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Ask the Rabbi - The Meaning of Rosh Hashanah?

Rosh Hashanah (Yom Teruah) - The day of the Shofar sounding, the date we appear before the judge, the day of Messiah's return!

Rosh Hashanah was originally called Yom Teruah, the day of the Great Blast. On it we are commanded to assemble and hear the Shofar sound. The Shofar is customarily heard 30 times each at the early services, and a final 40 times at the final service, for a total of 100.

The notes sounded are:

* Tekkia - Long blast rising upward at the end
* Shavarim - sobbing sound
* Teruah - Alarm blast of 9 short notes
* Tekkia Ha'Gadol - All above blasts ending in a very long note with a final upward rise at the end

The command to hear the Shofar is directly related to two events. One Rabbinic tradition, the other firmly stated in scripture.

Rabbinic Tradition

The Rabbinic tradition says the Shofar sounds our appearing before the Judge of the world. It singles the Book of Life, The Book of Death, the Book of Words, and the Book of Deeds being open. Our fate for the coming year is then inscribed in either the Book of Life, or the Book of Death.

The 10 Days of Awe, from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur, give us space to repent and seek to have our names written in the Book of Life.

Scriptural Reference

In Scripture, Rabbi Sha'ul (Paul) clearly uses the Shofar as the sign of the L-rds regathering of His people to Himself and their being removed from the world. This event is commonly referred to as the Rapture (snatching away).

A Theory, based on the wedding customs our Messiah taught about, suggests the "snatching away" will occur the same way a Bride was claimed in Yeshua's time.

As the wedding party approached to claim the unaware bride, the "Best Man" (In this case probably the Angel Gavri'el), would sound a trumpet blast, the Teruah (Alarm Blast) to alert the bride her Betrothed was near and coming for her. This fits perfectly with the parable of the 10 virgins, other parables, and parallels taught by the Master (Messiah).

As Messianic Believers, we do not need to fear this time. The Book of Death has no power over us as we are inscribed in the greatest book of all, The Lambs Book of Life. There on those pages, written in blood, are our names.

May we live our lives following G-d's Torah, inscribed in the Lambs Book of Life, ready at any moment to hear the sound of the Shofar!

May we all respond to G-D's Word with our sincere repentance and supplications during these High Holy Days..

"L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem" (or to women, "L'shanah tovah tikatevi v'taihatemi"), which means "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."

Rabbi Gavri'el

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