Rosh Hashana for Humans

Jewish holidays generally commemorate historical events. Passover takes us back to the time of the Exodus from Egypt, Shavuot celebrates the day the Torah was received, and Succot commemorates either the temporary dwelling booths or the clouds of glory in the desert. Even Yom Kippur is traditionally mentioned as the day when the people of Israel received atonement for the sin of the Golden Calf, which was followed by Moses’s descent from Mount Sinai holding the second set of tablets.

However, Rosh Hashana is intrinsically different from other holidays, as the Torah does not record any historical event which occurred on that day. It is celebrated at the beginning of the seventh month from the time the nation left Egypt, which marks it as a holiday in the middle of the calendar year. It is therefore puzzling that Rosh Hashana is specifically chosen to signify the beginning of the year.

Early sources tell us that this was the day that Adam was created. Many nations have developed myths and legends regarding the creation of man. What distinguishes the divine Jewish story from the others?


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