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Intro:
Several months ago I had the opportunity to have lunch with a dear friend of mine who I have known for over 12 years. Although our relationship started out as a family friendship it eventually led to our family attending their church – he is a pastor.

We were called out of the church about 3 ½ years ago to start an incredibly exciting journey which will not end – and actually seems like it only just began. I had recently been trying to share with him the truths that G-d had revealed to us over this short time by extending an invitation to attend a study in our home but he declined.

He did, however, accept an invitation to lunch to celebrate his birthday – as is our custom. I had intended to discuss, at least to some degree, our recent experiences and encourage him to look further and find the truth that has been covered from “our” eyes for nearly two thousand years. “G-d is calling His people back to Torah”….this most excellent news was answered with grave concern spread across his face. My friend’s concern was primarily regarding my relationship with Jesus Christ and I assured him that this was not a salvation issue but a sanctification issue.

He agreed to continue a discussion over email exchange as best that our schedules would allow…and so begins what I would like to share with you: “Thoughts from lunch”. This will be a short series of exchanges (there is a total of 2 emails from him and 2 responses from me) between the two of us that I have found challenging. I will post his emails for your review and practice on how you may have responded. Every few days I will post the next exchange.

Below (the first email) is my friend responding to my explanation of how we are to live out our faith.

Email Subject: Thoughts from lunch (#1)

“Hey Brother, Thank you for the lunch. I am glad we had a chance to share our hearts with one another. We are family in Jesus Christ. I was concerned, however, about some of your statements about the new covenant and what it means to live under the new covenant. My concerns come from the Book of Hebrews, especially Hebrews 8:6-13, Hebrews 9:10, and Hebrews 10:9-10. Hebrews 8:13 uses the word obsolete in the NKJV. In Strong’s Concordance it is number 3822 in the dictionary in the back. The word means to make or become worn out, to declare obsolete. That is a strong statement about the old covenant. We can talk more after you study it out. Thanks again for the lunch.”

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These are the holidays that man says we may have off.

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day and the following Friday
  • Christmas Eve (1/2 day)
  • Christmas Day

However, it is not man we are here to serve. The reason we are here is to serve HaShem and draw closer to Him, but how can we expect to do this if we do not keep and observe His Moedim {appointed times}? None of the previous holidays are in the Bible except for New Years and even that is on the wrong day. Thankfully, HaShem compiled the Moedim into one chapter of the Torah! Vayikra {Leviticus} 23 explains when each Moed {festival} is, what it is celebrating, and whether or not we may work. It is very important to purchase a Hebraic calendar and study Vayikra 23. The Hebraic calendar is also available online at www.hebcal.com. Throughout the year there are 7 days we are commanded not to work as listed below for the year 2010.

  • Pesach – the first and last day – March 30, Tuesday and April 5, Monday
  • Shavuot– May 19, Wednesday
  • Rosh Hashanna– September 9, Thursday
  • Yom Kippur – September 18, Saturday
  • Sukkot– the first and last day – September 23, Thursday & September 29, Wednesday

It is important to note though these dates and days may vary from year to year, HaShem’s calendar does not change. He is an unchangeable and eternal G-d and His Moedim are “appointed times” during the year. We should all be examples in our workplace and request these days off. Most companies should grant permission for time off because they are required by law not to discriminate against religions. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that it is prohibited to deny a requested reasonable accommodation of an applicant’s or employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs or practices – or lack thereof – if an accommodation will not impose more than a de minimis cost or burden on business operations.1 Most likely your boss and coworkers will inquire about why you have these days off which becomes a great opportunity to share Torah and our obligation to keep it. Many people have said they were first introduced to Torah and began keeping the Mitzvot {commandments} after attending a Pesach seder, a Shabbat service, a Sukkot party, or any other Biblical celebration. HaShem desires our observance of His wonderful Moedim so we may keep His Torah and draw closer to Him. Let us be a light and an example for our friends, families, and coworkers. Let us be Tzadikim {righteous ones}.

1 http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda_religion.html

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