I wish Mormons celebrated some of the Jewish holidays. But we don’t have that custom of special Feast Days.
One time, when my kids were young we celebrated Joseph Smith’s birthday on December 23rd, but that was so close to Christmas, we didn’t do it often. I recall baking some corn dodgers and a ham. There is a story about a time when Joseph had some people over for dinner and he prayed for something better to serve his guests. Then there was a knock at the door and there stood a man holding a ham to share with the prophet.
Maybe we should celebrate September 22, 1827 — the day Moroni gave the Gold Plates and Urim and Thummim to Joseph Smith. It happened to coincide with an astrological event and a Jewish Feast Day.
September 22, 1827 was the Autumn Equinox
. This is when there is about the same amount of hours of sunlight as there are night, hence the Latin name “equi nox”
— or equal night.
It’s interesting that these things align with the stars. It’s no coincidence.
There’s also the “harvest moon”
in September on or near the Fall Equinox which has to do with the gathering in of the last harvest of crops. Farmers worked through the night by the light of the full moon.
The Jewish celebration of Rosh Hashanah, or Feast of Trumpets (also called The Day of Remembrance) fell on the evening of September 21st in 1827 as the sun set. (On the Judaic calendar this was the first day of the seventh month called Tishri–the new day beginning at sunset. Remember that each day begins at sundown on the Jewish calendar.) The Feast of the Trumpets continued into the 22nd of September 1827. It is a two-day celebration.
Joseph and Emma went to the hill Cumorah on the night of September 21, 1827, which coincided with the Feast of the Trumpets. According to Joseph Knight, who was in the Smith home on that evening, he saw Joseph preparing to get the plates.
The angel had commanded Joseph to come to the hill on September 22. To be precise in his compliance and still to throw off meddlers who knew of the date, Joseph chose to go to Cumorah in the dead of night, almost the minute September 22 arrived. (Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, pg. 59)
It’s interesting that we have the symbol of Moroni blowing the trumpet on the temple. (Most temples have the angel Moroni on top, but eight do not.)
“In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets” (Lev. 23:24
The traditional trumpet is called the shofar and it’s a ram’s horn. The sound is wonderful. My son gave me this one, and he can make it work (which is not that easy.) Maybe Moroni should really have a shofar in his hand instead of a modern day trumpet.
You can purchase a shofar here.
My husband wants one of the longer ones, but they are more money.
The sounds of the shofar are to remind God’s people of their relationship with Him as well as God’s promise to remember His people. It is also a call to repentance before the Day of Atonement.
The Feast of Trumpets celebrates the final season for the gathering in of the wine and oil — it is the final harvest.
The “Book of Mormon” is the means of bringing in the final harvest as well–the final gathering which began with Joseph Smith.
“For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might…”(D&C 4:4
It also marks the day that God remembered his covenant people–A Day of Remembrance. Many Jewish scholars believe that the blowing of the trumpet signals the return of scattered Israel.
“One Jewish commentator has said, ‘Expectantly, we await the sounding of the Trumpet of Liberation, when Zion will be free to receive its exiled children from all parts of the earth. ‘”(Ensign
It also commemorates the creation and fall of Adam and Eve and their covenant relationship with God. Adam and Eve learned how to return into the presence of God, through repentance. The blowing of the shofar may even signify the coronation of the King of the Universe — God.
The Kabbalists teach that the continued existence of the universe is dependent upon the renewal of the divine desire for a world when we accept G‑d’s kingship each year on Rosh Hashanah. (ref)
The shofar was blown in the evening of September 21, 1827, and again on the 22nd — and Joseph was preparing to receive the Gold Plates, opening the dispensation of the Fullness of Times, when God extended his mercy and remembered his covenant people. And His people remember Him.
Painting of Hasidic Jews performing tashlikh (ritual washing away of sins) on Rosh Hashanah, placed on the banks of the Vistula River in Warsaw.
The number seven is symbolic of completion, and on the seventh day God rested from his labors. The sabbath Day. And the first day of the seventh month, marks the Feast of the Trumpets, the day of remembrance.
Next: In ten days following the Feast of Trumpets, the day of Atonement – Yom Kippur begins. You can read my thoughts here.
Activities you can do with your kids for the Feast of Trumpets: