• December 9, 2022
  • 15 5783, Kislev
  • פרשת וישלח

The 6 Historical Events of Rosh Hashanah

The 6 Historical Events of Rosh Hashanah

According to the Gemara six things happened on Rosh Hashanah. They include: 1) the world was created 2) the Patriarchs were born 3) the Patriarchs died 4) Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah were remembered by God and conceived 5) Joseph came out from prison 6) slavery in Egypt ceased. Also it is said that in Tishrei in the future the Jewish people will be redeemed in the final redemption with the coming of the Messiah. Join Rabbi David Sedley as he explores these events and how to relate to them on Rosh Hashanah.

August 30, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The 6 Historical Events of Rosh Hashanah: Creation of the World
Class description

Rabbi Eliezer says the world was created in Tishrei. Rabbi Yehoshua says the world was created in Nissan.

Surely, they are not arguing about a historical fact. How could they know historically when the world was created and what difference would it make?

Rather, they are arguing about the best way forward for Judaism following the destruction of the Temple.

Rabbi Eliezer says that it is fall. Fruit will soon rot and the days will get shorter. They must hang on to whatever they have, change nothing, and try their best to fight against the encroaching darkness.

Rabbi Yehoshua says this is spring. It is a new beginning, a time when Judaism can flourish and thrive.

September 6, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The 6 Historical Events of Rosh Hashanah: Patriarchs – Manifest Destiny
Class description

Rabbi Eliezer says the Patriarchs were born in Tishrei. Rabbi Yehoshua says they were born in Nissan.

In this class, I try to show that the dispute is about the extent we control our own futures, and how much is part of our national destiny.

September 13, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The 6 Historical Events of Rosh Hashanah: Undeserved blessing on Rosh Hashana
Class description

The Talmud in Rosh Hashana lists the many historical events that Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua disagree on. But there are six events that they both agree on, five of them happened on Rosh Hashana:
1. Sarah conceived
2. Rachel conceived
3. Hannah conceived
4. Yosef was freed from jail
5. The slavery of the Israelites in Egypt ended.

In this class I look at these events one by one and show that none of them were deserved or earned. In each case, the blessing came despite previous behavior of these otherwise righteous people.

And the message of the two rabbis, in my opinion, is that Rosh Hashana is not about thinking we have earned the right to the blessings of the coming year, nor that we should regret our sins and repent of our wickedness (that comes later on Yom Kippur). Rather, Rosh Hashana is a time when we are given life, family, wealth, health and everything else despite the fact that we don’t deserve them. It is a fresh start, a new year, and our task is to use the undeserved blessings we receive for good in the coming year.

September 20, 2022 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The 6 Historical Events of Rosh Hashanah: Redemption
Class description

Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua disagree about whether the future redemption will be in Tishrei or in Nisan.

In this class, I look at their views on redemption in general. I also reexamine the story of Achnai’s Oven based on an interpretation by Rabbi Avraham Korman to understand it as a debate about rebellion and redemption.

Rabbi David Sedley lives in Jerusalem with his wife and six children. He was born and raised in New Zealand before making Aliya in 1992. He left Israel temporarily (for eight years) to serve as a communal Rabbi in Scotland and England and returned to Israel in 2004. He has translated Rabbeinu Yonah's commentary on Pirkei Avos and is the co-author of Sefiros: Spiritual Refinement Through Counting the Omer (both Judaica Press). Over the years Rabbi Sedley has worked as a journalist, a translator, a video director and in online reputation management. He also writes a weekly Torah blog on the Times of Israel.