At sundown today, the holiday of Rosh HaShanah begins! Rabbinically it is a 2-day holiday. It is a festive time for families to get together and to go to the synagogue to hear the blowing of the shofar. This is the kick-off of the Fall Festivals.
This festival is commonly called today Rosh HaShanah or the Jewish New Year. However, in the Torah there are two similar names given to this appointed day. In Leviticus 23:24, the term זכרון תרועה appears, which means the Memorial of Sounding. The term “sounding” refers to the sounding of the Ram’s Horn, i.e. the Shofar. The term יום תרועה (Yom Teruah), the Day of Sounding, is found in Numbers 29:2. Once again, the emphasis of this festival relates to the Shofar. The fact that the Sages of Judaism mandated that Genesis chapter 22 be read on this festival explains a great deal. This chapter is about Abraham’s offering up Izchak (Isaac). At the last moment, the Angel commands Abraham not to harm his son, but there is provided in place of Izchak a ram, which is caught by his horns. It is in memorial to this event that the Shofar is sounded. What is the theological significance of this festival?
Izchak is known as the child of the promise (see Paul’s teaching in Galatians 4:23). This means that the Ram was provided by G-d so that the covenantal promises which G-d had made to Abraham would not die. Hence, on the festival of the Sounding, communing called the Feast of Trumpets, one should remember what HaShem provided so the one that has faith, like Abraham, can receive the outcome of the Covenant, i.e. the Kingdom.
It is not a coincidence that it is the Sounding of a Trumpet which will accompany what Paul calls our blessed hope (also known as the Rapture). I shy away from making a statement like others that the Rapture will occur on the Feast of Trumpets; rather, I prefer to state that it is possible to understand many truths concerning the Rapture from what one learns from the Feast of Trumpets.
May you have a blessed holiday!