A Forced Sabbath Rest

March 26, 2020

We just passed Israel’s new year of the Hebraic calendar, the Biblical New Year. Rosh Hashana is celebrated as the Jewish New Year among many Jewish communities worldwide. It starts 163 days after the first day of Passover. Rosh Hashana lasts for up to two days in many communities. The term Rosh Hashanah appears once in the Bible (Ezekiel 40:1), where it has a different meaning: either generally the time of the “beginning of the year”.

The origin of the Hebrew New Year is connected to the beginning of the economic year in the agricultural societies of the ancient Near East. The New Year was the beginning of the cycle of sowing, growth, and harvest; the harvest was marked by its own set of major agricultural festivals. The Semites generally set the beginning of the new year in autumn, while other ancient civilizations chose spring for that purpose.

“Rosh” is the Hebrew word for “head”, “ha” is the definite article (“the”), and “shanah” means “year”.  Rosh Hashanah literally means “head of the year”, in the Jewish calendar.  Sabbath is where we are to spend time with our creator.

Even though this is a Jewish holiday “Holy Day”, doesn’t mean this excludes the gentiles.  This day, the Sabbath day was created for mankind from the beginning.  It is a time to reflect on where we are with our creator, where we have missed the mark, how we can grow in the LORD our creator this year, and where we need to seek forgiveness.

I can’t help but wonder if the LORD God is speaking to us through this COVID-19 scare.  It has caused a forced Sabbath on the world.  I believe this is the time to do just that.  I believe this is part of how the LORD God, our creator, is turning something bad into good for us.

I encourage each one of us to take this time to reflect and receive this truly amazing GIFT.  May the LORD God bless you during this time of reflection.

Here is a fun video explaining this Holy Day.

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