The shofar is blowing – are you ready?
By Tal Haroni
Rosh Hashanah, also known as the Day of Trumpet in the Bible, is a unique holiday marked by the resounding blast of the shofar, an ancient musical instrument with deep symbolic significance. While many might perceive it as a simple tradition, the blowing of the trumpet carries a profound meaning that connects it to pivotal moments in history and holds spiritual significance.
God’s Public Revelation
Exodus 19:16 states, “On the morning of the third day, there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled.”
This event, when the Israelites received the Torah on Mount Sinai, featured a shofar blast that seemed to radiate from heaven. This trumpet, the shofar, symbolizes God’s public revelation to His people as if the sound of heaven were connecting to the earth. When we stand and listen to the shofar blowing, we can imagine the Kingdom of heaven touching the earth, as if the heavens open with a resounding signal of the veil between here and there being torn. So think about it whenever you hear the sound of the shofar – the veil has been torn and we have free access to the heavens.
Symbol of Surrender
The shofar, typically made from a ram’s horn, recalls the story of Abraham’s sacrifice on Mount Moriah, where a ram was offered in place of Isaac (Genesis 22:13). This connection symbolizes a full surrender of oneself to God, demonstrating humility and obedience. In addition, when you take the horn of the ram, you’ll find it full of flesh, much like how God found each of us initially brimming with fleshly ideas and desires. However, a process of emptying oneself to God begins, just as Yeshua did when He emptied Himself and gave His life for us. We, too, empty ourselves so that when God breathes His Spirit into us, like the shofar, we can make His message clearer and serve Him more effectively. This journey with the Lord lasts a lifetime.
The Day of Redemption
Isaiah 27:13 prophesies, “And in that day, a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.”
According to the book of Isaiah, the trumpet blast is also associated with the day of redemption, signifying the arrival of the Messiah. The sound of the shofar on the Day of Trumpet reminds believers of the seven trumpet blasts mentioned in the Book of Revelation, alluding to future prophetic events. It encourages us to prepare ourselves for the coming of our Messiah, Yeshua. We can prepare the way for His return by sharing the gospel with others, caring for the poor, and showing love to the people around us.
The Mystery of Timing
The question that often arises is why the Day of Trumpet is limited to a specific day rather than being a daily occurrence. After all, according to what was shared above, it should be. It’s mentioned in Leviticus 23:24, but not only there. In Nehemiah 8:1-2, Ezra the scribe is recorded as bringing the Book of the Law of Moses before the people on the first day of the seventh month. Though the people initially reacted with tears of repentance, as happens to us when God is speaking to us through His word and we see our sins, they were encouraged to celebrate, eat, drink, and exchange gifts. Though it’s a day of solemn rest, it’s also a day of celebration. This celebration on a specific date emphasizes the importance of designated times for reflection and renewal.
The Day of Trumpet, known as Rosh Hashanah in Judaism, is far more than a mere tradition. It symbolizes God’s revelation, surrender to divine will, and the anticipation of redemption. The timing of this holiday encourages reflection and renewal, while the shofar blast serves as a reminder of significant future events. We invite you to take this time to reflect on these things, not just to connect yourself to the Jewish people but to know the deep meaning of this feast.