humble acts be recorded in your book in heaven.
Here is the wisdom of our ancestor King David:
'I will praise the Name of Yahuah with a song, and magnify Him with
thanksgiving. This also shall please Yahuah better than an ox or bullock
that has horns and hoofs.'
Shalom Aleichem Yisra'el.
Go to: The Feast of Cukkot