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Rosh HaShanah

Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘In the seventh month, the first of the month is to be for you a day of complete rest for remembering, a holy convocation announced with blasts on the shofar. Do not do any kind of ordinary work, and bring an offering made by fire to Adonai.’ ~ Leviticus 23:24-25, CJB

Blow the shofar in Tziyon! Sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all living in the land tremble, for the Day of Adonai is coming! It’s upon us! —  ~ Joel 2:1, CJB

 

During the final month of the Jewish civil/agricultural year (the month of Elul), there traditionally is a 30-day period of intense spiritual preparation for the coming year, which begins on the Feast of Trumpets or Rosh HaShanah—day one of the month of Tishri (also spelled Tishrei). Teshuvah, the Hebrew name for this spiritual preparation (this time of prayers, introspection, and repentance; this time of atoning for sins; this time of turning back to God), gets Jewish people ready for entering the Ten Days of Awe, which include the first two days of Tishri or Rosh HaShanah. Additionally, each morning during the 30 days of the month of Elul, the trumpet (shofar) or ram’s horn is blown to warn the people they must repent and return to God.

Even though the words Rosh HaShanah are not mentioned in either the Christian Holy Bible or the Jewish Tanakh, God does refer to this feast day in His Scriptures as The Day of Remembrance (in Hebrew, Yom HaZikkaron), which pertains to remembering God, the World’s birthday, Creation’s anniversary, Isaac’s near-sacrifice, personal histories, and every Jewish person’s past (the last year’s) behaviors. In the Scriptures, God also refers to Rosh HaShanah as The Day of the Sounding of the Shofar (in Hebrew, Yom Teruah).

Now, so there won’t be any misunderstanding, it is important to note here that Tishri is both the first month and the seventh month on Jewish calendars. In other words, Rosh HaShanah is the first day of this first month (Tishri), and thus the beginning of a New Year, when Tishri is viewed on the civil/agricultural calendar, but Rosh HaShanah also is the first day of this seventh month (Tishri), and thus the first of the final three feasts of the annual seven mandatory major feasts, when Tishri is viewed on the religious/festival calendar.

As the Sabbatical month on the religious/festival calendar, Tishri ushers in the last three annual feasts: Rosh HaShanah or Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement, and Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles. More important, the final three feasts of Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot not only mark the conclusion of the Jewish religious/festival year but also they epitomize both the conclusion and the fulfillment of God’s redemption plan.  

Then too, of these three final annual feasts, two are known as “The High Holy Days” or “High Holidays” or the Awesome Days (Days of Awe), and these two feasts are Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. During the High Holiday of Rosh HaShanah, and the days leading up to the High Holiday of Yom Kippur, the Jewish people cleanse their souls by making amends either via repentance and turning back to God (Teshuvah); or via introspection, self-evaluation, self-judgment, and the renewing or strengthening of their attachment/bond/marriage with or to God (Tefilah); or via justice or righteousness (Tzedakah). They cleanse their souls so that they could be forgiven not only by mankind but also by God and, thus, given the chance to start fresh with an unburdened conscience (with a clean slate), as they attempt to live a better life in the upcoming year.

That said; in this current secular month (September), Jewish people worldwide will observe their Jewish New Year or Rosh HaShanah (literally, “Head of the Year” or the first of the year). This year Rosh HaShanah is from sundown September 4th to sundown September 6th. These days are the first and second of Tishri, the Jewish month that usually falls sometime on the secular calendar in September or October.

Unlike the big partying Americans do on their New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, for Jewish people Rosh HaShanah, though a celebratory holiday, is a very solemn, holy and spiritual festival, primarily because this feast gives Jewish people the opportunity to put their previous year’s sins in the past and move forward with God’s forgiveness. For this reason, Rosh HaShanah traditionally also is observed as The Day of Judgment—the day God judges His Jewish people and then inscribes the fate of every Jewish person either in The Book of Life or in The Book of Death.

Rosh HaShanah or the Feast of Trumpets also is an important festival, because on this holiday God completed His work of Creation (He made Adam and Eve). Therefore, it traditionally is believed that the blowing of the shofars (trumpets) on Rosh HaShanah/Feast of Trumpets is meant to be a warning call (cry) to the Jewish people, letting them know that it is time for them to be judged for their sins. The blowing of the shofars (trumpets) also is a call (cry), which lets Jewish people know that not only are they to repent their sins but also they are to prepare themselves for their trial—for their Day of Judgment. According to Jewish traditions, annually, on Rosh HaShanah, Jewish people would stand before God to be judged. However, it also was on Rosh HaShanah that the Jewish people were allowed to appeal to God for forgiveness of their past year’s sins, before He passed His final judgment on them.

Now day one of Rosh HaShanah was the only feast day on which God decided the fate of the entire world for the upcoming new year, even though His verdict was not final until the Day of Atonement (also known as The Day of the Lord or Judgment Day). In other words, ten days before the Day of Atonement, God executes judgment from His heavenly Court, declaring who will live; who will die by fire, water, earthquake, sword, famine, thirst, and so forth; who will have a good life; who will have a bad life, who will be poor; who will be rich; who will have rest; who will wander; who will fall (be degraded); who will rise (be exalted); and so forth. Traditionally, Jewish people had the Ten Days of Awe (from day one of Rosh HaShanah to Yom Kippur—the last 10 days of the 40 days of Teshuvah, the period of repentance and forgiveness) to reflect, repent, cleanse themselves, seek forgiveness, and make any necessary amends in order to influence God’s final judgment on that ultimately awesome Judgment Day (the Day of Atonement; the Day of the Lord), when the Books of Life and Death would be sealed.

The bottom line is that for Jewish people, Rosh HaShanah isn’t just The Jewish New Year. Rosh HaShanah also is The Day of Remembrance (Yom HaZikkaron), when the Books of Life, Death, and Remembrance are opened in Heaven, and The Day of the Sounding of the Shofar or The Day of the Awakening Blast/Shout (Yom Teruah).

Additionally, Rosh HaShanah is: The Day of the Resurrection of the Righteous Dead and the Taking Up of the Living Righteous (Yom HaNatzal); The Day of the Hiding or Concealment, or Hidden Day (Yom HaKeseh), which pertains to when the first sliver of the New Moon is sighted; The Day of Judgment (Yom HaDin), the day when God would judge His Jewish people and then inscribe their names in either the Book of Life or the Book of Death; The Day of God’s Kingship and The Day of the Coronation of the Messiah (Yom HaMelech), which is both the day for re-establishing God’s Kingship or the re-throning of the Master of the Universe—the One who created the world and everything and everyone in it—as well as  the Coronation of Christ in Heaven, crowning Him the King of kings and Lord of lords over all the Earth so that He can reign 1,000 years as King after He returns to Earth; The Wedding Day of the Messiah (Yom HaKiddushin/Nesuim), when the marriage between Christ the Groom and the Body of Christ the Bride finally is consummated; and The Day of Abraham’s Offering of Isaac (Yom HaAkedah), for it was from the binding of Isaac incident that the left horn of the ram caught in the thicket came to symbolize the shofar’s First Trump or Bride of God (blown on Pentecost or Shavuot), and that same ram’s right horn came to symbolize the shofar’s Last Trump or Bride of Christ (blown on the Feast of Trumpets or Rosh HaShanah or Yom Teruah). Thus, every one of these mentioned idioms and/or names for Rosh HaShanah leaves no doubt as to why this feast day not only is a High Holy Day but also an extremely important holiday for Jewish people, indeed, for all mankind.

Lastly, the main themes of remembering, shouting, awakening, repenting, preparing, resurrecting, marrying, hiding, concealing, escaping, as in not receiving the death sentence/judgment, and resting are ALL images of the Rapture. Furthermore, there can be no doubt that the blowing of shofars is both a warning that it is time to prepare for standing before God to be judged and a sign that the resurrecting of the righteous dead and the snatching up of the righteous living are about to take place for the prepared (repentant, forgiven, saved, sanctified, cleansed, ready, and expecting to meet the Lord in the air) Bride so that She can go home to Heaven with Her Groom and be hidden there in the Bridal Chambers from the seven-year Tribulation. Again, these themes are all images of the Rapture.

Moreover, if we combine together these already mentioned themes with the re-throning, crowning, judging, and the blowing of the shofar’s Last Trump themes, the end result is a bigger picture of the Rapture. Therefore, there can be no doubt that all of Rosh HaShanah’s themes, idioms, names, and images are why this feast is the top choice for when the prophesied Rapture of the Bride of Christ will happen. Now, while no one knows which Jewish New Year will include the Rapture, believers in Christ know that they must stay spiritually prepared and alert, and they know that they must keep looking up, especially around the time of Rosh HaShanah, so that they won’t miss the Rapture.

A word to the wise should be sufficient. Amen!