Teshuvah (40 Days of Repentance)





On August 17th at sunset – September 24th at sunset, devout Jews all over the world will enter a new year. This date comes from counting the time of the creation of Adam, to this year’s Feast of Trumpets, also known as Rosh Hashanah, meaning the head of the year.

Many Jewish traditions are linked to this special day of the year. The feast itself was established by God during Israel’s wilderness journey. It was a special convocation in which 100 blasts of the trumpets was heard.

Originally, this was simply the fifth feast in the order of seven feasts and the Hebrew New Year would have been centered in the month of Nissan, in the spring, the same month as Passover.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the be ginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” – Exodus 12:1-2

As time progressed the secular Jewish New Year became the seventh month and the first day at the blowing of the trumpets. Between this day and the Day of Atonement were ten days, known as the Days of Awe, in which the supernatural word of God and the angels were open to the repentance and intercession of God’s chosen.

Trumpets was special, as it was believed by Jewish tradition to be the day when Adam was created and the Day of Atonement was believed to be the day when Adam sinned and God atoned with covering Adam and Eve with the skins of two animals.

Each year, the Gentile nations put on a celebration to prepare for the New Year, on December 31st and welcome the arrival of the new beginning at 1 second after midnight beginning January 1st. God’s calendar however is still based upon the cycles of the moon and the Feasts.

This yearly cycle begins on the first day of Elul and concludes on the Day of Atonement – making a total of forty days of Teshuvah.

During these forty days a person should perform self-examination and remove from their life any spiritual hindrance, repent of any sins, and ask your fellow man for forgiveness if you have offended them or sinned against them. The reason for this spiritual reflection is that your heart will be pure before God and that He will make a good decision for you, for the coming year.

I have written on this subject in the past and indicated that while we should never delay our giving and repentance for a certain time of the year. Repent the moment we have sinned, forgive the moment we are confronted, and give continually as an act of love toward God.

However, just like the F easts of Israel were set seasons each year with certain sacrifices and rituals to be performed in Jerusalem by the priest, this season was also important as the Days of Awe must be set to lead to the Seasons of Joy, which arrive at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles!

Set aside this season to pray, reflect, make amends toward others and plant a special seasons of God offering.

We are coming up on significant times with the conclusion of the Sabbath Year in September and a Jubilee Year following.

Hmmmm, what does God have for you…just around the corner?


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