Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, September 1, 2021
This year, September is THE month of holidays. We start on September 6th with Rosh Hashanah, and end on September 28th with Simchat Torah. All the others are between those two. Today I want to write about the Feast of Trumpets, Yom Teruah in Hebrew, meaning “the day of the shout.” Next Monday night, September 6th at 7pm, please bring your shofar as we begin year 5782 together.
The first day of the new year is called Yom Teruah in Scripture, but usually called Rosh Hashanah, meaning “head of the year” among modern Jews. It is traditional to wear white on Rosh Hashanah. John (the revelator) was instructed to write this of a remnant in Sardis… Revelation 3:4 “But still, you have a few people in Sardis who have not stained their clothes. They will walk with Me in white, because they are worthy. 5 The one who overcomes thus will be dressed in white clothes; I will never blot his name out of the Book of Life, and will confess his name before My Father and His angels.
Another tradition is to shape our challah round. This is symbolic of the crown. One purpose for sounding the shofar is to announce Yeshua’s coronation. He will return to Jerusalem as Zion’s King, but not without a fight. Ten kings will make war against Yeshua, the Lamb of God. Revelation 17:14 “They will make war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them—because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with Him are called and chosen and faithful.”
One purpose for sounding the shofar is to call the Lord’s army to battle. 1 Corinthians 14:8 For if the trumpet makes an unclear sound, who will prepare himself for battle? And this… Joel 2:1 Blow the shofar in Zion! Sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all living in the land tremble— for the day of Adonai is coming— surely it is near!
Another one of our traditions is that we eat apples dipped in honey. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlcxEDy-lr0 After the service on September 6th, we are going to have a dessert oneg, so please bring a sweet dessert to share. We will also serve apples and honey. The apples are symbolic of a fruitful year, while honey is symbolic of a sweet year. Sounds like a winning combination.
Now that we’ve covered some of the details and tradition regarding Rosh Hashana, I want to finish today with a little more of the theology regarding the holiday. Leviticus 23:24 “Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, saying: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you are to have a Shabbat rest, a memorial of blowing (shofarot), a holy convocation. The 7th month is Tishre. The preceding month is called Elul. It is known as the month of repentance. During Elul we prepare for the first 10 days of Tishre, which is a more intense season of repentance between and including Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
A season of repentance is always a good thing. But there is this concept connected in Judaism known in Hebrew as “Chatimah Tovah.” It means “may you be inscribed for good.” Repentance is the right start, and to be inscribed in the book of life is the right desired end, but how do we go from here to there? Jewish people pray every year to be written for another year of life. May I suggest we don’t need another year of this life, we need eternal life in the presence of God after this life is over.
But again, how do we go from here to there? Jewish people believe our prayers will earn us God’s favor. As followers of Yeshua, our salvation is not an annual event, but a lifetime of blessed assurance. Our faith puts us in right standing with God. Hebrews 10:39 But we are not among the timid ones on the path to destruction, but among the faithful ones on the path to the preservation of the soul.
Paul and Silas spoke to their jailer… Acts 16:30 After he (the jailer) brought them (Paul and Silas) out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They said, “Put your trust in the Lord Yeshua and you will be saved—you and your household!”
Ephesians 2:8a For by grace you have been saved through faith. I may write more on this in the coming days, but that’s enough for today.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Wed 1 Sep 2021 24th of Elul, 5781
De 30:1-6 Na 1-2 2 Ch 19 (Ac 12) Rev 5
Memory Verse: John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Yeshua the Messiah, the One You sent.
176 8/26 Monday: Matthew 24:32-51
177 8/27 Tuesday: John 17
178 8/28 Wednesday:Matthew 26:47-27:31
179 8/29 Thursday: Matthew 27:32-66
180 8/30 Friday: John 19