Shanna Tova - A Jewish New-Year Blessing (The Biblical Feast of Trumpets)
In a few days the nation of Israel will enter our High Holiday season which includes the Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), and the Feast of Tabernacles. According to the Scriptures, the seven biblical Feasts that God commanded Israel to observe are spread throughout the agricultural year as follows: Passover + Unleavened Bread + First Fruits are at the Spring; Pentecost (Shavuot) is at the early Summer; and Trumpets + Day of Atonement + Tabernacles are at the Fall.
As many Bible students believe, these seven feasts describe God’s redemption plan for His children, with the last three feasts pointing to His final acts of salvation for mankind. Within a span of just 21 days during the seventh month of the Hebraic biblical year, these final three feasts of Israel will be celebrated with much fanfare, religious ceremonies, family gatherings, and national prayer and worship events.
The Feast of Trumpets which is recognized as Israel’s traditional (not biblical) New Year celebration (Sep 15, 2023) appears in the Scriptures as a blast of a trumpet and a call to wake up, to pay attention, and to dedicate oneself into a period of introspection and repentance. Consequently, all Israel will be attending prayer services in the synagogues and houses of worship and celebrate this coming Rosh Hashana as the nation enters the solemn ‘Ten Days of Awe’ period that leads up to the Day of Atonement.
The Day of Atonement will be observed ten days later (Sep 24, 2023) as the entire nation goes through an intense 24-hour period of fasting and prayer before God, seeking His mercy and forgiveness. The Scriptures tell us about a future healing and restoration promised the people of Israel that will come during the final prophesied revival that our prophets spoke of; a national repentance and renewal that will be like one last and great Day of Atonement which will bring the nation of Israel finally under the eternal covering of God’s atoning sacrifice.
The Feast of Tabernacleswill arrive on the 15thday of the seventh month of the Hebraic biblical year (Sep 29, 2023) as all of Israel joyfully observes the eight-day celebration of the longest and happiest feast of all. This final of the Seven Feasts of the Lord, according to Bible students, points to the joy of the final agricultural harvest of the year and to God’s presence dwelling among us as He “Tabernacles” in the midst of His people in a Kingdom of peace and joy.
As we enter into this celebratory and profound season, one of the many themes that fill our celebrations here in Israel is the Kingship of the God of Israel. Much of the traditional prayer services in our synagogues incorporate Psalms and Hymns declaring the lordship of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob over His people and His creation, including this liturgical declaration, saying, “The Lord reigns! The Lord has reigned! The Lord will reign forever and to eternity!”
This congregational confession that will be heard loud and clear in all our synagogues and houses of worship comforts the hearts of all who face challenges and difficulties in this life. This reminder of God’s kingship over our lives today, yesterday and tomorrow is a beautiful source of strength for all who put their faith and trust in Him. There is no stronger foundation in the life of the man or woman of faith than the confidence that the Creator of the heavens and the earth rules and will continue to rule over us, regardless of our changing and temporary circumstances.
The Bible teaches us that, “ … this is the victory that has overcome the world; our faith.” (I-John 5:4), and our upcoming Rosh-Hashanah New Year celebration is a very appropriate season to lift up our eyes, seek the Lord afresh, and face the future with renewed faith and hope, remembering God’s promise spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Happy Jewish New Year from your Sar-El Tour’s team.