Friday, September 22, 2006

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah is the first and second days of the first Jewish month of Tishrei. It marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year.

According to their tradition the celebration of this holiday is marked with solemnity, as it is the day on which the whole world is judged for the coming year. Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the world, as it was on this day that God created Man on the 6th day of creation.

Every year, on this day, my Jewish friends proclaim God as their one and true King.

What a great thing to do!

Ancient Israel had difficulty accepting God as their one true king. They wanted a king like the other nations. They wanted a physical ruler on a physical throne.

Like ancient Israel I too have trouble accepting God as the one true King. I let security and money and all kinds of things rule the throne of my life.

Tonight Jews will dip an apple in honey in symbolism. The apple and the honey represent a heartfelt wish for a sweet year, not only for themselves and for all the Jewish people.

I was told by a Jewish rabbi that on most fruit trees the leaves appear before the fruit, thus providing a protective cover for the young fruit. The apple, however, makes a preemptive move by appearing before the leaves. The Jewish people are compared to an apple because they are willing to live out their lives even if this seems to leave them unprotected. They have confidence that God and the instructions in the Torah could never mislead them.

A bee can inflict pain with its sting, yet it also produces delicious honey. Life has this same dual potential and so they pray that their choices will result in a sweet year.

Tonight, as a believer in the same “I AM” as my Jewish friends, I proclaim the King of Kings and I wish a sweet year to you and yours.

The shofar says, "Wake up from your (moral) sleep. You are asleep. Get up from your slumber. You are in a deep sleep. Search for your behavior. Become the best person you can. Remember God, the One Who created you." Mishneh Torah, Laws of Repentance 3:4.


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