This week begins the first of the 3 fall feasts: Yom Teruah, a day of shouting, known as Rosh HaShana in Judaism.
A reminder of the commandments and traditions around this feast:
“Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, “In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord”'”
“Now in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall also have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. It will be to you a day for blowing trumpets.
You shall offer a burnt offering as a soothing aroma to the Lord: one bull, one ram, and seven male lambs one year old without defect; also their grain offering, fine flour mixed with oil: three-tenths of an ephah for the bull, two-tenths for the ram, and one-tenth for each of the seven lambs. Offer one male goat for a sin offering, to make atonement for you, besides the burnt offering of the new moon and its grain offering, and the continual burnt offering and its grain offering, and their drink offerings, according to their ordinance, for a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the Lord”
The strictly-biblical instruction for this Feast of the Lord:
- Rest; no regular work
- No servile work
- Have a remembering, or memorial, of shouting (traditionally observed with shofar blasts)
- Assemble with others in a holy gathering
- Bring additional fire-offerings to God
Judaism has developed additional traditions around this Feast:
- Celebrated as Rosh HaShana, head of the year, the Jewish new year
- Believed to be a time where God looks down and reconsiders where He stands with us: a person’s entire allotment for the year is determined by God starting with Rosh HaShana and ending 10 days later at Yom Kippur.
- Remembrance of God’s covenant with Israel.
- Celebration with eating apples and honey.
And in Maimonides’ famous list of 613 Biblical commandments, he finds 4 commandments related to this feast:
- #102 To rest on Rosh Hashanah (Lev. 23:24)
- #103 No prohibited labor on Rosh Hashana (Lev. 23:25)
- #116 To hear the shofar on Rosh Hashanah (Num. 9:1)
- #388 To bring additional offerings on Rosh Hashana (Num. 29:2)
And one last little tidbit for you fine blog readers: I’ve mapped the Yom Teruah/Rosh HaShana commandments into our greatest commandments project. They’re highlighted in purple below.
Some practical ways to observe Yom Teruah/Rosh HaShana:
- Take the day off work.
- Skip household work and other daily chores.
- Attend a Rosh HaShana service at a Messianic congregation.
- Sound the shofar, or if you don’t have a shofar, hear one being sounded.
- Look at your life and consider where your sin is.
- Consider where your standing is with God.
Be blessed on His holy days, fine blog readers.