Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, will begin on the evening of Wednesday, September 20 and ends on the evening of Friday, September 22.
Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday, also known as the Day of Atonement. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the two “High Holy Days” in the Jewish religion.
If you take a look at the Bible, one of the primary expectation from God toward His people has been nothing but a simple attitude of ‘Repentance’. We can see this from the book of Genesis, to the book of Revelation. God doesn’t expect us to pierce ourselves or do anything graphic, but as simple as it may sound, all that God expects from His people is that we ‘Repent’ of our ungodly ways.
I called my Dad to wish him on his birthday, last week. He is a medical practitioner by profession. He was almost lamenting over the outpatient cases that he was getting day in and day out. Most of them were young girls and young children. They had walked on fire and came to Dad with their feet burnt. One of the boys had a sharp arrow pierced on his tongue to please his god. The wound got septic and had an infection.
You know, they all have desperate hearts. Desperate to ‘somehow’ by piercing themselves and putting themselves through excruciating pain, may find favor in the sight of their god. As a matter of fact, every human born on this earth, has a desperate heart to please God. But most people think, we need to cause pain on ourselves and only then God will hear us and forgive our sin.
If only they knew, that all their sins were borne on the cross by Jesus who died in their place, for the sins they have committed, what a changed life they will have!!! Daddy preaches to them night and day, that there is a God who loves them. N’ we pray that the seeds that daddy plants will bear fruit, in his little clinic!!
You know, the point of this post is not to beat you down and shout…. “You are a sinner”…but I do want to lovingly speak to all my Hindu, Muslim, Agnostic, religious Christians out there that, we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s expectations of a Holy life. We ALL have. Whether it is the famous preacher you enjoy, or the idol/icon you adore, no human is perfect. We all need the forgiveness of God. And without being forgiven by a Holy God, we can’t enter His Holy Presence when our life on Earth is done.
That is the reason, why God spoke to the Hebrew people to self-introspect every now and then and search their hearts if there was anything in their lives, that was not in line with God’s holiness. Rosh Hashanah, is the Jewish New Year festival, when the Jews begin to search their hearts and ask God to show them the sins that are hidden deep inside their hearts. And when God speaks to them, they fall on their face and weep and repent.
Isn’t it amazing how the Jews enter into their New Year? They enter into their New Year by Self-introspection and Repentance. Christians in the west, have midnight parties and movie nights!!
After 10 days of self-introspection, the Jews celebrate Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement. These two festivals are the two most important festivals to the Jews.
We serve a loving God…. who has been telling humanity just one thing, since the time Adam fell. ‘To Repent’. Generation after generation, the cry of God’s heart to His people, has simply been, ‘Repent’.
But the question for the hour is, “Are we repenting as we should?”
Here is a simple prayer by Paul Dhinakaran uncle. Its a humble and a simple prayer and I was touched by the simpleness of the prayer. Wanted to share it with everyone. It is in Tamil. To my other language friends, kindly bear with us, this one time, ok. 🙂
Blessed Rosh Hashanah to all my Judeo-christian friends!!!