The Jewish New Year, known as Rosh HaShanah is just around the corner! One of the main reasons I love this celebration is because during this season, God does something miraculous or life-altering for me.
Rosh HaShanah is not just for the Jewish people but according to Scripture, it is for all who seek His face and pursue righteousness to observe the appointed times (Leviticus 23). Traditionally, Rosh HaShanah is a solemn day with shofar blasts reminding people to reflect on their lives and repent. This is the time to come before God, but also to make things right with one’s neighbor. It is a time to intentionally forgive and go into the New Year with a fresh vision of purpose and identity in Messiah.
Interestingly, the unique centerpiece of Rosh HaShanah is the shofar – the ceremonial ram’s horn. What I also love about the shofar is it ushers in the presence of God. A blast goes up to Heaven, and God’s presence comes down to His people.
As believers in the Messiah, we believe this sound will announce the return of our King, Yeshua the Messiah. Many believe that Jesus will return on Rosh HaShanah at the sound of the shofar! 1 Corinthians 15:52 says, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.”
Rosh HaShanah is also a festive day, when families come together for a colorful and abundant meal. Every dish is symbolic of God’s blessings. We celebrate the sweetness of life and the year to come by eating apples dipped in honey. We celebrate God’s abundant blessing and fruitfulness in our lives by eating pomegranates [in Hebrew, rimonim]. To continue the sweetness theme we eat dates [in Hebrew, tamarim]. Another cool symbolic aspect of the Rosh HaShanah dinner is eating beets! Yes, the red root vegetable. See the verb “lesalek,” which means ‘to get rid of,’ has the root word of ‘selek,’ which means beet. We eat the beet root as a symbolic way to get rid of our sins and enemies for the New Year. This year, let’s eat the beet root to symbolically get rid of the coronavirus!
There are many more customs and traditions to Rosh HaShanah. Ultimately, the purpose of ALL the feasts is to meet with Messiah. I encourage you to take this time to seek the Lord, and trust Him. I personally look forward to Rosh HaShanah because I anticipate the shift the Lord will bring to my life. I pray you too will receive new direction, purpose, and fresh vision as you seek Him.
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