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Happy Rosh Hashanah!! (Jewish New Year)

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Happy Rosh Hashanah!!  (Jewish New Year). 

...about 17 hours early...per my time zone / sunset schedule:


L'Shanah Tovah! 

("for a good year")

Edited by notHagoth7
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Rosh haShana (1 Tishri) is very significant in Mormon chronology:

Joseph Smith first visited that hill "convenient to the village of Manchester" on Sept 22, 1823.   His annual, equinoctial return to that particular hill culminated on Saturday, September 22, 1827, by coin­ciding with 1 Tishri of the floating Jewish calendar.1  Not only was this Sabbath the regular Jewish (and ancient Canaanite) New Year, day of coronation (cf. Alma 51:34 - 52:1, 62:36-39), temple dedication2 (I Ki 8:2-66, II Chron 7:8-10; cf. Ex 40:2-38), and covenant renewal beginning the High Holy Days (Neh 8:1-18; Alma 28:4 - 30:2, 44:24 - 45:1,20), but it was also an anni­versary of cosmic proportion: 1 Tishri was the traditional day of Creation of the World, the day of birth of Adam, the Patriarchs, and Jesus,3 and the day of the accession of God to His Throne.4  As John H. Eaton has put it: 


In the festal hour . . . Yahweh overpowers chaos, takes his kingship, makes right order, sends forth life, and enters into intimate communion with his liberated people.5


An anni­versary indeed!  But we cannot stop there.  This was the very day of the Birth of Jesus-­Immanuel in 5 B.C.6   Indeed, the Feast of the Blessed Name of the Virgin Mary takes place on the first Sunday after Sept 12 (= Sept 22 New Style/Gregorian, i.e., Autumnal Equinox),7 and Augustus Caesar (“Illustrious-Caesar” = Octavian) was born in Rome on September 23, 63 B.C.  Jesus' place as King of the Jews, however, appears to have been feared, and ridiculed, as well as honored8 – as it was also for Joseph Smith  in his several callings, but particularly as the Apostle of the Lord who receives the heavenly tablets and oracles in order to carry out his mission from the Heavenly Council.9

__1  The matter is complicated by suggestions that New Year, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles were formerly all one Fall festival of Ingathering (Bright, A History of Israel, 1st ed., 171; T. Gaster, Thespis, 18; cf. Eric Werner, The Sacred Bridge: Liturgical Parallels in Synagogue and Early Church [1970], 79, 86; Yates, Giordano Bruno, 74) akin to American Harvest Home and Thanksgiving.  Cf. Ex 23:16, 34:22.  See the discussion in B. Gardner, Traditions of the Fathers, 231-232.

     2   F. M. Cross, Jr., states that an earthly Canaanite or Hebrew temple/ taber­nacle was typically built on proportions "derived from a tabnit, a model of the cosmic Tabernacle," and "[t]he Canaanite temple was founded on New Year's Day, identified with the foundation of the cosmic temple at creation, confirm­ing the victory of the Divine Warrior over his enemies, who represent chaos and death," in T. G. Madsen, ed., The Temple in Antiquity, 93.  Heber C. Kimball later spoke of an army marching through the sky from East to West on that night of 21-22 Sept 1827, and "[w]hen the front rank reached the western horizon a battle ensued" (Kimball was accompanied by his wife, Vilate, while John Greene, Rhoda Greene, John Young, Fanny Young, and Brigham and Miriam Young had a similar vision that same night), quoted in Daniel Peterson, "Heavenly Signs and Aerial Combat," Sunstone, 4/2 #14 (March-April 1979), 31, citing O. F. Whit­ney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 15-17 – brought to my atten­tion by Benjamin Urrutia.  Peterson (27-32 for whole article) shows that the motif is common in ancient sources, including Virgil, Ovid, Tacitus, and Josephus (who dates such an occur­rence to 21 Artemesium = Mar-April).  Wilford Woodruff observed a similar pheno­menon on 21 Feb 1838 (Peterson 31).  Joseph was confronted on his first visit to the hill by an angel, by a vision of the Prince of Darkness and his host, and by the glory of God, before being sent away to begin his annual return – finally being permitted to take the numinous plates four years later (O. Cowdery, Lat­ter Day Saints' Messenger & Advocate, II/1 [Oct 1835], 198ff.).  Indeed, on that first visit in 1823, Joseph was told by the angel that "the time for bringing them forth had not yet arrived" (Roberts, ed., HC, I:16 = JS-H 53).  In Joseph's own 1832 account, he dictated that "the angel appeared unto me again and said unto me you have not kept the commandments of the Lord which I gave unto you therefore you cannot now obtain them for the time is not yet fulfilled therefore thou wast left unto temptation that thou mightest be made acquainted with the power of the advisary therefore repent and call on the Lord thou shalt be forgiven and in his own due time thou shalt obtain them" [4], as in Dean Jessee, ed., The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, 7 (Joseph apparently erroneously remembered the first year here as 1822, which should have been 1823).

     3   Adam (Bloch, Biblical and Historical Background of the Jewish Holy Days [1978], 24, citing TB Sanhedrin 38b), and others (John Lightfoot, Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae: Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations Upon the Gospels, the Acts, etc., new ed., 4 vols [1859], II:32, and note c, citing TB Rosh ha-Shana 56.4), including Jesus (Lightfoot, II:33).  Tishri 1 is creation day according to Rabbi Joshua (Bible Review, 19/2 [April 2003]: 4, and Bible Review 18/6 [Dec 2002]. citing TB Rosh haShana 10b-11a.

     4   The Jewish tequphah "circuit" of the year (Ex 34:22, II Chron 24:23) began at the Autumnal, Equinoctial festival: Leon J. Liebrich, "Aspects of the New Year Liturgy," Hebrew Union College Annual, 34 (1963), 164-165, 175-176, citing TB Rosh ha-Shanah 10b-11a; M. H. Segal, Jewish Quarterly Review, 53 (1963), 240-256; Walter Wifall, "God's Accession Year Ac­cording to P," Biblica, 62 (1981), 527-534 (esp. 534); Julian Morgenstern, The Fire Upon the Altar (1963), 8-12, 22-28, 35-38, 40, 89-91 (cf. Lev 9:23b, Isa 6:1, Ezk 40:3, 43:2-5, 44:2), citing his "Biblical Theophanies," Zeitschrift für Assyri­ologie, 25 (1911), 139-193; 28 (1913), 15-60, and "Amos Studies, II," Hebrew Union College Annual, 12-13 (1937-­38), 20-34; Morton Smith, "Helios in Palestine," Eretz-Israel, 16 (1982), 199*-214*; "The Case of the Gilded Staircase: Did the Dead Sea Scroll Sect Worship the Sun?" Biblical Archaeological Review, X/5 (Sept-Oct 1984), 50-55 (reply and rejoinder in BAR, XI/1 [Jan-Feb 1985], 70-73).  Jesus apparently came to the Nephites at the New Year as the Divine King (III Ne 10:18).  According to T. H. Gaster, the 10th of Tishri, Yom Kippur, was the Day of Judgment on an annual and final basis (1Q22 IV; on these heavenly assizes see Charlesworth, ed., OTP, I:245, on III Enoch, citing TB Rosh ha-Shanah 16b-17a).  See also Werner, Sacred Bridge, 11-12 (n. 37), 74, 80, 86 (nn. 66, 96, 105), which include the basis of Roman Catholic & Anglican Embertide & Ember Day in September; Abraham P. Bloch, The Biblical and Historical Background, 18-25, 27-38.  Note also the Ethiopic Jewish liturgical calendar parallels here – Otto Neugebauer, Ethiopic Astronomy and Computus (1979), 9,28,77,131,192-193,205-208.

     5   Eaton, Festal Drama in Deutero-Isaiah (1979), 12, cited in Blake T. Ostler, "The Book of Mormon as a Modern Expansion of an Ancient Source," Dialogue, 20/1 (Spring 1987), 89.

     6   Eric Werner, The Sacred Bridge, 79-83, 89-90, and nn. 94, 110-111 (citing esp. L. Venetianer, Jüdisches im Christentum, 139), shows that the ancient christian liturgy of Christmas was taken originally from the Jewish liturgy for the Autumnal New Year and that Jewish-Christians first celebrated the Nativity (Christmas) then, rather than in December at the Winter Solstice.  John B. Lightfoot placed the birth of Jesus at this autumnal point as well (Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae, II:32-33).  See also W. Oesterley, The Jewish Background to the Christian Liturgy (1925/1965).  Cf. Hel 14:2 - III Ne 1:19; Moroni 10:1; Gordon Thomasson observes that a ritual first-plowing takes place in Mosiah 6:7 (a Jubilee Year); he and Benjamin Urrutia have suggested also that, in III Ne 10:18 - 11:1ff, Jesus himself comes as the Divine King at the New Year (leaving and replaced by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost/ Weeks/ Whitsuntide, as in the Old World: 26:13-­21; cf. 28:13-14)!  See R. F. Smith, "Book of Mormon Chronology" (unpublished research paper), for the more complex issues which mixed calendars entail; cf. also L. H. Read in The Ensign (Jan 1975),  35, and S. Kent Brown, "Jesus Among the Nephites: When Did It Happen," A Symposium on the New Testament (1984), 74-77.

     7   Robert Graves, The White Goddess, rev. & enlarged ed. (1959/1966), 158.  As of A.D. 1582.

     8   Matthew 2:1-16, 27:28-29,37-43, Luke 1:27,31-32,69,76, 2:4, Acts 7:55-56, Revelation 1:5.

     9   See especially Geo Widengren, Ascension of the Apostle and the Heavenly Book (King and Saviour III) (1950), 7-11, 87, 89, 91, and passim, for a masterful presentation of the relevant motifs.  The Book of Mormon itself opens with the same motifs (H. Nibley, “Last Call,” Sunstone [Jan 1988]:14, citing especially Klaus Koch, Ratlos vor der Apokalyptik [1970], 11-12).  Midrash Seder `Olam Rabba, 6, says that Moses brought down the second set of Tablets of the Law from the Mount on Tishri 10 (Bloch, Biblical and Historical Background, p. 28), and this might thus be appropriate for Joseph Smith and his tablets as well, when he went back to retrieve them from the stump or log 10 days after digging them up. 


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