Posts Tagged ‘Rosh Hashanah’

A Sweet New Year – Apples and Honey

One of the traditions for the Jewish New Year,  Rosh Hashanah, is to eat apples and honey.  I looked up these two foods in the Bible to see if they had prophetic allusions to the Feast of Trumpets and the coming ‘Day of Adonai.’

“For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye —  I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them.  Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me” (Zechariah 2:8-9).

The Apple.   Adonai says that whoever touches Israel touches ‘the apple of His eye.’ The ‘apple of the eye’ is the pupil of the eye signifying that God is always focused on His chosen people, their safety, and well-being. 

“Protect me like the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings” (Psalms 17:8).

Individuals are also protected by Adonai as the ‘apple of His eye’.  Being hidden in the ‘shadow of His wings’ is a reference to the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant whose wings cover His mercy seat.  Being in the ‘shadow of His wings’ symbolizes divine protection especially when there are wars, famines, and pestilences (Psalm 91).

“The rulings of Adonai are true, they are righteous altogether, more desirable than gold, than much fine gold, also sweeter than honey or drippings from the honeycomb. Through them your servant is warned; in obeying them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:9-11).

Honey.  When a Jewish child begins learning Torah in Hebrew school, there is a tradition to place a little honey on the letters of the alef-bet for them to taste.  This teaches the child to understand Torah as ‘sweet to the taste’ making the commandments desirable for living life.  There is great reward in the obeying the commandments and, like honey that never spoils, the rulings of Adonai are righteous and eternal.

Eating apples and honey for a ‘sweet new year’ on Rosh Hashanah is Biblically appropriate for celebrating the ‘head of the year.’  Those who hear the shofar at Yom Teruah and join Israel become the ‘apple of Adonai’s eye,’ understanding the sweetness of His promises in Torah of a coming King to rule and reign from Jerusalem.

©2015 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

Let’s Throw Stones – Tashlich

“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?  You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.  You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).

“Because his mercy toward those who fear him is as far above earth as heaven. He has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. Just as a father has compassion on his children, the LORD has compassion on those who fear him” (Psalm 103:11-13).

Into the Depths of the Sea

Tashlich comes from the Hebrew word meaning ‘to cast.’ After the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and there could be no atonement for Israel on Yom Kippur, a tradition of ‘casting stones’ was created. The tradition involves filling your pockets with small pebbles or stones symbolizing the sins that you have committed either willfully or unknowingly over the past year. They can be little pebbles or larger rocks depending your view of that sin against God. The gathered stones are placed into your pockets as a reminder that sin hinders and becomes a burden when it remains unconfessed. As you take each stone from your pocket and throw it into ‘living water,’ a body of water where fish are able to live, confess each sin and repent from it.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also for give you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14).

Tashlich is also the perfect time for us to right the wrongs we have done to others; it is the perfect time to forgive. Yeshua says that we are to forgive a brother or sister seventy times seven; forgiving those who have offended us whether it’s 490 times or 490,000 times. Confessing sins and asking forgiveness frees us to live with a clear conscience with our family, friends, and acquaintances. It also brings healing to our souls. As we throw stones into the body of water, we can ‘cast away’ all offenses that we may have committed and forgive those sins committed against us so we can be restored to one another in the Body of Messiah.

©2011 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive. 

Feast of Trumpets – Yom Teruah

My husband blowing the shofar at sunset on Yom Teruah

Feast of Trumpets – Yom Teruah

“The LORD said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites: On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present a food offering to the LORD’” (Leviticus 23:23-25).

The Feast of Trumpets begins the fall Feasts of the LORD. Unlike the spring festivals, the fall ‘appointed times’ have not yet been fulfilled by Yeshua. In Hebrew, Feast of Trumpets is Yom Teruah: yom meaning ‘day’ and teruah meaning ‘blowing.’ A smaller word within teruah is ruach and means ‘breath’ and is used for God’s Spirit or His ‘breath.’ Yom Teruah is a day of blowing trumpets that sends the ‘breath’ of God around the world.  

Hebrew Word Pictures

Blowing – Teruah – תרועה

Tav ת – Crossed Sticks means ‘covenant sign.’

Resh ר – A Head means ‘the most important.’

Vav ו – A Nail means ‘binding.’

Hey ה – A Window means ‘to behold or reveal.’

The Hebrew word picture for teruah: The covenant sign most import is the binding revealed.

New Moon Festival

“Blow the shofar on the concealed, hidden moon on the festival day” (Psalm 81:3, Hebrew translation). 

Yom Teruah is one day on ‘the first day of the seventh month’; falling on a New Moon festival. Until the new moon was sighted, the Feast could not begin.  When there was a ruling body in Israel, known as the Sanhedrin, a visual sighting  of the new dark moon was done by two witnesses.  The high priest would have the shofar blown to establish the beginning of the New Moon festival day.  Until that moment, ‘no one knew the day or the hour’ that Yom Teruah began.

Yeshua used the same phrase when he told his disciples about the timing of His return: “No one knows the day or the hour except my Father in heaven” (Matthew 24:36). As a Jewish man, Yeshua understood ‘no one knows the day or the hour’ to be an idiom for Yom Teruah like we understand the Fourth of July as Independence Day. While living in the flesh as the son of man, he could not know the year for the prophetic fulfillment of Feast of Trumpets, but he did know on what ‘appointed time’ it would occur. Paul did too.

“Now, brothers and sisters, 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” (1 Thessalonians 5:1).

Paul wrote to Jew and gentile followers of Yeshua in Thessalonica who knew God’s ‘appointed times’ and were keeping them. They would have understood the imagery of Feast of Trumpets as a bridegroom coming for his bride at some unknown hour, like ‘a thief in the night.’ From a different perspective, those who are unaware of the ‘appointed times’ and not being taught their prophetic vision, live in darkness and Yeshua’s return will come like a ‘thief in the night.’

The Trumpets

There are two types of trumpets blown at Yom Teruah. The first are silver trumpets like those God commanded Israel to make in Numbers 10:1-10. The priests blew these two trumpets on numerous occasions: when they were assembling the community, setting out from their camps, when they went into battle, when they had burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and when they rejoiced at the Feasts of the LORD.

The other trumpet is called a shofar and mentioned 69 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. A shofar is made from a ram’s horn or any other ‘clean’ animal such as a goat, antelope, kudu or gazelle. It developed from the ‘binding of Isaac’ when Abraham found a ram in the thicket that became the substitute offering for his son. There are many resources on the internet where a shofar can be purchased. There are small and medium-sized shofars that are made from rams and goats known as a ram’s horn. Long shofars with one or two twists are made from the African kudu and are called yeminite shofars. To experience the full joy of ‘the day of blowing,’ blow a shofar!

Hebrew Word Pictures

Hebrew Word Pictures

Trumpet or Shofar – שופר

Shin ש – A Tooth means ‘consume.’

Vav ו – A Nail means ‘binding.’

Peh פ – A Mouth means ‘to speak.’

Resh ר – A Head means ‘what is most important.’

The Hebrew word picture for shofar: Consume the binding, speaking what is most important.

The Shofar Blasts

“Then David danced and spun around with abandon before the LORD, wearing a linen ritual vest. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the shofar” (2 Samuel 6:14-16).

Though Though the Scriptures don’t specify what sound patterns to make with the shofar, over the millennia the rabbis came up with four sounds that are blown in a certain order. These sounds were most likely used when Yeshua lived in Israel. Paul used these same terms when he wrote his letter to the Thessalonians. These traditional sounds are still used today in synagogues around the world when celebrating Yom Teruah.

Tekiah

“Praise him with a blast on the shofar! Praise him with lute and lyre!” (Psalm 150:3).

The first blast of the shofar, the tekiah, means to ‘blow or to blast’ and is a call to worship. This blast gathers Israel and those who join with them around the world to celebrate the Feast of Trumpets. The blast is medium length with a low to high pitch transition. It starts with a hard, short push on low pitch and a slight sustain on high pitch and ends with a short higher pitched burst. It is considered by many as the blast to praise Adonai for His creative acts and used for the coronation of a King.

Shevarim

“Shout out loud! Don’t hold back!  Raise your voice like a shofar!  Proclaim to my people what rebels they are to the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1).

“Put the shofar to your lips! Like a vulture [he swoops down] on the house of the LORD, because they have violated my covenant and sinned intentionally against my Torah” (Hosea 8:1).

The second blast of the shofar, the shevarim, means ‘broken’ and is the call to repentance. This blast reaches into men’s souls to convict them to return to God with a broken and penitent heart. It consists of three blasts each low-to-high pitch making a wave-like sound.

Teruah

“Blow the shofar in Tziyon! Sound an alarm on my holy mountain!” Let all living in the land tremble, for the Day of the LORD is coming! It’s upon us!” (Joel 2:1).

“My guts! My guts! I’m writhing in pain! My heart! It beats wildly — I can’t stay still! — because I have heard the shofar sound; it’s the call to war” (Jeremiah 4:19).

The third blast of the shofar, the teruah, means ‘blowing’ as is part of the Feast name: Yom Teruah. This blast sounds the battle alarm and is made with nine short one-second staccato bursts of sound. This is the shofar sound that Jeremiah heard as the Assyrians began their attack against Jerusalem. The war cry sound will begin the Day of Adonai.

Tekiah Gadolah

“But your dead will live;  their bodies will rise.  You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy.  Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead” (Isaiah 26:19).

The final blast of the shofar is the tekiah gadolah and is the long great blast known as The Great Shofar. It is similar to the tekiah except that the high note is sustained for the longest possible breath. It also ends with a violent, short, pushed out breath, and an even higher-pitched note. This is the blast prophesied by Isaiah that will raise the dead from the dust of the earth.

Let’s Throw StonesTashlich

“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?  You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.  You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).

“Because his mercy toward those who fear him is as far above earth as heaven.  He has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.  Just as a father has compassion on his children,  the LORD has compassion on those who fear him” (Psalm 103:11-13).

Tashlich comes from the Hebrew word meaning ‘to cast.’ After the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and there could be no atonement for Israel on Yom Kippur, a tradition of ‘casting stones’ was created. The tradition involves filling your pockets with small pebbles or stones symbolizing the sins that you have committed either willfully or unknowingly over the past year. They can be little pebbles or larger rocks depending your view of that sin against God. The gathered stones are placed into your pockets as a reminder that sin hinders and becomes a burden when it remains unconfessed. As you take each stone from your pocket and throw it into ‘living water,’ a body of water where fish are able to live, confess each sin and repent from it.

Tashlich is a memorable way to express Yeshua’s atonement for sin with God who “hurls all of our iniquities and sins into the bottom of the sea.” It is also a powerful reminder that just like the stone which remains in the bottom of the pond, lake or sea, our sins do not float back to the top and return to us. They remain ‘cast away’ forever as far as the east is from the west.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also for give you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14).

Tashlich is also the perfect time for us to right the wrongs we have done to others; it is the perfect time to forgive. Yeshua says that we are to forgive a brother or sister seventy times seven; forgiving those who have offended us whether it’s 490 times or 490,000 times. Confessing sins and asking forgiveness frees us to live with a clear conscience with our family, friends, and acquaintances. It also brings healing to our souls. As we throw stones into the body of water, we can ‘cast away’ all offenses that we may have committed and forgive those sins committed against us so we can be restored to one another in the Body of Messiah.

A Mysterious Memorial

“‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you are to have a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work; it is a day of blowing the shofar for you” (Numbers 29:1).

The Feast of Trumpets is a day of blowing the shofar; however Adonai doesn’t give a reason for doing it; it memorializes nothing. Perhaps through the annual blowing of the shofar, God’s people will learn to recognize the different sounds preparing them for a mysterious event that has not yet occurred.

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, teruah gadolah with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Messiah will rise first.   After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with Yeshua forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-16).

Paul describes the shofar blast of Adoni as the teruah gadolah –– the Great Trumpet blast. On Yom Teruah, Yeshua will return and the resurrection of the dead, the hope of restoration promised to Adam, Abraham, Prophets in Israel, and the redeemed Body of Messiah will become reality. When this shofar blast is sounded, the dead in Messiah will rise and those who are living will be changed from mortal into immortality and they will rule and reign with Yeshua during the Messianic Era.

There are no accounts of Yeshua celebrating the Feast of Trumpets. Though he was revealed as the Messiah of Israel, he still remains ‘concealed’ in the heavenly realm just like the new moon until his next ‘appointed time’ arrives. Until that specific ‘unknown day and hour,’ the nation of Israel is commanded to gather once a year to blow the shofar and remember a mysterious event. When the God blows the Great Shofar at the beginning of the Day of Adonai, the ‘concealed’ mystery of Yeshua as King, High Priest, and Bridegroom will become reality in another of his Father’s ‘appointed times’ –– Yom Teruah.

 For more about Yeshua fullfilling the ‘appointed times,’ purchase Yeshua in His Father’s Feasts.

©2010 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.

Rosh Hashanah: A Shofar and a Crown

“Daughters of Zion, come out, and gaze upon King Solomon, wearing the crown with which his mother crowned him on his wedding day, his day of joy!” (Song of Solomon 3:11).

The Jewish New Year, also known as Rosh Hashanah or the ‘head of the year,’ occurs in the fall on the Gregorian calendar. It occurs on the same day as the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets occurs on the ‘first day of the seventh month’ of the Hebrew calendar, so how can Rosh Hashanah be the ‘new year’ when the first of months is given in Exodus 1:2 in the spring at the time of Passover?

The answer may be found in the command for the Feast of Trumpets to be celebrated on the ‘first day of the month’ on the New Moon. Since all Biblical months and Feast days are determined by the appearance of the new moon, it could be that the ‘first day of the seventh month’ starts a new year on a new month with a different purpose.

Jewish tradition teaches that the heavens and earth were created on the first day of the seventh month. Ten days later, after Adam and Eve sinned, there needed to be atonement –– the Day of Atonement. Though a similar concept works for the ‘first of months’ in the spring with the lamb being brought into the home on the ‘tenth day of the first month’ in preparation for Passover, this lamb was not slaughtered on the ‘tenth day.’ Also the Passover lamb was for individual redemption; Day of Atonement was for the entire nation of Israel.

In truth, Israel has two new year memorials. The first is referred to as the spiritual new year that begins with the events surrounding Passover and Unleavened Bread. The second is the civil new year called Rosh Hashanah.

The civil new year is used to count years. For example, every 50 years on the ‘tenth day of the seventh month,’ the shofar was sounded to begin the Year of Jubilee. Property was returned to its original owners and people went back home to their tribal lands to begin the 50-year cycle again. A similar command was given for the ‘year of release’ or shemitah. Every seven years was a shemitah when slaves would be released, debts would be dissolved, and the land would be given rest from planting. This ‘year of release’ began on Rosh Hashanah and ended before sunset the next Rosh Hashanah.

Does having a spiritual new year and a civil new year nullify the commands of God? Biblical days are still sunset to sunset, months are still new moon to new moon, ‘appointed times’ of Adonai are still celebrated in the spring and fall as outlined in Leviticus, and years are counted for the shemitah and the Jubilee. Scriptures that could be interpreted with either month as the beginning of the year were studied centuries ago and the elders in Israel established the Hebrew calendar with two new year beginnings.

A King’s Coronation

One of the most familiar types and shadows of Rosh One of the most interesting ‘shadows’ of Rosh Hashanah involves the crowning of a new king. When a king in Israel was coronated, the length of his reign was determined by Rosh Hasahanah. For example, if the man became king on the day before Rosh Hashanah, he would be considered king for one year with the arrival of the ‘first day of the seventh month.’ If he became king on the day after Rosh Hashanah, he was only king for one day. Whatever day the king was coronated, prophets, priests, and royal officials along with the people of Israel cheered and rejoiced. Shofars were blown and it was a time of great rejoicing. First Kings describes the coronation of King Solomon:

“The king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites, and they have put him on the king’s mule, and Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at Gihon. From there they have gone up cheering, and the city resounds with it. That’s the noise you hear. Moreover, Solomon has taken his seat on the royal throne” (1 Kings 1:44-48).

According to Jewish tradition, Kings of Judah were coronated on the new year day in the spring and Kings of Israel kings were coronated on the new year day in the fall. Yeshua was ‘crowned’ King of the Jews in the spring at Passover when he hung on the cross with the sign “King of the Jews” over his head. According to Biblical prophecy, Yeshua will return to Jerusalem to begin the Messianic Kingdom. With the blast of shofars, he will be coronated King over Israel and all the earth. His coronation as King of Kings, will occur on Feast of Trumpets on Rosh Hashanah and he will sit on David’s throne. At that moment, the dead will rise and those who are alive will be transformed into immortality. They will become Yeshua’s of royal priesthood and rule and reign with him for 1000 years (Revelation 20:4-6).

The prophetic vision of the Feast of Trumpets is blowing the shofar for an event that has not yet taken place. As of this day, Yeshua has not returned to Israel, has not been coronated King over Israel, nor has he taken up his throne in Jerusalem. The coronation of King Messiah on Rosh Hashanah is still to come.

“Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. For the Lord Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth.  …God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne. The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, for the kings of the earth belong to God; he is greatly exalted” (Psalm 47).

Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah

In the past few years, Messianic gentiles have begun to reject the new year celebration of Rosh Hashanah as a ‘tradition of men’ because it’s not one of the Feasts of the LORD. This is grievous error because both celebrations have Biblical foundation and prophetic vision.

Messianic gentiles should take such a firm stand that Rosh Hashanah is a ‘tradition of men’ and should be avoided. Not all traditions nullify the commands of God (Mark 7:8-9). Paul commends the Corinthians for “holding onto the traditions” he passed onto them (1 Corinthians 11:1). Messianic gentiles should use every opportunity to make the Jewish people envious for their Messiah. Wild ‘gentile’ branches are not to be so arrogant over the natural ‘Jewish’ branches that they reject traditions they don’t understand. As foreigners, Messianic gentiles need to learn about the traditions as they may be the very traditions that bring a Jewish person to faith in Yeshua.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Teruah are two different names for the same ‘appointed time.’ One day soon, on the ’first day of the seventh month,’ with the blasts of shofars, Yeshua will return in the clouds, be crowned King of Kings in Jerusalem, his Kingdom established, and his one-thousand-year Reign will begin.

©2014 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this blog post,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.