Biblical Fast and Feastdays

Worshipping our Heavenly Father on His Appointed Holydays!

Bet Yeshurun Messianic Assembly keeps all of the Biblical Holydays commanded by the Divine Word, and there is never any charge to attend any of our worship services or fellowship meals. We invite you to join with us in worship! Learn about these days of Divine appointment on this page. We have well-written research on each of the Holydays below; simply click the links to read the entire articles. To join us in worship, click the Holydays Schedule button.

Holydays Schedule

Bet Yeshurun Video:
The Divine Calendar

A five-part illustrated series on understanding the appointed times of our Heavenly Father.

Click the button below to learn about the weekly, monthly, and annual events on the Divine calendar!

Divine Calendar

The Feast of Bikkurim (Firstfruits)

Feast of Firstfruits - Bikkurim
Yom Bikkurim ("Day of FirstFruits"), is an opportunity to express gratitude for YAH's many blessings. Let us study this special Israelite holyday in more detail.

The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring to the house of YAHUAH your Elohim. (Exodus 34:26) Firstfruits consist of the first agricultural produce of a season. Now we know that Israel reaped harvests during three seasons: spring, summer, and fall. Let us consider "the first of the firstfruits" that scripture mentions (i.e. the flax and the barley): "And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled [in a seed pod]. But the wheat and the rye were not smitten: for they were not grown up." (Exodus 9:31-32) From flax, “fine linen” is made, and scripturally speaking, the “fine linen” speaks of the righteousness of the saints: “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Revelation 19:8) On the other hand, food is made from barley, and scripturally speaking, food symbolizes YAH’s teachings and instructions (Torah): Yahushuah said to them, “My meat [food] is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work. (John 4:34) And I went to the angel, and said to him, “Give me the little book.” And he said to me, “Take and eat it up. It shall make your belly bitter, but it shall be in your mouth sweet as honey.” (Revelation 10:9) From this, we deduce that firstfruits symbolize the righteousness of the saints with the teachings and instructions of YAHUAH Elohim.


The Feast of Pesach (Passover)

Feast of Pesach or Passover
Yahshuah's Memorial commemorates Messiah's death as a Passover Lamb.

Our Messiah's suffering; trial, death, and burial are the most noteworthy occasions among the significant events that happened on the fourteenth day of the first month ("moon") of the Hebrew calendar. People remember special events in their life. For example, many celebrate birthdates and wedding anniversaries. Likewise, BYA remembers a very special day when Yahshuah sacrificed Himself to redeem us from bondage to our sins. YAHUAH also revealed that special day of His Redemption Plan to the ancient Israelites with their delivery from bondage in Egypt under Pharaoh. (Exodus 3:7 - 13:10) Yahshuah's Memorial commemorates Messiah's death as a Passover Lamb. Once a year, YAH calls BYA to a special meeting. These are the feasts of YAHUAH, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is YAHUAH's Passover. (Leviticus 23:4-5) Scripture records that Yahshuah gathered His disciples that evening ("even") before His death. Yahshuah spoke of this evening as Passover. He (Yahshuah) sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare us the Passover that we may eat." (Luke 22:8) BYA follows this scriptural pattern by gathering just before sunset of the 13th day of the 1st moon of YAHUAH's heavenly calendar. Like ancient Israelites, BYA prepares for Passover as we plan our meal of lamb and bitter herbs, and practice the faith of our ancestors. Continue reading at the link below!


Feast of Hag Matsoth (Unleavened Bread)

Feast of Unleavened Bread or Hag Matstoth
"I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eats of this bread, he shall live forever." (John 6:51)

"Matstsah" first appears in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible in the chapter that describes how Lot invited two angels into his home in Sodom for dinner. "He pressed upon them greatly. They turned in unto him and entered into his house. He made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat." (Genesis 19:3) The Hebrew word "matstsah" (H4682) means "unleavened bread." It is an unfermented bread (or cake) that is made without leaven (yeast). The next chapter that uses this word (it is in 42 other KJV verses) is when YAHUAH tells the Israelites to eat it at dinner with their Passover lamb on the night He delivers them from Egypt. Like Lot, the Israelites live in a land that is about to receive devastating punishment. Interestingly, their meals included matstsah. “They shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread. With bitter herbs, they shall eat it.” (Exodus 12:8) YAHUAH also told the Israelites to memorialize that night with an annual seven-day festival during which they were to eat matstsah. “This day shall be unto you for a memorial. You shall keep it a feast to YAHUAH throughout your generations. You shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. Even the first day you shall put away leaven out of your houses. For, whosoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.” (Exodus 12:14-15)

Unleavened Bread

The Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost)

Feast of Pentecost or Shavuot
"When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind and it filled the entire house where they were sitting." (Acts 2:1-2)

Shavuot (Numbers 28:26) occurs each year in late spring. It marks the anniversary of when the Israelites received Elohim's instructions ("Torah") on how to live a righteous, holy ("set apart") life (Exodus 19 - 24). It also marks the anniversary of when the Apostles and other first century Believers received the Holy Spirit (Ruach ha'Kodesh) after Yahshuah ascended into heaven (Acts 2). Shavuot spiritually depicts when Elohim's Word and Spirit is given to Yah's chosen, set apart people. Ancient Israelites gathered annually for this festival. Many travelled long distances to gather at Jerusalem for the feast "Shavuot" (H7620), which literally means "sevened." This festival has many names. In Hebrew, it is called Chag haShavuot (Leviticus 23:16), Chag haKatzir (Exodus 23:16). In English, it is known as the Feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10; 2 Chronicles 8:13), Feast of the Harvest of First Fruits (Exodus 23:16), Day of First Fruits (Numbers 28:26) and Day of Assembly (Deuteronomy 18:16); In Greek, it is called Pentecost (Acts 2:16).


The Feast of Yom Teruah (Trumpets)

Yom Teruah or Feast of Trumpets
On the autumnal Feast of Trumpets, or Yom Teruah, worship will end with the blowing of shofars, shouts of joy, and songs of praise for Yahshuah as a memorial of YAHUAH’s holy day.

YAHUAH spoke to Moses saying, “Speak to the children of Israel saying, In the seventh moon, in the first day of the moon, you shall have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no servile work therein, but you shall offer an offering made by fire to YAHUAH.” (Lev. 23:23-25) “Yom Teruah” means “Day” (H3117) of “Shouting” (H8643, from H7321). In English, this festival of YAHUAH is also known as the “Feast of Trumpets”, or “Day of Blowing.” We read, "And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no servile work. It is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you." (Num. 29:1) In Greek, this festival is “Keleusma” (G2752) which means “to cry out, hail, shout, incite.” “For Adonai Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of Elohim: and the dead in Messiah shall rise first.” (1Thess. 4:16). Many celebrate Yom Teruah with actual trumpets. (Psalm 81:3; Psalm 98:6) That is very appropriate. Yet as the Hebrew and Greek names imply, BYA is encouraged to celebrate this feast lifting up our voices as trumpets to praise and worship Sovereign YAHUAH.

Yom Teruah

The Fast of Yom Kippur (Atonement)

Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement
For one day, we will afflict ourselves with a fast (no food or water) and put away our work in remembrance of Yah's holy day.

"Yom Kippur" means "Day" (H3117) of "Atonement" (H3725). The Hebrew word "kippur" also means "expiation" and comes from a primitive root word "kapar" (H3722) that means "to cover, expiate, condone, placate, cancel, appease, make atonement, cleanse, disannul, forgive, be merciful, pacify, pardon, purge, put off, reconcile." What a beautiful word! It fully describes what this feast day is all about. This holy day is so important that Yah repeats His message for BYA to observe it. "And you shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month a holy convocation. You shall afflict your souls. You shall do no work therein. You shall offer a burnt offering to YAHUAH for a sweet savor; one young bullock, one ram and seven lambs of the first year. They shall be unto you without blemish. Their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals to a bullock and two tenth deals to one ram, a several tenth deal for one lamb, throughout the seven lambs, one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the sin offering of atonement, and the continual burnt offering, and the meat offering of it, and their drink offerings." (Numbers 29:7-11)

Yom Kippur

The Feast of Succoth (Tabernacles)

Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot
The seven-day festival of Sukkoth, also known as Tabernacles, starts at sunset. BYA will blow its shofars the following day as a call for the people of Elohim ("God") to gather. After putting away our own work pursuits, we will be spending some quality time with YAH.

Sukkoth is a joyful celebration that commemorates our Savior's dwelling amongst His people. During Yahushuah's first visit, He was a messenger of YAH and the Lamb of Elohim. At His next visit, He will arrive as King of kings and Lord of lords fully bringing to light the Kingdom of Elohim. In ancient Jerusalem, torches lit during Tabernacles festively illuminated the City. Some refer to this week as a "Festival of Lights." Then Yahushuah spoke again to them saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life." (John 8:12) From Strong's Concordance, we learn that this Festival name comes from the plural of a Hebrew word, "sukka" (H5521). It means "a hut or lair, booth, tent cottage, covert, pavilion, tabernacle." It also written as "Succoth" and is pronounced "sue-coat." "Tabernacles" is the equivalent English word. Webster's Dictionary defines that word as "tents; temporary shelters; dwelling places; the human body as a dwelling place of the soul, shrines (niches with canopy), places of worship, the portable sanctuary Israelites carried." Likewise, during each day of Sukkoth, BYA will host gatherings. These fellowship times are opportunities for Believers to meet with YAH in prayer, praise and worship. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Elohim, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to Elohim, which is your reasonable service." (Romans 12:1)


The Feast of Shemini Atzeret (Last Great Day)

Coming of Messiah to earth
This special Feast Day marked the end of the autumn festivals (Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkoth). It is known as the "Last Great Day," or "Eighth Solemn Assembly."

"Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a Feast unto YHVH seven days. On the first day shall be a Sabbath and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath." (Leviticus 23:39) This Last Great Day spiritually depicts the wonderful 1000-year reign of Yahushuah (the Messianic Age). As part of YAH's Plan of Salvation, this Millennial Reign replaces man's 6000-year of stewardship on earth (under Satan's spiritual influence). At the end of His Millennium rule, Yahushuah will gather everyone (living and dead) for Judgment Day. "When the Son of man shall come in His glory and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit upon the throne of His glory. All nations shall gather before Him. He will separate them one from another as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then will the King say to them on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of my Father. Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'" (Matt. 25:31-34) This Eighth Solemn Assembly commemorates a special, set-apart, holy, appointed time. It pictures when Yah's people finally come to rest with ha'Mashiach (the Messiah). It spiritually depicts The Groom (Yahushuah) asking His Bride (The Church, Ecclesia) to stay one more day (a picture of eternity) with Him after their week-long wedding celebration (a picture of the seven-day festival of Sukkoth). His celebratory gift to the Bride is a reward for persistently obeying His teachings (Torah).

Shemini Atzeret

The non-Torah holidays Hanukkah & Christmas

BYA only observes the feasts of YAHUAH at His appointed times. These holy days (not holidays) are found in scripture (Leviticus 23; Numbers 28 & 29). BYA discusses the man-made holiday traditions of Hanukkah and Christmas in this article.

Hanukkah (or Chanukah) first appears in the apocryphal Book of Maccabbees (non-canonical late history). Note that it is a man, not Yah, who ordains this festival. "Hanukkah" is a Hebrew word derived from "qadas (H6942)" which means "to dedicate". This feast is also known as "Dedication" and "Lights". It begins on the 25th day of Chislev (the 9th month of the Jewish calendar) and ends 8 days later. Hanukkah usually occurs when Christians are also observing their Christmas holiday season, and many of the holiday rituals are similar. Some sources suggest a connection with the Roman festival of Saturnalia, an ancient popular eight-day event celebrated at the same time of year, due to Roman influence in the land of Palestine. There is much impetus toward diversity in our society and with it inevitably comes a certain amount of syncretism - a merging, or fusion of different systems of belief. People do love holidays and festivals. It is popular in some Messianic circles to keep Hanukkah to imitate Yahshuah, who (they believe) kept this holiday according to John's Gospel. The text says, "And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter, and Yahshuah walked in the temple in Solomon's porch." (John 10:22-23) Was Messiah actually there to worship or for another purpose? Let us take a closer look and answer the question of whether Believers should celebrate these popular man-made holidays.


The pagan holiday Halloween

Halloween has ancient roots that stretch back to early Palestine, and the Biblical prophets struggled with the source of our American holiday.

The familiar Halloween custom practiced today derives its immediate history from the pagan Celts of Gaul, who celebrated the end of each year on October 31st, with November 1st marking the beginning of the New Year. They called this religious festival "Samhain," a Celtic word meaning "the end of summer." Early Gaul included the territories of modern day France, Belgium, parts of Germany and northern Italy, later expanding to include Spain, Britain, Ireland, and Scotland (Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 5, p.148). The Celts believed that on the night of October 31st witches, demons and the spirits of people who had died during the year went about trying to re-enter the bodies of living individuals. During the ninth century, A.D., the Catholic Church finally responded to the celebration of Samhain. They did not ban it or expose its pagan origins, but instead turned it into a Christian variant with November 1st rededicated as a day to honor all who had died during that year. The Christianized version was given the new name "All Saints Day," and October 31st was renamed "All Hallows Eve." Halloween therefore became a Christian revision of the pagan Celtic celebration of Samhain. Unfortunately, the pagan demonism inherent in the holiday still exists today in a modernized form, and in fact its roots extend even farther back to ancient Canaan.


The non-Torah holiday of Purim or "Lots"

This Jewish holiday has become popular with Messianic believers, but are its customs something we should follow?

The Purim holiday is interwoven with the inspiring story of a young Jewish girl, Esther, and her cousin, Mordecai, who with resolute cunning and bravery prevent a wicked Haman from destroying the Jewish community in ancient Persia.

The Jewish holiday of Purim or "Lots" has its entire basis in the Book of Esther, without which it would not exist. Since few Christians or Jews have taken the time to read this book, we will begin with a brief synopsis of each chapter. Following this overview we will answer several important questions. We will examine: Is Purim worshipful or carnavalesque? Why is Purim regarded as offensive to so many people, both Christians and Jews? Is it immoral? Is it historically reliable? Did these events really happen?

We will also answer such questions as why the Book of Esther was canonized so late, and why many rabbinical authorities through the centuries refused to accept it, including the Qumran community. With the aid of leading respected scholars in both Hebrew studies and ancient Mideast history, we will present some fascinating, little-known, and perhaps surprising well-documented information to determine whether Purim is a holyday that Messianic believers must observe.


The Paganized holiday of Ishtar or Easter

Few Christians realize that the name and customs of "Easter" are of pagan origin with links back to Biblical times, and that the word itself is but a corruption of the Canaanite god Ishtar. The Biblical prophets had much to say against this pagan worship.

Information on this subject will be posted here in the near future.

Posted Soon!