יום תרועה/ראש השנה תשע”ט
THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS – ROSH HASHANAH 5779
“Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing [of shofars–rams’ horns], a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD’”(Leviticus 23:23-25; see also Numbers 29:1-6).
Monday September 10th will mark the beginning of the Biblical Fall Feasts—Yom T’ru’ah, the Day of Blowing (of shofars)—the Feast of Trumpets. After the Captivity in Babylon, it came also to be known as Rosh Hashanah, the “Head of the [civil] Year”. Although Hebrew months are numbered beginning in the Spring (Exodus 12:2), the numbering for the Hebrew year changes on the first of the seventh month, Yom T’ruah [According to Hebrew tradition, the world was created on this day]. On this day we will enter the Hebrew year 5779.
THE SOUND OF THE SHOFAR
*Of first importance, it is to be a day of t’ruah as a memorial (see Scripture above). T’ruah means a shout, a cry, an alarm, a blast or series of blasts on the shofar (ram’s horn). Psalm 33:3 says that musicians are to make t’ruah skillfully on their instruments together with singers singing a new song! Suffice to say that it is a day on which a ‘sound’ is to go up memorializing the greatness and faithfulness of YHVH, the LORD!
* The sound of the shofar also speaks of the Source of our redemption. It was through a ram caught in a thicket by its horn (from whence is fashioned a shofar) that God “provided the lamb” to take the place of Isaac on Mount Moriah. In fact, on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah, Genesis 22 (See readings below), which recounts the binding of Isaac, will be read in synagogues around the world! We believe that it is this relation to the “Lamb of God who carries away the sin of the world”, who “defeated Death”, who came to “undo the works of the Evil One,” which gives the shofar its special authoritative power when blown in the timing and under the anointing of the Holy Spirit! The sound can be an alarm, a call to battle, a sound of victory, rejoicing and celebration. There were shofar blasts from heaven as YHVH descended upon Mount Sinai to meet with Moses and deliver instruction regarding His Law and how His people could draw near to Him (Exodus 19:16, 19). In the Hebrew translation, I Corinthians 15:52 speaks of the call of one final shofar, at which shout the dead in Messiah will be raised and those remaining changed in the twinkling of an eye.
*Rosh HaShanah is a joyous holiday in Israel which traditionally lasts for two days. Beginning at sundown September 9th, it will be a family-and-friends holiday time of visiting the synagogue, of sounding the shofar, of wine and feasting, of giving gifts, of eating apples dipped in honey and wishing one another L’Shanah Tova! – “A Good Year!”
*However, with the joy there is to be a certain sobriety. Scripturally, it is to be a sabbath for taking account, for becoming awake and alert, a day of remembrance at which we also look towards the Day of Atonement nine days later. As such, it is sometimes referred to as Yom Ha-Din—the Day of Judgment. The ten days it heralds are considered “Days of Awe”. We take account of our sins. Many devout Jews partake of an ancient custom called Tashlikh—the “casting” or “throwing”. They go to a body of water and empty their pockets or throw stones into the water, repeating the final three verses from the prophet Micah:
“Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in lovingkindness. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will give truth to Jacob and lovingkindness to Abraham, which You have sworn to our fathers from days of old.”
PLEASE PRAY: For revelation to Jews during this holy season by the Spirit who was sent to convict of sin and righteousness and judgment—revelation of the One in whom “truth and kindness” were realized (John 1:17)—One in whose work God pardons our iniquity and passes over our transgression!
*Monday September 10th also is the head (Rosh Hodesh) of the seventh Hebrew month—Tishri. In earlier times, the name Ethanim was used (I Kings 8:2). Ethanim is related to the word Ethan, which has to do with steadiness, as an “unwavering flame” or “a steady flow” . Brown-Driver-Briggs (P 250 #388) interprets it in this context as “a month of steady flow”. There are presently many forces, both outside of and within Christendom which are working to fragment the Body of Messiah regarding its God-ordained call to bless and stand with Israel and to pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.
PLEASE PRAY: that during this month of new beginnings the Lord bring our streams into a steady flow of constancy. That He focus the prayers of His watchmen and watchwomen into a steady truthful flame—until Jerusalem’s righteousness ignites and “goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a torch which burns” (Isaiah 62:1).
ROSH HASHANAH IS TRADITIONALLY CELEBRATED ON BOTH THE FIRST AND SECOND DAYS OF THE SEVENTH MONTH.
In synagogues, there are special Torah and Haftarah Scripture passages read on each of these days:
Day I (September 10)
I Samuel 1:1—2:10
Rosh Chodesh—“Head of the Month” “Seventh Month” Tishrei/Etanim:
Day II (September 11)
Jeremiah 31:1-20 (Hebrew Bibles: 31:1-19)
*Genesis 22. As mentioned above, this chapter relates the story of the binding of Isaac on Mount Moriah. “And Abraham said, ‘My son, God sees for Himself (or, “will Himself provide”) the lamb.” In the New Covenant (John 8:56), Yeshua declares, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; he saw it and was glad!”
PLEASE PRAY: for the Holy Spirit to release revelation into the spirits of many who hear anew the story of Isaac and the “lamb”. Pray that with the sounding of the shofars, many will be quickened in their inner beings as to the identity of the Lamb which God has provided!
*Jeremiah 31:3. “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel!”
PLEASE PRAY: for Jews throughout the world to hear this call of Love and allow themselves to be drawn (Although in Messiah all may receive of these blessings, this message was and is first of all over the lost tribes of the House of Israel.) Pray for those both within and outside of Israel to realize that a work has been accomplished by God Himself whereby they may again be called “virgin,” and what has been broken down may again be made whole!
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land . . .” Deuteronomy 30:19 (see Torah Section of last week’s Update).