Rosh Hashana : The Birth of Freedom, By Rabbi Warren Goldstein

The key to understanding the themes of Rosh Hashanah is the date. The Day of Judgment for the world was not chosen arbitrarily, but is specifically on this date – not because it is the first day of the year (in fact, the Mishnah mentions four different kinds of new years), but because it is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve. As we say in the Rosh Hashanah davening after each time the shofar is blown, “Hayom harat olam– Today the world was created.”  This is because human beings are the reason for Creation. As the well-known Mishnah (Sanhedrin 4:5)  says, “He who saves one life is considered to have saved an entire world; and he who destroys one life is considered to have destroyed an entire world.”

We understand that Rosh Hashanah is the day Adam and Eve were created. But what is the connection between this and judgment?

To answer this, we must first take a look at what makes the human being unique. G-d created many things in the world; why is the human being considered to be “an entire world” unto himself?

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