Rosh Hashanah

This coming Sunday evening of Tishrei 1 ( September 29, 2019) marks the start of the Jewish New Year also known as Rosh Hashanah or “head of the year”. Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets) is based on Leviticus 23.23-32 and is considered a “day of shouting or blasting”. It is the birthday of the universe, the day God created Adam and Eve.

During this celebration Jewish people eat and exchange gifts of apples, pomegranates, honey, honey cake, and sweet breads, to name a few, in order to wish friends and family “a sweet year”. It is also a time of personal reflection, hearing the shofar, going to synagogue, candle lighting, prayer services and desisting from creative work. Ten days following is another high holy day, perhaps the most important one of all, Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement. This is a day of fasting and solemnness.

I have been blessed with the privilege of living in an area with a very high Jewish population. It has been such a gift to be able to participate in their celebrations. While learning more about their customs and traditions, I have also learned about my Messiah.

I would encourage us all, this season of celebration, to reach out to our Jewish friends, neighbors, family members and coworkers and wish them “Shana Tovah!” We know from Romans 15.27 that we have a debt to the Jews because we have shared in their spiritual blessings and that our “Salvation is from the Jews”. John 4.22

Let us allow Christ to live through us in a way that causes His people to desire to become His children (Romans 11.14) and meet Yeshua HaMashiach, the source of all celebration and rejoicing.

Grace and peace,
Mary Beth

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Hi! Thank you for mentioning this great season! I’m looking forward to the Ten Days of Awe coming up starting next week. Last year during the Days of Awe my brother who was lost and had struggled with addiction for many years enrolled into a Christian discipleship training program for addicts. He wasn’t a teen, though: he was 40. Today he is a changed man. He accepted Christ as his personal Savior and is living a whole new life, an abundant life that only Christ can give.

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Sweet ! What an awesome testimony, Leah! Thank you for sharing this encouraging and uplifting story about your brother. :slight_smile:

If you have time, would you enlighten me about the Ten Days of Awe and what takes place during the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur? I would love to know. Are there any family traditions that you are looking forward to this year?

I am definitely looking forward to making and eating honey cake. :slight_smile:

Shana Tovah!
Mary Beth

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I love the feasts and over the past few years have incorporated more and more into our families year, our girls ages 9, 7 and 4 love them and are already so excited. This year for the Feast of Trumpets we will be enjoying apple pie, blowing dollar store trumpet whistles, and eating bugles while discussing the feast. Some of the things we discuss are as follows:

(Blow trumpets every time you hear the word “trumpet”)
Leviticus 23:23-24 "The Lord said to Moses,24 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. On the first day of the seventh month, you are to observe a day of complete rest. It will be an official day for holy assembly, a day commemorated with loud blasts of a trumpet. " Thus the day is often called the Feast of Trumpets.

We know that 7 is an important number in the Bible and brings to mind the Sabbath and completion. But we are not told to remember any particular historical event and no specific reason is given for the blowing of the trumpets during this feast. We also don’t know for sure the prophetic implications of the Feast of Trumpets. In other portions of scripture, trumpets were blown to call people to repentance, to worship, and to warfare. Scripture also tells us that trumpets will one day announce the return of King Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God … and so we will always be with the Lord.”

Reflection: (give out bugles for answers)

  • What stands out to you?
  • What might we need to repent of? How can we worship God? What kind of war might we be in?
  • How can we be ready for the last trumpet, for Jesus to return and take us home? How can we help others?

The 1st day of 7th month is mentioned again after the Jews return to Israel from their exile in Babylon. The people had not heard the Torah (the first bit of the Bible) read in a very long time. So the 1st day of the 7th month was chosen for it to be read to the people again. While listening, the people were deeply grieved and were weeping but they were told “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not grieve or weep, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

Reflection: (give out bugles for answers)

  • Why do you think they were told to not weep but enjoy choice food and sweet drinks?
  • What can we think about as we enjoy choice food and sweet drink? Joy Lord strength, grace, love
  • What kinds of yummy and sweet things could we enjoy for this feast? Honey, apples, pomegranates, figs, root vegetables - everything beneficial comes from God’s grace and favor

Rosh HaShanah
The time the Jewish people spent in Babylonian exile left a mark. They adopted the Babylonian names for the months of their civil year. Thus the 7th month of their religious calendar became “Tishri” which means “to begin” as it was the beginning of the Babylonian year. In Babylon it was a time for the people to pledge their renewed obedience to the king and when their gods judged each person and inscribed their names on the tablets of destiny. At some point the Jews also decided that this was a good day to celebrate creation and Eden.

These beliefs have been part of what has transformed the Feast of Trumpets into the Jewish New Year (or Rosh Hashanah). It has become a time for celebrating beginnings, creation, Eden, and God as the King of Kings. Many Jews also believe that it is a time that God judges everyone, immediately writing the names of the completely righteous into the Book of Life and condemning the completely wicked to a sad fate, but that those who are “in between” have ten days, concluding on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), in which to repent and make restitution before the Book of Life is sealed. One of the popular traditions associated with this holiday is called Tashlich and it involves people throwing crumbs or pieces of bread, symbolizing their sins, into flowing water. Micah 7:19 say “He will take us back in love; He will cover up our iniquities. You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”

Reflection: (give out bugles for answers)

  • How do we believe that we get our names written in the Book of Life? Jesus’ grace
  • Who covers up our iniquities and cast our sins into the depths of the sea? Jesus
  • Why might it be a tradition to eat round Challah? God is King of King, Crowned King Jesus coming to give us life today and for eternity.
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What I’ve heard about the Ten Days of Awe is that it is a season of major answered prayer and a time when God is making decisions about the forthcoming year. If you or someone else can expound on that, that would be wonderful. I’d love to learn more about it myself.

Let me tell you another neat answer to prayer that occurred one year during this season! I have a daughter, Abigail, who was born with spina bifida and has some extensive physical problems as a result of that including partial leg paralysis. A few years ago there was a piece of equipment called a stander that she needed to be able to spend time standing and bearing weight on her legs to strengthen them. It’s very expensive, and we couldn’t get one on our own.

There is an organization someone at UVA told us about called CATS (Children’s Assistive Technology Services) that re-homes donated medical equipment. A lady in that organization met us and took it upon herself to see how they could help Abbie.

Meanwhile, I’d collected a lot of stuff that I had boxed up for a yard sale “one day.” During the Days of Awe, I felt like instead of having a yard sale that I should just give it away. So I set it on my porch and arranged for it to be picked up by the Salvation Army.

I got a call from the lady with CATS right after that saying she’d found a stander for Abbie! I rejoice even now telling you about it! We still have the stander, and Abbie still uses it.

God answers prayer massively for us year-round, but I do believe from personal experience that God shows up in some really big ways during the Ten Days of Awe!

I’m praying for a miracle for my daughter, and one day she shall have it! It could be today!

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Hi Hayley

What a lovely post. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the specific things of focus during this time and the questions that are asked as a result. Thank you for taking the time to write it all down.

My favorite part was about the Challah and Crowned King Jesus. The Bread of Life. Beautiful! The more I learn about Judaism and the meaning behind the things that are done, the more I am amazed at our intimately involved Messiah.

Last May I was invited by a friend to attend a Torah dedication at one of the local synagogues up the street. I met a forth generation scribe from Israel and got to hear about all of the meticulous work that goes into this process. After the teaching time was over and before we walked under a canopy to proceed to the synagogue, the men put the scroll in a special intricately designed cover and placed a crown on the top. I was stunned at the significance and the symbolism.

Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths.” The Torah will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. Isaiah 2.3

Crowned King Jesus, indeed.

Grace and peace,
Mary Beth

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Leah,

I have been so encouraged to read about the work of God in the lives of your family members; both with your brother and your daughter. After I read your second post I was so uplifted about God’s loving, personal and specific answers to your prayers. What a testimony to me and others.

I will remember the works of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds. Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; Who is so great a God as our God? You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples. You have with Your arm redeemed Your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Psalm 77:11-15

Thank you for sharing!

Grace and peace,
Mary Beth

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Hi, @MaryBeth1 ! I’ve been thinking of you and wondering if you’ve made honeycake! I’ve also been wondering how to make it. Haha!

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