Rosh Hashana as a Day of Judgment 1

  • Two 40-50 minute classes
  • Grades: 7-8
  • Lesson Plan

by: The Lookstein Center staff

Students engage in independent text-study to learn about Rosh Hashana as a day of judgment.


The holiday of Rosh Hashana has several names. In this unit, students investigate the name β€œYom Ha-Din”, the Day of Judgment. To do so, they study texts in chavrutot or small groups. The focus on this unit is to help students develop independent text skills. Thus, the amount of material covered is small.

There are three versions of the sources (English, Hebrew and English-Hebrew) and the worksheets (English, Hebrew, English-Hebrew). They are available in the appendices on this page and the next.

Lesson objectives


1. The student will be able to explain Mishnah Rosh Hashana 1:2.

2. The student will be able to describe sections of Gemara Rosh Hashana 16a and b.

3. The student will be able to explain the difference between a β€œrasha” and a β€œtzadik” according to the Rambam.

4. The student will able to describe the difference between judgment on Rosh Hashana and judgment before death according to the Rambam.

5. The student will be able to describe Rosh Hashana according to the Netana Tokef prayer.

6. The student will be able to name the author of the Netana Tokef prayer.



1. The student will be able to read a short text independently or with a partner.

2. The student will be able to use reference books/Internet to research simple questions.


Yom Ha-Din – the Day of Judgment

Resources & Equipment needed

One copy of worksheet and sources for each student.


1. With the class, list the names of Rosh Hashana on the board. Yom Ha-Zikaron (The Day of Remembrance), Yom Terua (The Day of Blowing the Shofar), and Yom Ha-Din (The Day of Judgment). Explain that in this unit, students will be exploring the meaning of Rosh Hashana as a day of judgment.

2. Distribute worksheets and sources. Pair up students or let them choose their own study groups.

3. Circulate room to aid students. See guidelines for chevrutah study on the bottom of this page – http://www.lookstein.org/resource/lessonplans_output.php?id=226520