Note: I am no longer on social media, so please share this post with as many people as you can due to its timeliness (including a free book offer). Thanks so much, and thanks also to the content creators in the video links below. If you enjoy them, give them a thumbs up and subscribe to their channels.–TP
I haven’t blogged for a while. There are enough voices of the pandemic, as well as those making game attempts at normalcy by discussing capsule wardrobes, makeup errors (“Don’t do this!“), and elephant attacks on safari trams. (I confess to indulging in such escapism.) That said, on to the subject of this post.
New Year’s. How long ago does it seem to you? A couple of months? A year or more? A distorted sense of time is often part of life, perhaps even more so this year. On December 31 we make resolutions to improve ourselves as we look forward to a better year. It’s a time of celebration, champagne, and hope. Especially these days it seems a shame to wait months for another new beginning.
We don’t have to. At sundown today, Rosh Hashanah–Hebrew for “head of the year”–will be observed by Jews everywhere. Maybe virtually, maybe not, but believers around the world will observe the official start of the “Days of Awe” in celebration, reflection, and repentance.
As a Christian, I pay close attention to the seven annual Jewish feasts (eight, if you include the institution of the weekly Sabbath). They are the glue that holds together not only the religious year, but the entire plan of salvation, foreshadowed in the Suffering Servant passages in the book of Isaiah, Chapter 53. Jesus the Messiah, in Hebrew, Yeshua Hamashiach, fulfilled the Spring feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Pentecost during His earthly ministry. He will return someday and fulfill the Fall feasts of Trumpets, Atonement (Yom Kippur) and Tabernacles.
A quick aside on the word atonement: Years ago I read that Shirley MacLaine portrayed its meaning as “at-one-ment.” It made sense to me at the time, but when I became a Christian, I objected to a characterization lacking the connotation of salvation. (In fact, its etymology does indicate the meaning of being aligned as one.) So happy was I to eventually come out of New Age thinking that I used a quotation from MacLaine’s book Out on a Limb at the start of the “California Dreamin'” chapter in my memoir Rabbit Trail: How a Former Playboy Bunny Found Her Way. That book is being offered free beginning today, September 18, at midnight Pacific Time for five days. It’s my way of saying thank you for reading and for spreading the word. Please freely share the link with as many as possible.
In the meantime, you can find out more about Rosh Hashanah here. Pick up a pomegranate, dip an apple slice into honey, and join me in the hope of a healing, sweet, new year.