Rosh Hashanna begins tonight at sundown. Rosh Hashanna literally means 'head of the year' in Hebrew, and it's called that because this is the day the Lord said would be the start of each year in scripture. (Leviticus, in the "Calendar of Sacred Time"). Yeah, that's OT..but in the NT (Matthew, to be precise) Jesus said that 'not one jot or tittle will depart from the Law until heaven and earth pass away', and the Law *is* Torah, and since heaven and earth have NOT passed away, today is the start of the New Year for us, as True followers of Messiah Jesus.
There are seven feasts in Leviticus 23 that we're commanded to observe 'for all generations'... Jesus fulfilled the first 4 with His Death and Resurrection (and...."easter" IS NOT the day he arose - that would be First Fruits. Good Friday? Passover. Just sayin'. Don't believe me? Read Leviticus, then go to the Gospels and read *them* It's...eyeopening!) Rosh Hashanna very important to us as Christ-followers (note: this is ALL Anna here!)- some refer to it as "The Feast of Trumpets", because Leviticus says this is the day that the trumpet is sounded. If you link that up to verses about the Trumpet in the New Testament, it goes further, into 'the dead in Christ shall rise and we who are alive will meet them in the air'. Ummm...ring any bells? How about this: another name Jews use for this feast is "Yom Teruah", or "The Day of the Awakening Shout". This is a reference to the shofar, but the 'awakening' part lends itself to the raising of the dead to be raptured. OK, how about this one: Another name this feast goes by "The Feast of the Day No Man Knows". It's called that because Rosh Hashanna is two days long, because of uncertainties Israel had surrounding the timing of the events this day is to concur with. Messiah gave a BIG clue as to the rapture's timing in the New Testament when He said "NO MAN KNOWS the day or the hour" of His return. And of course, we don't - it could be either day or any hour in that time slot! So....yeah - it's Rapture time, WHEN the time is right. We don't know the day or hour, but we DO know the Feast.....
We just finished the 30 days of Elul before this - a month-long time of prepararation. Tonight begins the celebration! It's a nice way to celebrate the end of the cleaning/putting your house in order that you've just gone thru.
Traditionally, at sunset the night Rosh Hashanna begins, you blow the 'shofar', or Ram's Horn.. We don't have a shofar, so we improvise. Last year, we made shofars out of paper towel tubes....we'll probably do that again. We'll talk about how this is the Biblical New Year, how this is a special time, and we talk about the rapture, reading the verses about what is prophecied to happen and how it ties into Revelations. Last year, the kids had a bunch of questions (it was the first year we'd celebrated the Feasts as we are commanded to do...this year? We'll see - they know a *lot* more now.)
Tomorrow evening, we'll have a special dinner - traditionally, it's fish. Last year I did lamb, this year I'm planning on doing Paremsan Tilapia (yum!) Anna puts a globe on the table, puts a gold paper crown on it (to show that God is King of the World), but we won't do that. Why? Because a) I can't find the Globe (it's in Herself's room...if you think I'm going in there, you're crazy! :grin:) and b) Gold paper? In MY house? Right....:lol: It's also traditional to serve apples dipped in honey....that's out, since I am allergic to honey. :frown: We'll do carrots as a side item, as the Hebrew word for carrot is "increase" - and that is a hope for the next year. Instead of the braided challah served for Shabbat (or Sabbath), it's traditional to have a round loaf of bread, the hope of a 'full' year (like the full, round moon). Some people make it with raisins to make it sweeter...we'll see. I'll probably just do the regular receipe, and let the bread machine go to town with it.
Traditionally, the meal begins with mom lighting the candles (check!) and Dad blessing the kids/food. Since we're Dad-less, I'll be doing both parts. We won't serve wine (well....maybe I'll have a glass :grin:), but that is also a traditional part of the meal (I have wine...but I cook with it. I might just give in this year, though...)
Tomorrow evening, we'll do "Taslich" - it's a simple practice of casting your sins into the depths (as per Micah 7:19). We'll gather up some of the driveway rocks, then head down to the pond and ask God's forgiveness for your sins. Then we'll each toss in a rock(representing the sins) into the waters. They're gone, just like our sins are gone (as far from us as West is from the East) when God forgives them. It's very symbolic - and the kids have fun trying to hit the fish/ducks in the pond (yeah......my kids are weird! :lol:) (Traditionally, Taslich uses bread crumbs instead of rocks - Anna had a good point about the bread crumbs floating and coming back to you. Like her, the rocks make more sense to me)
I also try to donate to a Jewish organization each year on the Feasts - God has promised to "bless those who bless you (Isreal) and curse those who curse you"....so this is something tangible I can do to show my support to God's chosen people. I haven't seen that listed as a tradition anywhere, but it is something I do.
Oh, and for those who say that we, as Christ-followers, don't have to do the things from the OT....well, you're wrong. Paul was Jewish - he kept the Feasts and the kosher dietary laws even AFTER the Resurrection. His dream? The one with the sheet? Didn't mean he could eat unclean animals (which, BTW, have been unclean since GENESIS - read Ch. 6, 7 and 8, with Noah. How many pairs of animals did he take on the Ark? (hint: More than you think!)) - Paul HIMSELF explains his dream a few verses later....it mean he, a JEW, could mingle with GOYIM (or Gentiles, or NON-Jews) with God's permission, to carry the Gospel to Them. Christians did NOT replace the Jews as God's people - believes of Jesus have been grafted into the family of Jews. (Hebrews....Romans....heck, most of the NT after the Gospels spells this out!) Anyway...just so you know where I'm coming from.
Now, I don't think this is the year we'll be Raptured...but it might be. ("No one knows the Day or Hour", remember? :grin:) If it's not, you've got another year to "get right with God"......folks, look around you. LOOK at what's going on, both here and around the world. If we're not in the End Times, it's close....and it's not just me being paranoid. Revelations *tells* us what's gonna go down....and from where I sit, we're *there*. I don't want to have to say that I didn't try to warn people.......:sigh: Things are going to get worse....if you thought the "Great Depression" was bad - this is going to make that look like a walk on Easy Street. The Wall Street Bailout is just the tip of the iceberg...I hope ya'll took my advice and put some food back. It's gonna get messy....