Rosh haShana

Rosh haShana

Torah reading: Leviticus 23:24-25, Genesis 21:1-22:24

Haftarah: 1Sam 1:1-2:10, Jeremiah 31: 1-40

Psalm: 81, 93, 96-99, 130

NT: Matthew 24:29-31, 1Cor 15:51-52, 1Thes 4:16-17, Rev 10:7, 11:15



Rosh haShana is the New Year. This year we go from the year 5777 to year 5778 since the creation of the world. The command to keep this holiday is in the above reading from Leviticus 23: "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation."


How is it the seventh month but also the new year? Because agriculturally, there's a new year in spring and also in the fall. The fact that this was also known as a new year is clear from Deutronomy 31:10, where the Feast of tabernacles, that is on the 15th of this month, is described as a feast celebrated "in the solemnity of the year of release". There are more similar examples.


The only command we see about the holiday is that it is to be a "blowing of trumpets". This is the feast related to in Psalm 81: "Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day." Rosh haShana is indeed the only holiday celebrated on the New moon. What does this trumpet represent?


-Warning for war, and also a cry of victory - Joshua and Gideon for example

-Crowning of the king, as we can see in 2Sam6:15, 2Sam15:10, Psalm 150:3, Matthew 24:30-31, 1Thess4:16 and Rev 11:15.

-Making of a covenant - as on Mount Sinai (Exodus 19) and also with the second coming

-Judgement - Isaiah 58:1, Psalm 98, Nehemia 8:1-12, Numbers 29:1-6



The Torah reading this holiday is about the offering of Isaac. This is a clear symbol of the Messiah, the way the ram was offered instead of Isaac, just as the Messiah was offered for us. The ram's horn is what is used to make the shofar horn - the trumpet used in Rosh haShana! Another amazing reading is Jeremiah 31 - the New covenant!



So on this day we celebrate the Messiah! We will hear the Shofar when he comes from heaven, as the scriptures tells us. It is connected to Yeshuas victory, it is his crowning to King of the world, it's the making of the new covenant with the entire world, and it brings his judgement on the world. It is not a coincidence that Yom Kippur - the day of atonement - is only 10 days after Rosh haShana.



Why is it called "a memorial of blowing of trumpets"? Because the trumpet will also remind us of our sins, and our need of a redeemer. It will remind us of our salvation and our need to look forward to the day we will hear the trumpet from above, at the second coming. Many believe that Rosh haShana is the day on which the second coming will occur. Whether this is true or not we will only know then, but it's definitelly a good time of the year to remind ourselves of that future day, and to always be ready for it.



A common custom on Rosh haShana is to eat apples dipped in honey, to have a "Sweet and Happy New Year". We can tie this to the last verse in Psalm 81 "with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee".




Happy and Sweet new year, from the Bible Society in Israel!