I can understand why many Messianic Jews may not necessarily pay attention to the DAYS OF AWE, seeing as there’s no biblical instruction to the effect. However Jewish tradition ascribes several activities to the days extending from the FEAST OF TRUMPETS/Rosh Hashannah (which was last Thursday, the 21st of September), to the DAY OF ATONEMENT/Yom Kippur (next Sabbath, 30th September, 2017), spanning a period of ten days. You will find my treatises on the feast of trumpet, which is the Jewish New Year (not to be mistaken for the Beginning of Months/Ecclesiastical year in the month of Abib, that usually falls in April) and day of Atonement on my blogs, helpful for further information about observance and the likes.
I haven’t written about the Days Of Awe in the past because like most Messianic Jews I hadn’t really paid attention to it, though I may not have necessarily ignored the things that must be done within the ten days. In writing this, it is my intention to draw attention to it, as the benefits of fulfilling the tenets therein are immense as well as spiritually uplifting, so much so that I have been wondering why I hadn’t seen it in this light before now. The Feast of Trumpets, heralds the New Year, and is known as the Head Of The Year, in this case 5778. I’m aware Muslims had theirs the day after, coincidentally on Juma’at. It is described by Jews as the day the world was created, a kind of anniversary of the creation of the world. It also signifies the day in which a book is opened whereby the (mis)deeds of the past year are recorded. The day of atonement is when that book is closed and a new chapter, a tabula rasa is afforded the one who observes The DAY (twenty-four hour period of FAST, from one evening to another) for another period of one year.
What is required of us therefore, within those ten days can be divided into three namely, PRAYERS, GOOD DEEDS, RECONCILIATION, sometimes not in any particular order. Prayers we make to YAHWEH for forgiveness of our sins, with a “broken and a contrite heart, which HE will not despise“¹, and while at that to carry out a review of our lives in the past year, for the areas in which we have shortcomings and have become unworthy to be called children of YAHWEH. It will also afford us the opportunity to seek out areas where we could put in more work towards doing better in our relationship with our Almighty Father, just as most people would make resolutions at the beginning of the year to be better persons. Good Deeds involves acts of kindness to our fellow men without prejudice. While at it we must be careful not to do these good deeds in order to impress people, rather we should do such in consonance with scriptural instructions to the effect that the left hand mustn’t know what the right hand is doing.
Finally, Reconciliation between us and our fellow men (humans if you like), and between us and the Almighty, Our Creator. With man, the ten days can be spent making amends, sending and receiving apologies, settling scores and qualms amicably and unconditionally, and not necessarily on the day of atonement. On the day of atonement, it is with YAHWEH that we have an appointment, so we commit ourselves to getting ourselves back into good standing with HIM. Like I earlier mentioned, the day of atonement is considered as the day when “the book” is closed or sealed, a new one is opened and our thoughts, words and deed begin to count again till the next year or time it comes upon us to review our lives again. The day of atonement, the holiest day of the year, confers on this seventh month and beginning of the year its holiness, to make it the holy month, in which no manner of work is to be done, and an affliction of the soul is recommended for that solemn day of rest.
The simplest answer for those who ask why we should continue to observe these feasts including the day of atonement, considering the coming of the savior Yahshua Hamashiach, and its spiritual connotations, especially as regards the cleansing of sins, is that this ordinance was decreed as “… a statute FOREVER throughout (y)our GENERATIONS in all your DWELLINGS“². The capitalized above just about says it all. The symbolism of it is also spiritual, and is linked with punishments in the event of non-compliance, for which a Jew must endeavor not to be found wanting. Therefore, the days of awe ushers us into the day of atonement, with the activities I have listed. It is my hope that many who have ignored these days like me in the past, will see this and right their steps, especially on a Sabbath like this, the one within the days of awe, that should spur us to introspection, as we approach Yom Kippur, next Sabbath. I pray for all who read this, to be inscribed and sealed for a good year, Amin!
1. Psalm Chapter 51 Verse 17b,
2. Leviticus Chapter 23 Verse 31 – THE SACRED SCRIPTURES (Bethel Edition), An Assemblies of Yahweh ®, Publication, © 1981 (Fourth Printing, 1993).