9.7.21 Shanah Tovah

約珥書 2:1 你們要在錫安吹角,在我聖山吹出大聲!國中的居民都要發顫,因為耶和華的日子將到,已經臨近。

Joel 2:1 Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near.

5782猶太新年快樂!猶太新年的問候語是“Shanah Tovah”,字面意思是“祝有個好年 Good Year”。今年的猶太新年從 9 月 6 日到 9 月 8 日。猶太新年被稱為 Rosh Hashanah,字面意思是“一年的頭或年初”。猶太人認為這一天是世界的生日。相對於西方世界的新年派對,猶太新年將所有的注意力都集中在上帝身上。這個節日的象徵是吹角(羊角:公羊的角)。約珥書提到第一次吹號是為警告人們即將到來的鐘耶和華的日子” – 上帝的審判日。第二次吹號是“宣告嚴肅會”(2:15)為認罪和祈求上帝的憐憫。每一個新年,我們都被提醒要回到上帝身邊,抓住與上帝和好的新機會。

對美國來說,現在還不算晚。現在還不是放棄的時候!讓我們“吹號”,先“敲響警鐘”(2:1),然後“召集聚會”,使我們可以回應並歸向上帝。無論我們的生活或我們的國家看起來多麼絕望,上帝仍然可以做偉大的事。但他正在等待我們“撕裂[我們]的心,而不是[撕裂我們的]衣服”,這樣我們就可以“全心歸向上帝”(2:12)。然後,也只有這樣,我們才能真正擁有“ㄧ個好年”(Shana Tovah)。

Happy Hebrew New Year of 5782! The greeting for the New Year is “Shanah Tovah”, the meaning of which is literally “Good Year”. This year the Hebrew New Year starts during the period from September 6 to September 8. The Hebrew New Year is called Rosh Hashanah, literally, the “head or beginning of the year”. Jews believe this day is the birthday of the world.  Contrary to the western world’s partying spirit of the New Year, the Hebrew New Year directs all attention to God. The holiday is signified by the blowing of the trumpet (shofar: ram’s horn).The first trumpet blast is to sound an alarm for the coming of “the day of the Lord” – God’s Day of Judgment. The second blast is to “consecrate a fast; [to] call a solemn assembly” (2:15) for the confession of sin and a plea for God’s mercy. Each New Year we are reminded to return to God and to take hold of the new chance to be right with God.
It is not too late for America; it is not the time to give up! Let us “blow the trumpet”, first to “sound an alarm” (2:1), then to “call a solemn assembly” so that we may respond and return to God. No matter how hopeless the situation in our lives or in our country seems, God can still do great things. But He is waiting for us to “rend [our] hearts and not [our] garments” so we can “return to God with all our heart” (2:12). Then, and only then, can we truly have a “good year” (Shana Tovah).

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