Jewish Facts of Life
We mentioned that Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) falls ten days after Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year, or more biblically, the Feast of Trumpets). The ten-day period between those holidays is known as the Days of Awe” or “The awe-inspiring days.”
This period of reflection and soul searching is meant to bring people to repentance between the Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement. The Jewish concept of repentance is “t’shuvah,” and has to do with a turning or change of direction. The Shabbat (Saturday) that falls during this period is traditionally known as Shabbat Shuvah (the Sabbath of Return). The idea is to turn our hearts away from sin, toward God. The Days of Awe also serve as a time for people to be reconciled with those they have wronged.
For many Jewish people, this is the only time of year that the concept of sin comes to mind. Many do not consider themselves sinners because they confuse the word “sin” with a major breach of law, such as murder, theft or kidnapping. Prayers recited in the synagogue address sins of attitude as well as behavior: pride, lust, envy, etc.—which make it easier for people to understand that they have indeed sinned.
Jews for Jesus has a special broadside tract for this season: click here for free download. We also have special services at many of our branches. To see if there is a Jews for Jesus Yom Kippur service near you, click here. Please pray for Jewish seekers to attend our services and find true atonement through Jesus.
Even though Rosh Hashanah is past, it is still appropriate to send Rosh Hashanah cards throughout the Days of Awe, right up until Yom Kippur, which begins at sundown on September 21. Send an e-card here.
For Yom Kippur services, click here.
For a glossary of Hebrew terms that apply to the Jewish High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) click here.
For articles and resources on Yom Kippur click here.
You can even purchase a shofar here.
Feast of Tabernacles
This year, the weeklong holiday Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) begins at sundown on September 26. This festival is characterized by joy. Those of us who know that our sins are forgiven through Jesus celebrate the connection between reflection, repentance and rejoicing. The background to this festival is God’s presence and provision to the children of Israel throughout the wilderness wanderings. But the holiday also has a harvest theme, and is believed by some to be the spiritual forerunner of the pilgrims’ celebration that we now know as Thanksgiving.
You can learn more about the Feast of Tabernacles here.
If you are interested in purchasing the book offered at that site, “Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles” we suggest that you purchase it through Real Deals, where, this month, we are featuring the same book with a free gift.