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Rosh Hashanah

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Rosh Hashanah

As we venture into this amazing Holy Day, it is important to understand connections. Many believe that Elokim is our Creator, but so many people have missed the connections along the way; namely, knowing what Hashem’s festivals are. One might say, “I thought I was following the map, I saw the street signs, but I didn’t realize there was more to it, and I got lost along the way.”

Rosh Hashanah is the fifth holiday to be observed. There is also a connection of Rosh Hashannah to Creation. Let’s seek further:

Birds and Fish were created were created on Day Five. They swim/fly fiercely and rapidly, taking the seed out in the water/wind currents—carrying Emet (truth). The Hebrew letters were part of creation [Hebrew letters have a specific meaning for its function]; therefore, we must factor in the Hebrew letter five as “Hey.” Hey is to “Behold.”

There are (7) Spirits of G-d, (7) Days of Creation, (7) Festivals, (7) Candlesticks (Menorah- 7 branches).

  • The Spirit of Power (Ruach Gvurah—Mighty Warrior) alludes to the strength to carry out a task or commandment of Hashem.
    • Wind—Spirit—Ruach
    • Provision
    • Birds scatter seeds –taking the Torah out to the Nations.
    • TESHUVAH-RETURN means to have Repentance/ to turn back to G-d!
    • To mend ones way by making a change in our direction following Hashem’s way.
    • The seeds that fell under the tree on the third day will grow and provide a resting counsel for the birds that return from the scatterings and migrations of the fifth day.
    • The Ruach haKodesh- Set Apart.

There are (3) Themes which are in the fall months.
1. Remembrance
2. Hashem’s Sovereignty
3. Shofar

The call to remembrance -100 blast of the shofar.
There are (3) types of blasts: tekiah, shavarim, and teruah. The tekiah is one long blast signaling the alarm. The shavarim consists of three medium blasts of wailing, and the teruah consists of nine short blasts like broken sobs. The one hundredth blast in called the last trumpet.

Some of the reasons for the Trumpets blown:
• Proclaim Hashem as King on the anniversary of Creation! Yes, it’s an anniversary of creation—us!
• To announce the 10-days of Awe as a warning that Elokim will enforce His decrees.
• To remind us that we said we would listen and do all of Hashem’s Commandments at the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai.
• To remember that if we don’t change our ways, we are responsible for our own destruction.
• Cities will tremble, so will man.
• It reminds us that the shofar will be blown on the Day of Judgment. This is a self-check in asking ourselves, “Where are we in our walk? Are we really following the TORAH? Wake-up!!
• The shofar will be blown on the day of resurrection. Hashem is our victory.

Let’s get started:

In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing the shofar, a holy convocation.

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying:                   

“Speak to the Israelite people thus: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe complete rest, a sacred occasion commemorated with loud blasts.” (Leviticus 23:23-24)[1]

Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar which holds a great significance. It is also the Sabbatical month—set apart. The number seven also represent spiritual completeness.

In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a sacred occasion: you shall not work at your occupations. You shall observe it as a day when the horn is sounded”. (Numbers 29:1)[2]

Rosh Hashanah is a two-day festival, and means “Head of the Year” and a Day of Blowing (shofar). This Hebrew calendar date is on Tishrei one which is mid-September to mid-October. These are the Holy days of Hahsem, and His spiritual covering for the Bride.

During the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah, the “Ten Days of Awe” begins; ending on Yom Kippur. Yamin Norai’m is Hebrew for the Ten Days of Awe. On Erev Rosh Hashanah, the Orthodox Jewish men will go to Mikvah (ritual bath). During this time G-d opens His three books and decrees a person’s destiny that determines the life and death of that individual for the coming year. The three books are viewed during Rosh Hashanah and judgments are made on Yom Kippur. The Book of Life, the Book of Death, and the Book of Judgment are the three books our names can be recorded in. If an individual’s name is written in the Book of Death, true repentance (Teshuvah) can remove that name from Death to the Book of Life, according to the promises in scripture.

Rosh Hashanah is also known as “The Day of Remembrance.” It is the day the shofar is blown as a call to repentance. To become “Awakened!” (Leviticus 23:24) It’s a remembrance of the Sovereignty and Kingship of G-d, and the binding of Isaac. Although the Father can forgive at any time, during the Holy Days, Hashem is in the field; drawing closer to us. There are many scriptures that support these three books. G-d’s Book of Remembrance is found in Malachi 3:16.  A Daniel 7:10 state the judgment was set, and the book was opened. Hashem will have two thrones of judgment. One throne will be strict justice and the other of mercy. Exodus 32:32-33 reminds us of the conversation between Hashem and Moses when Hashem said, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will erase him from My book.”

Rosh Hashanah is the destiny (tsaddikim) for the righteous, and death (resha’im) for the wicked, according to rabbinical tradition. There will come a time when the books are sealed, and what we have done in life with our choices to repent, or not, determines our fate. There are ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur called the “Ten Days of Repentance” also known as “Aseret Yemei.”

Day of Judgment is coming. The Books will be opened and where our names are recorded seals our fate. It’s never safe to assume “you’re in”

G-d is a G-d of mercy, but also of Justice. The Blowing of the shofar will be exciting and joyous for His Chosen Ones. Sound the shofar!!!

“‘Wash yourselves clean; Put your evil doings Away from My sight. Cease to do evil; Learn to do good. Devote yourselves to justice; Aid the wronged. Uphold the rights of the orphan; Defend the cause of the widow.  “Come, let us reach an understanding, —says the LORD. Be your sins like crimson, They can turn snow-white; Be they red as dyed wool, They can become like fleece.” If, then, you agree and give heed, You will eat the good things of the earth; But if you refuse and disobey, You will be devoured [by] the sword.— For it was the LORD who spoke.’”[3] (Isaiah 1:16-20)

Elul is the time when Hashem moves closer to us. Hashem is in the field—I am my Beloved’s and He is mine. (Song of Songs 6:3) This is the time to reevaluate ourselves, judge our choices in life, attitude, behaviors, intentions, and thoughts and seek repentance. Repentance is more than just saying we are sorry. The Hebrew word to repent is Teshuvah. It means to make a turnaround, to go back to G-d. We don’t want our names blotted out by our own choices to sin. This is a good time to ask others to forgive us of any offense and for those we have offended, to forgive freely. Our prayers on Rosh Hashanah convey a deeper understanding of Hashem’s existence, and it reminds us to appreciate His sovereignty. Our attitude is a reflection of our inner self. Everyone is accountable for their actions.

It’s essential to understand one of our greatest responsibilities is to value the life and needs of others. This is the time to draw near to Hashem in humbleness. Seek His divine will. We all have made mistakes and sinned. It’s important to remember not to allow the past mistakes to govern and determine our future. We, as human beings, have free will that determines who we are.

Rabbi Richman’s parashat Bereshit humbly reminds us:

“The world is created anew each day by G-d as an expression of G-d’s love for His creation. Live each day anew for each day comes but once and each day holds a world of potential never before fulfilled, just waiting for you, today, to make the most of G-d’s creation.”[4]

Do we give our free will to the Nefesh (self-desires), or do we place our Ruach above free will? Will we hear Hashem when He calls? Will our choices and behaviors honor or shame Hashem? G-d is known for His Thirteen Attributes of Mercy:

“‘The LORD came down in a cloud; He stood with him there, and proclaimed the name LORD. The LORD passed before him and proclaimed: “The LORD! the LORD! a God compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and faithfulness, extending kindness to the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; yet He does not remit all punishment, but visits the iniquity of parents upon children and children’s children, upon the third and fourth generations.’” (Exodus 34:5-7)[5]

Davening is a Yiddish word for Jewish prayers with a deeper meaning. Moses had a desire to “see” Hashem face-to-face, but Hashem revealed Himself to Moses in a cloud covering, according to Exodus 34:5, in a different way. Hashem revealed to Moses His perspective of how He sees us with mercy:

  1. The Lord—Hashem is merciful. He gives us opportunities to request forgiveness and try again.
  2. The Lord—Hashem is merciful for the one who went astray to come back.
  3. G-d (El)—His mercy is given even though His Name signifies power over nature as ruler of mankind.
  4. Rahum—Compassionate
  5. V’hanun—Gracious. G-d is gracious when we do not deserve it. He comforts those who are afflicted. Mercy.
  6. Ereh apayim—Slow to anger. Hashem gives us time to overcome our sins.
  7. V’rav hesed—Abundant in Kindness. He is kind to us when we are lacking in merits.
  8. V’emet—Truth. Hashem never breaks His covenant with us.
  9. Notzeir chesed la’alafim—Preserver of kindness for thousands of generations. Hashem remembers the deeds of the righteous.
  10. Nosei avon—Hashem forgives our inequity, contingent upon our repentance.
  11. Pesha—Hashem forgives willful sins, extended to those who willfully rebelled against Hashem. He gives us an opportunity to repent and teshuvah. A restoration.
  12. V’hata’ah—Forgiver of error. Hashem forgives unintentional sins,carelessness.
  13. V’nakeh—Who cleanses. The Father will forgive and cleanse those who are repentant and returns to Hashem. In His mercy and graciousness, He is merciful to forgive us.

Hashem will forgive those who truly have teshuvah and return to Him in humbleness. How many times do we misuse His mercy and grace like a drive-thru window and take His forgiveness lightly? We often take it for granted because He is extremely patient with us instead of allowing our sin to destroy ourselves as soon as we mess up. G-d IS merciful to forgive us!

We (Israel) are to be a Light to the Nations. We are to take the Torah and teach others about G-d’s Emet. May we draw near to Hashem, fall to our knees in repentance, be renewed in the Hashem and shout for joy for our KING! All praises and Glory to Hashem!

As we prepare for Rosh Hashanah there are three types of turning to be observed:

  • Turning to G-d (tefillah).
  • Turning to those we have offended and humble ourselves(teshuvah).
  • Turning to those in need by love offerings, physically helping;setting our own needs aside: poor, widow, orphan, etc. (tzedakah)

How to Celebrate Rosh Hashanah:

  • Teshuvah—Return to the Father. Repent and ask others for forgiveness. Hashem is in the Field! Restore the relationship with Hashem and others (if possible).
  • Be humble.
  • Blow the Shofar on both mornings! This is a memorial to proclaim Rosh Hashanah! Because He is in the field, and we anticipate the coming of the Messiah. It reminds us that Hashem provided a Ram in place of Isaac in the thorny thicket.

Don’t blow the shofar if it’s on Shabbat.

  • High Holy Sabbath. Do not do any ordinary work.
  • Holy Convocation. Gather with like kind and like mind on this special day to celebrate.
  • Tashlich ceremony—a beautiful tradition for family to go out to a body of moving water such as a stream or river and toss in bread crumbs, or tiny rocks, if it’s not on the Sabbath. This is done on the first day of Rosh Hashanah. This reminds us of G-d’s forgiveness by casting our sins into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:18-19)
  • Rosh Hashanah Seder plate, dinners, and blessings
  • Lighting candles each evening. The candles are lit by the women and girls. The candles are lit eighteen minutes before sunset on the first night, and after sunset on the second night.

 

And the LORD will manifest Himself to them, And His arrows shall flash like lightning; My Lord G-D shall sound the ram’s horn And advance in a stormy tempest.” (Zechariah 9:14)[6]

It is a time when Israel remembers the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel), and they have self-reflection, repent, and call out to our Father Who is our Redeemer and Shield. During this time, Hashem draws nearer to listen to His Chosen children, and gathers them to the Promised Land– rejoicing.

Like a mother coming quickly to the cry of her baby, our Father Hashem will return:

Like a woman with child Approaching childbirth, Writhing and screaming in her pangs, So are we become because of You, O LORD.” (Isaiah 26:17)[7]

Remembering the promise Hashem made to Abraham, G-d will carefully gather His people back to Him on the great blowing of the shofar. The “Book of Deeds” is not necessarily deeds that we have gone off to do. The deeds are Hashem’s deeds on what our Father has already told us to do in the Tanach. Are we walking in the Torah? Don’t wait until later to seek the Father. We are never promised tomorrow. We all have been given a number of days. We are to use each day given wisely—bringing Heaven down to earth.

As our Father draws nearer to us, that is when we need to draw nearer to Hashem, just like Moses did. We should not hide when the Father draws near us like Adam and Chavah did in the Garden.

May we come to Hashem with a contrite heart that desires to please Hashem.

Shalom!

 

 

 

[1] Leviticus 23:23-24, Sefaria

[2] Numbers 29:1, Sefaria

[3] Isaiah 1:16-20, Sefaria

[4] templeinstitute.org/events.htm/feed/rosh_hashana-store/beged/archive/red_heifer/

red_heifer/red-heifer-fact-and-fiction.htm

[5] Exodus 34:5-7, Sefaria

[6] Zechariah 9:14, Sefaria

[7] Isaiah 26:17, Sefaria

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