Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Happy Jewish New Year 5771

Today at sunset begins the Jewish New Year 5771, so we'd like to wish all our Jewish friends a "L'Shanah Tovah!" (have a good year). This holiday is also known as Rosh Hashanah (head of the year) and Yom Teru’ah (Feast of Trumpets - Lev 23:26-32). Actually, all the Jewish fall festivals, aka "Feasts of the Latter Rain", fall in our month of September this year.

Next up will be Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), the most solemn of the Jewish festivals, beginning at sunset on September 17. The official date on our calendar is September 18, but all Jewish holidays begin at sunset on the day before. This holiday commemorates the annual service in which the High Priest would make atonement for himself and the people (Lev 23:26-32), but now Yeshua (Jesus) has sacrificed Himself to provide atonement once for all (Heb 9:11-10:4).

Finally, sunset on September 22 begins the seven day celebration of Sukkot (booths), also known as the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev 23:33-43). Sukkot is a joyous time of celebrating the fall harvest. It is also a time of remembrance of how the Jewish ancestors lived in temporary shelters after G-d rescued them from Egypt. Sukkot looks forward to the millennial rest of Israel (Am 9:11-15, Zech 14:16-21) and to all believers, both Jew and Gentile, from all nations being gathered together to worship G-d and Yeshua (Rev 7:9-12).

This holiday season is a great time for Christians to share the Gospel, demonstrating how the Jewish festivals find their ultimate fulfillment in Yeshua. See our Introduction to the Jewish Holy Days for more information. Many Jews may be more open to evangelism as they celebrate their heritage as G-d's chosen people, particularly when one realizes that believing in Yeshua doesn't mean that a person stops being Jewish. On the contrary, a person's Jewishness will become complete by accepting the Jewish Messiah.

It is also important at this time, and throughout the year, for Christians to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Ps 122:6).

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