This festival is known by four names: Rosh ha-Shanah
, Yom Teru'ah (Day of Blowing the Horn), Yom ha-Din (Day of Judgment), and Yom ha-Zikkaron (Day of Remembrance).
The veritable fountain of images of God invoked during Rosh Ha-Shanah
and Yom Kippur--God as biographer recording our lives, God as merciful mother (the phrase Ayl molei rahamim literally means "God full of wombs"), God as glassblower, God as soft-on-crime judge--testifies to centuries of discomfort with this face-to-face meeting with the One we cannot face.
Other Temple rituals were also transferred to the synagogue and sometimes reshaped, e.g., sounding the shofar on Rosh Ha-Shanah
(now no longer done on the Sabbath) and performing the Sukkot processions around the reading desk while carrying the Four Species.
Yehudah ha-Nasi would interpret Hebrew terms to rabbis who had forgotten their meaning (TB Rosh Ha-Shanah
"I did it on Rosh ha-Shanah
for eighty-two years, since I was three or five or seven.
TB Rosh Ha-Shanah
11b records a dispute about what this date represents.
They are certain that their saintly rabbi has gone up to heaven to plead directly before the throne of the Almighty with the onset of the Rosh ha-Shanah
period of penitence for the lives and well-being of his congregation and of persecuted Jews everywhere, which at that time probably meant all Jews in Eastern Europe, if not the world over.
The earliest Jewish interpretation of this verse is found in [begin strikethrough]BT[end strikethrough] TB Rosh Ha-Shanah
8b, where keseh is understood to mean "covered", from the root k-s-h.
(4.) The Talmud (Rosh Ha-Shanah
11b-12a) also records the opinion that for the counting of months in the story of the Deluge we begin with Tishri.
The Talmud (Rosh Ha-Shanah
26a-b) also relates to the shofar solely as a ritual object, since by that time the shofar had no other function.
The term Rosh Ha-Shanah
, which came to be used for the beginning of a new year, is found only once in all of Scripture (Ezekiel 40:1), but nothing is stated as to when it occurred, nor are there any festivities associated with it.
21b) presents a subtle criticism of Solomon.