As today is a holiday – the Jewish New Year, lets learn a little about Rosh Hashanah!
is a two-day Jewish new year), the observance of which is mandated by Leviticus 23:23-25.
It started at sunset on Sunday and will conclude tonight at nightfall.
What goes on during this holiday? First, both days are full public holidays so there isn't much going on! But more significantly, both days are marked by special prayers and readings from the Old Testament.
The big event of a service during Rosh Hashanah is the blowing of the shofar (the twisted ram's horn) during morning prayers. It is characterizing the gathering of the people and victory.
There are also two customs to take note of;
The first is the eating of apple slices dipped in honey, which symbolizes the hope that the coming year will be “sweet.”
The second comes from the Minor Prophet Micah, (7:19), which reads; “…and You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”).
At Rosh Hashanah, Jews typically going to a natural source of flowing water like the ocean, a river, or a spring. There they will read a selection of scriptural verses and throw pieces of bread into the water.
This action symbolizes the “casting off” of the previous year's sins.
From our Christian perspective it is wonderful to remember that there will be a 'casting away of sin' at the beginning of a new time – eternity – at which God has the victory – and will gather His people
Praise God for that – and for Jesus whose sacrifice makes the pardon of our sin possible through His death and resurrection.
Middle East Correspondent