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Finding joy

One woman’s search for a truth during Rosh Hashanah

Posted: September 15, 2012 - 9:12pm  |  Updated: September 15, 2012 - 9:21pm
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Kristine Dohse helps prepare a plate for her daughter Linnaea, 11, on Saturday during a pre-Rosh Hashanah celebration at the Dohse home in Nikiski. Rosh Hashanah means "head of the year," which is why fish with its head attached is served, Dohse explained. The holiday marks the beginning of the Hebraic calendar year.   Photo by Brian Smith
Photo by Brian Smith
Kristine Dohse helps prepare a plate for her daughter Linnaea, 11, on Saturday during a pre-Rosh Hashanah celebration at the Dohse home in Nikiski. Rosh Hashanah means "head of the year," which is why fish with its head attached is served, Dohse explained. The holiday marks the beginning of the Hebraic calendar year.

At sundown today Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins. 

For many it is a time of reflection, family gatherings, sweet food and for one Nikiski woman, a foray into sharing her celebration with curious Christian friends.

Kristine Dohse’s journey into discovering the “Hebraic Roots” of her faith, her religion and her family roots began nearly a decade ago with a bible-study exercise and an experimental Passover celebration and has led to a fundamental change in the nature of her beliefs. 

Dohse’s body almost vibrates with excitement when she talks about her journey; her hands trace invisible shapes in air, punctuating sentences bookended by her quick smile. 

But, despite her joy, Dohse said she realizes people think she is strange. 

Some of her friends at the Kenai Bible Church don’t understand when she forgoes pork, or advocates a celebration of Passover instead of Easter. 

And while the MoAdim fellowship she attends on Saturdays in Kenai has like-minded people who self-identify as Messianic Christians, or people who celebrate traditional Jewish holidays, Dohse said she’s still stuck between two faiths. 

That uncertainty has faded somewhat in the last few days, she said. 

So, she decided to hold a celebration, what she calls “Rosh Hashanah 101” for those who are curious about the holiday and her faith. 

Saturday, she served apples and honey, a celebration of the sweetness of the coming year, and hollow bread braided into a circle, a symbol of renewal and the circular nature of life. 

For now, she’ll continue to work between two bibles, attend church on Saturdays and Sundays, explore commonality between the two religions and help those who want guidance.

Dohse isn’t the only one in her family who has searched for Jewish roots in her life.

Her great-grandmother, on her father’s side, was Jewish. Two cousins are in the process of converting and an aunt is interested in Dohse’s research.

Because the Jewish blood in Dohse’s family is on her father’s side, Dohse said she wouldn’t be able to convert and be accepted into a synagogue where Jewish lineage is determined on the mother’s side. 

Even if she could, Dohse said she’s not sure she would convert. 

But, she said, it would be nice to interact with other Jewish people to get the perspective on life she missed in her own Baptist upbringing.

There is a Jewish congregation in Sterling, Briat Elohim, the only one on the Kenai Peninsula. 

While the group’s web site advocates that their services and celebrations are open to everyone, Dohse said there is tension between MoAdim and the Jewish group. 

She does credit the congregation with her exposing her to a traditional Passover Seder, a traditional feast that marks the beginning of the Passover holiday, when she moved to Alaska. 

“They cleared everything away afterwards and started dancing,” she said. “That, as a Baptist girl, freaked me out. I backed away to the wall like ‘I can’t believe they’re dancing.’ They were doing Hebraic circle dancing and I was shocked. I felt like I was going to explode. It filled every one of those needs and questions that I had all my life about religion and hypocrisy and emptiness. It propelled me into this crazy, hard, wonderful, amazing adventure.”

For now, she sticks with educating herself on the internet, looking for inspiration from Jewish forums and other Messianic congregations. 

“It’s lonely because I don’t know where to go,” Dohse said. “I know there will be people who will find inconsistencies in my life and say, ‘How can you do this?’ That’s when I have to tell them, I never said I had it all figured out. This is just what I’ve learned, this is the joy that’s coming into my life and I just want to share it.”

At the same time that she puts herself out in the community, offering to help others along her path, Dohse said she also tests the waters with her family. 

“I’m trying to get my husband to give up Christmas,” she said, laughing and shaking her head. “He’s not quite going for it. That’s where we are kind of struggling. Our youngest son’s birthday is December 20 and that usually lands right in the middle of Hanukkah. It’s a crazy time of year.”

But, in the same way that Dohse values personal choice for herself, she respects that her family should be able to choose for themselves as well.

So, she’ll celebrate the new year now and in January, although her preference would be to stick with Rosh Hashanah, she said. 

“These last few days, I have felt this peace that this is the right path,” she said. “I haven’t seen or felt any doors slamming shut, I just have to have the faith that I’m going in the right direction.

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Watchman on the Wall
Watchman on the Wall 09/16/12 - 03:01 pm

Happy New Year!! What a wonderful time to realize that Yahweh, God has a perfect plan for his creation and redemption of mankind. This feast is the first of the 3 Fall feasts after a long summer and a picture of the age of Grace since Pentecost when all of mankind was welcomed into the plan of salvation of God, both Jews & Gentiles alike.
This is the time when Yeshua created everything as well as mankind almost 6000 years ago according to his great will & purpose. This is also the time when Noah came off the Ark to start a new Era after the judgements of God by flood on evil mankind. Mankind had been genetically altered or corrupted creating freaks & giants from the wicked desires of mankind, helped by Satans desire to redue all that Yeshua had created and said was good, much like today.
This is the 5th Feast out of the 7 which Yahweh commanded the nation of Israel to observe as a continual moed or appointed times as Holy convocations. These feasts are ment for Israel and all believers in Yahweh's plan of redemption for ALL of mankind to look back at what Yahweh has done, as well as look foreward to what he will do in the future.
These Feasts were given and commanded to be observed for the explesite purpose of pointing towards the coming Messiah, Yeshua, who would fullfill each Feast and it's meaning to the letter according to Yahweh, Gods eternal plan of redemption.
The Feast of Trumpets, Rosh Hashanah is observed by the blowing of the Shofar which signals the start or beginning of a new year. The Jews of old would immediatly stop their harvest of crops and go to the Temple in Jerusalm to celebrate Gods provisions for the past year and prepare for the next year and Yom Kippur, day of atonement. This Feast is also a time when Jewish Kings would take a Bride as well as be crowned as King.
Believers in Yeshua, the Jewish messiah, all that have accepted his death and sheading of blood for remission of sin for all should be looking foreward to the day when we will hear the shofar blast and shout from our Lord to come up here for our wedding feast, all mentioned in 2 Corinthians 15:50-58, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 some day. What a blessed hope for believers in Gods plan of redemption as we start this New Year.
It's all about Yeshua, Yahweh, Gods promise of redemption for all, not about manmade rules or customs or religious beliefs, as Yeshua said in John 14:6 when he said that he was the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the father except through him and his atonement for sin by his shead blood on calvary's cross. This starts the 10 day count to the 6th feast of Yom Kippur known as the days of Awe when payment for sin must be paid by blood sheading, either by you or by Jesus. Fasting and praying or being a moral person nor any other form of payment shall be accepted by God.
This feast is followed by the 7th and last Feast of Sukkot, Tabernacles when Jesus will rule and reign on earth for 1000 years and from Jerusalm aswell, Gods choosen City now controled by Jews after almost 2000 years. Yeshua shall rule over the Jewish people and all the world where everyone will be required to come to Jerusalem for the Feasts or suffer for not obeying Gods commands. It will be a time where every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father, even by those that don't believe it. Philippians 2:10-11.
Shana Tova and for those of us believers in Yeshua keep looking up as Titus 2:13 tells us to do as we wait for that Shofar blast some day with our redemption being completed in Yeshua, Jesus our Only Hope & Fundamental Change to Believe in.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Watchman on the Wall
Watchman on the Wall 09/17/12 - 08:48 am
Happy New Year

If this was the pagan New Year there would be all sorts of exciting comments, would there not?
As stated in the article there is much debate about the Feasts of Yahweh, Gods appointed times which he commanded those that trust & believe in his eternal promises to obey, both by believers in Jesus, Yeshua and Hebrew Jews which don't accept Jesus as their messiah.
This dsire to have it your way started when Cain killed his brother Able over Gods commanded offerings for a blood sacrifice, not fruits or veggies. This has continued now for almost 6000 years with men wanting to add to what God commanded us to do to be accepted by him with our own ideas of prayer or fasting or obstanance or many other forms of self rightious acts. Of course Yahweh, God never changed the rules for forgiveness of sins which could only come by the sheading of blood, usually an innocient lamb's blood at Passover and Yom Kippur both.
Yeshua was that sacrifice at Passover which was rejected by those that he was sent to as their long awaited messiah.
Praise God for his all knowing and his perfect plan for all the world to have access to salvation now by simply accepting Jesus' shead blood for the remission of sins.
Since 70 a.d. there has been no Temple or High Priest for Jews to offer the sacrifice of a lamb and sprinkle it's blood on the mercy seat, just as prediceted by Jesus 37 years before it happened. So my question is this for Jews and Believers alike, if God gave these feasts for us in order that we would be ready for and celebrate the messiah, why don't we do so?
Why is it that Believers know more about pagan holidays with no eternal implications, yet we have no idea or understanding of Gods appointed times which will be for eternity and point to the redemption of all that would come and accept Gods free gift which no man can pay for by his good deeds?
Why is it that Jews continue to practice rituals of men in order to gain acceptance by Yahweh when his word the Torah and Bible both show that they can't and won't be accepted without the sheading of blood for remissin of sins and forgiveness?
Fasting & praying or doing acts of kindness or giving all your money will not purchase your salvation and acceptance by Yahweh, God, it's only through his son Yeshua's sacrificial death and atonement that one will be accepted into the beloved by the Father. John 14:6
Just wondering as i learn and watch both Jew and Believers stumble along when we are to be serving Yahweh for his Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
Happy Hew Year to all and may you really search out what you think you know or believe and remember "The Truth shall set you free."
Don't depend on traditions to save you our your mom & dad's beliefs, as it's every ones individual responsibility for them selves to answer unto Yahweh, God for things they do in this life and the next.

Watchman on the Wall
Watchman on the Wall 09/18/12 - 01:53 pm
Sorry i only want people to know

Sorry i only want people to know what Gods plan & purpose was for the Commanded, appointed Feasts found in Leviticus 23.
I do not believe that Kristine Dohse or myself want to cause division or bad feelings towards any group, but would love for all those that desire to know Yahweh's plan of redemption to truly study and seek out your own salvation in fear & trimbling, knowing that without the remission of sin there is no forgiveness or acceptance by Yahweh. These Feasts are ment to point ahead to Gods plans and by practicing them we were and are supposed to see that plan of it's all about God providing a way, not our providing our own way.
What's sad to me is that many of those that call out to God are dialing the wrong number as they are calling out what they think is the right way, instead of how God commanded us to call out for forgiveness of sin. My wish is that all could be saved just as the Lords wish is as well. But if the rules are not being followed properly for salvation, then how can they all be saved?
If someone does not ask them if they really know the way according to Gods plans or warn them of their error, then how will they know troubles are ahead on this road they are on? My hope is to cause them to really search out Gods plans causing them to ask if they are on the right or wrong road. But it's up to each person to decide which road to take with all the info they are given and prepare for Gods acceptance or rejection.
Realize that God never changed the rules for remission of sin and blood sacrifice is the only way, but man has changed those rules into if we are good or do this or that then God will accept us. Thats a BIG NO, he will not. We want it our way which is the wrong way, rather than Gods way which is the only way.


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