The Jewish High Holy Days are comprised of three very special commemorations. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, opens the holidays with the blowing of the shofar and the season ends with the Feast of Tabernacles—a time set aside to express thanksgiving for the Lord’s abundant blessings. In between these two celebrations is the sacred observance of Yom Kippur—the Day of Atonement.
Yom Kippur, the most holy day in Judaism, will begin tomorrow at sundown and last 24 hours. In obedience to God’s command in Leviticus 16:29, it is a time when all Jews gather in synagogues around the world and draw nearer to the Almighty during a time of reflection and repentance.
This most solemn of days is observed by fasting, praying, and righting wrongs committed against others in the past year. On Yom Kippur in 1978, Egypt and Syria launched an unexpected attack on Israel, beginning a war in which Israel was outmanned and outgunned. But 48 years ago, Israel miraculously won the war—at great cost. 2,688 Israelis lost their lives. That war is a gruesome yet powerful reminder of God’s supernatural protection of His people—and the need for brave and committed defenders of Israel.
As our Jewish friends take part in Yom Kippur, it is important for Christians to take stock of our obedience to God’s biblical mandate to defend and bless Israel. Scripture commands believers to…
Bless Israel and the Jewish people. (Genesis 12:3)
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and seek her good. (Psalm 122:6-9)
Do good even to “the least of these,” the brethren of Jesus—the Jews. (Matthew 25:40)
One day, every nation and individual will stand before the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and give an account for how we treated the Jewish people. May we be able to say with conviction that we did all that was within our power to heed God’s Word by standing up for and speaking out on behalf of His People.
To our Jewish friends and neighbors, we pray that the time you spend with the Lord be filled with peace and comfort and ask the God of Israel to surround you and yours with His abundant grace and unconditional love.