Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rosh HaShanah - Conception of the World


"Today is the conception of the world; today He will place all of the universe's creations in judgment, whether as children or as slaves.

"If as children, have mercy on us as a parent has mercy on children. If as slaves, our eyes are dependent on You until You show us favor and produce our judgment clear as light, You who are awesome and holy."

(Rosh haShanah liturgy, Hayom Harat Olam)

While many prayerbooks translate the opening as "birthday of," a more accurate translation for הרת is "conception of." This fits with the idea that the world was created in a semi-permanent state, and the acceptance of the Torah by human beings, generations later, gave the world permanence.

May we all be inscribed and sealed for a great new year!

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