When rivers flow from our kishkes

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on David’s Tent, a ministry of Israeli believers Avner and Rachel Boskey. The Boskey’s have ministered at Tabernacle of David, and we consider them trustworthy and Biblically sound.

This weekend is the Hebrew calendar’s celebration of the seventh day of the Feast of Sukkot/Tabernacles, known as Hoshana Rabbah (‘the Great Hosanna’).


  • Now the Feast of the Jews – the Feast of Booths – was near . . . But when His brothers had gone up to the Feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as though in secret. So the Jewish people were looking for Him at the feast and saying, “Where is He?” . . . But when it was now the middle of the Feast, Yeshua went up into the Temple area, and began to teach. The Jewish people then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, not having been educated?” . . .  Now on the last day, the Great Day of the Feast, Yeshua stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He said in reference to the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive. For the Spirit was not yet given, because Yeshua was not yet glorified. Some of the people therefore, after they heard these words, were saying, “This truly is the Prophet.” Others were saying, “This is the Messiah” (John 7:2, 10-11, 14-15, 37-41)



A gut feeling


Kishke is a well-known Ashkenazi Yiddish food made from cow’s intestine stuffed with mincemeat, rice, vegetables and flour. The origin of the word is Slavic. In Polish it is kiszka; in Russian the word is кишка́ (kišká); in Ukrainian ки́шка (kýška). The ancient Slavic root is kyša, kyšьka, meaning ‘intestine’ or ‘stomach.’ It may even go back to the ancient Sanskrit synonym koṣṭha, and the Ancient Greek κύστις (kústis, “bladder”). In Yiddish kishke can be synonymous with ‘gut’ – as in, ‘I feel it in my kishkes.’ As a writer said in the Hamilton Jewish News, “Yiddish . . . lives on in our kishkes – our guts – should we choose to remember those who lived by them and spilled them.”


Frank John Yankovic (who passed in 1998) was an accordion player from Cleveland with Slovenian roots known as Grammy-award winning ‘America’s Polka King.’ His 1963 cover of ‘Who stole the kishka?’ is still a popular polka tune.


The Yiddish expression ‘kishke-gelt’ refers to money earned by self-deprivation so extreme that it’s ‘ripped from the intestines.’


The Greek equivalent to ‘kishkes’ used in John 7:38 is Κοιλία (koilia), meaning the whole belly, the lower belly, the womb, or the innermost part of a man, the soul, heart: If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being [i.e., his belly/kishkes] will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:37-38).



The Feast of Tabernacles – a promise for every believer


The Apostle John takes pains to explain to us, his readers, that this Feast of Tabernacles promise is for ‘the one who believes in Me’ and for ‘anyone who is thirsty:’ “But this He said in reference to the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive. For the Spirit was not yet given, because Yeshua was not yet glorified.” A normal believer’s spiritual inheritance is to have rushing rivers of living waters flowing from his or her innermost being. That is Yeshua’s promise!


Paul echoes and amplifies this calling: “And do not get drunk with wine, in which there is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit!” (Ephesians 5:18). He contrasts two words ‘become drunk’ (methuskó) with ‘be filled up’ (pléroó). The overwhelming nature of the experience and its profound effect on our behavior and conduct are what Paul wants us to meditate on.


Sukkot/Tabernacles/Booths is a multifaceted Jewish holiday. It not only reminds us of two biblical principles:


  • “So that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am YHVH your God” (Leviticus 23:43)


  • “You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths for seven days when you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat. And you shall rejoice in your Feast, you, your son and your daughter, and your male and female slaves, and the Levite, the stranger, the orphan, and the widow who are in your towns. For seven days you shall celebrate a Feast to YHVH your God in the place which YHVH chooses, because YHVH your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful” (Deuteronomy 16:13-15)


It also calls us to remember Messiah Yeshua’s promise – that if we thirst for God and believe in Him whom He has sent, we will experience Holy Spirit rivers of living waters flowing out of our kishkes! What an amazing promise to lay hold of!


May we as followers of Israel’s Messiah Yeshua reach out to the God of Israel and ask Him to fill us up in our innermost being; to reveal any obstacles or stumbling blocks which might impede His work; and to ask YHVH to keep tenderizing our hearts on a daily basis: “But encourage one another every day, as long as it is still called ‘today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13).



How should we then pray? 


  • Pray for us to receive revelation about Messiah Yeshua’s promise of these rivers of living waters
  • Pray for Messianic Jews and Gentiles everywhere to open our hearts without fear or unbelief to Holy Spirit
  • Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth


Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.

In Messiah Yeshua,

Avner Boskey

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BOX 121971 NASHVILLE TN 37212-1971 USA

Donations can also be made on-line (by PayPal) through: www.davidstent.org   

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