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…from glory to glory

Fall Feasts of Israel


Yom Teruah – The Feast of Trumpets

Theme: Prepare ye the way of the Lord!

Aim:

  • To remember the holiness of the LORD, the Echad, the Self-Existing One;
  • To remember that we are created beings dependent upon God’s sovereign power;
  • To remember that we live in the presence of a holy God and that we await the return of Jesus, the Holy One of Israel;
  • To remember the God who keeps all His promises to His people…

        That being mindful of these things, we would worship God heartily, rendering Him the praise and honor due Him; that we would live all our days in awe, remembrance, and laboring to draw the lost to return to the LORD who saves…

My Prayer:  Blessed art Thou, O LORD, our God, King of the universe! You who allowed me to fall to the futile depths of my self exaltation and showed me my darkness and futility: but You did not allow me to perish there! O glorious and mighty God, You who called into being the stars of heaven and set their courses: You who commands the waves of the sea! You waited for me in the dust and ashes of my self-imposed ruin, bent down to me and breathed Your breath into my life. You who are mightier than the fury of nuclear destruction and all of the cataclysms of the cosmos, carried me in Your arms and fed me with the honey from the words You gave to Your people Israel. You wooed me to Your Son through the testimonies and remembrances of Moses, and then You wrote Your perfect Law on my heart as I beheld the sacrifice You provided in my place on Moriah’s Golgotha. Yes, You have restored my soul! You have caused me to return, and now to know what is righteousness and what is wickedness as I live in Your Light. Teach me to love Your Light that searches my soul and exposes uncleanness. Teach me to pray from my soul that I am heartily sorry for having offended You; that I detest all my sins: because You are worthy to be loved more than any unclean pleasure; because I dread broken fellowship with You who is the Lover of my soul; and because of the spreading influence of my uncleanness in the lives of others. Teach me, O LORD, to live my life preparing my way for Your return, in Jesus my Messiah. Amen.

SCRIPTURE

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, saying: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord’.”

–Leviticus 23.23-25

The Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) is not just a day; it is the beginning of a holy season of celebration, connecting Yom Teruah with Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) by the observance of the ten Days of Awe and Remembrance. Each of the ten days is begun with the blowing of the shofar…

The Gathering of the Tribes…

During this holy season, the distinctive warning blast of the shofar calls God’s people to drop the plow and the scythe and the hammer, and to walk away from the loom and the anvil and come to the gathering in Jerusalem. The blast of the shofar in the clear desert climate of the land of Israel can be heard for many, many miles.  These are some of the purposes for which the Bible shows the shofar was sounded:

  • to call the people of God to come to His feasts.  It is a Bible tradition to blow the shofar on the first day of the seventh month of the Biblical calendar, as well as at every new moon;
  • to call the people to gather to take refuge from an approaching enemy (Jeremiah 4.5);
  • to announce the coming of destruction upon an enemy by God (Joshua 6.4-5,12-16; Judges 7.16-18; Zechariah 9.14-15); and
  • to warn the people of the drawing near of God’s holiness to them (Exodus 19.16-20)…

The Bible also shows that God will blow His Great Trumpet to gather to Jerusalem His people who are scattered among the nations (Isaiah 27.13), and to announce the coming of His righteous judgment upon the world (Joel 2.1-2). Because of this Biblical prophecy, at the Feast of Trumpets everyone who believes in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob anticipates and trusts the promises of His coming righteous judgment and His Kingdom dwelling among them…

The Gathering Place…

God established the tradition for the men among His people to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Holyday Seasons (Exodus 23.14-16).  In the times of the Temple in Jerusalem, at each Bible Holy Season, the men of Israel would pack and make the journey to Jerusalem–no matter where in the world they lived.  Any member of their families able to travel would come along.  They often traveled in family groups from their towns where they lived and worked together.  At each Holyday Season Jerusalem was overflowing with the men of Israel, their traveling companions and families…

The Offerings…

The Scriptures remind us that there is no fellowship with a Holy God without satisfying His requirements under the Law for full atonement for unrighteousness. God Himself established the tradition forever that the Feast of Trumpets may not be celebrated without the offering(s) which He appointed for that holy day.  His people shall not appear before Him empty-handed (Exodus 34.20b; Leviticus 23.25; Numbers 29.1-6):

  1. Burnt offering:  one young bull, one ram, and seven lambs in their first year, without blemish;
  2. Grain offering:  a) for the bull:  three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil; b) for the ram:  two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil; c) for each of the seven lambs: one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil; and
  3. Sin offering:  one kid of the goats…

The Temple and the Sacrificial Altar are no longer in Jerusalem. How can the Jewish people celebrate this feast without the sacrifices God commanded them to bring? They can only celebrate this feast in the perfect way pleasing to God if they celebrate believing in Messiah Yeshua’s (Jesus’) perfect sacrifice. Messiah Jesus’ own perfect sacrifice finished all the Temple sacrifices (John 19:30; Hebrews 10:1-10)


TRADITION

Yom Teruah was also known as Yom HaZikaron (The Day of Remembrance) and Yom HaDin (The Day of Judgment).  Scholars say that the name Rosh Hashanah (New Year) was applied to this day sometime during the second century before the Common (Christian) Era (B.C.).  They believe it came from the Babylonian influence on the captive Jews, since the Babylonians observed their “new year” around the same time. In traditional Jewish circles, it is continuing in use as their new year.  The Bible states that the new year begins in the springtime, the first month of the Hebrew calendar, at the new moon prior to the Feast of Passover…

At the sounding the following words were spoken:

Awake you that are sleepy and ponder your deeds; remember your Creator and go to Him for forgiveness.  Do not be like those who miss reality in their hunt after shadows, and waste your years in seeking after vain things which can neither profit nor deliver.  Look well to your souls and consider your deeds; let each one of you forsake his evil ways and thoughts, and return to the Lord, so that He may have mercy on you.”

— (Maimonides, Laws of Repentance, 3:4)

The shofar is blown each of the ten days leading up to Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement).  These ten days are called The Days of Awe.  At sundown on each of the ten days a specific aspect of God’s sovereignty and providence in creation and Israel is remembered: creation, repentance, God’s covenant, the prophets, the destruction of the Temple, the offering of Isaac, Messiah’s coming, the day of judgment, the gathering of Israel’s remnant, and the resurrection…

Traditional synagogue services at sundown on the eve of Yom Teruah focus on the Book of Life, or the Book of Remembrance, of which the prophet Malachi spoke when he described the Day of Judgment.  Malachi saw one book in which the names of only those who fear the Lord and meditate on His Name are written. Everyone else receives the full wrath of God.  A rabbi named Yochanan ben Nappaha improved upon Malachi’s vision by promoting the notion there are other books.  He believes one of these is the Book of Death in which the names of the unredeemably wicked are written.  He teaches that the other is a ledger in which the names of the not-so-wicked-but-not-truly-righteous are written.  God gives these people the ten days before Yom Kippur to attain to some greater level of righteousness by penitential behavior and the performance of prescribed mitzvot (good deeds or meritorious works).  The tradition further teaches that during those ten days, God evaluates the people in this ledger and adds up their works.  The names of those who have performed satisfactorily are then written in the Book of Life.  The remainder are written in the Book of Death.  At sunset on Yom Kippur the books are closed till next Yom Teruah.   From the belief in this tradition comes the traditional greeting for the day: L’ Shanah Tovah Tikatevu!  This is a Hebrew greeting which means “May you be inscribed for a good year.”  The greeting is expressed widely among the Jewish people on the first day of the seventh month of the Biblical calendar, and they take this time to write and send cards to everyone, wishing them a happy new year…

Isaiah 24 describes the day of worldwide judgment.  The entire created cosmos will respond dramatically to the nearness of God, and all the seasons of this earth as we now know them will come to an end…


There is a shadow in this tradition of a clear warning concerning the final judgment of God described in three specific places in Scripture, two in the Old Testament and three in the New Testament: Exodus 32.32-33; Daniel 7.9-11 and Revelation 20.12,15; 21.27. These passages describe the “Book” in which the names of the righteous are written; and a heavenly court convened to judge from the Book of Life and the other Books. The Jew who holds to tradition hopes that when the Book of Life is opened on the Feast of Trumpets his name will be written and remain there when the Book of Life is closed at the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles…at least till next year…

Everyone who believes in the Lord Yeshua (Jesus) has their name written in His Book of Life forever…


The tradition at the morning synagogue services on Yom Teruah focus on the Scripture readings from Genesis 21.1-12 and Genesis 22.1-18. These passages remember God’s power and His faithfulness to keep His promise to Abraham. The Jewish people owe their lives to the power and faithfulness of God because they are the descendants of Abraham, his son Isaac, and his son Jacob.  Therefore, they rejoice in God’s power and kindness to keep His promise to Abraham…


If one would examine what is unfolding in these passages there are questions to be answered.

What promise did God make to Abraham concerning Isaac? (Genesis 21.12)  Did God keep His promise to Abraham?

The scene is the land of Canaan near the city of Beersheba, where Abraham lived.  Abraham is older than 100 years of age and is the proud father of a son born to his wife Sarah when she was 90 years old.  Abraham had waited 25 years for God to keep the promise to give him a son from Sarah.  Now, Isaac was a young man, and had learned much from Abraham about God.  In the midst of all the joy given to Abraham through his son Isaac, God commanded Abraham to sacrifice this son of promise, this one in whom Abraham’s soul delighted.  Abraham obeyed God’s command, and early the next morning Abraham and Isaac began their journey to Mt. Moriah…

During Abraham’s journey to Moriah, he must have thought about how God was going to be able to keep His promise to him to make his descendants as many as the stars of the sky.  God had said the promise would come to pass through Isaac (Genesis 21.12).  Thinking the way humans think, Abraham must have thought the only way it could come to pass was if God would either change His mind about taking his only son Isaac or if God had the power to raise Isaac from death.  Abraham had sacrificed many lambs before, but he had never seen any of them be raised back to life from the ashes.  He had three days to think about the power of this holy God he feared and obeyed.  When the moment came to give over his son’s life, would Abraham be able to obey? How could Abraham begin to prepare his heart prepared to experience the agony of giving over his son to the God who had given him? Would Abraham and Isaac see the miracle he trusted God would provide when the Angel of the Lord met him at Moriah?  (Is your heart prepared to meet Yeshua (Jesus) resurrected in glory when He returns to gather the remnant of the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?)…

What promise did Abraham make to his son Isaac concerning the offering God would provide? (Genesis 22.8)  What did God provide in place of Isaac at Mt. Moriah? (Genesis 22.13)  It was not a lamb; lambs are yearlings among the sheep; rams are adult male sheep.  Did God keep Abraham’s promise concerning the lamb? (Isaiah 53.7; John 1.29)…

The hill of Golgotha where Yeshua offered His own pure body as the final sacrifice for sin is outside the walls of Jerusalem, but is in the region of Moriah and in the shadow of the Temple Mount. All who know that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords owe their LIFE to the power and faithfulness of God toward Abraham at Mt. Moriah, fulfilled in Jesus, the Son of Promise, the Son in whom the Father delights:

Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her; that you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom, that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. For thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream. Then you shall feed; on her sides shall you be carried, and be dandled on her knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem’.”

Isaiah 66.10-13


On the afternoon of Yom Teruah, it is traditional to go to a river or body of water for a special observance called Tashlich. This Hebrew word means, “You shall cast into the seas” (Micah 7.19).  Some observers carry breadcrumbs to cast into the water. Others carry pebbles or pretty, polished stones.  In either case, the tradition is that these little “burdens” represent sinful habits from which the observance of Tashlich is intended to relieve the observant Jew. In the Scriptures the leavened breadcrumbs represent sin.  Even with the spiritual significance of this tradition, what must be remembered is that this traditional practice is founded upon the observer’s work to purge himself of sin by his own work; in traditional Jewish circles of observance there is no faith in the pure righteousness of Messiah Jesus and His atoning work for cleansing from sin, reconciling one to God by His grace. In other words, although the tradition aims at returning the observer’s affections to God and freeing him from the weight of any attachment that hinders him from enjoying intimacy with God, in traditional Jewish circles it retains disassociation from faith in the Messiah Jesus for the grace of deliverance and reconciliation to God…


All who believe in the Lord Jesus may enjoy the activity at water’s edge, watching fish devour their sins with the certainty that fish never tell; or they may be glad of the visual of watching some “precious” drop to the bottom of the riverbed and be removed far from their grasp by the power Jesus has over sin and Satan.  Even so, this exercise, as enjoyable as it may be for an individual or a family, has no power to remove the inclination to any sin; if the observance of Tashlich overshadows the Holy Spirit’s conviction of sin and call to repent, trusting in the atoning sacrifice of Messiah Jesus for forgiveness, then better to cast the tradition into the sea…


Another tradition on Yom Teruah includes the sharing of apples and honey and a rich, sweet, egg bread (challah) baked with raisins in a round shape which symbolizes God’s creation of the earth. These foods are symbolic of the hope for the sweetness of a good year, but the sweet treat is a sensory pleasure which, taken in tradition only, will fade at the first moment of life’s earthly trials.


For all who trust in the pure righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, sharing a meal which includes these traditional foods could be a reminder of the eternal sweetness of LIFE in Yeshua (Jesus) in all our dusty existence this side of Heaven; the Lord Jesus is sovereign over all things and will finally make all things new…

Jesus is “the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”

Colossians 1.18-20


THE SPIRIT OF GOD

The Feast of Trumpets and The Days of Awe, although Older Covenant feasts, have special significance for disciples of Messiah Jesus, in light of the counsel from the New Covenant Scriptures. The sound of the shofar each morning is a reminder to us that Messiah is returning to judge the world; and the sound of the shofar is a reminder of the Book of Life.

The apostle John, a disciple of Messiah Jesus, records clearly that there are other books; but He reveals to us that the other books are volumes that form one record of the names of those who approach the judging gaze of a holy God confident in their own good deeds and meritorious works (Revelation 20.11-15). In the Book of Life, however, are written the names of those who fear the Lord and would never approach His judging gaze without trusting solely in the righteous works of the Lord Jesus—especially His perfect sacrifice for all their unrighteousness. It is written that the Book of Life belongs to the Lamb of God, who is Jesus; as do all those whose names are written there (Revelation 21.22-22:5).

Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.  Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household to give them food in due season?  Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.  Surely, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.  But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites.  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

–Matthew 24:44-51*

Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless…You therefore, beloved, since you know these things beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and forever.  Amen.”

–2 Peter 3:11-14,17-18*

Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

 –Hebrews 12:1*

The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”

–Romans 13:11*

Intimacy with God in His Word, in prayer, in confession of sin and repentance, and in worship in all of life, is the most important personal tradition in celebrating Yom Teruah and the Fall feasts. For the us who believe in Messiah Jesus, this kind of intimacy knows no confinement of liturgical season;  we walk by Him and with Him and in Him this side of Heaven–day by day, week by week, month by month, season by season and year by year–forever. For one who is awake to the constant presence and sovereignty of the Lord Jesus, hearing the voice of God’s Spirit is ever present. By contrast, if one has a personal tradition of neglecting intimacy with God all other times, he may not hear the call of God’s trumpet, and will not be ready and prepared for Messiah’s final coming to judge the world in His righteousness.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   * 

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces.’ For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, ‘Peace be within you.’ Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek your good.”

*NOTE: In the right hand column of my site, there is a link to Bible Gateway, which provides excellent, free, online access to multiple translations of the Bible. There is easy access with search windows to find passages either by a word or phrase or by the Bible reference itself. Enjoy discovering the Word of God online.

High Holydays—A Season of Remembrance, Awe and Rejoicing, from DISCIPLING THE MESSIANIC BELIEVER, first edition pp. 389-436, © 1990 & 1991,  Revised 1995, 2003, Patricia Stachew, Stillwaters Publications, Reston, VA. All rights reserved.

Yom Kippur – Go to Page 3

Pages: 1 2 3 4

4 thoughts on “Fall Feasts of Israel

  1. Pingback: Remodeling and Re-Publishing… | Georgetownrose

  2. Pingback: Greetings at the Feast of Trumpets… | Georgetownrose

  3. Pingback: Greetings on Yom Kippur… | Georgetownrose

  4. Pingback: Greetings and Blessings at the Feast of Tabernacles… | Georgetownrose

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