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How Rosh Hashanah Became New Year’s Day

The effort to strike a balance between a particularistic loyalty to Jewish religion and nationhood and a more universalistic commitment to the human community played itself out in the struggle to set a date for the beginning of the Jewish calendar year. The two possibilities were Nisan, the month of Passover, and Tishrei, the month of what is now known as the festival of Rosh Hashanah.

In the Torah , the beginning of the year was clearly set at the first of Nisan, in the context of a description of the first Passover. “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months; it shall be the first of the months of the year for you”

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