Side note: my former employer wanted me to put out Christmas decorations in October, amidst the Halloween cards. I did not comply for several reasons.
But I digress.
Here’s what Wikihow had to say about celebrating Rosh Hashanah. The bullet points are summarized below, after the web link.
- Reflect on your past and contemplate your future.
- Take a ritual bath on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.
- Attend Rosh Hashanah services at your synagogue.
- Listen to the shofar. If it falls on a Sabbath, no shofar is blown.
- Observe "casting off", by going to a flowing body of water and emptying pockets into it.=
- Say the Rosh Hashanah blessings for the candles, wine, and bread.
- Eat apples dipped in honey symbolizing a sweet new year, or a pomegranate.
At first glance, these seem like nice things to do. But, as with Sabbath rituals that are man-made, it’s easy to get caught up in the “what” of Rosh Hashanah, and totally miss out on the “why.” I started to take a closer look, and was blessed by what I saw.
First, let’s talk Rapture.
I know…some of you hate it when I talk about that. But consider this. When you look at all of scripture as talking of the coming of Jesus Christ, isn’t it every bit as appropriate to talk about how we get to him, whether natural death, martyrdom, rapture, or surviving tribulation? I say it is.
So, in the context of Rapture, could we look at the celebration of Rosh Hashanah as a template for preparation for the Rapture? Here’s what it looks like.
Reflect on your past and contemplate your future. This is an important first step. It involves taking stock of one’s life and being honest about what we’re not doing well, or not doing at all. Even what we’re doing, but we’re not supposed to be doing. If you contemplate and come to the conclusion that you’re a nice enough person on your own, and don’t need a savior, you’re doing it wrong. Just saying.
2. Take a ritual bath on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. If the conclusion you came to about your life is that you need a savior, step two is good news for you. Take a moment to be washed in the cleansing blood of Jesus, who served as an atoning sacrifice for each of us because we could never be washed clean enough on our own. Maybe this even symbolizes baptism.
3. Attend Rosh Hashanah services at your synagogue. It's a convocation! I don’t think this is about dressing up and getting fancy. The services have Rosh Hashana-eve, Day 1, and Day 2. Interesting to note that Day 2 has a moment when the curses for the coming year for those who will perish in the coming year by “water, who by fire, who by sword, who by hunger…” Those who show repentance, prayer, charity are spared, and instead avert the curses. It reminds me of Gerizim and Ebal.
4. Listen to the shofar. If it falls on a Sabbath, no shofar is blown. The Shofar is what we’re all waiting to hear, isn’t it? This is the call to bring us to God.
5. Observe "casting off", by going to a flowing body of water and emptying pockets into it. This one is considered “casting off of sins.” I’m not sure how one can do that, but perhaps it suggests letting things go and letting God take them away – like forgiveness? Or, maybe it represents a spiritual circumcision of sorts.
6. Say the Rosh Hashanah blessings for the candles, wine, and bread. Ah! The great point of offering thanks and praise to God, who has blessed us with light, atonement, and spiritual food. Maybe like a wedding supper!
Eat apples dipped in honey, or a pomegranate. The apples dipped in honey are supposed to represent a sweet new year. Pomegranates, according to tradition, contain 613 seeds like the 613 commandments in Judaism. I don’t know much about them, and just try to focus on the 10 commandments, but it’s an interesting idea.
So what do you think? Could Rosh Hashanah tradition portray something more, like a rapture template to follow for sanctification?
You decide. Pray and ask for guidance. In any case, it’s another example of God’s perfect word showing us a deeper meaning behind beautiful tradition. I love it.