Glimpses of Israel - The Seventh Month

The seventh month starts literally with a blast.

The first day of the seventh month is "a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation" (Leviticus 23:24), known as the Feast of Trumpets.

Because the first day of the seventh month traditionally marks the beginning of time, when God created the heavens and the earth, it is also known as Rosh Hashana (head of the Year). Subsequently, this is Year 5770 since the beginning of time.

The tenth day of the seventh month is a solemn occasion. It is Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). It is a time of self-examination and repentance when the people of Israel afflict their souls as they consider the One before whom they stand, the One whom they represent on earth – He who is Judge of All the Earth. In the days of the Temple, the people of Israel would wait anxiously for the High Priest to reappear to confirm that they had received atonement for their sins.

Israel is not the only beneficiary of this holy day. According to tradition, the nations are also presented before God to be judged. However, since the destruction of the Temple, the Holy of Holies lies in ruins, and the High Priest no longer appears. Sadly, the powerful imagery associated with this awesome day was lost to antiquity. Yet, reports indicate that the rebuilding of the Temple is not far away. Perhaps the nations will again soon see and experience the glory of this awesome day.

The Feast of Sukkot, or Tabernacles, is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. The feast continues for seven consecutive days, during which the people of Israel live in temporary dwellings built from " . . . branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook . . . " (Leviticus 23:40), a reminder of when their ancestors dwelt in tents for forty years. And then on the next day, the eighth day of Sukkot, Israel celebrates a holy day in which they are to do no customary work. It is a day of sacred assembly.

Where else would you rather be than in Israel, during the seventh month?