Updated: Sep 17
Yom Teruah (Rosh Hashanah), Yom Kippur, & Sukkot
By: Joyce and Harlon Picker (excerpts from Harlon’s book; “The Shofar”)
Traditionally, when we attend services on Yom Teruah (Rosh Hashanah) we would hear the shofar sounding. There are four traditional sounds and they are blown in sequence. They are:
Tekiah, Shevarim, Teruah, Tekiah
Tekiah, Shevarim, Tekiah
Tekiah, Teruah, Tekiah
These are 11 of the traditional 100 Shofar blasts that are sounded on Rosh Hashanah.
There are four calls: Tekiah, Shevarim Teruah Tekiah Hag' dolah. In a spiritual sense, the sequence in which the Shofar calls are blown symbolizes the fall of mankind. It reminds us of our sinful nature and that we need a savior and His blood sacrifice to make us whole again. The final call that is blown is encouraging as it announces to us that the broken world is made whole again.
On the 1st day of the Seventh month (Tishri), the Torah commands us to observe a "Day of Shouting" on which work is forbidden.
In the Bible, "Teruah" means to make a loud noise either by blowing a horn or shouting in prayer.
Shofar - Leviticus 23:24: "Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, saying: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you are to have a Shabbat rest, a memorial of blowing (shofarot), a holy convocation."
Silver Trumpets - Numbers 10:1-10:
Adonai spoke to Moses saying,
"Make two trumpets of hammered silver for yourself. They are for summoning the community and having the camps set out. Whenever both are sounded, the whole community is to gather toward you at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. But if only one is sounded, the princes—the heads of the tribes of Israel—are to gather toward you. When you sound the trumpet the first time, the camp of those camped on the east is to set out. When you sound the trumpet blast the second time, the camp of those camped on the south is to set out. Short blasts will be the signal for their moving out. To gather the whole national community, you are to sound the sustained blasts, but not the short blasts. The sons of Aaron, the kohanim will blow the trumpets. This is to be an eternal ordinance for you as well as for your generations to come. Whenever you go to war in your own land against the enemy who is hostile to you, you are to sound short blasts of alarm. Then you will be remembered before Adonai your God and be delivered from your enemies. Also at your days of rejoicing, feasts and new moons, you are to blow on the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. They will then be a reminder for you before Adonai your God. I am Adonai your God!"
The sounding of the Shofar is a kind of spiritual wake-up call. It serves two primary purposes -
1. To remind us of the ram that God provided to be sacrificed in Isaac's place.
2. To give us direction/instruction when it is sounded.
Shouting in Prayer - Psalms100:1-5:
“A psalm of thanksgiving. Shout joyfully to Adonai, all the earth! Serve Adonai with gladness. Come before His presence with joyful singing. Know that Adonai, He is God. It is He who has made us, and we are His. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise! Praise Him, bless His Name. For Adonai is good. His lovingkindness endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.”
The purpose of Rosh Hashanah was to shout to the Lord in prayer as in Psalms.
“For the music director, a psalm for the sons of Korah. Clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of joy! For Adonai Elyon is awesome, a great King over all the earth. He subdues peoples under us, and nations under our feet. He chooses our inheritance for us, the glory of Jacob, whom He loved. Selah. God is gone up amidst shouting, Adonai amidst the sound of the Shofar. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!”
This word shout uses the same verbal root as "Teruah." The word "Teruah" can indicate various methods of noise-making from shouting in prayer to blowing on the Silver Trumpets. All of these, the Tanakh (Older Covenant) describes as acts of worshipping the Lord. Psalm 150 sums up how to Praise the Lord!
Any way you look at it, God is to be praised with "Teruah" (Shout)
One of the prayers for Yom Teruah (Malikhiyot) describes God as a King who has the power to add names to the Book of Life, or to delete names from the Book of Life and put them in the Book of Death.
The Jewish concept of ‘judgment’ also makes room for human beings to influence God's decision through repentance, prayer, and good deeds. That is why the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are called the "Days of Awe."
More appropriate than Jewish tradition — is biblical truth.
When we look at the book of I Thessalonians, we see what will be the most significant event to take place on Yom Teruah!
1 Thes 4:16-17:
“For the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the blast of God's Shofar, and the dead in Messiah shall rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left behind, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air—and so we shall always be with the Lord.”
Rosh Hashanah could be the time when God sends His Son, Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah, to get His bride!
There are other interesting facts about Rosh Hashanah.
God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Rosh Hashanah - Genesis 22:2
God's revealed name in this story is ADONAI-Yireh (God will see to it or God will provide). There is no ‘J' in the Hebrew Alphabet, or you would recognize this name as Jehovah Jireh.
When God called out to Abraham, he responded with "Hineni" (Here am I, Lord). He didn't nod at the Lord or say, "okay." He said, "I am at your service." In Hebrew records, it is recorded that Abraham bowed low before the Lord in submission and adoration. The Hebrew word used is "Hishtachaveh" which is the act that makes a man double. How many times when God calls us do we respond in perfect submission?
Abraham knew God as ADONAI Yireh and did not despair when God asked him to sacrifice his son. Even when Isaac asked his father about the sacrifice, Abraham knew how to respond.
Read Genesis 22:7-8
Abraham knew ADONAI Yireh - God would provide!
Abraham's experience on Mt. Moriah was a foreshadowing of "Life from the Dead." Both in the resurrection of the Messiah some 2000 years later on the same spot and the spiritual resurrection of the Jewish people yet to come.
Paul sums this up in Romans 11:13-15
"I am speaking to you people who are not Jews. As long as I am a missionary to you, I want you to know how important my job is. I do this so it will make my own people, the Jews, jealous. Then it may be that some will be saved from the punishment of sin. Because the Jews have been put aside, many other people in the world have been saved from the punishment of sin. Think of what it will be like when they are also gathered In; It will be like the dead coming back to life!" (NLV)
God indeed did provide the lamb for the sacrifice. He provided His Son, Jesus!
The next one to be celebrated is Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement), and it occurs on the 10th day of Tishri, exactly ten days after Rosh Hashanah. This year Yom Kippur occurred at sundown of September 18th. Lev 23:27-32
It is a day of fasting and prayer; a day when we should deny ourselves and remember the sacrifice that God gave for us, His son Yeshua.
Yom Kippur is the Holiest Day of the year on the Biblical calendar.
Today it memorializes the one day of the year that the Cohen Ha'Gadol (High Priest) would enter the Holy of Holies and make atonement for all of Israel.
The Scapegoat - Azazel in Hebrew - means removal or the action of sending away. Azaz means "rugged," and El means "strong" Leviticus 16:20-22
The Azazel was supposed to be taken into the desert and released. But the Scapegoat was taken instead to a cliff where the priest removed the red sash from its head and divided it. One part went on the goat's horns and the other on the cliff. He then pushed the goat backward over the cliff, sending it — and Israel's sins — to death. The priest wanted to make sure the goat did not return. They attached another part of the sash to the door of the Temple before the goat was sent into the wilderness. Miraculously, the sash on the temple door would turn from red to white when the goat died. This sign told the people that God had accepted their sacrifice and that their sins were forgiven. The reference is based on Isaiah 1:18.
The Talmud records that the Yom Kippur sacrifice was rejected by God for 40 consecutive years, following the death of Yeshua to the time the Temple was destroyed:
Talmud, Yoma 39b - “During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot [‘For the Lord'] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-colored strap become white; nor did the westernmost light shine; …”
In the time of Jesus, the Mishna also tells that the Holy of Holies (where the High Priest made the Atonement for the sins of the people) was empty. The Mercy Seat, the Golden Cherubim, and the Ark of the Covenant had disappeared, and along with them the Sh'khinah presence of the Lord. The items taken into captivity in Babylon were never seen again (2 Kgs 24:13; 2 Chr 36:7). All that remained in the sacred chamber was one barren rock, three fingers high, k