This post builds on the basic assumptions listed in Learning from the Mo’edim
Thsi year, we worked hard to understand when Yom Teruah was, and how to respond. This involved some real neat experiences that are new for us.
First off, the sighting of the moon in Israel was spotty. The worst dust storms in history, as well as very tight physical factors made it some hard work. We knew close to when it would be, but we waited until we heard word of it (I follow the reports from Nehemia Gordon and similar groups of faithful people going for it). I planned on Tuesday the 15th to be the day. As we are 9 hours later than Israel, we got confirmation before the sun set on our day.
My kids and I had realized several months previous that PVC pipe makes fun trumpets. So we gathered them up a few weeks ahead and planned on using them on the top of a hill in out local area at sunset.
A friend who had just moved back to So Cal gave me a shofar just a week before Yom Teruah! I was so excited. I practiced blowing it, and can make more than a few squeaks and got ready.
There was a lot of buzz about the Blood Moons, and how they will fall on the holidays. However, that is on the jewish calendar, which is predetermined, built on a man made system while Israel was in Bablyon, and followed because of tradition. We were 2 days later.
There was a lot of hype about the Shmita year being this year. However, I cannot find any reliable source that can prove we even know what year it is! Let alone the Shmita, or the Jubilee. The jewish calendar believes that the 7th month is also a New Year (honestly it all seems crazy to me), and that the Shmita year begins in the 7th month on Yom Kippur. I dont believe that so far as I can learn from study.
So the Day of Trumpets came, we went up to a hill top, and blew our trumpets and shouted.
But we had a lot of activity going on in September, and had to change things as soon as we figured out when the first day started. My lovely wife had plans, and she even changed them. When I say plans, I mean lifetime friends who happened to be in town. From Germany. And she had plans to have one on one time with her. No kids, lifelong closest friend who we never get to see, and spending time without the kids going to the Getty center museum. It honestly doesn’t get better than this for my wife. She found out that this was going to be a Sabbath, starting at sundown. She made a point to get home before sunset. This was an example of a serious sacrifice, and something that really blessed me.
What I Learned this Year
It is a critical component of this holiday that we dont actually know the day. We have to put things aside, in the end of summer. We are waiting to understand what our life is going to be like, based on the whatever Yahweh decides. We are dependent on God to dictate out schedule.
The jewish traditions are seemingly more and more foolish to me. The more I try to learn, the more I find myself not just not connecting, but opposed to it. The layers of confusion, human posturing, and keeping up traditions of men are just not able to be extricated from the truth.
This day is the signal, or the announcement that we are headed into the profound time of the fall feasts.
It is supposed to be fun, exciting, and engaged.
It is related to the trumpets sounding at the time of Mt Sinai. Trumpets announce, warn, proclaim etc… there is connections to other uses of trumpets int he scriptures, and I think it really is meant to remind us of previous things.