Also Concerning Rosh HaShanah:|
"What If Rosh HaShanah Is The Day That I Come?"
Symbolism of the Shofar on Rosh HaShanah
The Meaning of Rosh HaShanah
Rosh HaShanah is the day on which YAHUVEH created Man, Adam, YAHUVEHs final and most precious creation. Each Rosh HaShanah, the birthday of Mankind, we proclaim YAHUVEH as our one and true King. We then reaffirm our desire to serve Him every moment of our lives.
Rosh HaShanah begins the most intense period of the Jewish calendar. The day is one of fear and trembling. "Happy is the nation that knows the secret of the teru'a [shofar blasts]," proclaims the Midrash. The nation that knows how to tremble at the sound of the shofar and to submit itself to judgment is happy.
For the Jew who does not know Jesus as Saviour the staccato teru'a blasts remind them of something being shattered. They say, "That which is being shattered is ourselves - all the ingrained patterns of our past -so that we can begin anew. Breaking free of the shackles of the past occasions joy."
No day is so imbued with potential for growth for the Jew as Rosh HaShanah. The Divine judgment of the day determines their spiritual potential for the coming year.
"Just as the full grown tree is encapsulated in a single seed, so our potential for growth in the coming year is contained in the judgment of Rosh HaShanah (though much can still take place that will affect the actual growth.) Though Rosh HaShanah is actually the sixth day of creation, it is referred to as the first day: "The first of your great acts, a remembrance of the first day."
On the sixth day, Adam was created. Everything that went before was only a prelude to his creation. Man alone gives purpose to the creation by recognizing his creator and entering into a relationship with him.
It is said that Rosh HaShanah looks to the future, not to the past. The judgment of the day is not on our past sins, which are not even mentioned in our prayers. Thus the judgment takes place on the first day of the new year, not the last day of the previous year. Before we can conceive a future different from the past which is the promise of Rosh HaShanah there is no hope of removing the taint of our past failures.
Rosh HaShanah has thus been likened to the removing of our soiled garments. Our judgment on Rosh HaShanah is determined by who we are at precisely this moment, which is the essence of the judgment of Rosh HaShanah, determined by what we truly desire to be at that moment.
On Rosh HaShanah, man is judged. But what sacrifice does he bring? He brings himself. And just as a sacrifice must be examined for blemishes four days prior to being offered, so there must be at least four days of penitential prayers prior to Rosh HaShanah. We must examine ourselves.
On Rosh HaShanah "all who come into the world pass in front of Him bnei meron." The Talmud uses three metaphors to elucidate the puzzling phrase "bnei meron":
(l) like those passing in a narrow place where there is room for only one at a time;
(2) like the soldiers of King David, who received their orders individually before going into battle;
(3) like sheep passing under the rod of their shepherd as he counts them.
All these metaphors have in common one idea: The judgment is on the individual in absolute isolation, stripped of all social context. In that respect, the judgment resembles that on the day of death, where the judgment is also on the individual in his absolute solitude.
And how will we answer when we stand alone before YAHUVEH, and He asks: "Who are you?" If we look closely, we may find that there is nothing there - no "I," no individuality, nothing apart from our connection to others.
Our task on Rosh HaShanah is to attach our entire existence to that which is eternal within us. It is to recognize that the life and death to which we refer on Rosh HaShanah have nothing to do with whether we are breathing or not. In the words of the Sages, "The wicked are called dead even while they live, and the righteous are called living even in death.
The shofar heralds judgment and thereby frightens us: "Can the shofar be sounded in the city and the people not tremble?" (Amos 3:6). Yet it is we who summon ourselves to judgment by blowing the shofar. In so doing, we demonstrate that we accept the need for judgment, the need for having our attention riveted on the quest for our essential selves. We show YAHUVEH that we recognize the need for change, for re-creation of ourselves. And by so doing, we arouse His mercy; we cause Him to move, as the Midrash says, from the throne of strict judgment to the throne of mercy. "Happy is the nation that knows the secret of teru'a."
These are the traditions of Rosh HaShanna and as Christians we can see that it is through Jesus that this final judgement will come.
Yom Teruah (Rosh HaShanna, Feast of Trumpets )
By Greg Killian
Originally the New Moon was not fixed by astronomical calculations, but was solemnly proclaimed after witnesses had testified to the reappearance of the crescent of the moon. On the 30th of each month, the members of the High Court assembled in a courtyard in Jerusalem, named Beit Ya'azek, where they waited to receive the testimony of two reliable witnesses; they then sanctified the New Moon. If the moon's crescent was not seen on the 30th day, the New Moon was automatically celebrated on the 31st day.
This, therefore, is a festival that, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father". Yom Teruah
Yom Teruah is the ONLY festival (from the Hebrew 'moed' literally appointment) that we do not know the day or the hour in which to keep it. Therefore, we have to be on the alert, we have to be be awake, and we have to be watching for it. Do you want to be asleep when YAHUSHUA the King returns?
I Thessalonians 5:1-11 Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
So, the righteous are not to be surprised by that day. This implies that the righteous may not know the year, but, they will know that he will return on Yom Teruah. They will, therefore, be looking for their Messiah on the 30th and the 31st day of the month of Elul.
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