Why Christians Should Celebrate Rosh Hashanah — At The Beach

Why Christians Should Celebrate Rosh Hashanah — At The Beach

This blog post is an excerpt of one I wrote for the “Days of Awe” series on the Worth Beyond Rubies blog. I had the privielege of connecting with Diane (who is a Jewish Christian) to collaborate with her for Day 1 of the series and I was so excited to write about this topic. Be sure to check out the full post on Diane’s blog at this link. ⭐️

My family and I started celebrating Jewish holidays as a way to add opportunities for family worship and fun throughout the year. This is our first year observing Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and we chose to do so through a ceremony called Taschlich, especially because it’s an excuse to go to the beach!

We often find that the best days to go to the beach are in September when school is in session (less crowds) and the weather is still summery and warm. What better setting to worship God and celebrate the “birthday of creation” than outdoors?

Some background for you: Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It’s celebrated as the day that God created the universe. It runs into Yom Kippur which is the Day of Atonement, a day of fasting (that ends with feasting). These holidays combined are the High Holy Days or The Days of Awe. It is a time for prayer, reflection and joy as the New Year begins.

A Taschlich Moment

The Taschlich ceremony is one that is usually performed on the first day of Rosh Hashanah. Taschlich means “cast off” in Hebrew and usually it is observed by going to a body of water and “casting” bread into the water — the bread symbolizes our sins. Some people cast small pebbles instead, in case the nearby fowl have gluten allergies — I mean, because it may be seen as better for the environment 🙂

One spiritual meaning behind this symbolic ritual can be found in The Book of Micah which says,

“He will again have compassion on us;

He will vanquish our iniquities.

You will cast all our sins

into the depths of the sea.”

(Micah 7:19 HCSB)

Other translations say that God “hurls” our sins into the depths of the sea.

Imagine our sins being thrown as hard, fast, and far as possible so that no one can retrieve it.

In Christian tradition the sea is often said to be the “sea of forgetfulness.” The point is, like the bread, flung into the sea, floating away on the waves, and dissolving until it is unseen — Jesus takes our sins away.

Does shame ever weigh you down because of something you did?

Read the rest of this blog post at the Worth Beyond Rubies blog.