Friday, September 18, 2009
Shana Tova Umetukah!
I can't believe it's Erev Rosh Hashanah! And Erev Shabbat. It's been a whole year since I first celebrated Rosh Hashanah properly...well to the best of my ability because last year I had school. I also had my driver's test, as I have posted here before. The Lord truly blessed me that day and he made my year very sweet. And no one had ever said shana tova umetukah to me haha which is a Hebrew greeting for wishing someone a "good and sweet year". I don't know what I'll do today to celebrate, since my college gave us the day off, but I do want to make a trip to the grocery store to pick up apples and honey to eat. (which is a traditional R.H food to celebrate the sweetness of YHVH and of the start of a blessed new year) I may also do Tashlikh, which is where participants throw pebbles into flowing water to symbolize the washing away/casting off of sins, something Yeshua has accomplished for me. It's a way for me to remember and incorporate his sacrifice on this Holy Day.
I know I won't be going to the frat parties tonight. I love the Erevs, they give me an excuse to stay in on a Friday night for Shabbat or for other days they happen to fall on. They're so cozy too (haha) because they are always at night and usually candles are lit and it's just a great time to spend with family over a meal, music, etc. Which is much more appetizing than the normal things kids and adults do come the end of the week (fridays/saturdays). While we sit at home spending quality time with God and our families, others are normally doing the opposite and sinning. lol sadddd!!
This coming of a Biblical holiday, which in the Bible is only called Yom Ha-Zikkaron (day of remembrance) and Yom Teruah (day of sounding the shofar), shows me how far I have come. I feel so at peace, like my journey is coming to a stable place. For the past few years I have been drawn to Catholicism and to my biblical "messianic" faith and the guilt caused me to bounce back and forth between the two. When a Jewish holiday came up, I'd sometimes miss it because I thouht being a Catholic meant I could NEVER return to the OT traditions, and when Lent or Easter, etc came around, I'd miss it because I would reason that YHVH despised the Church and so should I. Only a week or so ago did I find this balance I had been praying for. I knew God was calling me to the Catholic Church, but I couldn't figure out why. I also knew observing shabbat, the feasts, and keeping kosher was drawing me closer to him than I had previously been as a Catholic. I didn't know where to go, except to His feet in prayer. And now as the Biblical New Year is almost here, I can honor and worship God in true shalom.
When holidays come around, it makes me think that someday I'll have my own family and thus someone to celebrate with. Right now I am kind of alone, though my mother is excited to hear I am going to be celebrating All Saints/All Souls day this year. We never did when I was a kid, but I told her I wanted to make soul cakes with her, go to mass, and other things to make the day a special day for God, and for us spiritually. She is really happy (as am I! I have a worship buddy now haha), i don't know if it is simply because I am not abandoning my Catholic faith, or because she wants to dig deeper into her own. Probably a mixture of both, but I have noticed a difference. She is very vocal about prayer now, and trusting in YHVH, which makes me smile :) She used to be all unitarian saying blasphemous things like "maybe krishna is God" :O ah!!!!!!! haha well thankfully that phase is being put to rest.
I reccomend reading this website for those who do NOT celebrate the biblical feasts. I'm not trying to persuade you that you should observe the holidays or anything, but it's a way to kind of show you why I do. I love them because YHVH instituted them himself and they all have inklings of the messiah in them :) Rosh Hashanah especially reminds me God had protected me for a whole year, and now as the new year approaches, He determines my fate. I don't want to enter into a new year in sin or forgetting Him and His appointed times, I want to be a vessel for Him. I want to be an instrument in His plans and spread His Word. So this is a great time to look back on the past year, the sins you committed, and spiritual growth you achieved and then look forward to all you want to accomplish and do for Him! It's simply a great day for everyone to remember God in a special way, a day of real scrutinty of ourselves. The tradition goes that God inscribes our fate during Rosh Hashanah, but we can change our fate during the days following, the Days of Awe, before Yom Kippur, through Teshuvah (repentence), Tefilah (prayer), and Tzedakah (good deeds/charity). All things Jesus taught ;) So remember the 3 T's this holiday season! I hope all who celebrate have a great Rosh Hashanah!
So I will leave you with...