The Jewish New Year can be celebrated in different ways. Warm, fun, and food-centric with festive meals and treats, but also quiet and symbolic. Wish others a happy new year with, “L’shanah tovah” (For a good year), which is part of a longer phrase meaning, “May you be inscribed and sealed [in the Book of Life] for a good and sweet new year.” And blow the shofar to declare God the King of the Universe.
Rosh Hashanah, meaning Head of the Year, includes reflective prayer and meditation on repentance. There is a custom of Tashlich, meaning to cast, where we go to a body of flowing water, water with life, and cast bread into it, representing casting our sins. It’s symbolic of God casting our sins into the sea of forgetfulness (Micah 17:18-19), where he remembers our wrongdoings no more, and they are carried away (along with the old year). I personally don’t know many people who actually do this. I haven’t always done this, but let’s be honest; we ought to repent daily. A daily renewal with the Lord is required if we want to go higher and deeper with our most holy God.
I’m Messianic. And this Hebrew year 5784 is an important one for believers, the Ecclesia, the called-out ones of the faith, the church. The year will necessitate continual repentance and a steadfast abiding with Yeshua. This is a message he’s been communicating for a while. Our need to be girded up and ready. Seek his face, living moment-to-moment with him. Keeping mindful of him, his voice, his guidance. Stay close.
So Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit, compelled me to do something different. Led to a weeklong fast preceding the new year, I performed Tashlich during my fast, but was instructed to take only three small pieces of bread. I rolled the pieces so they resembled little doughy balls. Wrapped them up and took them to a designated brook; I reflected, repented, tossed the bread balls in, and they submerged partway in the clear water but floated there. I prayed, and I felt the Lord’s hand on me when he received my offering; I felt his warmth and smile. It was very sweet. Then the balls erupted into a hundred fragments and began to move, floating away toward the connecting river. I sensed the words: small beginning, large increase. Then heard him say, “I will bless you immeasurably.” I broke the fast by the Lord’s appointment at 3:33 on Friday, and with the sweetness of apples dipped in honey.
If you’re wondering about the significance of the number 3, the meaning of it depends on the context. The Lord has been highlighting 3 lately in a variety of ways to see, hear, and receive. In this, it’s a reminder of hope… of new beginnings, advanced blessing of undertakings, purity, walking with assurance of identity in Yeshua, and as connected to a land flowing with milk and honey—such as the promised land that the Israelites entered. Yes. This is a good year.
L’shanah tovah tikateivu v’teichateimu.