Rosh Hashanah

Jewish Ministry

Rosh Hashanah

Today, this holy day is called Rosh Hashanah, which means “Head of the Year.” However, the Bible calls it Yom Teruah, which means “Day of Blowing the Trumpets” (Numbers 29:1).

Leviticus 23 says very little about the day:

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

It says that trumpets should sound and that offerings should be given. The Bible also says that it is the day for a holy convocation, which means that it is a day for a sacred assembly (Leviticus 23; Numbers 29).

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur comprise the “High Holy Days.” On Rosh Hashanah, Jews gather for a sacred assembly where they listen to the sounding of the shofar, which is blown 100 times over the day.

Studying the other feasts leads us toward some interesting thoughts about Rosh Hashanah. For example, most theologians agree that Jesus was crucified on the day of Passover (Mark 14:12). Paul alludes that Jesus rose from the dead on the day of the Feast of First Fruits (1 Corinthians 15:20 & 23; Leviticus 23:9–14). And the Bible is clear that the Holy Spirit was given on the actual day of Shavuot/Pentecost (Acts 2:1–4). Therefore, it is reasonable to ask, “Will some great event occur on the actual day of the Feast of the Blowing of the Trumpets?”

First Thessalonians 4:13–18 tells us that there will be a great assembly on the day that God’s trumpet is sounded. These verses point to an event that is often referred to as the “rapture.” There are many different views on when the rapture will occur. Some of those views include pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, pre-wrath-tribulation, and post-tribulation. First Thessalonians 4 does not indicate which view may be correct. Moreover, we cannot say with certainty that the rapture will occur on the actual day of the Feast of Trumpets (Matthew 24:36 & 44). However, in light of fulfillments that occurred on Passover, Firstfruits, and Pentecost, it is reasonable to wonder if the rapture might occur on Rosh Hashanah. Moreover, it also seems appropriate to say that the rapture will either occur on that day—or that it is intended to point to the rapture.

Jews practice a ritual on Rosh Hashanah called Tashlich. Fathers take their children to a place of running water. They choose a place where there is fish. Fish have open eyes just as God always has His eyes open. They throw breadcrumbs or pebbles into the water which is symbolic of God’s grace that washes away our sins. Rosh Hashanah is a day given to prepare our hearts for Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement.