Messianic Rabbi Barney Kasdan, Kehilat Ariel Messianic Congregation, San Diego: When God spoke to Israel concerning His appointed times (Lev. 23), He intended to give the people models and types for our spiritual relationship with the Creator. The High Holy Days of September/October are God’s reminders of his plan for the world. Rosh Hashana (New Year) is a call to repentance by the sound of the ram’s horn. This is followed by Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) which clearly reminds us of our need for God’s way of atonement. Sukkot (Tabernacles) culminates it all with a celebration that God desires to tabernacle with His people. These are important Holy Days not only for contemporary Jews (including Messianic Jews) but also for all believers who understand that their faith in the Messiah Yeshua/Jesus is rooted in the household of Israel (cf. Romans 11:17-18). I am blessed to see that many believers today are rediscovering the blessings of these long lost treasures.
Messianic Rabbi Joel Liberman, Tree of Life Messianic Congregation, San Diego: The Jewish “High Holy Days” are described for us in Leviticus 23:23-32. Biblically known as the “Feast of Trumpets” or more commonly known as Rosh Hashanah, the purpose of this first holy day mentioned historically is regathering and repentance. Prophetically, this day is viewed when the full “spiritual regathering” of believers will occur with the return of the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus in Hebrew) at the sound of the shofar or trumpet (I Thess. 4:16-18). Ten days later, Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) is celebrated. The prophet Zechariah describes the day when Jewish people living at the second coming of Yeshua will realize that final atonement is fulfilled in Him. (Zech. 12:10; 13:1) Praise God, Jewish people are recognizing these things now! In God’s wisdom, the “High Holy Days” foreshadow His all encompassing plan “to the Jew and also the Greek.”
Pastor Jeff Johnson, First Baptist Church of Vista: Rosh Hashanah (October 1, sundown) begins the celebration of the Jewish New Year 5758 and Creation. The shofar (ram’s horn) is blown, special prayers are recited and the culmination of events fall on Yom Kippur ten days later. Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement, Leviticus 16, 23) is a time of prayer and fasting, asking forgiveness for sin of the community as well as the individual. The High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle blood on the Mercy Seat on behalf of Israel. Rosh Hashanah, (Feast of Trumpets), is symbolic of the Rapture and the complete gathering of Israel (1 Corinthians, 15:52; Isaiah 27:12-13). Yom Kippur represents Israel’s time of Great Trouble or the Tribulation Period (Zechariah 12:10-13:1; Jeremiah 30:7; Hebrews 9,10). As Christians we have the responsibility to share our faith and the meaning of these great symbols and types associated with these High Holy Days.