Wednesday, 25 September 2019
Join Us for the High Holidays at Beit Simcha
If you look up Leviticus 23, some of the words we use for the High Holy Days may be unfamiliar to you, since most English translations of the Bible do not use transliterated Hebrew terminology. Yom Teruah literally means "Day of Blowing," and is usually translated Feast of Trumpets. Ancient trumpets would be made from the horns of animals. A major feature of this day is the blowing of these horns or shofars hundreds of times, an awesome sound that announces the "Ten Days of Awe."
This day is also known in the Jewish world as Rosh Hashanah, literally the "Head of the Year," or more commonly the Jewish New Year. This comes from the tradition that God created the world on this day. This year it marks the end of 5779 and the beginning of 5780 in the Jewish calendar. Tashlich means "to cast off," and is a Jewish custom performed during the High Holidays, together with Rabbi Mark Shulman and our sister congregation Beth El Gibor.
Yom Kippur means "Day of Atonement" and is the one day each year on which the High Priest could go into the Holy of Holies with blood from sacrifices. Today, without a Temple, Jewish people fast and pray all day, hoping that their sins will be forgiven, and their names will be written in the Book of Life. How awesome to know that our atonement has already been won for us by the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! Yet we will still humble our hearts before our Lord and Messiah, interceding for the salvation of Israel and all people.
Sukkot, literally "Booths," refers to the Feast of Tabernacles - the Season of our Joy, looking forward to Messiah's Millennial Kingdom. Following this weeklong festival is Shemini Atzeret (Eight Day Assembly),looking forward to the New Heavens and New Earth.
Finally, Simchat Torah ("Joy of the Torah") comes after Sukkot. With great celebration we finish reading Deuteronomy and roll the scroll to start again at Genesis.