Elul Source Sheet Challenge

How many Judgment Days are there and why is this Day of Judgment different from all other Days of Judgment?

Challenge: Build a source sheet explaining why the judgment day of Rosh Hashanah is unique — or argue that it’s not! Use our library of texts to build a case or bring in outside texts, multimedia, and your own thoughts. If you are an educator, get your students involved, too!

Don’t forget to tag it #Judgment Day 5779 so your sheet shows up in the Source Sheet Library. Bonus: your sheet may end up featured in Sefaria’s social media!

Need some inspiration? Here are a few texts that offer different interpretations of how many judgment days are in the Jewish calendar:

365 Judgment Days

וַתִּפְקְדֶנּוּ לִבְקָרִים לִרְגָעִים תִּבְחָנֶנּוּ׃

You inspect him every morning, Examine him every minute (Job 7:18).

וְיִהְיוּ דְבָרַי אֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר הִתְחַנַּנְתִּי לִפְנֵי יְהוָה קְרֹבִים אֶל־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יוֹמָם וָלָיְלָה לַעֲשׂוֹת מִשְׁפַּט עַבְדּוֹ וּמִשְׁפַּט עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל דְּבַר־יוֹם בְּיוֹמוֹ׃

And may these words of mine, which I have offered in supplication before the LORD, be close to the LORD our God day and night, that He may do justice by His servant and for His people Israel, according to each day’s needs (1 Kings 8:59).

Four Judgment Days

בארבעה פרקים העולם נידון בפסח על התבואה בעצרת על פירות האילן בר”ה כל באי עולם עוברין לפניו כבני מרון שנאמר (תהלים לג, טו) היוצר יחד לבם המבין אל כל מעשיהם ובחג נידונין על המים:

At four times of the year the world is judged: On Passover judgment is passed concerning grain; on Shavuot concerning fruits that grow on a tree; on Rosh HaShana, all creatures pass before Him like sheep [benei maron], as it is stated: “He Who fashions their hearts alike, Who considers all their deeds” (Psalms 33:15); and on the festival of Sukkot they are judged concerning water, i.e., the rainfall of the coming year (Tractate Rosh Hashanah 16a).

One Judgment Day

דתניא הכל נידונים בר”ה וגזר דין שלהם נחתם ביוה”כ דברי ר”מ ר’ יהודה אומר הכל נידונין בר”ה וגזר דין שלהם נחתם כל אחד ואחד בזמנו בפסח על התבואה בעצרת על פירות האילן בחג נידונין על המים ואדם נידון בר”ה וגזר דין שלו נחתם ביוה”כ

The Gemara explains: As it is taught in a baraita: All are judged on Rosh HaShana, and their sentence is sealed on Yom Kippur; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yehuda says: All are judged on Rosh HaShana, and their sentence is sealed each in its own time: On Passover the sentence is sealed concerning grain; on Shavuot concerning fruits that grow on a tree; on the festival of Sukkot they are judged concerning water; and mankind is judged on Rosh HaShana, and the sentence is sealed on Yom Kippur (Tractate Rosh Hashanah 16a).

 


 

We can’t wait to see your thoughts in the Source Sheet Library!

Don’t forget to use the tag #JudgmentDay5779 

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