Dear Rabbi,

I was hoping that you would be able to answer a question that I have.
I’m Studying a book on the Hebrew calendar which dates from 5660-5860. From my studies I understand that the earth was created in 6 days and on the seventh day is Sabbath which today we start on Friday at sunset until Saturday at sunset; or when three stars of the evening sky appears. I search through my whole book on the dates and to my surprise I found that the first day “Rosh Hashanah” of the Hebrew New Year in the month of Tishri never falls on Sunday, The first day of creation. When was the first day of creation? And is today’s Saturday our Sabbath?

Answer:

According to the tradition of the Sages, the first day of the Creation was Sunday, yet this was not Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah, or the Hebrew New Year, is the day on which Adam was created, or the sixth day of the Creation. Although we state in the Rosh Hashanah prayers that “this is the day of the beginning of Your deeds,” the reference is to the creation of Adam, who completed and gave purpose to the creation of the world. Adam was judged on the day that he was created, and in the same way, Rosh Hashanah is the Day of Judgment for every man and creature.

However, this does not bear on the days on which the actual festival of Rosh Hashanah falls, which depends on various factors of the yearly calendar, and used to be determined by the sighting of the new moon, without connection to the day on which the world or Adam were actually created.

Today’s Saturday is, indeed, the Sabbath of the creation of the world, and our resting on the Sabbath from all creative activity commemorates the ‘rest’ that the Creator rested on the original Sabbath day.


Tags: Rosh Hashana Shabbos

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