Would you find it strange if I wished you a happy New Year in September?
Probably. But that greeting is fitting, because the Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashanah (literally, "head of the year") – begins on September 20.
It's also known as Yom Teru'ah ("day of blowing the horn") or the Feast of Trumpets, because it features the celebration of blowing traditional Jewish shofars.
But there is a very serious side to the Rosh Hashanah celebrations – one that should be meaningful to all of us who believe in Yeshua (Jesus) as our Messiah and Savior.
In the Jewish tradition, Rosh Hashanah comes at the start of a ten-day period known as the "Ten Days of Awe," which culminates in Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement.
These "Ten Days of Awe" are to be a time of self-examination, repentance, and prayer.
As believers in Yeshua, it's a time for us to acknowledge our sin, and to remember all God has done in forgiving and saving us through the sacrifice of His Son.
Another custom during this time is to be charitable to others as a way of thanking God for His mercy and grace toward us. In Judaism, caring for the poor has long been an expression of demonstrating thankfulness and repentance. Jesus taught this repeatedly.
An ancient way of observing this at Yom Kippur is called kapparot, in which a chicken or other fowl was purchased, then waved over one's head while praying to God for forgiveness of sins. The animal – or, more often, an equivalent gift of money – was then given to the poor.
Sadly, this was created by Rabbinic leaders as a manmade solution to a need for atonement only Yeshua can provide. Yet Yeshua’s grace to us and His forgiveness lead us to show our thankfulness through concern and charity for those in need.
Still, this is a metaphor for why all of us at Jewish Voice are so committed to loving and caring for Jewish people around the world.
For reasons I can never fully understand, God chose to reach out to me, a wandering Jewish university student searching in all the wrong places! Through the testimony of a friend who came to faith and the Christians I later met at the Bible study she brought me to, God made it absolutely clear that He loved me and that He wanted to save me so I could be with Him forever.
I came to saving faith in Yeshua because of the willingness of Believers to reach out, to love me, and to share the Good News with me.
And now, by God's grace, I can lead efforts to do the same for Jewish people around the world, through the prayers and financial support of you and others who stand alongside me so faithfully in this work.
For 50 years Jewish Voice has been caring for the physical and spiritual needs of Jewish people. Thanks to you and other partners, we're regularly seeing the miraculous ways God can use our combined efforts, if we are faithful.
In just one of the more recent of our medical clinic efforts, in Masvingo, Zimbabwe, your support provided effective treatment to more than 9,600 people who came to us with medical, dental, or eye problems.
As critically important as this compassionate work is, I'm even more excited by the fact that – in just this one clinic – we prayed with nearly 2,400 people.
And 322 of them professed new faith in Yeshua as Messiah!
That means 322 new Believers – many of them from the Jewish Lemba people of Southern Africa. That's 322 more people who will spend eternity with us!
Nothing is more gratifying or fulfilling to me than this.
All of us here at Jewish Voice are fully committed to this work. We celebrate God's blessings as He brings healing and hope to Jewish people and others in need across Africa and elsewhere.
But we cannot do this work alone. None of this...
- Medical clinics
- Teaching and media ministry
- Support for Jewish people and the Nation of Israel
- Care for poor and lonely Holocaust survivors in Israel
- The fight against hate and anti-Semitism
- And, most especially, sharing the Good News of Yeshua with those who have not yet received Him
...would be possible without support from you and our many other committed partners.
Without your prayers and financial support, this ministry could not happen. And rightfully, YOU share in the celebration for every person healed and every soul saved through our partnership in the Gospel.
I hope you find great joy in knowing you've helped heal many who were in pain, and helped lead many to faith in Yeshua. This is truly something we all can celebrate!
But for all the successes of the past, many thousands more people still need healing and hope. Even now, our Jewish Voice workers are preparing for more medical clinics and other outreach efforts.
Will you stand with us to bring the ministry of compassionate care to hurting people – especially as, together, we introduce even more people to salvation in Yeshua?
Please consider making the most generous gift possible right now. You'll make the difference between suffering and healing, and ensure that more people – especially Jewish people – meet Yeshua and gain eternity in God's loving presence.
For your gift of any amount, receive the 5-Minute Feasts DVD. Find out just how relevant the fall Feasts of the Old Testament are to you as a New Testament Believer. In easy-to-understand segments, Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Bernis explains how Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot reveal God’s plan of redemption through Yeshua Messiah.
For your gift of $80 or more, receive the 5-Minute Feasts DVD, PLUS...
- Moments & Days book – Rediscover the great feasts of the Old Testament as well as the holidays of the Christian calendar, and reawaken to these celebrations that will draw your attention to the significance of time, and point you in fresh ways to God’s faithful presence.
- Celebrating Sukkot DVD – Also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, this joyous holy day holds deep significance for the Children of Abraham. But what about Believers in Yeshua? Here, Rabbi Jonathan Bernis unpacks the rich meaning Sukkot holds for Believers today.
- Shabbat Blessings magnets – This set of five colorful magnets beautifully illustrates the Shabbat blessings. Each features an inspiring picture from Israel and a blessing to remind you of Yeshua’s love. Perfect for your refrigerator.
For your gift of $500 or more, receive all the gifts above, PLUS a Silver-Trimmed Kudu Shofar. Made from a kudu horn, this stunning Yemenite shofar is adorned with handcrafted silver accents. Blown in Bible times to announce holidays, ceremonies, and battles, the shofar is sounded today at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.