Shana Tova! (A good year!) Yep, today is the day! In honor of our wonderful Jewish roots and our wonderful Messiah, I am celebrating and seeking the Lord today in Rosh Hashanah. And God seems to be speaking some interesting things…
As for me, I am still out of work and I’ve been getting some good prayer this week for that from some folks at church. One brother prayed over me on Tuesday night that God would open a “new door” for me, “even this week,” and he prayed that about three times. I had started reading about Rosh Hashanah earlier that day. Then last night at home group people prayed that God would give me a “good job” (i.e. not just “a job”) that would be good for me, good for my family, and good financially. Meanwhile, Tracy has been really struggling with her job, really dissatisfied with it in many ways, and ultimately not feeling fulfilled. What does all this have to do with the Jewish New Year?
The significance of this “new year” in biblical times was that it heralded the end of the harvest, and the beginning of the rainy season, and the planting of new crops. It was time of high celebration but also of reflection and solemnity. Originally called the “Feast of trumpets” it was kicked off with blasting the shofar and taking a day of rest, among other things (see Leviticus 23:23-25; Numbers 29:1-6). The special day was and is today, the first day of the 7th month, Tishri (which actually started at twilight yesterday and goes to twilight tonight). Other things I have learned about Rosh Hashanah:
- Philo wrote that the blowing of the trumpets on this day was a memorial of the giving of the Torah and a reminder of God’s benefits to humanity in general.
- The Mishnah describes it as a “day of judgment” (along with three other feast days) when all men will pass before God.
- The Talmud describes Rosh Hashanah as the most important of these judgement days, when all will pass before God as sheep pass in front of a shepherd for examination. It is also said in the Talmud that on Rosh Hashanah “the means of sustenance of every person are apportioned for the ensuing year; so also are his destined losses” (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosh_Hashanah). Things that make you go hmmmmmm….
Now I’m not Jewish (but my father Abraham was), and I’m not bound in any way by Jewish oral tradition (nor, in fact, is God), but in celebrating the fullness of my faith in the One True God, I’m getting a hint that maybe God is up to something special this week in my life, on this “new year’s” day. Could it be that God is doing something new? A new beginning? That He is setting aside what my “means of sustenance” are for this coming year? Umm, I don’t know, but it is encouraging to hear God’s voice of encouragement and to celebrate Him in a wonderful day that He appointed in ancient times.
May the God of Israel, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, bless us with new beginning and provisions in this day and this new year!! And may He bless you all, my friends and family, those dear to me, that He may find us all righteous in Yeshua and our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life!!
La shanah tova tikatevu!!
(May your name be inscribed for a good year!!)