Tonight at Sunset Rosh Hashanah begins in Israel. This is the Jewish New Year, called in the Bible ‘The Feast of Trumpets’. This lasts, two days outside Israel, one day in Israel; and marks the beginning of what they call the Ten Days of Awe, which conclude with Yom Kippur. 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 – Jesus. All the Jews celebrate the creation of the World and have a chance to ask for forgiveness and start fresh.
The Jews have spent the entire month in fasting and prayer in preparation for this most important Holy Day, we have not but it is such an important one, that I am choosing to use the Vigil Readings, so today we pray and spend some extra time with the Father.
“Selichot” or prayers and poems of repentance are added to the 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.” That is what we call "the Rapture."
Make sure if you want to celebrate you have some apples and honey and a festive meal prepared. Wine or grape juice and Round, raisin challah bread to be dipped in honey and foods symbolizing your wishes for the New Year. Many eat pomegranates, giving voice to a wish that “our merits be many like the [seeds of the] pomegranate.” (You could use passionfruit here if you can't get pomegranate or even kiwifruit maybe. Another common food is tzimmes, a sweet, carrot-based dish eaten because of its Yiddish name, merren, which means both “carrot” and “increase,” symbolizing a wish for a year of abundance. Honeyed carrots would be a good substitute and are a favorite. Avoid nuts and anything bitter. Happy Rosh Hashanah!