Good morning, everyone. This would normally be the week I would share the monthly installment of “How My Garden Grows.” However, due to the High Holidays, I am going to postpone it until next week. Because I’ve had questions about the Jewish holidays, I thought I’d share a bit about Yom Kippur with you in this post.
Tonight, at sundown, Yom Kipppur begins. It is the Day of Atonement, the highest holy day of the year. On this day, when the Temple stood in Jerusalem, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies in the Temple. It was the only day of the year he was allowed to do so. There, in the Holy of Holies, the blood sacrifice was offered for the forgiveness of the sins of Israel. Meanwhile, all of Israel fasted and prayed for 24 hours, that their sins may be forgiven.
Today, we have no temple. But we follow the Biblical command to fast and pray, beginning at sundown tonight through sundown tomorrow. Yom Kippur is the culmination of the Ten Days of Awe, beginning with Rosh Hashana (Yom Teruah/the Jewish New Year).
On Rosh Hashana, Elohim (God) opens the books in heaven and examines our hearts to see if we will be inscribed for a year of life and blessing (or not) – based on our repentance. (Of course, this isn’t the only day we can ask for forgiveness, but it is a set time for deep introspection.) The shofar (ram’s horn) is blown 100 times on that day as a call to self-examination, repentance, and forgiving of our fellow man. On Yom Kippur, we fast and pray, making sure that our hearts are clean before Him who created us.
At the end of Yom Kippur (which will be Wednesday evening at sundown), the shofar is blown again (the Last Trump – for those who are familiar with the term 😉 ), and the books in heaven are closed. What’s written, is written.
This year is a special Yom Kippur. When the shofar is blown at the end of the day, the Year of Jubilee begins. Every 50 years, there is a Jubilee, during which all slaves are set free, all debt is forgiven, all land that was sold is returned to the original family, etc. It is THE year of freedom! How exciting to experience my first (and only – unless I live another 50 years) Jubilee!!
For those who will be fasting tonight and tomorrow, I wish you an easy fast. And may Elohim’s Spirit be upon us. May our hearts be found open to Him. May forgiveness flow from our hearts to others, so that His forgiveness may flow from His heart to ours. May we be inscribed – and remain – in His Book of Life for a year of walking with Him in faithfulness and obedience, with His blessings.
And may you and your family find the King of the Jubilee, with Salvation in His hands – that He will set you free from all bondage of sin, debt, sickness, fear, despair, etc. so you may experience only His love and His blessing.