Friday, September 14, 2012

Rosh Hashanah Revalation

We interrupt your regularly scheduled answers to bring you this post courtesy of G-d's inspiration. Thank you for your understanding.

I'm researching Messianic Judaism again, at the L-rd's prompting. It's almost time for the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and so I'm looking into it, being sure that if I choose to observe it that I do so according to Biblical instruction and not simply Jewish tradition which may not be based in G-d. It seems odd to many that the New Year would be (a) in the Fall and (b) in the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. According to a page on the website of the temple I've attended in the past (also a messianic temple), part of the rationale for why this occurs is a previous calendar which started the new year in fall according to an agricultural lifestyle and that traditionally Rosh Hashanah is a celebration of the anniversary of Creation. Now, I don't know if that's true or not but I do know that I love that idea. If Creation began on Rosh Hashanah, it began right at the start of the fall. It began when the weather turns a bit chilly and we want to stay home with our family, eat homemade comfort foods, cuddle with our loved ones, and when the leaves start to turn colors. Autumn has always been my favorite season and I think it always will be. (I'm torn between wanting my wedding in early June so I can have lilacs or wanting it in October so we have the beauty of leaves.) I think that G-d must be an Artist. In a few weeks, when the leaves are red and orange and yellow and gold (and don't try to tell me gold and yellow are the same), look out your window. Tell me that the Creator didn't enjoy every moment of designing that landscape. Tell me that He didn't hand paint every leaf you see. Tell me that my G-d isn't amazing. I'll tell you you're wrong. If Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of Creation, my G-d has been speaking to me longer than I can imagine. Before I was born, He knit me together in my mother's womb and He embedded this sense of wonder at the fall in my soul. Perhaps because that is the start of His year.

In case anyone is curious, Rosh Hashanah is known in the Bible as the Feast of Trumpets. It's mentioned in Leviticus 23:24-5 and Numbers 29:1-6. The Biblical celebration is meant to include a sacrifical offering to the L-rd, a "sacred assembly", "no regular work", and the blowing of the shofar (a horn created from a ram's well horn). It begins the 10 Days of Repentance that lead up to Yom Kippur (known biblically as the Day of Atonement). Traditionally (not Biblical mandates), apples dipped in honey are eaten with challah for wishes for a sweet new year.


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