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Life in Israel During the Feast of Trumpets

by Joseph Shulam

Shanah Tovah, to all of our brothers and sisters around the world! We are about to enter the season of the high holidays, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot – one after the other.

Rosh Hashanah, the Feast of Trumpets

Rosh Hashanah falls on the first day of the seventh month of Tishrei. The biblical name for Rosh Hashanah is the Feast of Trumpets.

Arthur Szyk's illustration of Rosh Hashanah, from The Holiday Series: Six Paintings of Jewish Holidays, 1948

Arthur Szyk’s illustration of Rosh Hashanah, from The Holiday Series: Six Paintings of Jewish Holidays, 1948

The reason that Israel blew the trumpets on the first day of the seventh month is because we essentially adapted the old Babylonian Canaanite calendar. But according to the Babylonian calendar, the first day of the seventh month was the day of the resurrection of the pagan god Baal. Every year he died at the end of the rainy season, and was resurrected again at the beginning of the next rainy season.

The beginning of the rainy season is usually between Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot. So his mother, the Asherah, went down to Hades, to hell, and resurrected her son from the dead, because he was the god of rain.

So we blew the trumpet as a call to war against idolatry, as a call to the eradication of the idols. As a call to return all men, women, and children, Israelites and non-Israelites, Jews and non-Jews, to the knowledge of the One God who created Heaven and Earth, and not an idol that died and is resurrected every year, like Baal.

And we, as disciples of Yeshua, as believing men and women, still have to fight idolatry, especially in Asia. But not only in Asia, even in Israel and in the United States, and around the world.

So we begin this cycle of holidays with the Feast of Trumpets, the modern tradition of the Jewish New Year. As opposed to the modern tradition, The biblical New Year falls on the first day of Nissan, which is actually around the end of March. But tradition is tradition. As it says in Fiddler on the Roof, “We have a tradition for everything.” So we have a tradition for this too.

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement

And then comes Yom Kippur, on the 10th day of the seventh month, which is a biblical holiday. Yom Kippur comes 10 days after Rosh Hashanah. It is a very serious day.

Our congregation in Jerusalem was the first one, and still one of the few, in Israel, and the world, that still fasts on Yom Kippur. The fasting on Yom Kippur is not for our sins. It was never for individual sins. It’s a fasting for the nation of Israel, for our national sins, for our collective sins as a nation. That’s why our congregation fasts.

70% of Israelis fast on Yom Kippur. 70% of this nation fasts on one day a year, on the Day of Atonement, the day when the scapegoat was sent out into the desert, into Azazel, to die and to take the sins of our people with her.

The biggest scapegoat in human history is not the scapegoat that was sent into the desert every year, but it is Yeshua, Yeshua HaMashiach. That Jew that was born in Bethlehem, raised in the Galilee, crucified in Jerusalem, ascended to Heaven, and is coming back to Jerusalem.

He is the biggest scapegoat in Israel. He was despised and rejected by us, not only by us, but by the Christian world as well. Don’t think that the Christians accept Yeshua. They can worship Him, they can praise Him, but they don’t accept Him. They accept Him on the cross.

But they know very well that if He comes back, He’s not going to be on the cross, He’s going to kick some rear-ends, folks, Christian rear-ends. Probably more than anybody else, because of what the Christians have done to His brothers and sisters, the Jewish nation.

Yeshua fasted and Paul fasted. Their apostles fasted. We have Yeshua as our Lord, as our Savior, as the son of God, the Divine Son of God, and as our Rabbi as well, and we have to follow Him. He kept these holidays, and we should keep the same holidays, especially as Jews.

Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles

The third holiday that is coming is Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, where people leave their homes and go and live in a makeshift structure. The the wind comes in, the rain comes in, and at night you can see the stars through the roof that is made out of palm branches. Some people live in rich houses, some people live in poor houses, but on Sukkot, all of us are equal, because we eat and sleep in the “sukkah” (booth) itself.

I wish all of you a happy holiday season, a happy Jewish New Year, a year that will bring fertility to you at work, at home with your children, with your families, a year that will bring blessing to you, to your countries, to your congregations, to your communities, and in your jobs, a year that will remind you that we are all like fiddlers on the roofs.

Nothing in this world is actually stable except our faith in God and in Yeshua our Messiah. May God bless all of you. Have wonderful celebrations, have a joyous time, and enjoy the appointed times of the Lord, the feasts of the Lord, as they did in the days of the apostles and in the days of Yeshua. Enjoy them and celebrate in Yeshua’s name. Amen.

Published September 29, 2019 | Updated September 29, 2019

About Joseph Shulam

Joseph Shulam was born in Bulgaria in 1946 to a Sephardic Jewish Family. In 1948 his family immigrated to Israel. In 1981, Joseph and the small fellowship that was started in his house established one of the first official non-profit organizations of Jewish Disciples of Yeshua in Israel – Netivyah Bible Instruction Ministry. Joseph has lectured extensively and has assisted in encouraging disciples around the world. He and his wife Marcia have two children and two grandchildren.

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  1. Avatar Ray jimenez on September 29, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    I will as told that on each of these holidays the men of the church ate to a bring monetary gift to the church. Is this what what is expected of them beyond tides and offering ? Is that in the Traditional also? Please explain. I don’t mind giving but I want to know if it really is part of the commandment of the festival.

    (Please don’t punish my questions an answer would be appreciate tho. )

    • Daniel Stern Daniel Stern on October 2, 2019 at 11:29 am

      Shalom Ray,
      Contributing to the Lord is all done by your heart’s desire, nothing is dictated.
      Even tithing is not dictated since the tithe was a specific tax for the Levites, for the work in the temple, and was only taken from people living in the land of Israel.
      That being said, many chose to give a tithe, some to a church, others to charity and so forth.
      In the New Testament, An additional offering was collected for the saints of Jerusalem, but that too was a choice and not a commandment, a “free-will offering” means you have a choice.
      It does say that for Succoth (feist of tabernacles), Pesach (Passover) and the Shavuot (Pentecost) one must not come before the Lord empty-handed, but that too referred to coming up to the temple, which no longer exists, though on that part you must use your own judgment
      All and all I suggest giving what you feel called, and not doing it because you are ordered to do so.
      In addition, I suggest giving locally and not abroad, “the poor of your city come first.”

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