Judgment on Rosh Hashanah: Analysis of Content and Process in a Talmudic Aggadah

What does it mean for all of mankind to pass before God like sheep?

On Rosh Hashanah, all creatures pass before God like sheep (Mishnah Rosh Hashana 1:2).

This famous idea is a curious one, riddled with questions when one begins to ponder its words. Why sheep? How do we pass? Is it really all creatures? What distinguishes Rosh Hashanah for this time?

Rabbi Beryl Gershenfeld, a world-renowned leader in Jewish outreach for decades, takes us on a journey through this passage in his essay, “Judgment on Rosh Hashanah: Analysis of Content and Process in a Talmudic Aggadah,” published in the first volume of the Orthodox Union and Yeshivat Ohr Yerushalayim’s Jewish Thought: A Journal of Torah Scholarship. 

As we begin our series on teshuva once more, we invite you to welcome Rabbi Gershenfeld’s words into your mind, heart, and Elul.

You can read Rabbi Gershenfeld’s essay here.





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