How is Rosh HaShanah Celebrated in Israel?

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September 21st, 2020
Holidays, Member Ministry / By

Director of Be’ad Chaim Shares Personal Experience

Sandy Shoshani, director of Be’ad Chaim, a nonprofit that fights for the lives of the unborn, shared with FIRM what Rosh HaShanah – the Jewish New Year means to her. 

Normally, when there are no lockdowns nor a pandemic, our family would get together for a festive meal on the eve of Rosh HaShanah. Our gatherings sometimes would reach even 30 people! Oded and I have seven children and nine grandchildren. With our children’s spouses and even their extended families, our holiday celebrations can get quite crowded. 

It’s a special couple of days for us. We have a pomegranate tree in our garden, and we’ve been enjoying its fruit every year. This year, it seems especially abundant! We take it as a very encouraging sign, a gift from the Lord. The pomegranate fruit is very priestly. It was attached to the priestly robes (Exodus 39:24-26) for service and was included in Temple design. In combination with the fruit’s crown, it can be seen as a symbol for a servant king. 

Apart from pomegranate, our tables are filled with apples, dates, grapes and honey. This is the time to be thankful, and we enjoy as a family coming before the Lord to thank Him for His blessings over the course of the year. 

Before I came to know Yeshua (Jesus), my family went to the synagogue on Rosh HaShanah, but I didn’t see gratitude there. It felt like we were following many regulations. Today, gathering around the table with our loved ones feels a lot more spiritual. We take this time to look back at what God brought us through, and we look ahead to what He has for us. 

Feasts are ordained in the Bible and it is our honor and joy to observe them in a way that God commanded. But we remember that this time is all about His love and not just rules. We celebrate the freedom from sin we’ve been given in the Messiah Yeshua. 

A Complete Guide to the High Holidays

Nevertheless, biblically this is Feast of Trumpets, and there is no mention of a new year. Every morning in Jerusalem we hear the sound of the shofar, blasting from different households and synagogues. The Jewish people blow the shofars regularly in this season, just as we are commanded (Leviticus 23:24). 

Our hope is to hear the shofar calling that the Lord is near. It is a sound of victory and it announces the king. The sound of the shofar makes me think of victory, which we attain not by fighting but raising our voices to the Lord. But the shofar is also a signal to be prepared. On Rosh HaShanah, the blast of the shofar readies us for Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement. 

Sandy Shoshani has been the National Director of Be’ad Chaim since 2005, and is an advocate for the protection of mothers in crisis pregnancy and the unborn.  

Be’ad Chaim promotes and preserves life in Israel by offering viable alternatives to abortion. The organization offers resources for mothers in need, pregnancy counseling, as well as education and supplies.

Learn More About Be’ad Chaim

You can show your support for Sandy and her ministry by sending a gift today! By giving through FIRM, you can be sure that 100% of your gift will go directly to Be’ad Chaim:

Be’ad Chaim is a pro-life organization dedicated to assisting pregnant & single mothers in Israel.

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FIRM Member Ministry
FIRM Member Ministries are dedicated to the work of the Kingdom of God and serving the people of Israel. The ministries proclaim the name of Yeshua (Jesus) as the only way to the Father in Heaven and bring hope to the hopeless. FIRM creates opportunities for believers to engage and connect to trusted ministries in Israel. We exist to serve and promote the vision of our Member Ministries by providing practical tools, finances, and resources.
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