Jean Stepnoski (7 Feb 2012)
"Tu B' Shevat, the Almond Trees/ Blossoms, and the Menorah"


 
Dear Doves,
      This year from sunset to sunset from 2-7 to 8 is Tu B'Shevat, the New Year for Trees, like Rosh Hashanah for Trees.  It is the date of Shevat 15 each year.  It is not a commanded observance in the Scriptures, a Feast of the Lord.  We tend to forget that Israel is not far North of the equator, it is in a semi-tropical area.  Spring is usually associated with 3-21 or the date of Nisan 1 (Abib1/ Aviv 1).  Shevat 15 is about an Earlier Start of Spring, less obvious since it cannot be seen, when the sap begins to rise within almond trees in Israel.  It is at the full moon, when the moon is "ripe" in its phase.  This is internal unseen life, rather than obvious seen signs of life with the buds appearing on trees, on branches.  The first trees to blossom in Israel were the almond trees.  So Tu B'Shevat marks the Earliest Beginning of Spring, of growth, of renewed life, of greater light from the sun, of the growing season for Israel.  The hibernation, the rest, the sleep of Winter turns to RENEWED and RESTORED LIFE and blossom and the quick and powerful increase of light upon the landscape from the sun.  When the Temple stood in Jerusalem, it was the day the "first fruits" of the trees that had turned four years of age were offered.  Deuteronomy 20: 19 notes that human "life is like the tree of the field."  Isaiah 55:12 notes that a day will come when the trees of the field will "clap their hands" in praise to the LORD God of Israel.
      The almond tree would be the first tree to come to life in Spring in Israel.  The word almond comes from the verb shaked, that means to "watch" or "wake" which can remind us of The Master's advice, His command, to WATCH for when He will arrive to WAKE the dead, then the living, In RESURRECTION!  The blossoming of the flowers of the almond trees is very beautiful.  Part of the divinely commanded design of the 7 pronged menorah used the cups as shaped like open almond blossoms.  The 7 oil lamps rested in the flower petals which were like small bowls . There were 7 branches, 9 flower blooms, 11 fruits (knobs/buds), and 22 cups (goblets).  See "The Menorah and Tree of Life" at http://www. hebrew4christians.com.    A flax or linen wick would be placed in each olive oil lamp and the fire in each was never to be allowed to go out, for the light to go to darkness.  It was THE HIGH PRIEST who was responsible to keeping the light going.  He alone dressed and trimmed the lamps.  He alone was responsible for KEEPING THE LIGHT SHINING.   The menorah is symbolic of the tree of life.  Remember the rod of Aaron, the first High Priest?  It was used to perform signs and wonders.   On one occasion it budded, flowered, and produced almonds overnight.  Was there THE TREE OF LIFE at Golgatha?
      What is seen in the vision called The Revelation after the door is opened in Heaven?  Messiah/Christ (THE HIGH PRIEST according to THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK) is standing in "the midst of the menorah" in the throne room of Heaven!  The 7 Lamps are ablaze with LIGHT!  Are we seeing clues as to the Season of the Blessed Hope?  The menorah was based on the model of the 7 pronged menorah in Heaven.  For more information please read  "The Golden Lampstand" http://www.bible-history.com/tabernacle/TAB4The_Golden_Lampstand.htm.  Also is http://rabbiyeshua.com/temple1.html "Yeshua and the Menorah" to consider these significant themes.
      The Master promises to come for THE RESURRECTION, THE WAKING, at a time most people do not expect. There will be "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, and planting and building."  Tuesday is a popular day of the week for weddings in Israel.    Many people plant trees in Israel on TuB'Shevat!  Are these spiritual clues?  Some Jews will celebrate a seder the evening when Shevat 15 begins.  This will be Tuesday evening on 2-7 with 4 cups of grape juice or wine.  These go from white (Winter), to blush  (Spring), to darker pink(Summer), to red/purple (Autumn).  Can a person get drunk on 4 glasses of wine?  Our Master wisely warned  to WATCH, beware "the cares of life", be sober instead of drunk, and avoid dissipation approaching THE WAKING, THE RESURRECTION!  Would this be an evening when these dangers will be present?   We are approaching The Season and The Day of The Blessed Hope.  Come quickly, Lord...
 
With Love and Shalom,
Jean