The Fall Feasts include what also are known as the ‘HIgh Holy Days’ of the Jewish calendar, namely Rosh HaShanah, or the New Year, which marks the start of the new Hebrew calendar year, and Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement, which is considered the most solemn and holy day of the year, in accord with Leviticus 16:30. Four days after the solemnity and awe of Yom Kippur comes the week long Feast of Booths or Tabernacles (Sukkot), a celebration of the final harvest of the year and a time when God commands His people to be joyous!
“You shall rejoice in your feast… For seven days you shall keep the feast to the Lord your God at the place that the Lord will choose, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.”
The Fall Feasts all occur in the first half of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. The previous month of Elul is considered a time of preparation and a particular time for repentance and reconciliation with God. There are forty days between the first day of Elul and Yom Kippur. These correspond biblically with the forty days between the day (1st Elul) that Moses saw the Israelites worshipping the Golden Calf and he broke the first set of tablets carrying the Ten Words or Commandments of God and, after ascending Mount Sinai to intercede and plead for God’s Divine pardon, the day (10th Tishrei) that he returned with the second set of tablets. In response to Moses’ heartbroken and persistent intercession, God forgave the sin of idolatry and the gift of His Word was evidence of His forgiveness. This manifestation of Divine pardon has marked these forty days as a time for self-examination and repentance, and for giving and receiving forgiveness.
~ Keren Hannah