The Significance of Yom Teruah - Themes From Yom Teruah


VI. Themes of Yom Teruah:

* This is the day that Israel will be gathered.
* This is the coronation day of the King of kings.
* This is resurrection day.
* This is a day for judgment. Psalm 81:4
* This is a day to remember the fathers.
* This is a day to blow the shofar.
* This is the day that the world was created.

The Jewish New Year's day, known to all by the Hebrew name of Rosh HaShana, is singled out by the Talmud as both the start of the Jewish year, and the annual Day of Judgment. This may come as a surprise to the innocent reader of the Torah. After all, the Torah (Bamidbar 29:1) refers to the holiday celebrated on the first day of the seventh month (=Tishri) only as "Yom Teruah" (The Day of Shofar-blasts).

Chazal however, point out that there indeed are biblical indications supporting our Mesorah regarding the Rosh HaShana holiday. In Devarim 11:12 the Torah tells us that our destiny, whether financial, physical, or other, is preordained on one day each year for the entire duration of that year[26]. The Gemara identifies the day on which this judgment takes place with the Yom Teruah of Bamidbar[27], basing this on Tehilim 81:4: "Sound the Shofar on the New Moon, on the day that marks our holiday, for it is [time for] the judgment of the God of Yaakov." Since there is only one holiday that occurs on a new moon, namely, Yom Teruah, the "time of judgment" referred to must be on that same holiday, the day we call Rosh HaShanah. The mention of the Shofar in the verse from Tehilim bears out the contention that it is referring to the Yom Teruah holiday. Besides being the beginning of the year in terms of the formulation of man's yearly destiny, the first of Tishri is considered the first day of the year for several other Halachic purposes. It is the day on which the Sabbatical and Jubilee years begin, and it is the first day of the year in terms of calculating Ma'aser (Tithe) and Orlah (see Vayikra 19:23). It is also the day on which the date for legal documents (nowadays the figure 5768 is used) goes up one notch[28].