Rosh Hashanah: God’s Invitation to Return to Who We Really Are
How many of us think about repentance as we celebrate and usher in a New Year on January 1? Probably not many! But when Jews usher in the Jewish New Year on Rosh Hashanah, the main focus is on repentance, or teshuvah, which means to “return” to God and to who we really are. The sound of the shofar, the ritual trumpet, signals this time to reflect on the past twelve months, fix any behavior that isn’t helpful, and return to God who is waiting with open arms. In this special Rosh Hashanah episode, host Yael Eckstein shares the Jewish perspective on the meaning of repentance and its significance for both Christians and Jews, and how it has the power to nourish our souls and transform us into the people we are meant to be!
In today’s special Rosh Hashanah episode, which begins tomorrow at sundown (September 6, 2021), Yael focuses on a verse that is significant to the holiday. Numbers 29:1 says: “On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets.”
This verse tells us that Rosh Hashanah is “a day for you to sound the trumpets,” which is why it is often called “The Festival of Trumpets.” Even today, the most important part of the holiday is blowing the shofar, the ritual trumpet, in the synagogue. But aside from it being a celebratory time, the holiday also has a serious side. It is part of a time known as the High Holy Days, which begin on Rosh Hashanah and end ten days later on Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement.
Yael explains that repentance is a key aspect of the High Holy Days, and Rosh Hashanah kicks off this time of repentance. This special time, rooted in the Bible, can be meaningful for Christians, too, and will certainly nourish your soul. By understanding the real process of repentance, which the Jewish people go through every year, we will learn how loving and forgiving God is and how to make lasting change that will bring us closer to Him.
Yael illustrates what true repentance is through her own personal experience. And as we will learn through her life examples, change isn’t easy for anyone, and the road to success isn’t linear. We might succeed once, and then fall back into bad habits the next time. Repentance is not meant to be a “one and done” experience – it requires patience and repetition as we try and try again. Learn how in this powerful episode!