According to Hebrew tradition on the Day of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) the righteous are written in the Book of Life, I think that it is very easy to see all references to life in the Bible as eternal spiritual life but I believe that we can and should also view life as our temporal life here on earth.
When God entered into covenant with those who had been led out of Egypt (mixed multitude of Israelites and non-Israelites) He laid two things before them: life and death, blessing and a curse. Yes, this life was linked to an eternal state but it was also linked to the quality of life that they would experience whilst on earth. The blessings included a number of things but in summary we would say that the blessings were of provision (fruitfulness) and security in all areas of their life.
There was only one thing that God requested of the Israelites in order to receive these manifold blessings, that one thing was obedience:
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
When Eke told me, I didn’t get the title, why? Because Rosh Hoshanah is a biblical feast that points towards the returning Messiah, what does that have to do with science??? I think we can find the answer in the conclusion of the program.
After interviewing three Atheists Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks comes to the conclusion that science and religion marry extremely well, definitely nothing to raise eyebrows on face value but a deeper look into what Lord Sacks says and what Richard Dawkins agrees to does. The closing statement conclusion indeed emphasised a marriage between science and religion “science + religion = hope”.
I found the emphasis and focus of the program to be in subtly persuading people to take a middle stance ground, Lord Sacks stated that he didn’t believe that the Abraham and Isaac story or Moses and the burning bush stories were ‘real’ but parables to show us and guide us on how to live well. Lord Sacks emphasised morality and consciousness as key areas that religion has to offer accepting that science tells us how the universe was created but religion tells us why.
So what does this have to do with Rosh Hoshanah? According to Messianic faith and the writings of Paul, each biblical feast is a foreshadow of the Messiah, so why link a biblical feast with science? Rosh Hoshanah specifically relates to the return of the Messiah or Second coming, this being the case what would be the effect of marrying a religious perspective which denies the validity and reality of the Bible and focuses only on morality and consciousness with scientific perspectives which deny the existence of God and focus on empirical evidence? What type of society would Christ return to if such thought patterns were to reign? One of humanistic religion or moral atheism, I think this is a blurring of the lines which Christ referred to in Revelation where He said that:
“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.’ ”
Revelation 3: 15-16
This is to me another example of using the media and famous/infamous people to persuade others to their viewpoint, supposedly neutral and reflective but watch and listen carefully and you’ll see what’s lurking under the surface.