Shabatown Zacarown: Sabbath of Remembrance

Leviticus doesn’t say much about this observance; however, a more elaborate instruction is provided in Numbers 29.

According to Leviticus, this Sabbath of Remembrance only had three instructions. The first is a grieving or shouting set-apart meeting.

Most translations translate the word תרועה, which is literally “shout”  or “you will shout her” or “she will shout” to “blowing trumpets”. The word is related to grieving, not trumpets. Additionally, the word for trumpet is שופר or חצוצרה. Neither of these words appear in the places where this observance is mentioned. Point is, no trumpet is present in the instructed observance of this particular day, rather translators interpret this “shout” to be the sound of a trumpet.

The second instruction is that no work is allowed on this day. As mentioned, Numbers offers a more elaborate observance of this day where food preparation and no work are both commanded, which is inconsistent with Leviticus instructions.

It may be that when Numbers was authored, additional customs were included in the observance by the people or that Leviticus offers us a more condensed version of the observance instructions. It’s also possible that the details were dependent upon the people, place, and time. For example, the number of “sacrifices” were dependent upon the size of the groups that had to eat them at the time each book was written. On the other hand, this may be like the Feast of Weeks where the phrase “in the abundance of the day” is used to identify a point in the day whereby work must cease. Or our modern understanding of “work” differs from that of ancient Israel.

What is certain is that Leviticus is more adaptable to modern conditions and the practical purpose of each observance is more clear. Nonetheless, the holy days according to other books, including Numbers, will be examined more closely at a later date and this post will be updated.

The third instruction was, “You will approach a fire (or a woman) to Yahuwah.”  It is assumed that this approach refers to the food offerings that are not detailed here. Since the Hebrew word “אשה” means women and fire, we can’t be certain, as of now, what this instruction means exactly.

As far as Leviticus goes, the Sabbath of Remembrance kicks off the second feast season of the year and is a day of grieving. Perhaps it’s a day to recall ‘something’ from the past and call upon the presence of Yahuwah. This would be befitting, since the next holy day, which begins 8 days later, is the Day of Atonement.

The next Sabbath of Remembrance is on September 9, 2018.

So, once you’ve remembered, then you can atone for it? I don’t know..  Let’s keep studying!

Yom HaCafarim: Day of the Coverings

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