Creating Understanding: Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, the start of a new year. I have never really looked deeper into this holiday. Never really attempted to understand its significance or importance. I was told it was a day of reflection and repentance and took it as that. However, I decided accepting what others have told me will not satisfy me. So, I set out to find my own answers.

It is widely believed that on Rosh Hashanah YHVH opens the book of life and the book of death and that between then and Yom Kippur He decides whether or not your name will be written in the book. So it is in that time that people repent for all the sins that they have made and promise to be a better person. In the biblical times a sacrifice was to be made: “Speak onto the children of Israel, saying, in the seventh month, on the first day, ye shall have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing trumpets, a holy convocation. Ye shall not do servile work: but ye shall make an offering made by fire onto Yahweh.” –Leviticus 23:24-25

So, people focused on the last part, and made a sacrifice. It was a tradition to wave the life offering over your head as a way to have it represent all of your sins and then you would sacrifice the animal and your sins would be washed away.

However, now we have Yashua, who has already made the ultimate sacrifice to wipe away our sins. Therefore, there is no need to sacrifice animals any more. For Yashua is our representative with the Father.  We can repent, shed our sins, and start a new life with YHVH at any time; we need not wait for Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur to be cleansed of our sins. You can choose to be a Son and walk as Yashua walked at any time.

Some believe that if you are really good between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur that your name will be written in the book of life and you are fine to do whatever you want the rest of the year until Rosh Hashanah comes back around. I do not believe this to be true. YHVH does not wish for people to revel in sin the whole year and only clean their act up for a few days out of fear and a twisted understanding of the word, only to fall back into their immorality.

We are to be cleaned and purified daily and walk in holiness constantly attaining for perfection. Walking closer and closer with YHVH and becoming more and more like Yashua. We should constantly be reflecting on who we are and where we are in our walk. It should be a natural thing to realize when we have strayed from the path and to eagerly come back running. It should be a constant journey- not just something done once a year.

With that part of the holiday out of the way, I turned my attention to other part of it: a memorial of trumpets and a meeting of holiness. What is this grand meeting and memorial for? After doing some research I realized that Rosh Hashanah is also celebrating the creation of the earth and the coronation of YHVH as King of the universe.

It is a day that we celebrate the crowning of the only true authority in existence.

I had never looked at it this way before. I had never really stopped to think that at some point everyman must choose to accept YHVH as their king or not. They must choose whether they will bend the knee and serve or if they will look for another master.

For me the choice is simple. I choose to accept YHVH as my only authority and almighty king. I choose to serve only one master with everything that is in me- mind, body, soul. I choose to celebrate joyfully that YHVH is a gracious and wonderful king to have.

I would like to share some words that helped to get me thinking: “On Rosh Hashanah, we devote two days to the search for the voice of authority we so deeply crave, for the king of the universe we have been seeking since our childhood. But don’t look for Him in the synagogue, in your prayerbook or in the rabbi’s speech. Look for Him in your deepest self: in the things that no one has to tell you, because you already know them absolutely; in the commitments to which you willingly submit, because you recognize them to be expressions of, rather than impositions upon, your true will.” By Yanki Tauber

So, yes, take the time to evaluate yourself and see if you like where you are. If you don’t, then change it. Check in on yourself often, sometimes life makes you think things that aren’t all that important are and you lose track of the good stuff. But also remember that there is a King waiting for you to decide to serve Him. Trust me; His authority is greater than anything this earth has to offer.

Now it is time to decide, how will you live this new year?

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