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    5769 vs 2008 – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Why does Judaism call the new year 5769, not 2008?

    A. 2008 is a Christian date supposedly deriving from the birth of Jesus, though he was actually born in 3 or 4 BCE.

    5769 is the number of years since Creation, when understood in a spiritual sense as the date when man and civilisation began. Rabbi Yose ben Chalafta (2nd century CE) explained this in his Seder Olam Rabba, a classical Jewish chronological work.

    5769 (tav-shin-samech-tet) is the initials of t’hi sh’nat s’gulah tovah, “May it be a year of great influence”.

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