The Purpose

Rosh Hashanah is a time that commemorates the beginning of the New Year by the blowing of “Shofars” (Trumpets) and celebrates the day of Sabbath rest. It is literally translated as “Head of the Year” but is often referred to as “The Feast of Trumpets”. In scripture it is referred to as “Zikhron Teruah – Memorial of Blowing of Trumpets (Lev. 23:24) and Yom Teruah – Day of Blowing of Trumpets (Num. 29:1).

The Time

Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first day of Tishri, which is recorded as the first month on the civil calendar and the seventh month of the religious calendar. This translates to mid-September / early October. The beginning of each Hebrew month was originally marked by the appearance of the new moon. Thus Rosh Hashanah begins at the sighting of the new moon marking the beginning of the month of Tishri. It was originally a one-day celebration but has become a two-day celebration.

The History

In scripture, Israel was commanded to observe the feast day of Rosh Hashanah by blowing trumpets and keeping the Sabbath day of rest. The sacrifices associated with this feast were that of a young bull, a ram, and seven lambs. This was in addition to the daily and monthly sacrifices that were required.

The Elements

The Shofar

The focal instrument of Rosh Hashanah is the Shofar, which is a ram’s horn fashioned into a trumpet-like instrument. The ram’s horn is viewed as an endearing reminder of GOD’s provision of the ram in place of Isaac in scripture. In celebration of Rosh Hashanah the Shofar is blown in the following pattern:

Tekiah (One long blast)
Shevarim (Three short blasts)
Teruah (Nine staccato blasts)

The Food

Rosh Hashanah has two distinct types of food associated with the festival. The first is apples dipped in honey symbolizing the “desire for sweetness in the new year”. The second is oval loaves of the Jewish bread called challah. The oval shape of the bread symbolizes the crown of GOD signifying HIS kingdom rule.

The Spiritual Focus

Rosh Hashanah is not only a time of celebration but also a time of reflection, repentance, and sanctification. It is a time when GOD’s Kingship is in focus as well as the covenants that HE made with HIS people. It begins a 10-day time period known as the “Days of Awe” in which forgiveness and cleansing from sin is sought from GOD the King in preparation for the next feast of Yom Kippur – The Day of Atonement.

SHOFAR Celebration

See our EVENTS page for details regarding our Rosh Hashanah Celebration Service