There are some passages in Scripture that you can just tell were written by a man. I don't mean that as an insult or a bad thing, but you know how guys sometimes don't include a lot of specifics when they tell a story? There are definitely parts of Scripture like that. I would like more details, please.
Yom Teruah is one of those 'left out the details' parts. We know more about YHWH's other festivals; instructions that lend easily to activities and menus. For Yom Teruah we aren't even told why to celebrate, though we can see the significance of its prophetic meaning. We know the Day of Sounding involves not working, lots of shofar music, and that it happens under the light of the seventh month's new moon.
Music and moonlight. Take what Scripture says and go with it.
Since it is the only festival that happens under a new moon, why not make it an evening under the stars? We need to be looking to confirm that it is the new moon anyway, since we don't know the day or hour. :) Lovely music is a happy addition to any occasion but never more appropriate than for a day known as Sounding.
The decor was super simple to put together. A 30 cent piano songbook got it's pages cut out and hot glued together for a table runner. Other pages had a single letter printed onto them (in a regular printer), were cut into triangles and glued to string to make a pretty bunting.
The goldenrod is a wildflower that is plentiful in our yard and area this time of year.
A candlelit alfresco dinner with string music. What could be lovelier? If your family or congregation has musicians you could ask them to take turns playing. A group hymn sing would also be beautiful.
Many of us have missed the beauty of Yom Teruah for a long time. Knowing so little about this set apart day means that YHWH has more to reveal to us about it. But we need to embrace the truth of what Yom Teruah is in the Scripture. A Day of Sounding, music, and moonlight.
To be honest, it is sad that most of the traditions of this feast day get wrapped into the not Biblically based Rosh Hashanah. We aren't going to get into it, but there is no festival of YHWH in Scripture that is called Rosh Hashanah. I know it is celebrated as the Jewish new year but Scripture tells us Aviv is the first month of the year. Moving on.
That's not to say it is bad to have apples and honey. If they are in season in your part of the world, apples are a logical choice to serve as they are healthy and loved by all. Using honey to symbolize the sweetness of YHWH's forgiveness after a time of repentance or to look forward to the sweetness of the Messiah's return seem reasonable to me. Just be aware that this is simply a man made tradition, not instruction from the Torah.
In addition to shofar sounding and any live music, create a playlist of background music to play during dinner. Good violin or piano is very elegant and I like to play string versions of my favorite songs.
How are you planning to celebrate Yom Teruah this year?