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Happy New Year!
I know, it’s September. But since this is my first post for 2021 I thought I’d wish you a Happy New Year anyway.
Besides, today just happens to be the Rosh Hashanah the Jewish New Year. And while I don’t think that Christians are required to observe these feasts, it’s good to know about them.
In fact, since I started paying attention to them a few years ago, I realized that God often reveals things to me around Rosh Hashanah that start to come to pass in the secular new year that follows. So it’s like having a three-month head start. Plus when everyone is saying we only have a few months left in the year (they’ve already started 😩), I’m all “oh but it’s the new year; new beginnings” and then I don’t feel bad about the goals that I haven’t yet hit (haha).
Anyways, I thought sharing a bit about Rosh Hashanah would be a good way to start posting again, so here goes.
NB: I promise I’ll update you on what I’ve been doing for the last 9 months.
WHAT IS ROSH HASHANAH?
Rosh Hashanah is a celebration of the Jewish New Year. It means “head of the year and is the first of the fall biblical feasts. It is a Shabbat (Sabbath) i.e. no regular work is done and lasts for two days. Here’s a little more about Rosh Hashanah!
- The Jewish people actually have two new years. When God lead the Israelites out of Egypt, He established the month of Nisan as the first month of the sacred year. But Rosh Hashanah is the first month of the civil year and commemorates the creation of the world.
- Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first day of Tishrei, the seventh month and usually falls between September and October on the Gregorian calendar. This year (2021) Rosh Hashanah is being celebrated from the evening of Sept 6th (today) until the evening of Sept 8th (as in “… and evening and morning were the first day”)
- Rosh Hashanah means “head of the year” but the day is also known by a number of names including Yom Teruah (Day of Shofar Blowing/Feast of Trumpets) , Yom Hazikaron (Day of Remembrance) and Yom Hadin (Day of Judgement).
- It’s the first of the fall feasts. The other two are the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles.
- Rosh Hashanah also marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, the ten days leading up to Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. These ten days are used to draw closer to God in prayer, doing good deeds, reflecting on past mistakes and asking forgiveness from anyone you may have wronged.
- Why two days? Rosh Hashanah is celebrated over two days. It is called “yoma arichta” or the long day because the 48 hour period is considered one long day. Because the Jewish calendar is based on the moon, the first day of the month is determined by the first sighting of the new moon. Because news travelled slowly to Jewish populations living outside of Jerusalem, it was decided that the Rosh Hashanah would be celebrated over two days to ensure that everyone in the diaspora celebrated it on the correct day.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO OBSERVE ROSH HASHANAH?
Like I said, Christians aren’t required to observe these feasts but if you can, use it as an opportunity to draw closer to God. Here are a few ways you can do this.
- Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we are forgiven and don’t need to continually make sacrifices every time we mess up. But the 10 days of Awe are a good opportunity to rest, reflect and ask God to show you anything in your life that needs to be surrendered to Him.
- During the 10 Days of Awe, you can fast or take daily communion . You don’t have to do this for all ten days. Maybe do it for 3 or 7 days.
- If you haven’t been doing it already or you’ve gotten off track lately, make a special effort to spend time with God daily. You don’t need to ask Him for anything specific. Just bask in His goodness.
- Ask God what’s on His agenda for the next year. Maybe you’ll get insight or a head start on His plans for you in the coming secular year.
I’ll be doing one or more of these. The last nine months have been quite busy for me (more on that in my next post). Even though I know it’s part of His plan, I still feel as though I need to take some time to reconnect. I want to get back to my 3:30 a.m. devotion times. I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit and have been getting up “late” (5 a.m lol).
Let me know in the comments. If not, and you’d like to know more, A Time to Advance by Chuck Pierce and Celebrating Jesus in the Biblical Feasts by Dr. Richard Booker are good resources. The guys at Grafted also have a very informative YouTube video.