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Start Your New Week with a Word of Edification, Exhortation and Comfort from Daniel Botkin

Welcome to the Gates of Eden Blog ~ New posts weekly at 8PM following Shabbat

March 25, 2018

In the spring of 2000, I had a solo exhibition of my artwork at Peoria’s Contemporary Art Center. My exhibition consisted of around thirty paintings based on the Exodus and Passover. One of my pieces in this show was a seder plate that I painted on a 16-inch diameter wooden platter (featured right). Even though we are not obligated to follow all the prescriptions of Jewish tradition, I included the six traditional items on my seder plate, for two reasons.

March 18, 2018

By the time most of you read this, our congregation will have celebrated New Year's Eve on the evening of March 16. That's when the Biblical New Year starts this year, on the New Moon that marks the beginning of the Hebrew month Aviv (also called Nisan). "This month [the month of Passover, Aviv] shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you" (Ex. 12:2). The Hebrew word aviv is not only the name of the first month; it is also the word for the spring season and for the green ears of grain that appear in the spring. Aviv is a word that conveys the idea of new beginnings. Therefore, this "beginning of months" is a good time of year for us to consider Yeshua's "beginning of miracles"--the transformation of water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. It is appropriate that Yeshua's very first miracle was the changing of water into wine, because this miracle is an illustration of what He...

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