I believe it is appropriate to discuss the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah, which begins at sunset on Sunday, October 2, 2016. I have to confess I really don’t know very much about this Feast of Israel. I believe with all my heart, that it is in understanding of the Jewish roots, we learn to understand our Christian faith better. I tried to look up as many sources of information that I could find. I would love to share with you what little I have found.
The Feast of Trumpets, or Rosh Hashanah, is celebrated in the autumn, on Tishri, the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. As a day begins at sunset for Jewish people; Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset on Sunday, October 2, this year. This marks the beginning of the civil year and is the Jewish New Year’s Day. In Leviticus 23: 23-25, God commanded the blowing of trumpets on the first day of the seventh month to call the congregation of Israel together for a very solemn assembly. The Shofar is like a musical instrument (a hollowed out ram’s horn) used for sounding and blasting phases as long, short and medium phases. It is also celebrating an anniversary of Adam as the first man and Eve as the first woman.
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’”
According to Jewish teachings, Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of ten days of judgment when all the children of men pass before the Creator. The righteous are written into the Book of Life, the wicked are condemned, and those who are not wholly righteous nor wholly wicked are given ten days to repent and thus escape judgment. A candle is lit as a candle is used for all the Jewish Festivals except the holiday of Purim (read Esther when Haman was going to destroy the Jews). The special food for Rosh Hashanah includes an apple dipped in honey to wish friends and family a sweet and happy new year with new chances to start from a new beginning.
The ten days of repentance and self-examination lead into the most solemn day of the Jewish year, the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur. In our studies of the Tabernacle, we found that the Day of Atonement is the only time when the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies. He went in before God with the blood of a sacrificed animal to beg forgiveness for the sins of the people. Today there are no animal sacrifices and no Tabernacle or Temple. The Jewish people rely solely on repentance for forgiveness of sins, but they have no assurance that God has heard and forgiven, for the Scriptures teach in Leviticus 17:11 that atonement is in the blood.
When Christ offered His own blood as our atonement, the veil of the Tabernacle (Temple) was torn in two, signifying that He had opened the way into the Holy of Holies. By His sacrifice we now have access to God and accept His blood as a covering for our sin.