Rosh Hashanah is just one of two surviving Jewish new years from
antiquity, the other being the month in which Passover falls. The
two are exactly six months apart, proper symbolism of the age-old
Jewish struggle to balance two contrasting principles: universalism
and particularism. Passover's central theme is the particularistic
tale of the Jewish People released from servitude in Egypt to
fulfill its historic destiny. The message of Rosh Hashanah, by
contrast, is the universalistic definition of that destiny, the
role that every Jew must play simply by virtue of being human, and
the role of Judaism in helping Jews play that role with proper
passion and commitment.
All the World combines the particularistic concern for Israel as
a People called by God with the universalistic proclamation that
Israel is called for universal ends. It assembles some forty
contributors scholars, rabbis, artists and thinkers from Canada,
France, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, the UK and USA to launch
the crucial discussion of what the High Holy Days have to say about
universalism and particularism in Judaism."
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