Updated: Sep 23, 2020
"And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them." ~ Deuteronomy 28:13 (NKJV)
Shana Tova, my friends. A happy Rosh Hashanah (Biblical New Year, later this week) to you!
There are so many themes we could look at as we approach the High Holy-days, but there's one in particular that has stood out for me this week.
There is a great deal of symbolism that comes with the celebration of Rosh Hashanah.
Candles for light.
Wine marks the Siddur as special.
A round challah, to symbolize the cycle of the year (or an apple for prosperity,) is dipped in honey to make way for a year that is sweet.
Honey, because that which can sting also brings that which is sweet and enduring. (Did you know they found 5,500 year old honey in Egypt that was still edible?)
Pomegranate seeds represent a wealth of goodness, that our good deeds and blessings we offer may be as numerous as the seeds of that very fruit.
Aaand... a fish head?
Interestingly, it's the fish head that speaks to this vegan the most this year.
The fish head is used to remind us to be the head and not the tail.
Whether you are a leader in your community, in your workplace, in your home, or simply (and sometimes not so simply) in your own life, we each have a choice to lead or to follow.
To consider the microcosm of our own lives, we can choose to be at the effect of everything that goes on around us, either directly or in the world at large, or we can choose to take every thought captive, to surrender it all before the throne of Grace, and to walk in the presence and bearing of a child of the Most High.
... to be a leader.
... to be the (fish) head and not the tail.
If we do take every thought captive, if we are able to walk out this life in the mind of Christ (as much as humanly possible,) then we can indeed live taking responsibility for our lives, our circumstances, our thoughts, our feelings, our actions, no matter what. Rather than living at the effect of what is taking place outside of us, we have the gift of being the head.
It's remarkably freeing, and I believe it's where part of the gift of the Peace that passes all understanding is rooted.
Continual surrender helps us get there. Obedience helps us get there. Taking responsibility helps us get there.
There are obviously many more complex layers to the holiday, to being the head and not the tail, to living in the mind of Christ, but I have found this to be an excellent foundational beginning.
And, I hope sharing the kernel offers something to you.
As we approach Your New Year, may we each remember to turn our eyes toward You.
May we remember Your Law, as Your Son told us He did not come to change it.
May we remember His sacrifice, may we remember the extraordinary measures You took to claim us, and may we draw nearer to You with every breath.
Through the Days of Awe between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, may we focus our awe appropriately on You, Your presence, and drawing nearer.
Thank You, for helping us to walk in humility and grace, to reach for living this precious gift of life through the Mind of Christ.
As we embark on this new year, thank You for helping us to live as You would have us live, to be who you would have us be in the world.
All these things we most humbly pray, in the name of Your Son, Yeshua.
"He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands." ~ Psalms 78:72 (NLT)
"Do not think that I have come to revoke The Written Law or The Prophets; I am not come to revoke but to fulfill." ~ Matthew 5:17 (ABPE)
"The LORD said to Moses, 'Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. On the first day of the appointed month in early autumn, you are to observe a day of complete rest. It will be an official day for holy assembly, a day commemorated with loud blasts of a trumpet. You must do no ordinary work on that day. Instead, you are to present special gifts to the LORD.'" ~ Leviticus 23:23-25 (NLT)
"And do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind, for you to prove what is the good and well-pleasing and perfect will of God." ~ Romans 12:2 (BLB)
"Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life." ~ Proverbs 4:23 (NASB)
May the Good Lord bless you and keep you, friends... always, in all ways. Amen.
Bonus song of praise... ♥
*** Interesting update... I have since learned (9/23/20) that Rosh Hashanah became the marker for the Jewish New Year only after the Babylonian exile. And, it really became part of the calendar tradition during the second temple period. I haven't gone digging for the evidence myself, but according to a source I would trust, the original Biblical New Year is actually in the spring just before Passover. The marking of Rosh Hashanah as the turning of the calendar came later in Jewish history. His assertion is that this marker is strictly tradition and the Scriptural new year falls on the opposite end of the year. Either way, it is a tradition I am proud to honor alongside my Jewish brothers and sisters, but it is also good to always be willing to look at our practices and dig deeper to better understand. Shana Tova, nonetheless!!! ❤