The High Holidays Begin

This weekend, my people will usher in the Jewish year 5783 with a celebration of Rosh Hashanah, which starts just before sundown this Sunday, September 25th. We will greet each other with “Le shanah tova tikatev ve-tehatem”, an expression of hope for God’s acceptance and forgiveness. It means “May you be written and sealed for a good year”. The holiday expression makes mention of The Book of Life. To learn more about the roll call of the redeemed, check out my recent video at our Facebook page

If you have ever attended a Rosh Hashanah service, you never forget the stirring sound of the shofar. My people are commanded to hear the soul-piercing blasts called teruah. In Leviticus 23:24, God calls for a solemn assembly, “a memorial proclaimed with the blast of horns”. We are called to turn our attention to God at the head of the civil year, who has been faithful and seek repentance and forgiveness (called teshuvah); to have our names written in the Book of Life on Rosh Hashanah and sealed on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).

Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is the Ten Days of Awe designed for the opportunity for my people to make amends for past wrongs in preparation for the new year through prayers, fasting, and good deeds (mitzvot).

As Christians we know that our names are recorded in The Book of Life through Jesus’ complete work at the cross through His death, burial, and resurrection. He himself reminds us to rejoice that our names are recorded in heaven (Luke 10:20). The Scriptures also encourage us that He will “descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God” and that we will be caught up together with Him and so always be with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). At that last trumpet, all will be changed.


“But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (NLT)

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