yom kippur

Tashlich: An Invitation To Cast Off Your Burdens

The Feast of Trumpets and Tashlich:

An Invitation To Cast Off Your Burdens

We’ve all either walked up a mountain, taken a hike, or are at least familiar with the process. Whether or not you get to the top, hiking can be intense. There are moments when only sheer determination will bring your burning, shaky legs another step forward. And it seems like just when you are about to call it quits, a friend comes alongside you to offer you some encouragement, or you notice a plateau a little way up and find the energy you need to carry on. (And of course the added expectation of the start of a pretty great view). 

Now, imagine along the way, you began picking up rocks. Some big and some small. They may be manageable at first; in your vigor, you may not even notice them. But eventually, those rocks will begin to get heavy. Really heavy. That’s what sin is like. 

Life is full of seasons. If you don’t know that yet, give it some time, and you will become very familiar with it. Because of our human nature, we inevitably pick up sin along the way. Some of it is inherent to our personality and background, while some are bad habits learned along the way or a response to how we perceive reality. Often, it’s a mixture of all of the above. 

You may not notice the weight of these sins on a daily basis. But when it comes time to release them, you will undoubtedly discover two things: 1. How heavy they were 2. How much better you feel now that they are off of you. 

That’s what the Jewish celebrations of Rosh Hashanah and the Tashlich ceremony are all about.

 

Rosh Hashanah and Tashlich

Tashlich is a Hebrew word that translates to “casting off” and is associated with the high holiday Rosh Hashanah or the Feast of Trumpets. Although there is no direct command to have a Tashlich ceremony in the Torah, many Jews celebrate the Biblical new year by gathering around a body of water to cast off their sins from the past year. 

The practice was inspired by the prophet Micah who says, “He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19)

Tashlich Traditions 

It’s customary for Jewish people to gather on the first day of Rosh Hashanah with stones or bread crumbs to represent their sin from the past year. But this isn’t some sort of holy New Year’s resolution. Instead, a Tashlich service helps prepare for the highest Holy Day- Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement. 

Typically, participants enjoy liturgy (guided prayers) and a traditional tashlich prayer. 

Rabbis prefer that Tashich services be at a natural body of water that contains fish (for man can’t escape judgment any more than a fish could escape a net), although any flowing body of water will do—even running water from a hose! 

 

Is Rosh Hashanah Just for the Jewish People? 

No! Although practiced commonly in Judaism, all are invited to participate in the Jewish holidays thanks to Jesus. Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi himself, who came to fulfill the Jewish law and extend an invitation to the rest of the world. Through his death and resurrection, now, any who believes in Him has a place in his family. Therefore, we are accepted. We move from being outcasts to being children of God. We move from living with the burden of sin to living with freedom. 

A Modified Messianic Tashlich Service

Here at Twenty Six Eight, we embrace Jewish customs. We love the practical and tangibly visual way of casting off sins and we have modified it for our community. 

Where the Jewish people gather around a body of water, we gather corporately in our church building. And while Jewish participants come with stones or pieces of food, our congregation comes with an emblem of repentance in hand. 

As we enter a new year, we prayerfully consider what it is that God wants us to turn away from. Themes can be as expansive as control, fear and insecurity or as practical as eating too much sugar or not following through with everyday commitments. Whatever it is that you believe God is asking you to turn from, find an emblem to represent it. It can be pictures, letters, or actual items that are connected to your sin. 

After a time of worship and hearing from The Lord, all are invited to lay their emblems down at the altar and enter into the new year with freedom and joy. 

Just like the hiker who picks up rocks, we are not called to live with years of baggage, sin and pain. And carrying them for so long actually prevents us from picking up the things that Jesus does have for us. 

 

A Few Practical Considerations 

Interested in celebrating with us? We would love to have you! Here are a few practical considerations to help you fully enter into what we are doing. Don’t live in the Treasure Valley? Here are some other ways you can enter into the season no matter where you are! 

  1. After service, our emblems are cast away into the dumpster, so plan on bringing something you are actually ready to part with. Decide on an object you can lay down. 
  2. After you discover what you are being called to lay down, don’t forget to pray over what you are being invited to pick up. For example, if you lay down fear, you may be invited to pick up peace or joy. If you lay down sugar, you may be invited to pick up health. 
  3. We believe that taking care of our congregation includes keeping everyone healthy. Although you will find our congregation worshipping and celebrating in close proximity, we will have space for vulnerable populations to participate in what we’re doing with a bit of distance from the crowd. Can’t join us for our celebration? Celebrate Trumpets from home with our Live Trumpets service and participate in laying something down by throwing something in the trash.
  4. Bring a shofar! (Or plan on enjoying some horns). A big part of Rosh Hashanah is the blowing of trumpets. Biblically, these trumpets were shofars, or ram’s horns. We conclude the evening with celebratory shouts and horns. You will find everything from traditional, full-sized ram’s horns to children with plastic horns. Don’t have a horn? Praise Jesus to a worship song and shout to God with joy.
  5. Check out our Fall Holidays Guide for more tips on preparing for all of the Fall Holidays in 2021. 
  6. Finally, and most importantly, come into the season with expectation. God wants to meet with you. These holidays are an appointment to meet and hear from God. So come ready to hear! 
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Everything You Need to Know About The Feast of Trumpets 2022

The Feast of Trumpets 2022

The Feast of Trumpets in 2022

Summer is winding down, and we’ll soon see stores flood with kids begrudgingly walking through the school supplies aisle. But there’s more to fall than just back-to-school shopping and pumpkin patches. 

In fact, there’s much, much more. 

As the sun sets on September 25th, families all over the globe will begin to settle into the first of the fall Biblical holidays: Rosh Hashanah or the Feast of Trumpets. 

Despite common beliefs, the holidays in the Bible are not simply Jewish holidays. Rather, everyone is invited to participate in these holy celebrations. 

Before we dive into the specifics about the Feast of Trumpets 2022, let’s review the cycle of the holy days. 

Feast of Trumpets 2021

What Holidays are on the Jewish Calendar? 

Much like the seasons themselves, the Biblical holidays operate in a cyclical manner. In Leviticus 23, God tells Moses about the holidays and how to celebrate each one. He lays out everything from the weekly sabbath (Shabbat) to the feast days and the holiest of days, Yom Kippur. 

Spring Holidays 

There are three holidays in the Spring—Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits

Passover (Feast of Pesach)

In the days of Moses, the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt. Through a series of 10 plagues, each of the major Egyptian gods was challenged. The 10th plague brought death to all the firstborn children in the land—all except those who put a lamb’s blood over their doorpost. As the spirit of death moved through the land, it passed over those with the blood on the door. 

Feast of Unleavened Bread

Passover kicks off the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a seven-day holiday that celebrates freedom. As the Israelites prepared to leave Egypt, they didn’t have time to let their bread rise. We celebrate Unleavened Bread by ridding our homes of leavening to both 1. Remember the Israelites’ wanderings through the desert once they were sent away from Egypt, and 2. Celebrate the invitation to leave behind sin and enter into a season of new holiness.

First Fruits 

After the Feast of Unleavened Bread comes First Fruits. This is a day for agricultural offerings of the first fruits of the season. It also kicks off counting the omer, or counting down the 50 days before Pentecost. 

Summer Holidays

There is only one holiday in the summer—Pentecost. 

Pentecost (Shavuot or The Feast of Weeks)

During the days of Moses, Pentecost was when the Israelites received the 10 Commandments at Mount Sinai. After Jesus’ death, Pentecost marked the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on man. 

Fall Holidays

That brings us to the Fall Holidays. There are three holidays during this time of year—Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement and Tabernacles.

Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah)

The Feast of Trumpets marks a new year in the Hebrew calendar. In Israel, Jewish people throw stones into a body of water to symbolize the casting off of sins. Our congregation recognizes this tradition and casts off something we’ve been carrying so we can pick up better things in the new year.  

Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)

The holiest of the high holy days, Yom Kippur is a time when we remember & rehearse our meeting with Jesus during judgment day. We repent of our sins by asking forgiveness from those who we’ve wronged and extending forgiveness from those that have wronged us. It’s a solemn day of fasting.    

Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)  

Also called the Feast of Booths, Tabernacles calls for God’s people to live life in temporary dwellings just as the Israelites did in the desert and to symbolize our own temporary passage on this earth.

During this holiday, we are called to celebrate with others as we anticipate what it will be like in eternity.

A Few Notes about the Holidays for 2022

It’s important to know that the Jewish calendar operates in a different way than the American one we’re so used to. While our days begin with the sun rising each morning, days for the Jewish people begin at sundown, as the first days are described in Genesis, with the evening coming first. Not only this, but a day beginning with sunset is a day that begins with rest, a fundamental characteristic of God’s people. 

Also, you may have noticed that one major holiday wasn’t on our list—Hanukkah. That’s because while Hanukkah may have been a popular holiday in the Jewish community, there is no Biblical command dedicated to celebrating Hanukkah. Because Jesus did, we here at Twenty Six Eight also recognize and celebrate the holiday. 

Another holiday you may have heard about is Purim, described in the book of Esther. Although there are no major sabbaths or holy days associated with Purim, we gather corporately to celebrate Purim together as well. 

 

Feast of Trumpet Symbolism

Rosh Hashanah is also called Yom Teruah and translates to “Day for blowing trumpets.” 

So, the trumpets we blow! 

Times to Blow Trumpets

Biblically, trumpets were blown for a handful of different occasions: 

  • To signify the beginning of a new month
  • To remember or hold a memorial day 
  • To signify the beginning of a Jubilee year or year of rest 
  • To gather all of God’s People
  • To warn of impending danger
  • To rouse people to repentance 
  • To coronate a new king of Israel 

In this case, the trumpets are blown on this Jewish new year to gather God’s people, rouse them to repentance and will one day coronate our reigning King Jesus, who will be accompanied by the sound of trumpets upon His return. (Zechariah 9:14) 

But we don’t just use any ol’ brass trumpet that’s fit for a marching band. Instead, these sounds come from a shofar, or a ram’s horn

Where Does Jesus Fit? 

The Old and New Testaments speak of Jesus Christ. The books of the Old Testament all point to His coming, death & resurrection as the Messiah and the New Testament books point to the days when He will be our reigning king for all eternity. 

Similarly, the spring holidays speak of Jesus’s first coming, while the fall holidays speak of his next coming. The Feast of Trumpets reminds us that Jesus is King and also announces that judgment is coming. 

One day, a series of one hundred trumpet blasts are sounded to announce that the eternal court is in session. We will be called to gather and given time to prepare for our time in the judgment seat on the Day of Atonement. 

Jesus warns us with the shofar that His judgment is coming to those who do not repent but also that his mercy is waiting for those who turn and respond to His call. 

How to Celebrate The Feast of Trumpets with Twenty Six Eight Church

Although a somewhat solemn day, we celebrate Rosh Hashanah with shouts of joy, celebrating Jesus’s mercy, goodness and future reign. 

We can stand with confidence on that day of 100 trumpets because we have been preparing each year. 

To celebrate and prepare your heart with us, join us for our corporate gathering as we lay down our emblems of repentance.  

What is an emblem of repentance?

Simply put, it’s a personal symbol of repentance, some sort of object that represents what you believe God wants you to turn from. 

For example, if God wants your time, you might bring a planner or clock. We’ve had everything from Espresso machines to letters to wet clay at the altar. 

Keep in mind that whatever you lay down is going to get cast away. (The Jews cast their stones into the water. We cast ours into the dumpster). Watch this video to learn more about laying down an emblem. 

Check out our free ebook, Guide to the Fall Holidays 2021, for a guide to celebrating all of the Fall Holidays.

Head to our website for Fall Holiday resources and then reach out to find out where we will be meeting this year. 

Phone: 208.571.2090

Email: church@268church.org

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