Today is Rosh Hashanah meaning "The Head of the Year" or Jewish New Year, it ends officially tomorrow when the first 3 stars come out. Rosh Hashanah is only one day long in Israel and we are covering that day which started at sunset yesterday and ends tonight when the first 3 stars come out, so 2 days for us. So today ‘The Feast of Trumpets’ continues. This festival – instituted by God, is one of the most important in the entire year and there is a connection with it to the Messiah. All the Jews celebrate the creation of the World and have a chance to ask for forgiveness and start fresh.
This feast is in some ways like Ash Wednesday, it marks the beginning of what they call the Ten Days of Awe, which conclude with Yom Kippur. It is a shorter version of our Lent, and in 10 days time is Yom Kippur one of the most important days of the Jewish Calendar their Day of Atonement. Where they cleanse themselves of all last years sins, so as the beginning of this period repentance is a big part of the Holiday. But you are meant to be joyful - the key to this is that God is compassionate and merciful and therefore we must be compassionate and merciful in forgiving ourselves, because God forgives us, and therefore we can more easily forgive others.
“Selichot” or prayers and poems of repentance are added to their daily liturgy before the start of Rosh Hashanah and continue until Yom Kippur. They lay a special emphasis on God’s traditional “Thirteen Attributes.”
The heart of Rosh Hashanah itself is the blowing of the shofar. One author writes, “the sound of the shofar was the call to arms, the alarm for any disaster, the signal to assemble for community business, the solemn announcement of an excommunication. It calls up the remembrance of Sinai when the sound issued from a thick cloud and the people trembled…. And such a sound will announce the time of the Great Day of the Lord.”
In fact the prophecies of Judiasm say that the Messiah will appear on The Feast of Trumpets, by the year 6000 (2240), so if we get to then and he hasn't appeared they will be forced to acknowledge they made a mistake and missed him and looking back over the Centuries and doing a study of all the Messianic prophecies they will see that the one that stands out the most and meets all the requirements is Jesus of Nazareth. But given Christian prophecy I firmly believe that Jesus will have returned by the Hebrew year 6000 (2040) and will finally be recognized by them as the Messiah. Happy Rosh Hashanah!