Rosh Hashanah 5778: Tishrei — The New Year of Years

       



   


Shalom Friends;

Our Rosh Hashana 5778 Vort is being sponsored by Avraham and Miriam Deutsch of Efrat who wish Zahal and Kol Am Yisrael L’Shana Tova! To the Deutsch family, many thanks for your continued kindnesses. Avraham and Miriam, may you know only simcha, success in all endeavors, good health, nachas from your children, and only good things in the year to come and in all years to at least 120!

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.

Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
olehchadash@yahoo.com
skype: mark.burt3
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Rosh Hashanah 5778: Tishrei — The New Year of Years

by Moshe Burt

Sefer Breish’t of Torah begins:

“In the beginning of G’d’s [loshen: Kelokim's] creating the heavens and the earth” (as rendered to English in both the Artscroll “Stone Edition Chumash” and “The Sapirstein Edition, The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary”, Sefer Breish’t, Perek 1, posuk 1)

The Shottenstein Edition of Gemara Tractate Rosh Hashana relates (Chapter 1, Page 2A Mishnah, this Mishnah is repeated Chapter 1, Page 8A Mishnah):

“…R’ Elazar and R’ Shimon say: ‘…On the first of Tishrei is the New Year for reckoning the years.’”

[Author's note: Substituting of Hashem, rather that G'd, Use of Kelokim. Yetziyat Mitzrayim rather than Exodus from Egypt.]

The Sapirstein Edition, The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary on Sefer Breish’t, Perek 1, posuk 1 states:

R’ Yitzchak said: “[Hashem] need not have begun the Torah… ‘This month shall be for you [the beginning of the months, ‘because it is the first commandment whch Israel was commanded. What is the reason that it began with Sefer Breish’t? It began thus because it wished to convey the message of the verse, “The power of His Acts He told His people in order to give them the estate of the nations. So that if the nations of the world will say to Israel, ” You are bandits, for you conquered the lands of the seven nations who inhabited the Land of Canaan,” [Israel] will say to them, “The whole earth belongs to the Holy One, Blessed is He. He Created it and He gave it to the one found proper in His eyes. By His wish He gave it to them, and by His wish He took it from them and gave it to us.”

“In the beginning of [G'd's] [loshen: Kelokim] creating.” ….It is to be understood as the Rabbis of blessed memory expounded it: For the Torah which is called “the beginning of His way,” and for Israel who are called, “the first of His crop.”

Sefer Shem Mishmuel (Written by R’ Shmuel Bornstein, the Sochaczever Rebbe, rendered to English by R’ Zvi Belovski) relates the dispute between Rabbi Eliezer {R’ Elazar?) and Rabbi Yehoshua (pages 426, 428) citing Rashi and providing commentary:

It is taught: Rabbi Eliezer said, “The world was created in Tishrei.” Rabbi Yehoshua said, “”The world was created in Nissan.” (Gemara Tractate Rosh Hashana 10b)

This seems to be a most fundamental dispute. Nevertheless, the Tosafos commentaries attempt a resolution:

Rabbeinu Tam says, “Both views are ‘the words of the living G’d’ [both are true]. One may say that in Tishrei it occurred to Hashem to create the world, but He di not actually do so until Nissan.” (Tosafos, Rosh Hashana 27a, s.v. K’matzlinan)

This is comparable to a view espoused by Rashi:

“In the beginning Kelokim Created the heaven and the earth.” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 1, posuk 1)

Kelokim Created — It does not say G’d [the four-letter Divine name] created. For initially, it arose in G’d’s thought to create it with the Divine characteristic of strict justice [indicated by the name Kelokim], but when He saw that the world could not endure in this mode, He preceded the characteristic of Divine mercy [indicated by the four-letter name (Hashem) and twinned it with strict justice. This is as the verse says: “On the day on which Hashem Kelokim [both names] made earth and heaven.” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 2, posuk 4) (Rashi cit.)

We may suggest that this is the same concept as that mentioned by the Tosafos. Hashem, as it were, decided to create the world in Tishrei. The mazal, or astrological sign, of Tishrei is scales, which symbolizes the atmosphere of din (judgement) which prevails during this month. The world could never have survived the Divine scrutiny which this implies, so the actual creation was postponed until Nissan, a month in which mercy [rachamim] prevails. Nissan would be the month in which Hashem would eventually enact the Yetziyat Mitzrayim.

But this author asks, how does Rabbi Yehoshua’s argument for creation in Nissan relate to the sixth day of creation when Hashem Formed man?

The Shottenstein Edition of Gemara Tractate Rosh Hashana (Chapter 1, page 10b) relates:

The Gemara cites a Baraisa:

It is taught in a Baraisa: R’ Eleizer says: “The world was created in the month of Tishrei.” The Patriarchs (i.e. Avraham and Yaakov) were born in the month of Tishrei. The Patriarchs died in the month of Tishrei. Our forefather Yitzchak was born during the festival of Pesach. On Rosh Hashana, the Matriarchs Sarah and Rachel and the prophetess Hannah were remembered by the Almighty, and it was decreed that they would bare children. On Rosh Hashana, Yosef went out of the Mitzri prison.

Note 25 to Chapter 1, page 10b of Gemara Tractate Rosh Hashana:

["The world was created in the month of Tishrei."] This refers to the sixth day of creation, upon which Man was formed. Since the focal point and purpose of all Creation is Man, the world was not deemed complete until he was made. Hence, the Baraisa equates the Creation of Man with the creation of all the world. The day Man came into being was the first of Tishrei. (see Ran to Gemara Tractate Rosh Hashana (Chapter 1, page 16a, folio 3a of the Rif; Tosafos 8a; Rabbeinu Bachy, Breish’t 1:3, 31; see Maharsha).

Sefer Shem Mishmuel concludes his vort on the Creation of the world:

Yehoshua comes from the word moshia meaning savior.

Hashem has made His help essential to the running of the world. This means that everyone, even the greatest Tzaddik, must have help from Hashem to succeed. As such, one my merit the quality of din even when Hashem helps, but only if one starts by helping oneself. Thus Rabbi Eliezer promotes the din thesis about the word — that Hashem Created it in Tishrei. In contrast, when Hashem helps a person entirely, He acts as a moshia, a cmplete savior. This is an act of profound chesed and mercy… We now see why it is Yehoshua who claims that the world was created in Nissan, the month when Hashem’s Chesed is most evident to mankind. (Sefer Shem Mishmuel, pages 427-428)

Based on the above, this author offers a final thought: Could it be that there is a connection between Nissan’s attributes of chesed and rachamim and what we learn in Gemara Tractate Rosh Hashana (Chapter 1, pages 2-3) that Nissan is the New Year of Israel’s Malchut (Kingship) vs Kingship of the nations for which the New Year occurs in month of Tishrei, the month of strict din?

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them and that the expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. May our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of three years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and prevent Chas V’Challila the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

L’Shana Tova! May You, All of My Brothers, Sisters, be Inscribed and Sealed, for a Year of Life, Health, Simcha, Success and only good things… Now and Always!
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Moshe Burt is an Oleh, writer and commentator on news and events in Eretz Yisrael. He is the founder and director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network and lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.
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