A daily Christian thought from:
ACP, The Church for the American Christian who is a Patriot
Pro-Christ, Pro-Life, Pro-Constitution.
34 Duck Pond Road
Harrison, Maine, USA
Pastor Rev. Robert Celeste ACP/MCAC
Associate Pastor Mr. Steve Burzlaff, Elizebeth, Kentucky
Special Guest Pastor Rev. Jim Marstaller, Pastor of The CornerStone Gospel Church in Naples, Maine
Important Note: Starting Wednesday March 29th, 2006, the thoughts will be posted at 7PM.. This is to assure that all thoughts are proof read before posting.
Rev. Bob Celeste
Thanks to ACP's Steve Burzlaff, we now have the Evanglical handout, "What If" in PDF format.>BR> For the "What If" evangelical handout in PDF format, click here.
Thank God for Steve,
Friday September 22nd, 2006 By: Steve Burzlaff
A couple of years back I started doing some thoughts on the various Jewish Holidays and Feasts. Today I would like to repeat that theme for Rosh Hashanah.
Rosh Hashanah celebrates the creation of the world and is a time for reflection and self evaluation. It is one of the Jewish tradition's holiest days, the days when Jews most commonly attend services at the synagogue. Rosh Hashanah begins this year tonight, on the evening of September 22nd.
Rosh Hashanah is known by various names, depending on who you talk to. However Rosh Hashanah is the commonest and most accepted name. Here are some short explanations of the other names:
One of the alternate names is Yom Hazikaron, which literally means day of remembrance. The events of the past are, after all, an integral part of Jewish identity. Jewish liturgy and customs have evolved over centuries and millennia from the Holy Land into modern culture. Jewish cultural memory provides the foundation for their actions and identity.
Rosh Hashanah of course has a profound emphasis on the past, but in a different way than holidays like Hanukah and Passover, both which have easily summarized stories. Instead, the beginning of the story of Rosh Hashanah is the original beginning. In the section of the morning service called Zichranot, the cantor (chazzan) thanks the Divine for the creation of the world and humanity.
The events of the past are then tied in with the commitments of the present. The chazan recalls the sparing of Noah and God's lasting covenant with the first Jews.
But this commitment to covenants of the past does not solely define the tone of Rosh Hashanah. When Jews practice customs that originated in the Holy Land, they are acknowledging both ties to the past and their hopes for the future. The telling (and retelling) of stories and the reading of the Torah portion connects them with their ancestors and grants them the wisdom of the past to be active Jews in the world today.
Another alternative name is Shofar- Yom Teruah. The shofar is an animal horn blown like a trumpet. It is usually a ram's horn, but a shofar can be made from the horn of any kosher animal except a cow. Today the use of a long and beautiful antelope horn is popular. (You can buy them on eBay) Unlike a trumpet, the shofar has no mouthpiece. It is difficult to blow. Shofar blowers spend many hours practicing before Rosh Hashana.
The shofar blower, or ba'al tekiah, should be someone who is admired in the community.
There are three kinds of notes blown on the shofar. The tekiah is a single blast. The shevarim is a set of three blasts, and the teruah is a set of nine very short blasts. During the shofar service the ba'al tekiah blows three notes in different combinations as they are called out. At the end of the shofar service, a very long tekiah , the tekiah gedolah is blown.
When it is time to blow the shofar, the whole congregation stands and recites the blessing for the mitzvah of hearing the shofar :
Baruch atah, Adonai elohainu, melech haolam, ahshair keedshanu bimetzvotav vtzevanu leeshmoah kol shofar (Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, who makes us holy with mitzvot and calls us to hear the sound of the shofar.)
Baruch atah, Adonai elohainu, melech haolam, shehecheyanu vikeemanu v'heegeanu lozzmon hazeh. (Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to reach this season.)
Yet another name for Rosh Hashana is Yom Hadin, or the Day of Judgement. This notion of "judgement" is based on the fact that everyone makes mistakes. Jews believe that Teshuva or repentance, allows them to resolve these conflicts throughout the year but is focused on Rosh Hashana. Repentance consists of several steps in the Jewish tradition, including recognition and admission of the wrong doing, and renunciation of the action. Teshuva also requires restitution to the wronged party and a promise not to repeat the offense.
The theme of repentance figures into most all of the rituals and prayers of Rosh Hashana. In the synagogue, they modify some of the usual holiday prayers and add additional sections to highlight the importance of teshuva on Rosh Hashahna. In Unetaneh Tokef, the cantor (chazzan) prays that through repentance, prayer, and charity, the Jewish lot with be cast in with the good of the world.
Repentance is also the important concept in the ritual of tashich where they symbolically cast their sins away.
Though repentance is central to Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, and the ten days in between, the hope of all of the prayers and apologies is that they will truly take steps towards becoming a better person in the year to come.
One of the more significant spinoffs of Rash Hashanah are the various foods and their meanings:
First - Before the Rosh Hashanah meal, it is a custom to place sliced apples and a dish of honey on the dinner table. After they light the candles and say kiddush each person at the table dips a slice of apple into the honey. We then say the following blessing over the fruit:
Baruch atah, Adonai elohainu, melech haolam, boray pree ha aitz. (Blessed are You, God, Ruler of the universe, creator of the fruit of the tree. )
Then they say:
Y'hee ritzon meelfanechah, Adonai elohainu vi-elohay avotaynu, sheh tichadesh alainu shanah tovah oomtookah. (May it be your will, our God and God of our people, that the New Year be good and sweet for us.)
During the meal hallah are served. Hallah are baked in a variety of shapes for Rosh Hashanah
A ladder (or turban like shape) on the hallah bread expresses the wish that the family's prayers might ascend to heaven. Dough baked in the shape of a bird represents the same wish. It also stands for the words of the Prophet Isiah: As birds protect their young, so will God protect Jerusalem. A hallah loaf might be topped with a baked, or plastic, crown, signifying the kingship of God. A separate loaf in the shape of a wing likens the goodness of the people around the table to the goodness of angels.
They will also have pomegranate. A pomegranate is said to have 613 seeds. This number corresponds to the number of mitzvot, or types of good deeds, that Jews as a society must perform. A pomegranate on the holiday table announces to the heavenly court that as many seeds as there are, that's how many good deeds have been performed over the year.
There is also fish. Fish, because they are numerous, are used as symbols of fertility and prosperity and because their eyes are always open, and they see everything, they stand for knowledge. On Rosh Hashanah, the head of the fish is placed before the head of the family. And he says, on behalf of all those at the table: "May it be your will that we be like the head (leaders) and not like the tail (followers)."
I sincerely hope that you found this to be as interesting in reading as I did in researching it. As Christians, we too often we forget of our Jewish heritage and everything they did for each and every one of us.
Sha'al shalowm Yruwshalaim.
Never ever forget this: There aint no purgatory!
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The difference between a true preacher and a false preacher comes down to this. The true preacher uses God's word to convict of sin, the false preacher twist God's word to justify sin. The Lord our God, Christ Jesus be with you always, amen.
The Lord our God, Christ Jesus, be with you all and please keep your pastor and me in your prayers. Amen. My prayer daily is "Lord please bless those tenfold who bless me."
Pray for the President, pray for Attorney General John Ashcroft, pray for me, pray for all those who open their mouths or take pen in hand in an effort to sway public opinion.
The Lord God of the Universe, Messiah Y'shua be with you all, amen.
It is better to be a horse fly in the stables of the Lord Jesus than the CEO of hell.
All Scripture quoted, in both sermons and daily thoughts, except when done by a guest, is from the ACP/authorized 1611 King James Version. The words in red are those quotes of God the Son, the Lord Jesus and the words in purple are those qoutes spoken directly by God the Father and the words in this sickly greenish color are of satan. But all of the Bible is spoken by God and should be viewed as God's handbook for us to run our lives by 2 Timothy 3:16.
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