ROSH HA-SHANAH

ROSH HA-SHANAH (Heb. רֹאשׁ הָשּׁנָה; "New Year"), eighth tractate in the order of Mo'ed; in some earlier Mishnah and Talmud editions it is seventh, and in current Talmud editions it is placed fifth. Although Rosh Ha-Shanah is the rabbinic designation for one of the major festivals of the Jewish calendar, that which falls in "the seventh month, on the first day of the month" (Lev. 23:24), the tractate does not deal exclusively with this New Year. It opens with the statement that there are four days of the calendar, each of which is a New Year for its own specific purpose. Thus the first of Nisan is the New Year for kings and for festivals, and the 15th of Shevat (or the first) the New Year for trees. However, the first day of Tishri, the "New Year for years," i.e., the beginning of the calendar year, became known as the New Year par excellence, and the bulk of the tractate's discussion is elaboration of the laws concerning it, its religious significance, and the details of the sounding of the shofar. In mishnaic times, though the authorities were familiar with astronomical calculations, the New Moon was fixed on the basis of observation, which meant that, as a rule, the bet din formally proclaimed the New Month only after it had heard evidence of witnesses who had actually seen the new moon. The tractate is divided into four chapters. Chapter 1 speaks of the various New Years and indicates Rosh Ha-Shanah as the day of judgment for all mankind. It then deals with regulations concerning the fixing of the New Moon, and especially with the qualification of the witnesses to it. Chapter 2 continues with the subject of the determination of the New Moon, and concludes with the dramatic account of how rabban gamaliel asserted his patriarchal authority to make R. Joshua yield to his ruling. Chapter 3 deals mainly with particulars of the shofar. The chapter includes a profound homily explaining that it is not the actual sound of the horn but its devotional effect which is important. Chapter 4 first discusses whether the shofar is blown on the Sabbath when Rosh Ha-Shanah falls on that day. Ordinances enacted by Johanan b. Zakkai concerning various subjects are recorded. It then deals with the order of benedictions for Rosh Ha-Shanah, which are arranged in the Musaf service. The tractate has Tosefta and Gemara in both the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds. In the Babylonian Gemara, there is a discussion as to whether the world was created in Nisan or in Tishri (10b–12a); the latter view seems to have been accepted in later amoraic times, as reflected in the Rosh Ha-Shanah prayers of those days. Of particular interest is the elaboration on the idea of Rosh Ha-Shanah being the day of judgment for every individual as well as for mankind (16a–18a). Tractate Rosh Ha-Shanah is characterized particularly by two topics. The first is the intercalation of the year and how and when and for what reasons intercalation is effected, and what are the considerations which normally influence the determination of the yearly calendar . The second is a systematic, philosophical, speculative discussion on everything concerning providence, and reward and punishment in this world and in the next. These topics are much better arranged and edited than others and more systematically than in all other tractates. The talmudic tractate was translated into English by Maurice Simon in the Soncino edition (1938). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Epstein, Tanna'im, 363–72; Ḥ. Albeck, Shishah Sidrei Mishnah, 2 (1958), 305–9. (Arnost Zvi Ehrman)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • ROSH HA-SHANAH — (Heb. רֹאשׁ הָשָּׁנָה), the Jewish New Year, the autumn festival celebrated on the first and second days of Tishri. In the Bible The name Rosh Ha Shanah as it is used in the Bible (Ezek. 40:1) simply means the beginning of the year, and does not… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Rosh ha-Shanah — Dieser Artikel beschreibt das jüdische Neujahrsfest Rosch ha Schana. Für die gleichnamige rabbinische Schrift siehe Rosch ha Schana (Mischnatraktat). Rosch ha Schana (auch Rosch ha Schanah, in aschkenasischer Aussprache Rausch ha Schono oder… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rosh Hashanah (Talmud) — Rosh Hashanah ( he. ראש השנה) is the name of a text of Jewish law originating in the Mishnah which formed the basis of tractates in both the Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud of the same name. It is the eighth tractate of the order Moed …   Wikipedia

  • Rosh Hashanah (tractate) — For the Jewish holiday, see Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: ראש השנה‎) is the name of a text of Jewish law originating in the Mishnah which formed the basis of tractates in both the Babylonian Talmud and the Jerusalem Talmud of the same… …   Wikipedia

  • Rosh Hashana — [rōsh′ hə shô′nə, həshä′nə; ] Heb [ rōsh′ hä shä nä′] n. 〚Heb rosh hashana, lit., head (or first) of the year〛 the Jewish New Year, celebrated on the 1st and 2d days of Tishri: also sp. Rosh Hashona or Rosh Hashanah * * * ▪ …   Universalium

  • Rosh Hashaná — ראש השנה Nombre oficial …   Wikipedia Español

  • Rosh Hashaná — (en hebreo: ראש השנה transliteratedo ro’sh hash shānāh, comienzo del año ) es el Año Nuevo espiritual judío y se celebra el primero y el segundo día de Tishrei (mes en el calendario hebreo). Para el inicio del año hebreo hay dos criterios: según… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Rosh Hashanah — Jewish new year, 1846, from Heb. rosh hashshanah, lit. head of the year, from rosh head of + hash shanah the year …   Etymology dictionary

  • Rosh Hashana — /rɒʃ həˈʃanə/ (say rosh huh shahnuh) noun the two day Jewish holiday celebrated at the start of the Jewish New Year, when the shofar is blown; occurs on the first and second days of the month of Tishri (usually falling in either September or… …   Australian English dictionary

  • CALENDAR — (Heb. לוּחַ, lu aḥ). The present Jewish calendar is lunisolar, the months being reckoned according to the moon and the years according to the sun. A month is the period of time between one conjunction of the moon with the sun and the next. The… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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