Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

Rosh Hashanah (Leviticus 23:23-25) - Yom Kippur (Leviticus 16:29, 30; 23:26-32)

Rosh Hashanah – New Year

The Jewish New Year, falls on the Hebrew calendar dates of 1 and 2 Tishrei. The Jewish calendar date begins at sundown of the night beforehand. Thus, all holiday observances begin at sundown on the secular dates listed, with the following day being the first full day of the holiday. Jewish calendar dates conclude at nightfall.

Rosh Hashanah is a time of celebration remembering the Creator and His goodness. It is a celebration of life. The shofar (ram's horn) is blown. Special foods, family gatherings, and worship are all part of the celebration. It is a time of renewal, where prayers are spoken, and Scripture read in preparation for Yom Kippur, which is the holiest day of the Jewish year. 

Yom Kippur – Holiest Day

A sobering time of fasting and repentance – it is the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. Historically, during Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement, Lev. 23:26 – 32) the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies and offer a sacrifice for sin. It is believed, that during Yom Kippur God determines each individual's future for the coming year – so therefore, the prayers, fasting, asking for forgiveness, and forgiving others takes place.  In other words, repentance. Yom Kippur is a time of renewed relationship with God. 

Trying to Please God

During these Holy Days, religious Jews all over the world are praying, fasting, repenting and seeking to absolve themselves of their past year of sins.  However, in the absence of the Temple, blood atonement (sacrifice) is impossible, thus the rabbis replaced blood sacrifice with good deeds, and acts of kindness, endeavoring to please God. However, for without the shedding of blood there is no remission, or forgiveness of sin (Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22). Thus, there is a big problem.


Humankind’s deepest anxieties are the mystery of death, the continuance of guilt, and the loss of meaning, which produces despair.

Hope, joy, forgiveness, release from guilt, and purpose comes from understanding what Yeshua (Jesus) did on the cross – he became sin, the final, ultimate fulfillment of the Day of Atonement. Yeshuawas the perfect and final sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 6-9).  He is God’s Lamb offered for the sins of mankind.  We must put our trust in Him and not depend on our own religious efforts or good deeds to gain God’s approval.  For eternal life is a gift received through faith and is not predicated on good deeds or religious activity (Ephesians 2:8-10). We must trust in God’s mercy and grace provided for us through His Messiah, the Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29; Psalm 49:7-9; Isaiah 59:12; Leviticus 9:12; Jeremiah 31:3; Leviticus 17:11; Isaiah 53:3-10; Psalm 2:12; Proverbs 30:4; Genesis 15:6; John 11:25,26; John 14:6).

As believers, we know that no earthly ritual, self-affliction, act of kindness, or good deed can release us of our sins.  We find our eternal atonement in Yeshua (Jesus).

**For more information regarding Jewish holidays ask for Dr. Jeff’s booklet, “What Jewish People Believe” – we will be delighted to send it to you.

Feeding Kids

Your partnership with ITM enables us to share God’s love through Jesus the Messiah by providing needed meals for children and Holocaust survivors within Israel. Thus, we are able to share the gospel in word and deed. Thousands have been blessed through Israel Today Ministries – Your prayers and donations have made that possible!

 As holidays approach, please pray and ask God what He would have you do regarding helping us feed the children and survivors – perhaps a generous tax-deductible year-end-gift.  Your gifts really do have eternal significance!


Until He comes, we are

Together Under His Wings,

Dr. Jeff

PS:  Everyone Has an Email Address!  You can help us save a few dollars when we send out special announcements, bible studies, and mailings – by giving us your email address.  You can send your address to  This will really help us. Thank you! – Dr. Jeff