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Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Edwards Academy Magazine IV

Editor's Note: We use this space from time to time to publish the writings of our students. Please remember that these essays belong to their authors, Hope Edwards and Sydney Edwards, and should not be copied or used in any way without permission.

Rosh Hashanah
By Hope Edwards
October 9, 2009

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. In the Torah God told the Jews to celebrate “a day of blowing” on the first day of the seventh month, Tishri, of the Jewish calendar. On the morning of Rosh Hashanah at the synagogue, Ba’al Tekiyah, the man who blows the shofar, trumpets the ram’s horn as the Rabbi calls out the notes. That day no one does any work, but the Jews present an offering to God. There are ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kipper, which are known as the Days of Awe.

Jews still celebrate Rosh Hashanah today. Families go to the synagogue where the shofar is blown. The blowing of the shofar is a wake-up call for the Jews to repent. The Rabbi reads from the Torah the story of Abraham and Isaac. After they leave the synagogue, Jewish families go to a river or stream and throw into the water what is in their pockets, symbolically throwing away their sin. This ceremony is called Taslich. Afterward they return home and eat a honey cake to celebrate that they have been forgiven.

Rosh Hashanah, like all Jewish holidays points to Jesus. Through the story of Abraham and Isaac, Jesus’ coming is foreshadowed. God provided Jesus to take our place, just like when God sent the ram to save Isaac. The ram was a substitute sacrifice so that Isaac could be spared. God did not spare his son but sacrificed him so we could be saved. The blowing of the shofar also points to the return of Jesus, which will happen at the trumpet call of God (I Thessalonians 4:16). Rosh Hashanah is an important Jewish holiday celebrating the spiritual new year and reminding Christians that Christ will return again for His people.

Sukkoth
By Sydney Edwards
October 9, 2009

Sukkoth, also known as the Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles, is a feast that God told the Israelites to celebrate at harvest time. He commanded them that on the fifteenth day of the seventh month they should set aside eight days for remembrance and worship. God said that on the eighth day they were to hold a sacred assembly and present fire offerings to the Lord. He told them to build a tabernacle on the roof of their houses to remind them of when he tabernacled with them in the desert.

Jews even today celebrate Sukkoth. Jewish families build a Sukkoh, a kind of hut or shelter in their backyards. Jews also hang fruit from the ceiling. On the first evening they have dinner in the Sukkoh, but before they eat they ceremonially invite Abraham and Sarah to eat dinner with them. After eight days they celebrate Simhat Torah. Simhat is the day when the Rabbi opens the “ark of the covenant” and takes out the Torah scrolls. Then they march around the synagogue seven times holding the scrolls. Simhat Torah celebrates God’s word, the Torah.

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Feast of Booths. One way that Jesus fulfilled the Feast of Booths is explained in John 7:37, “If anyone is thirsty let him come to me and drink.” On the Feast of Booths in Jesus’ day Jews prayed for rain and for a good harvest in the coming year. Jesus said that He is the living water that provides for all our needs forever. Sadly, most Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah. The feast also points to the day that Christ will once again tabernacle with those who believe in Him, in the New Heaven and the New Earth.

5 comments:

MOHeather said...

Hope,

Thank you for sharing your lovely essay on Rosh Hashanah. I learned several new things! As you pointed out,I'm so grateful that everything in scripture points us toward Jesus. I love how the blowing of the shofar points to the return of Jesus when the trumpet will be played. You did a fine job on your writing.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Scott

MOHeather said...

Sydney,

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your essay on the topic of Sukkoth. I learned many new things from your description. Isn't it wonderful to know that one day we will tablernacle with Jesus forever? I look forward to reading more of your writing in the future.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Scott

Mrs. Edwards said...

Thank you, Mrs. Scott!

Sharon said...

Hi Sydney!

I enjoyed reading your essay about the Feast of Booths. There are many Jewish people in the suburbs near where I live (although there are not nearly as many Australian Jews proportionally as there are Jews in the US) and many of the Jews near us do celebrate the Feast of Booths, sleeping in tents in their back yards.

We are just beginning to study Deuteronomy in our BSF class, and I have been fascinated to learn about how much of what was laid down as law in the Old Testament points to Christ, just as you found with the Feast of Booths. Thanks for sharing your essay with us.

Mrs J from Perth, Australia

Sharon said...

Hi Hope,

Thanks for sharing your essay about Rosh Hashanah with us. I was very interested to hear about the custom of throwing the contents of one's pockets into water to symbolise throwing away sin. You wouldn't want to forget what was in your pockets when you went to Synagogue that morning, would you? What if you realised too late that you had left something important or expensive in the pocket? Or what if you came to Synagogue wearing clothes without pockets? I wonder if everyone would think you didn't want to get rid of your sin!

I am so thankful that my God has washed away all my sin forever with the atoning blood of His Son Jesus Christ! Thank you for reminding me, Hope, that Jesus took my place because God sent Him, just like God sent the ram to take the place of Isaac. It made me thankful anew for all that God has done to save me, despite my undeserving and rebellious heart.

Mrs J, from Perth, Australia

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