Adventist Jewish congregation marks Rosh Hashanah

The shofar is blown 100 times in different patterns.

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The Adventist Jewish church plant Bet Tikkun in Wellington, New Zealand, marked Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, on September 30.

Lay leader Stephanie Taylor shared the traditions and teachings of Rosh Hashanah as the group gathered for a taschlich service.

Taschlich is a Jewish rite that is performed in the afternoon usually of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, in which participants symbolically cast off their sins by gathering along the banks of a river, or the sea, and pray for forgiveness.

At Bet Tikkun, the participants prayerfully wrote their sins on rice paper and placed them in a bucket of water, which later was emptied into the sea.

A participant writes his sins on a piece of rice paper.

“It is both a time of rejoicing and of serious introspection,” said Ms Taylor. “It’s a time to celebrate the completion of another year while also taking stock of one’s life. As we celebrate the start of a new year, today is about creating a new heart and a new spirit.”

As such, the importance of a visual “casting your sins upon the waters” is part of the service.

Concluding the service, the shofar was blown with 100 blows in three different patterns, symbolising a call to reaffirm God’s sovereignty, remembering the weeping, and calling all to rouse from spiritual slumber.

The service was followed by a shared tea where apples were dipped in honey, symbolic of asking God to renew this year with sweetness and happiness.

Sweetness and happiness: apples dipped in honey.
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