Articles on Yom Teruah
The Feast of Trumpets, Yom Teruah, is a day when the Shofar is blown to awaken Israel to an amazing event. (Amos 3:6) It is a call to Israel for the coming judgment and the return of Messiah Yeshua. Zephaniah 1:14 The great day of Yahweh is near, it is near, and comes quickly, even the voice of the day of Yahweh: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. Zephaniah 1:16 A day of the trumpet (Shofar) and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. Yom Teruah is the first seventh month feast falling directly on the day that the new moon is seen. It is the only feast specifically commanded by Yahweh to be kept on the new moon day.
The seventh time the shofar is blown to proclaim the new moon in Yahweh's calendar is the month of Ethanim, the seventh month. Yom Teruah is the beginning of the count for all the seventh month moedim. If Israel was not ready for the Day of Atonement, the tenth day of Ethanim, the High Priest would surely not survive his commanded sprinkling of blood in the holy of holies. Yom Kippur is a holy time and the nine days between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur are a time to prepare and a time to be thankful that Yeshua is Messiah and High Priest. Atonement was the only time that the High Priest was allowed to enter the holy of holies for ceremony. This is an important testimony to the amount of preparation we are to make for the Day of Atonement. The only chance that we have to survive spiritually is in the following of Yeshua's example. One of the commands for example that Yeshua observed is the set apart Yom Teruah.Scriptural Evidence
In Leviticus 23 we find that Yahweh gives instruction to keep the weekly and annual Sabbaths. In the seventh month on the first day we are to keep Yom Teruah. Yahweh calls this feast Zikarown Teruah, which is translated as the memorial of the blowing of trumpets. Yom Teruah is called a holy convocation which means that it is a day when Yahweh's people are to come together in worship.
Leviticus 23:23-25 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 'You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh.'
The Hebrew word for "trumpets" is not actually found in Leviticus 23:24 the Hebrew "teruah" is translated blowing of trumpets. This is a memorial to commemorate a future start of the Messianic Kingdom with the return of Messiah Yeshua. Since Yom Teruah relates to the seventh new moon it shows the perfection of Yahweh's plan for salvation through Messiah Yeshua. This is also a connection between the torah and Messiah. The blowing of the shofar was the thunder that the children of Israel heard when Moses was given the law on Mt. Sinai.
Exodus 20:18-20And all the people saw the thunder, and the lightning, and the noise of the trumpet (shofar), and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed themselves, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, You speak with us, and we will hear: but don't let Elohim speak with us, or we will die. And Moses said to the people, Fear not: for Elohim is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, so that you don't sin.
The word "trumpet" in Exodus 20:18 is the Hebrew word "shofar" (Strong's #7782). This loud shofar blast really scared the people so much so that they asked Moses to speak with Yahweh for them. Solomon was inspired to write that the fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 9:10) Yeshua demonstrated this wisdom throughout his life by giving the glory to Yahweh. We must forsake evil and live like Yeshua! Sin should be the farthest thing from our mind. We are Yeshua's chosen if we live as he teaches.
The sacrifice that Yeshua the Messiah gave to cleanse his people has given each of us the ability to step from the waters of immersion without sin. Sin is an immense problem today just as it has been since the beginning of time. People of the world do evil today that would have never even been thought of thirty years ago. The world is perpetually accepting sin but those that do follow Yahweh are condemned as being unloving or legalistic. (John 15:18-27) The truth is that if we love one another we look out for one another. Yom Teruah shows that we must be ready at all times because as in the time of Noah people of the world went about their business as if nothing was wrong. They missed the boat and all the signs of the impending flood. (Mat. 24:35-39) There was only one family that Yahweh found uncorrupted. Conform to Yahweh and He will inform you of impending disaster just as He did with Noah.
We have to be careful always watching what we allow in our lives. Cleansing in our own lives starts with Messiah Yeshua. The cleansing can be painful but like a cut once it is healed we don't cut ourselves again. Yeshua has given us the path to the Father through a different life than the world. Part of that different life can be found in Yom Teruah which is a feast of joy for the return of Messiah Yeshua. At the last blast of the shofar on Yom Teruah, we look for the change to an imperishable form. (1Cor. 15:50-57)
Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'In the seventh month on the first of the month, you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD'" (Leviticus 23:24-25).
After coming to faith in Messiah Yeshua, I was delighted to see that trumpets played such a significant role in Scriptures. In fact, what is traditionally called Yom Teruah, or Jewish New Year, is also called in the Scriptures Yom HaTeruah, which means the "Day of the Blowing of Trumpets."
Jewish tradition purports that the blowing of trumpets is a reminder of the shofars (the shofar is made from a ram's horn) that Joshua and the Israelites used at Jericho, and also the horn of the ram that Abraham sacrificed in place of Isaac.
However, Scripture reveals much more about the prophetic meaning of the Feast of Trumpets. This feast points forward to a time when Israel will be gathered back to the land (Isaiah 27:13). Also, it points to the time when Messiah will return (1 Corinthians 15:51,52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). Essentially there are two types of trumpets mentioned in the Bible: the ram's horn, and the silver trumpets....
The ritual most frequently associated with Yom Teruah, the Jewish New Year (in most English translations of the Bible called the Feast of Trumpets*), is the sounding of the shofar (ram's horn) in the synagogue. By Jewish tradition, a person who has not listened to the shofar has not observed the day. Hearing the shofar means obedience to one of God's 248 positive commandments to Israel found in the Pentateuch, or Torah. Rabbis have said that the mitzvah (commandment) is not fulfilled by merely hearing the shofar, as if by accident, but that the hearer must listen with the specific kavanah (intention) of fulfilling the biblical commandment. To enhance this observance of Yom Teruah, various rabbis have suggested kavanot, or ideas implied in the sounding of the shofar, upon which to focus.
The biblical command to hear the shofar is expressed in Numbers 29:1:
"And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work, For you it is a day of blowing the trumpets [shofarim]."
The word "trumpets" does not appear in the Hebrew text, but is implied. Nor does the word shofar ever appear in the Hebrew text of the Torah in connection with the holiday Jewish people call Yom Teruah. In the passage quoted above, the holiday is simply called Yom T'ruah, a day of blowing. However, it means more than simply "blowing" a trumpet or ram's horn.
Three basic trumpet calls are sounded in the synagogue during the Yom Teruah service. The first is the simple t'kiyah, one long, sustained blast. In ancient Israel, the t'kiyah was a reassuring sound. It signalled that the watchmen guarding the city were on duty and all was well. That sound periodically divided up the watches of the day and night....
The Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) was celebrated at the beginning of the month Tishri, the first month of the civil year. It was one of the seven days of holy convocation. Tishri is the seventh month of the Biblical calendar, and as such parallels the Sabbath as a special and holy time to seek God. The previous month of Elul is the time of preparation just as Friday is the Day of Preparation for Shabbat. This season is a time of reflection, contemplation, and putting things in order and getting right our relationship with God.
God named the other holidays, Sabbath, Passover, Day of Atonement, etc.; however, this holiday has no name. Its simply referred to as Yom Teruah (the day of the sounding of the shofar), so it became known as the Feast of Trumpets, a special day calling attention to the coming holy daythe Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). A shofar (rams horn) is blown during the Feast of Trumpets service.
Leviticus 23 calls the blowing of trumpets a memorial but does not say what it is a memorial of. Many believe it is a memorial of Gods grace to Abraham when He substituted a ram to be sacrificed instead of Isaac (Gen. 22). It is also regarded by both Jews and Messianic Believers as a memorial of the creation of the world, at which the sons of God shouted for joy (Job 38:7). This holiday was the new years day, on which the people rejoiced in a grateful remembrance of Gods benefits and implored His blessing for the future year.
The Scriptures tell us the Jewish New Year actually was to begin at Passover in the spring, and seven months later the Feast of Trumpets is observed on the first day of the seventh month. So, how did we Jewish people come up with a New Year in the seventh month?
Well, we're creative. But seriously, this idea developed around 2400 years ago when we came out of Babylonian captivity in the month of Tishri, (a Babylonian word meaning a beginning), and we adopted the Babylonian civil New Year as our own.
Traditional ObservanceYom Teruah introduces the most serious season on the Jewish calendar know as "The Days of Awe", a 10 day period that leads to Yom Kippur. It's a time of soul searching, of making things right with God, and with one's neighbors. Jewish people celebrate Yom Teruah through various rituals including traditional foods; greeting one another with L'shana tovah tikatayvu", which means "May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a happy year!"; observing the custom of "Tashlich", a 500 year-old tradition practiced by going to the sea shore (or river bank) where participants toss breadcrumbs into the water as prayers are said regarding God's forgiveness (see Mic. 7:19). The central aspect of Yom Teruah services is the sounding of the shofar, or ram's horn. The shofar brings to memory God's provision of the ram that Abraham sacrificed in place of his only son, Isaac. Biblically, the shofar has more of a future, prophetic perspective. But the Scriptures require more than ritual to obtain forgiveness from God, and as meaningful as tradition may be, a New Years celebration may only update last year's problems and pain. The issue of a New Year should be A New Life. Traditionally it is seen as the time that your name is written in the "Book of Life" for the coming year. The Bible, though, teaches that the Lord will give the free gift of New Life at any time to all who will come to Him. One day, Israel will nationally receive this new life when they look to Messiah Yeshua (Zech. 12:10), even as we individually may receive it now by faith in Him. The prophet Ezekiel reveals the gift of new life that God wants us to have... .
n the 1st day of the Seventh month (Tishrei) the Torah commands us to observe the holy day of Yom Teruah which means “Day of Shouting” (Lev 23:23-25; Nu 29:1-6). Yom Teruah is a day of rest on which work is forbidden. One of the unique things about Yom Teruah is that the Torah does not say what the purpose of this holy day is. The Torah gives at least one reason for all the other holy days and two reasons for some. The Feast of Matzot (Unleavened Bread) commemorates the Exodus from Egypt but it is also a celebration of the beginning of the barley harvest (Exodus 23:15; Lev 23:4–14). The Feast of Shavuot (Weeks) is a celebration of the wheat harvest (Ex 23:16; 34:22). Yom Ha-Kippurim is a national day of atonement as described in great detail in Leviticus 16. Finally the Feast of Sukkot (Booths) commemorates the wandering of the Israelites in the desert but it is also a celebration of the ingathering of agricultural produce (Ex 23:16). In contrast to all these Torah festivals, Yom Teruah has no clear purpose other than that we are commended to rest on this day.
The name of Yom Teruah may provide a clue as to its purpose. Teruah literally means to make a loud noise. This word can describe the noise made by a trumpet but it also describes the noise made by a large gathering of people shouting in unison (Nu 10:5–6). For example,
And it shall come to pass when the ram’s horn makes a long blast, when you hear the sound of the shofar, the entire nation will shout a great shout, and the wall of the city shall fall in its place, and the people shall go up as one man against it.” (Joshua 6:5)
In this verse the word “shout” appears twice, once as the verb form of Teruah and a second time as the noun form of Teruah. Although this verse mentions the sound of the shofar (ram’s horn), the two instances of Teruah both refer to the shouting in unison of the Israelites which was followed by the fall of the walls of Jericho.
While the Torah does not explicitly tell us the purpose of Yom Teruah its name may indicate that it is intended as a day of public prayer. The verb form of Teruah often refers to the noise made by a gathering of the faithful calling out to the Almighty in unison
his feast is the first feast after the long summer - it is the first month that marks the beginning of the harvest. The crops have been growing all summer - with no Biblical Feast - now comes Yom Teruah - the first feast which heralds the beginning of the harvest.
This regathering - is not just of the harvest, but as we shall see points to the next great spiritual event in God's timetable - when He returns to gather His elect to Himself
Feast of Trumpets - Day of Blowing
Trumpets played an important role in ancient Israel:
- Guided through the wilderness
- Warned of enemy attack
- Marked the beginning of special days
In fact the day of God's gathering of believers to Himself will be marked with the blowing of trumpet - (Mat 24:31; I Thess 4:16-18)
According to Rabbinic teaching the trumpet blowing on Yom Teruah served two purposes:
- The trumpet sound served to call to repentance. It was a call to the dead (spiritually) to arise and live again, to wake up from sin to regeneration through repentance - indeed this appears to be the background to John the Immerser's and Yeshua's teaching - Repent the Kingdom of God is at hand, and also Paul's admonition in - Eph 5:14
- Secondly - it's purpose was to remind the people of their covenant relationship to the Lord/li>
In fact (Num. 10:9-10) tells us specifically that the purpose of the Day of Trumpets is " a reminder of you before the Lord God." Not a reminder of them, but rather a day to remember God's graciousness
This year at Yom Teruah - many observant Jews, will take time to remember and reflect on their relationship with God. We too need to take time - at least yearly - but more often than that - to look back and take careful inventory of our walk with God - thinking about what He has done for us, and what He desires of us. The trumpets are also a call to repentance - we too need to reflect on our own lack of obedience, failure to serve, and lack of commitment