Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reflections on the High Holy Days (Part 1 of 3)

The blowing of the shofar marks the beginning of  Rosh Hashanah as well as the beginning of the new year  in Judaism.  So, my dear friends, "L'shanah Tova" which is the traditional greeting we use to wish each other a blessed and happy new year. The holiday began at sundown on September 8.    Yes, I know I'm late, but better late than never, right?  Happy 5771 (on the Jewish calendar)!!

The Holy Scriptures tell us to observe this holiday.   In Leviticus 23:24 it is known as Zikhron Teruah  or "Memorial of Blowing (of trumpets).  In Numbers 29:1, it is called Yom Teruah "The Day of Blowing (of trumpets)". The Jewish holidays (or High Holy Days) began with Rosh Hashanah, which literally means "Head of the Year".

Our service includes the blowing of the shofar 100 times!  I'd said in a recent post that my husband, Rabbi Jem, would be doing it, but as it turns out, one of our members, David Jackson, took his place.  Rabbi was coming down with a cold (as was I), so this was a great blessing to have someone who could stand in for him.

The holiday reminds us to think about the year behind us and the year ahead, and begins the ten days of awe.  During this period, we are to search our hearts for any sins we've allowed to creep in, and to examine our relationships to see if there is anyone to whom we owe apologies or amends.  Those who are medically able also fast during the ten days of awe, as fasting clears the mind, and enables one to hear G-d's voice more clearly.

This year, on Rosh Hashanah, we also dedicated our new Torah mantle and ark curtain.  Since the High Holy Days are a time of holiness, we use white as a visual reminder of its' importance.  I'll talk more about that in my next post , which will be about Yom Kippur.
As Messianic Jews, we believe our Messiah has come, and his name is Yeshua in Hebrew (Jesus Christ).  In studying about this holiday, I think it is interesting to note that it was not until 1500 years after G-d instituted the holiday that it was called Rosh Hashanah.  When the Jewish Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70, Jewish practice changed radically.  Yeshua changed things drastically because He was and is the fulfillment of the Feast.  I can testify that when he comes into a life, it's a whole new world.  More about that change, both in Judaism and in my life,  in my next post.

I'm linking up to Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers and Spiritual Sunday

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this informative information. L'shanah Tova to you my friend.
    Blessings in the name of Yeshua.