shofar

The Unexpected Appearance of Rosh Hashanah

I never know from day to day if I’ll ever write here again, but something just happened that caught me completely by surprise and I think it’s relevant.

My wife said she’d be going to shul tonight. I knew the High Holidays were coming up, but for the first time in a long time, I haven’t been keeping tabs on the exact dates. I don’t regularly read my email updates from Aish or Chabad anymore. And (gasp) I’ve stopped regularly reading the Torah portion.

That last part was initially because between the gym, yard work, and my “honey do” list, I didn’t have a lot of free time on Saturday, and by the time I did, my brain was too fried to really get much out of study. Also, I’ve been doing a free-lance project that I try to cram into my weekends.

Anyway, for a variety of reasons I’ve stated in previous blogs, I’ve become increasingly disconnected from the world of Messianic Judaism or any Judaism for that matter.

I wish I could say I’ve become increasingly connected with God through some other avenue, but this is not the case. My vague plans for forging a more one-on-one relationship with God haven’t come to fruition, primarily because I find other things to do with my time.

But I have, to a large degree, ceased to employ Judaism in any form to be the interface or conduit between me and God. The Church convinced me that I don’t belong within traditional Christianity and I’ve gotten a creeping suspicion over the last months or maybe even years, that I’ve been fighting a losing battle in believing that, even as a “Noahide-style” Gentile, I had a place within Messianic Jewish (online or otherwise) community.

And so I now have the proof that it is possible for me to pull away. Actually, I have two proofs. The first is the increasingly long gaps between making one blog post to another here. The second, and this is very dramatic to me, is forgetting all about Rosh Hashanah.

I wouldn’t have noticed at all if my wife hadn’t mentioned it. In fact, she just walked out the door to leave for synagogue.

So what is my morning meditation if it isn’t found in this place anymore? The very last vestige of what I’m beginning to think of as my former life is that I still mentally recite the Modeh Ani blessing when I first wake up, thanking God for returning my life to me each morning.

Interestingly enough, it was this blessing that I based my very first blog post here upon.

Gratitude to God for waking up alive each morning. A basic awareness that my life and everything in it is dependant on God’s grace and mercy.

Tonight, my Jewish wife is going to synagogue. It’s Rosh Hashanah. That’s where a Jew belongs on the Jewish New Year. May God grant her a sweet and good life in the coming year. But that doesn’t mean it signifies any sort of new beginning for me…at least not anymore.

I have to admit that it probably was arrogant presumption on my part to believe it ever did.

Tomorrow is Monday. Time to hit the gym and then go to work. The reinvention of whatever I am is going slowly.

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5 thoughts on “The Unexpected Appearance of Rosh Hashanah”

  1. It is very difficult to keep the moedim of G-d when no one around you is noticing it, but even if one does recall it, it is difficult to put the right thoughts to bear on the occasion.

    The New Year is supposed to be a time of beginning again, of promises to oneself of doing better, yet if you are constantly looking back at the past, and trying to change into something better than you have been frequently, you have New Year’s day on a regular basis.

    Perhaps we should always keep a jar of honey nearby for dipping an apple slice in, so that a sweet New Year is instituted every time we turn over a new leaf in our lives.

  2. Feeling like there is no place for you to ‘fit in’? I listened to a Rabbi, “Divine Information” Rabbi Mizrachi and he said something that made me laugh. He mentioned (oops, I hope I am not confusing him with a different Rabbi) people going to a Tzaddik’s grave to pray but clarified it isn’t like the Christians, but hoping the merit of the Tzaddik will get their prayer heard. In practice that isn’t much different than Christians only our Tzaddik isn’t in the grave. I have had to take a breather due to anger at some of the anti-Yeshua slander by some of the Orthodox blogs. Do you know they think if they read the New Testament they will not enter the world to come? How’s that for suppressing truth! But they are HaShem’s Chosen to be the light to the nations! As a nation, HaShem blinded them as an act of mercy. Had He not blinded them upon their rejection, they would not exist as a nation to be His Kingdom of Priests. IMHO, they would have fully assimilated among the nations. But one day, He will pour His Spirit upon them, and all will know Him from the least unto the greatest. How I long for that day! When His Kingdom comes the nations are going to have to humble themselves and acknowledge Israel as the head of the nations and His Chosen, but wait, as a nation, they will have to acknowledge Yeshua Ha Mashiach as Lord to the glory of G-d the Father. I’ll keep visiting the blogs and various Rabbis. I find it fascinating how often one will say something that reminds me of the Apostle Paul! PS..one of the things I have learned is to pray after the meal as well. My simple prayer, “Lord, when I am full and satisfied, may I not forget you.” Mornings are not so easy for me. I suppose I need more mussar. I learned that from your blog!
    Shalom-

  3. OK, James — So you stopped paying attention and a primary Jewish yom-tov escaped your notice until the last minute. But you recognize that you’re not Jewish, so you figure it’s not such an earth-shaking oversight. Fair enough, except for two considerations: one, the yom-tov should hold some significance for you simply as a recurrent biblical event which carries information that pertains to all those dedicated to HaShem, including Rav Yeshua’s gentile disciples; two, you are married to a Jewish woman and thus you bear some supportive responsibilities, particularly as one of Rav Yeshua’s disciples. Since you do know what is a kal v’homer argument, I will offer such by pointing out that if gentile disciples were expected per Acts 15:21 to learn Torah from Jewish sources every Shabbat in synagogues, then certainly they would have been expected to learn similarly from the teachings concerning prescribed Jewish observances on special occasions such as these holy convocations.

    That having been said, Sukkot is coming up, and you should probably give some consideration to how much you are willing to pursue practical enactments of the anticipated messianic era in which Zachariah envisioned the requirement for gentiles to celebrate Sukkot and the aspects of it that imply redemption for the nations. The above essay seems to indicate that you’ve pulled away too far, and perhaps that you’ve begun to acknowledge it.

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