Shanah Tova – Happy New Year


by ZIA

No, I haven’t gotten my calendar twisted, nor am I on or need to go on medication. I’m celebrating the new year on the Hebrew-Israelite calendar. Tomorrow marks the beginning of the new year as stipulated in the Bible.

Joining other nations which keep Biblical laws, the Hebrew-Israelites in Antigua, led by Ammi Ben Israel, a son of the soil, will join their fellow African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem in Dimona, Israel and other parts of the world, to exclaim, “Shanah Tova!” This means “Happy New Year!”

Unconvinced? Don’t be. Their lifestyle is based on the laws and teachings of the Old Testament. In fact, as a gift of appreciation to the Antiguan public, the Institute of Regenerative Truth under the auspices of the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem will be holding a special seminar tomorrow at the City View Hotel, beginning at 2 p.m. The topic being discussed will be “Righteous cycles, seasons and set times” to commemorate the celebration of the New Year.

The lecture promises to be thought provoking, and you’ll definitely want to bring your Bibles along to follow the scriptures and passages which stipulate the laws and lifestyle of the African Hebrew Israelites.

Asked the basis of their lifestyle, the guidelines for their spirituality and governance of their lives and you need only to read through the Old Testament.

Speaking with an Old Girl, and we spent some time doing the “Yes… I remember you from High School … I knew your face looked familiar..” thing, Rumiah tells me that her life is more fulfilling and peaceful since making the decision to change her lifestyle from one based on Western cultures and values, to one based on the laws and cultures of Yah (the Hebrew word for God).

Growing up as a typical Antiguan girl, according to Rumiah, she was influenced by a Rastafarian family background, merged with the Christian background she got from school. On her own though, she always possessed a deep interest in Africa and its culture.

Going through the “what is the purpose of life” phase that many of us experience from time to time, Rumiah admitted to feeling despair and a sense of loss with the mundane routine of life. She turned to motivational books which used quotes from the Bible, as well as the Bible itself for answers.

As fate would have it, however, one of her co-workers Yasheer, who had recently been “awakened” by the Hebrew-Israelite lifestyle and changed his own lifestyle of partying for one filled with reverence and love for God, spoke with Rumiah and introduced her to Ammi Ben Israel. Equipped with nothing more than the Bible to support his experiences and decisions to change his own lifestyle, Rumiah was awakened to truth.

Travelling to Dimona last year, where the African Hebrew Israelite Community of Jerusalem is, with a population of about 3,000 people, Rumiah releases an exclamatory sigh when I ask her what the experience was like. Admitting she wondered how she was going to share her experience and not make it sound like a fairy tale, Rumiah begins to tell me of her fascination and delight with meeting people who have been living the laws of the Bible and seeing the flourishing results of a lifestyle built on the ancient rules of Yah (God).

She invites everyone to attend the seminar tomorrow to have their questions answered, and learn why the Hebrew-Israelites, among other nations, celebrate the New Year during the Spring (as directed in Exodus 12:2) rather than in the dead of Winter (1 Jan.,) as recognised by the Western Culture.

It is noted that in the Old Testament, God began “the months with the new moon, and the year in Spring when nature is bringing forth new life everywhere, during the month of Aviv (the first month of the Hebrew calendar year, which itself means Spring … Exodus 13:4 and Leviticus 23:5).

Tomorrow’s seminar promises to be enlightening, intended to raise “the level of consciousness” among people to evoke positive change that will effect not only your relationship with God, but prompt you towards a healthier lifestyle as well.

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