Rosh Hashanah is not only New Years according to the Jewish calendar, but also celebrates the birthday of the world, or as other rabbinic traditions have it, the birthday of the first humans, as recorded in the Book of Genesis. Either way, Rosh Hashanah teaches important truths about the biblical story of creation — truths we all need, regardless of faith, faithlessness, or any of the myriad ways we think about how either the world or the human race came into existence.
This is not a plea for the global acceptance of the literal truth about creation as recorded in the Hebrew Bible. And it’s certainly not a defense of the literal truth that the world is 5774 years old. I will leave those debates to those who prefer heat to light.