"Did the hands of Moses make the battle or did his hands break the battle? Rather, as long as Israel gazed upward, and directed their hearts to their Father in Heaven, they prevailed; but when not, they fell." — M. Rosh Hashanah 3:8
During the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur two concluding blessing formulas are switched to refer to God as a judge What is the meaning of this change? What can talmudic manuscripts teach us about this liturgical practice?
The main source in rabbinic literature for Rosh Hashanah serving as a day of judgment is a mishnah that describes this holiday and the three pilgrimage festivals as “periods of judgment.” By comparing this Mishnah with teachings attributed to R. Akiva, we can trace how this idea evolved in the tannaitic period and how this mishnah reshapes it.