ROSH CHODESH – ELUL: RETURN TO HASHEM!

“Seek HaShem when He can be found; call upon Him when He is near.” Yeshayah (Isaiah) 55:6

In the midst of all the madness going on around us, the days continue to open and close as HaShem has decreed them, bringing us one day closer to that appointed time. We know we are getting closer and closer by the day because of the global interest that is growing for the rebuilding of the Third Temple in Jerusalem! This week alone I have read three articles discussing not only the potential Parah Adumah (Red Heifer) candidates in Israel, but also how the ancient species of grapes have been revived in Israel for use in the Temple along with the plan for people to blow the shofar on the Mount of Olives on Rosh Chodesh (The New Moon) to demand that construction on the Third Temple begins!! Very exciting!!!

This said, I am prompted to put this Op together discussing Rosh Chodesh and the biblical month of Elul and its significance since Elul begins the count towards the Fall Feasts of HaShem i.e. Rosh HaShanah on 1 Tishrei, Yom Kippur on 10 Tishrei and Sukkot on 15 Tishrei!

What I am going to include is some information on just how serious HaShem is about Rosh Chodesh using the examples of the various korbonot (Offerings) which are required to be offered on Rosh Chodesh! This is after all a blog channel which discusses not just the Torah but also the Temple! Since we are getting closer and closer to the Temple becoming a reality, perhaps its time we really begin to focus on the Temple and for the record NO, the Third Temple is NOT solely for the False Messiah to defile as Replacement Theology Christendom constantly blathers on about in its ignorance of HaShem, Eschatology, Messiah, Torah and His Temple! I digress.

But before we can begin to dive into this important topic, always remember the following unchanging characteristics of HaShem as they are crucial to this Op:

  • HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
  • His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
  • He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
  • He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
  • He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
  • He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
  • He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
  • He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
  • He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
  • He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
  • He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
  • He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
  • He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
  • He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
  • He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
  • He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
  • He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
  • He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
  • He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
  • He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
  • He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
  • He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
  • He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
  • He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
  • He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35

The Calendars of HaShem are vital we learn and adopt into our lives because it is the calendars of the Kingdom of HaShem. Now I know in the Hebrew Roots/Messianic world, of which I am not a part of either, there are many different calendars as well as many opinions which unfortunately tend to end with many disagreements and arguments. This being said, the biblical months we find in His Word are as follows:

  1. Tishrei
  2. Cheshvan
  3. Kislev
  4. Tevet
  5. Shevat
  6. Adar
  7. Nissan
  8. Iyar
  9. Sivan
  10. Tammuz
  11. Av
  12. Elul

How do we understand His calendars? Well there are two main calendar systems HaShem uses in His Word i.e. the Civil Calendar and the Religious Calendar. The Civil Calendar begins with the month of Tishrei and it remains like this from Genesis 1 through Exodus 11. Then HaShem modifies the calendar and in Exodus 12 the month of Nissan becomes the first month since it is the month the Exodus from Egypt occurs and it remains this way through Revelation 22.

The Mishnah for Rosh HaShanah says “There are FOUR New Year days (In the calendar of HaShem): On the first of Nissan is the new year for the reckoning of the reigns of Jewish Kings and for establishing the order of the annual Feasts (Moedim). On the first of Elul is the new year for the bikkurim (Tithe) of animals. The first of Tishrei is the new year for reckoning the years, for the Sabbatical years and for the Jubilee years, for the planting of trees and for the vegetables. On the first of Shevat is the new year for the tree.”

Then it goes on to further state “At FOUR junctures of the year the world is judged: On Pesach (Passover) for the grain (HaShem will at this time determine if the harvest will be meager or plentiful); on Shavuot for the fruit of the tree (HaShem will at this time determine if the harvest of the fruit will be meager or plentiful); on Rosh HaShanah all who walk the earth pass before Him like young sheep (At this time everyone’s names are sealed in either the Book of Life or the Book of Death or remain in the Book of the Intermediary as they still haven’t made their choice on who to serve), and on the Festival i.e. Sukkot when they are judged for the water (HaShem will determine how much rain the world will receive for that year).” Keep this all in mind.

It should be noted that the current fixed calendar we are on right now during the Exile is very much endorsed and supported by HaShem! I cite this because unfortunately the topic of the calendar can cause a lot of arguments among various groups. Tractate Beitza 4b in the Talmud Bavli states the fixed calendar was established by the Sanhedrin under Hillel the Second, specifically for the Diaspora since they knew with Israel being exiled across the world there was no way to keep using the calendar as it was then. With this being a ruling of the Sanhedrin then means HaShem supports this ruling per Devarim 17:8-13.

The following excerpt is from the book ‘The Book of Our Heritage’ by Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov, page 1037 which says “Since Elul is the last month of the year and immediately precedes Rosh HaShanah – The Day of Judgment for all the world’s inhabitants, it was established as a time for repentance.” So, even the configuration of the months, HaShem makes a way for people to make teshuvah (Repentance) before the appointed time of judgment! My point is, another example of His mercy and compassion for He desires that none perish! He gives another month focuses solely on teshuvah to give everyone every opportunity to get right with Him!

The month of Elul is the most opportune time for teshuvah of the year! HaShem is ALWAYS willing to hear our prayers of teshuvah at any time of the year, but the month of Elul, He is especially willing to hear and act upon our prayers of teshuvah!

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 30:8-10 are very much connected to the theme of Elul which says “You shall return (Teshuvah) and listen to the voice of HaShem, and perform all His commandments that I command you today. HaShem will make you abundant in all your handiwork, in the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your animals, and the fruit of your land, for good, when HaShem will return to rejoice over you for good, as He rejoiced over your forefathers, when you listen to the voice of HaShem, your Elohim, to observe His commandments and His decrees, that are written in this Book of the Torah, when you shall return to HaShem, your Elohim, with all your heart and all your soul.” The point is, making teshuvah (Repentance) i.e. returning to HaShem means to grab hold of His Torah and begin to learn and walk out His Word as the evidence of salvation, not to obtain or maintain salvation!

An excerpt from ‘The Book of Our Heritage’ on page 1039 it says regarding the sounding of the shofar “Beginning with the second day of Rosh Chodesh Elul until the eve of Rosh HaShanah, four sounds, tekiah, shevarim, teruah and tekiah (Types of shofar blasts) are blown from the shofar daily at the end of the Shacharis (Morning) service (Prayers). This sounding of the shofar is not a Torah requirement, but originates in Jewish custom. When Moshe ascended Mount Sinai on Rosh Chodesh Elul to receive the second tablets of the Torah, the shofar was sounded in the encampment of Israel so that all would know that Moshe had ascended on high and they would take care not to err and once again be guilty of idolatry. It thus became customary to sound the shofar on Rosh Chodesh Elul so that the nation of Israel would recall the ascent of Moshe, which was only possible because Israel had repented of the sin of the golden calf and had been granted forgiveness. Recalling these events is thus intended to stir us toward repentance.”

“The shofar is sounded during the entire month to warn the people of the approach of the Day of Judgment (Rosh HaShanah) and thereby arouse them to repent. It is in the nature of the shofar sounds to arouse trepidation in men’s hearts as the verse in Amos 3:6 states: ‘If a shofar is sounded in the city, will the people not tremble?’ The very sounding of the shofar announces to the people: ‘Awaken, you sleepers from your sleep, you slumberers from your slumber, search your actions and return in penitence!'”

From the second day of Rosh Chodesh Elul through the month, Psalms 27 is recited at the end of the Shacharis (Morning) prayers which says : “By David. HaShem is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? HaShem is my life’s strength, whom shall I dread? When evildoers approach me to devour my flesh, my tormentors and my foes against me, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army would besiege me, my heart would not fear; though war would arise against me, in this I trust. One thing I asked of HaShem, that shall I seek: Would that I dwell in the House of HaShem (Temple) all the days of my life, to behold the sweetness of HaShem and to contemplate in His Sanctuary. Indeed, He will hide me in His Shelter on the day of evil (The Day of HaShem); He will conceal me in the concealment of His Tent; He will life me upon a rock. Now my head is raised above my enemies around me, and I will slaughter offerings in His Tent accompanied by joyous song; I will sing and chant praise to HaShem. HaShem, hear my voice when I call, be gracious toward me and answer me. In Your behalf, my heart has said, ‘Seek My Presence.’ Your Presence, HaShem, do I seek. Conceal not Your Presence from me, repel not Your servant in anger. You have been my Helper, abandon me not, forsake me not, O Elohim of my salvation. Though my father and mother have forsaken me, HaShem will GATHER me in. Teach me Your way, HaShem, and lead me on the path of integrity, because of my watchful foes. Deliver me not to the wishes of my tormentors, for there have arisen against me false witnesses who breathe out violence. Had I not trusted that I would see the goodness of HaShem in the land of life! Hope to HaShem, strengthen yourself and He will give you courage, and hope to HaShem.” Is it a coincidence this Psalm is recited every day during the month of Elul just prior to the appointed Rosh HaShanah when The Gathering will take place? Nothing is a coincidence with HaShem!

Now let’s do a quick cursory look at what happens in the Temple on Rosh Chodesh!

HaShem commands in Bamidbar (Numbers) 28:11 that on each Rosh Chodesh that two bulls, one ram, seven lambs and one male goat be offered up in addition to the daily Tamid (lamb for an Olah/Burnt korbonot every morning and afternoon). These are offered up as Communal Olah/Burnt korbonot (Not for atonement but for a sweet aroma to HaShem), with the exception of the one male goat, which is offered up as a Communal Chatat/Sin korbonot to atone for the entering the Temple or eating sanctified food inside the Temple while in a state of unclean purity and not knowing it per Bamidbar 28:15. Remember there is no korbonot for INTENTIONAL sin! The Chatat/Sin and Asham/Guilt Korbonot are the only korbonot that deal with UNINTENTIONAL sin! HaShem deals with INTENTIONAL sin on Yom Kippur!

These two types of korbonot i.e. Olah and Chatat, are considered to be ‘Korbon Kodshai Kodashim’ or ‘Most Holy Offerings’ and thus per the Torah, they are required to be specifically slaughtered in the Beit HaMitbechayim (The Slaughter Area) NORTH of the Mizbe’ach (Altar)! The point is, the level of kedusha or sanctification of the type of korbonot will determine where in the Temple they must be slaughtered and prepared! Further, the Olah korbonot must be completely burned on the Mizbe’ach. The Chatat on the other hand must be eaten by either the owner or the kohen who slaughtered it in the prescribed amount of time and in the specific location required in the Temple! The Temple and everything going on inside it is ALL about KEDUSHA (HOLINESS) and is the tool HaShem uses to teach us what it means to be kadosh/holy unto Him, thus the reason for His command in Ezekiel 43:10 to learn and study EVERYTHING and every service in His Temple! I digress.

Remember, the purpose of the animal and grain korbonot are to do what the meaning of the word ‘korbonot’ means i.e. ‘To draw near to HaShem!’ The truest offering is when the owner brings himself as the offering. The owner of the animal or grain offering, sets himself apart to HaShem to make himself subservient to the teachings of the Torah. The animal or grain offering is secondary in that it is an indication of what the owner feels and what the owner is striving for.

How many times do we hear from those in Christendom that the one they claim is Messiah ended ALL the animal and grain offerings once and for all? They clearly do not understand the Temple or the korbonot and how they function because we can see from many examples in the Apostolic Writings the animal and grain korbonot NEVER ended and only ended when the Temple was destroyed by Rome in 70 AD. We see per Ezekiel 40-48 when the Temple is rebuilt, the animal and grain korbonot fully resume and with HaShem’s endorsement and per His commandment!! So when the Mizbe’ach is re-dedicated to HaShem on the Temple Mount and the daily Tamid korbonot resume, it is NOT a blasphemy against HaShem as many in Christendom teach, but is commanded by HaShem! May it be VERY soon in our days!

Have you ever considered how many Kohanim (Priests) are required to slaughter and prepare one animal korbonot for offering on the Mizbe’ach (Altar)? There is a set number for each one per Tractate Yoma from the Mishnah:

  • A minimum of nine kohanim for one lamb
  • Eleven kohanim for one ram
  • Twenty-four kohanim for one bull

So, this means on each Rosh Chodesh/Moedim (Feast) there will need to be 48 Kohanim for the two bulls, 11 Kohanim for the ram and a minimum of 63 Kohanim for the lambs plus another nine Kohanim for the goat as a Chatat/Sin korbonot.

In addition to the animal korbonot, Minchah (Meal/Bread) korbonot are required to be offered up:

  • 1/10th Ephah of fine wheat flour per sheep/goat
  • 2/10th Ephah of fine wheat flour per ram
  • 3/10th Ephah of fine wheat flour per bull

Additionally, Wine Libations are also required to be offered up per animal korbont:

  • 1/2 Hin of wine for each bull
  • 1/3 Hin of wine for each ram
  • 1/4 Hin of wine for each lamb/goat

Once the animal designated as an Olah (Burnt) korbonot is slaughtered, the blood is received in a sanctified vessel and taken to the Mizbe’ach (Altar) and is applied a total of two times, once on the lower half of the North-East corner of the Mizbe’ach and once on the lower half of the South-West corner of the Mizbe’ach. It is applied in such a manner that there are two applications, but in reality the blood is applied four times i.e. it splashes on all four corners! Now I know there are many out there who would shrug all this off as being “Just ridiculous traditions added by the rabbis!” However, people have to remember all of these Temple Services were given by HaShem via His Ruach (Holy Spirit) per Shemot (Exodus) 25 and I Chronicles 28 when He gave the tavnit (Blueprints) to both Moshe and David! Its important to remember to pay attention to the details of these Temple Services as they pertain to each korbonot!

The male goat designated as the Chatat (Sin) korbonot is slaughtered in the Beit HaMitbechayim (Slaughter Area) north of the Mizbe’ach and its blood is collected and taken to the Mizbe’ach where is it applied four times, once on each corner horn of the Mizbe’ach. The meat is cooked and then it is eaten by the Kohen who slaughtered it.

Some may think I am on a ramble as it pertains to discussing these korbonot for Rosh Chodesh, but it is my hope that some may read this and be inspired to want to know more and see just how serious HaShem still is about His appointed times!

This topic of the Temple is absolutely mind boggling as too how much information there is required to learn to fully understand how it functions. Studying it for multiple lifetimes would still only scratch the surface! But if we want to truly know HaShem and recognize the real Messiah as presented in the Apostolic Writings, then the Temple is ONLY way to do it. Further, I should add, the Temple is the key that unlocks the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation because the Scriptures are centered around the Temple and all the Temple Services! Without it, all there is error which leads to anti-Semitic Replacement Theology doctrine and culminates with a false version of the Messiah. I digress.

In summary, the month of Elul is ALL about teshuvah i.e. repentance or returning to HaShem and His Torah! It is NOT a coincidence that He has established this month just before Rosh HaShanah when the Books are opened in Heaven and the Ten Days of Awe begin between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur! It is a time when He is even more open to hearing our prayers of teshuvah and will act even faster to help us learn and walk in His Torah!

Time is so very short and He desires that NONE perish but that all come into covenant with Him! Consider all this as we proceed through this month and approach Rosh HaShanah! May it be so very soon in our days!

Shalom!

SOURCE MATERIALS:

  • The Writings – Psalms by Artscroll
  • The Milstein Edition of the Prophets – Isaiah by Artscroll
  • The Milstein Edition of the Chumash with the Talmud – Shemot by Artscroll
  • The Milstein Edition of the Chumash with the Talmud – Bamidbar by Artscroll
  • The Milstein Edition of the Chumash with the Talmud – Devarim by Artscroll
  • Tractate Beitza Talmud Bavli by Steinsaltz

Published by DShalom

A Torah observant servant of the Elohim of Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya'akov, the Elohim of Yisra'el and His Mashiach Yeshua.

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