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Saturday, 21 October 2017
Yom Shabbat, 1 Heshvan 5778

 



 







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The Havdalah

Researched by Rabbi. D

 

See our article on Havdalah customs

The Havdalah is an ancient Jewish tradition or custom which has been held for over a 2,000 yr. period to current. This also means that when looking back into biblical history the tradition was current  and commonly practiced by early Jewish people and believers as we see within (Acts 20:7)

On the Motza'ei-Shabbat (departing of the Sabbath/havdallah), when we were gathered to break bread, Sha'ul (Paul) addressed them. Since he was going to leave the next day, he kept talking until midnight.

The King James renders “the first day of the week” as a Sunday, but the Jewish first day of week actually began when the Shabbat ended, which would be on the eve of a Saturday. At this time members of the Jewish family will come together to bid the close of the Shabbat and to welcome the beginning day of the new week. This custom is again called the Havdalah (Heb.=Separation or Distinction). The apostles regularly practiced this coming together on the Havdalah. They did not change the day of worship by meeting on the Havdalah as some have thought. There is neither mention nor evidence that the Havdalah custom ever superseded or replaced the keeping of the Shabbat or that Sunday supersedes or abrogates the Shabbat. The fact here is that the Apostles go on observing their Jewish faith and customs accordingly.

The problem for some with this verse is simply that without understanding the times and customs many miss the plain meaning in the text here. For some take this to mean that just because they celebrated on the Havdalah that it absolutely replaced the Shabbat. From here it is further misunderstood to mean that Sunday is now the day for New Covenant worship. Yet we find no proof that they made Sunday a demand or obligation for all new covenant followers to keep. So it is assumed now by later readers and interpreters that Sunday must be the new day for worship since they met on it. Not only has this type of thinking and interpretation evolved today, but many have failed to realize that historic times have changed and have reshaped the religion of that day (1a). One such historic example can be found within the history of the ruler Constantine (1b) who changed the Jewish Christian faith as it had been practiced by the Jewish believing community of the 1st century. One thing that he specifically did was to change the Sabbath day, and made it officially Suns day (Sunday) the day of worship for all Christians, and its new founded roman church (2a,b). Out of this change lead many much later to brake away with the Roman Catholic Church, but still held to the practice of keeping Sunday as the day for their worship (3). The scripture often held to justify the keeping of Suns day or Sunday is (Acts 20:7 & Rev 1:10).

The actuality of understanding Jewish customs and tradition here only helps one to find a most accurate account of what was truly established for the believer back in the 1st century and was to continue. However the gentile adoption of today’s worship system and day has really been nothing more than a misunderstood cultural, historical and religious change. But when going back to understanding the past roots we find its truth has been drastically compromised and has been ignored to accommodate today’s western followers and thinkers. However looking though scripture from a Jewish view can also help improve the way one understands the Jewish G-d of the bible and what his intentions were and are for all followers of all ages.

Note:To learn more about the change of our faith get our handbook “New Covenant Judaism” see Osy home page

 

(1a) Read History of Constantine the Great

(1b) Quote from the JNTC said:

Why, in the past, did many Jewish believers, in practice, leave their people? Because in the 4th century, Roman Emperor  Constantine converted to Christianly and the gentile –dominated church gained political power, it began to require Jews who accepted Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah to give up all ties with Judaism, Jewish practices, Jewish friends, and anything Jewish. During most of the last 1,500 years a Jewish believer in Yeshua had to take on gentile religious and cultural ways, first , because the Jewish community excluded him, and second, because of Christendom’s social pressure and distaste for Jewish ways.Pg.274

This quote shows the condition of the times during Constantine’s reign over the Jewish nation. Apparently many changes for the Jewish follower had occurred under Constantine’s rule, and it is to this point that we show the practices of Sunday worship replaced the Shabbat and that the Jewish custom of Havdalah is all together ignored and replace by the day of Suns worship.

(2a) CORUPTION OF THE FAITH

"Whatever may have been the true character of Constantine's conversion to the Christian faith, its consequences were of vast importance both to the empire and to the Church of Christ. It opened the way for the unobstructed propagation of the Gospel to a wider extent than at any former period of its history. All impediments to an open profession of Christianity were removed, and it became the established religion of the empire. Numerous, however, in various points of view, as were the advantages accruing to it from this change, it soon began to suffer from being brought into close contact with the fostering influence of secular power. The simplicity of the Gospel was corrupted; pompous rites and ceremonies were introduced; worldly honors and emoluments were conferred on the teachers of Christianity, and the kingdom of Christ in a great measure converted into a kingdom of this world. (From the M&S Encyclopedia)

(2b) SUNDAY

As soon as the Christian religion came to be recognized by the State, laws were enacted for the observance of Sunday. The emperor Constantine made the first law ( 321) to exempt the day from' being juridical, as were the others. By this law and others he suspended all actions and proceedings of the law on this day, whether arrests, pleadings, 'exactions, sentences of judges, executions, excepting only such as were of absolute necessity or of eminent charity, as the manumission of staves, the appointing of curators and guardians to ordain, and causes relating to matters of preservation and damage, legacies and trusts, exhibiting of wills, and all cases where great damage might be suffered either by delay or by death. (From the M&S Encyclopedia)

(2c) SUNS DAY

Sunday is the name of the first day of the week, adopted by the first Christians from the Roman calendar (Lat. Dies Solis), Day of the Sun, so called because it was dedicated to the worship of the sun. (From the M&S Encyclopedia)

(3) In America the Puritan colonists established, to the full extent of their power, the observance of Sunday as the Christian Sabbath. The early laws of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia compelled attendance at church, the Massachusetts law (1782) providing that such attendance was not obligatory where there was no place of worship Which the person could conscientiously attend. (From the M&S Encyclopedia.)