Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rosh HaShanah: Netane Tokef

Rabbi Amnon of Magenza (Mainz), 11th Century:

On Rosh HaShana it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed: how many shall pass away and how many shall be created; who shall live and who shall die; who at his appointed time and who before it; who by fire and who by water; who by the sword and who by wild beasts; who from hunger and who from thirst; who by earthquake and who by plague; who by strangling and who by stoning; who shall rest and who shall wander; who will be tranquil and who harassed; who will be at ease and who afflicted; who will become poor and who rich; who will be brought down and who raised up. But teshuva, tefilla and tzedaka will prevent the evil decree.

(Cut and pasted from here)

For the full (Artscroll) English version, here.

Two very very different blogs talk about Netane Tokef here and here. An orthodox Rabbi talks about it here; if you prefer a far-left perspective, check here. Here's another blog. And another Orthodox rabbi here.

May we all be judged for the better.

See you next week.

2 comments:

Nikol said...

That's all fine. What, however, do you think about Obadiah Shoher's criticism pf Rosh Hashanah as aholiday that has nothing to do with New Year? Here, for example http://samsonblinded.org/blog/petty-paganism.htm

Yaacov said...

Thank you, Nikol, for pointing out that blog. The author is clearly an educated and thinking person. His opinions, from what I can see, are rather far from mine, but lots of peole have opinions far from mine - and mine are far from theirs.

As for his specific claims: there is some truth to them, but much that isn't. There is a whole tractate of the Gemarah, for example, that deals with Rosh Hashana, and the reality described there is far more complex than what Obadiah describes. Should you be interested, by the way, you might want to read my "Daf Yomi" posts to get an idea of how I read the Talmud.

Yaacov