Celebrating Rosh Hashana – Jewish New Year (Leviticus 23:23-35)
This year all three of the Autumn feasts in the Bible, known in Judaism as the High Holidays:
Feast 1: Rosh Hashana
Feast 2: Yom Kippur – The Day of Atonement
Feast 3: Sukkot- The Feast of Shelters
Each of these festivals can be found in the Old Testament, and it’s very likely that Jesus celebrated them.
The GodVenture Autumn Feasts Resource Pack includes more information on each feast, along with a collection of fun, simple ways to explore and celebrate each. You can get a FREE sample here.
In our home, we don’t do massive things for these, but I find it’s interesting to find out about them and use them as opportunities to gather and mark time with God in a special way.
We’re particularly fond of Rosh Hashana, with its tradition of dipping apples in honey (listen to this song!) as a way of asking for God’s blessing for a ‘sweet’ year ahead.
Dip apples in honey
Cut up apples and dip them in honey, wishing each other a sweet new year. You could each share one or two of your specific hopes for this year, and maybe speak them out loud as prayers.
The honey and apples tradition lends itself to many delicious recipes. We’ve added honey and apples to our morning porridge, and made honey and apple cakes. A good place to get recipes is from ToriAvey.com
Since September is for many of us kind of the beginning of the year, you might like to try out some of the Rosh Hashana traditions on the free download for this month.
Yom Kippur is a pretty sombre festival. It marks the Day of Atonement, the annual day when the High Priest would go through the curtain into the Holy of Holies, into God’s presence.
For us, we celebrate how we can do this because of Jesus, and how our Atonement or At One-ness with God is completed in him.
Three years ago, we lived in a tent for ten weeks. The day we moved out of the tent (and into a static caravan!) was Sukkot, the festival of shelters or tabernacles, when God’s people all around the world remember how they lived in tents in the desert after leaving Egypt, and how God provided everything they needed. It’s a harvest celebration too, so they create booths or tabernacles outside to have meals in or even sleep in, decorated with seasonal fruit and flowers.
We plan to have a night sleeping in the garden as part of this – do you fancy joining in?
There’s more on this in the download too.