L’Shanah Tova Tikatevu – Happy New Year!
‘L’Shanah Tova Tikatevu’ is a greeting that will be on the lips of Jewish people the world over, beginning this September 25th, 2022. It means: ‘May you be inscribed for a good year,’ and the saying accompanies the observance of ‘Rosh HaShanah,’ the ‘Jewish New Year,’.
The expression is ‘shorthand’ for a hope that the person being greeted would be written in God’s ‘Book of Life.’ The traditional, rabbinical belief is that on Rosh HaShanah, the LORD decides who will be written in HIS book for a blessed year. Ten days later, on Yom Kippur, [Day of Atonement] that judgment is sealed—and it is final.
During Rosh Hashanah long synagogue services, ceremonial food will be eaten and the ‘shofar,’ [ram’s horn] will be sounded 100 times! This is a joyous holiday; a Happy New Year.
It is also solemn and includes repentance and introspection. Religious people commit to becoming a more righteous person; a person worthy of being recorded in God’s Book.
Growing up in NYC, there was tension between these two aspects of the holiday. Joy… yes… but insecurity about our eternal status. We practiced “Tashlikh”, derived from an allusion mentioned in the Biblical passage (Micah 7:18–20) and recited at the ceremony:
“You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”
My friends and I would go to a body of water and toss breadcrumbs into it. Problem was, we always had leftover crumbs in our pockets when we return home. Like our life before Messiah, there is always lingering doubt, guilt, remorse and need for healing that tradition can’t cure.
Rosh Hashanah is the civil New Year, established around 200 B.C. The Biblical, spiritual New Year is in the spring at Passover. Isn’t it ironic and poetic that the questions which arise in this season are answered by the Passover Lamb of God: Yeshua Ha Mashiach.
This week we are really celebrating the ‘Feast of Trumpets.’
The sounding of the shofar reminds us of God’s judgment, but, even more significant: that the Lord and King Messiah will be returning to this earth to BE the judge of the whole world, as it is written:
“For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the TRUMPET of God.” (I Thessalonians 4:16)
If you have put your trust in Yeshua, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world—the final decree is this:
You have been inscribed in the ‘Book of Life’—FOREVER!
L’Shanah Tova Tikateivu—
Happy New Year… now and forever.
Love, Myles and Katharine