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Essay and Study Guide: Hayom Harat Olam

Explore this ancient Rosh Hashana piyyut (liturgical poem) that contains just 32 words beginning with: Hayom Harat Olam, the day of creation of the world.
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©ipopba/stock.adobe.com

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
– William Blake

Essay and Study Guide: Hayom Harat Olam

The unique liturgy of Rosh Hashana offers us a rare glimpse of an ancient 32-word poem at the heart of the service, Hayom Harat Olam, the day of creation of the world. In this beautiful essay and study guide, Gordon Tucker leads us through the poem’s possible interpretations.

Often overshadowed by the shofar or overlooked by congregations barreling through the service, Hayom Harat Olam is a deep meditation on the meaning of the day.

This new year, with the restrictions against gathering in our synagogues, we look to the traditions that bind us together and to the insights that formed those traditions.

Note: This essay and study guide is especially designed to be downloaded and printed so that in these days of ubiquitous Zoom, you can look deeper into the holiday liturgy without peering at a screen.

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