Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Swirling Thoughts #225 – happy new month!

 You know it’s Rosh Hodesh when….

Your children wake up and run from room to room scrambling to find the white school uniform shirt (which they haven’t looked for since last month).

You pass the local park and spy 30 loosely supervised nine year olds roasting hot dogs over an open fire at about 9:30am.

Your gan-aged daughter comes home with her lunchbox untouched and reminds you that the Morah gave them lunch “hagigi” (holiday lunch) consisting of pizza and vafflim. It took me about two years before I realized vafflim are not waffles...
Your 7th grader explains, with urgency, the need to bring a bag of Doritos and 30 plates to school because, ‘You know, Mom, we are doing Master Chef today. Likvod (to honor) Rosh Hodesh!’

The significance of Rosh Hodesh (literally, the head of the month) as a cultural phenomenon in Israel surely stems from its religious importance. So important that if you forget the special prayer that pertains to Rosh Hodesh on that day, you need to repeat a good portion of the entire prayer service. But why is the start of a new month so religiously important? I asked my friend David Zeit who explained it like this:

Rosh Hodesh determines our entire calendar (a lunar calendar) - as such it determines when holidays and other significant events will take place. Additionally, the first misva given to us as a Nation, was the misva of Qiddush HaHodesh (the sanctification of the new month)

"This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months" Exodus 12:2
(referring to the month of Nissan). Because this misva was given to us upon our redemption from Egypt, the misva was performed by the Elders of the Sanhedrin in the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Thank you David!

And in case you forget it’s Rosh Hodesh (imagine forgetting Thanksgiving Day in America?), every clerk, tremper, and neighbor you see will wish you a....

Hodesh Tov!!!!!!!!!!

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