What is Rosh Chodesh?
The moon is queen in a darkened sky, supervising our hours of rejuvenation. As we prepare for morning’s rebirth, she tugs the tides to and fro and casts her soft glow. Her unique light is not entirely hers; she reflects the sun’s greater power. Yet her nascent crescent is heaven’s smile at mankind’s darkest hour.
A New Light
After centuries of labor in ancient Egypt, the Jewish nation were sent to wander in the desert on their journey to reach the Promised Land. For their first act of bonding, God shared the law of Rosh Chodesh, Head of the Month. Chodesh also means renewal and refers to the moon’s rebirth. The Jewish people were charged with creating a calendar based on the moon's cycle of waxing and waning and sanctifying each new month at its start.
The Jewish nation also wanes and waxes. Periods of moral turbulence yield to spiritual resurgence. Eras of oppression vanish in the re-emerging light of freedom. Like the months and festivals, these are upward spirals through time and achievement, soul and destiny. The moon's first appearance as a tiny sliver is a powerful reminder that every diminution creates the possibility of rebirth, that we are constantly given the ability to begin anew.
Celebrating the Jewish Woman
In ancient times, the arrival of the new moon was celebrated with sacrifices in the Jerusalem Temple. With the waning of Jewish independence, a pre-calculated calendar was instituted and the sacrificial offerings were replaced with prayers of hope and praise.
For the Jewish woman, Rosh Chodesh is even more meaningful. The moon waxes and wanes in rhythm with her natural cycles. Her identity is intertwined with the miracle of rebirth, physical and spiritual, for her family and her nation.
Rosh Chodesh is her monthly moment of reflection and empowerment. It is a celebration of the Jewish woman herself, given to her as a gift in recognition for her refusal to participate in the sin of the Golden Calf. It is a testament to her steadfast faith when the males had succumbed to darkness, a reminder of her role as nurturer of the Jewish essence and future.
A Time for Study and Soul
A mandated break from chores on Rosh Chodesh provides an opportunity to gather in study and prayer and engage in acts of kindness. It is an auspicious time for seeking blessing, for deep reflection and reconnection.
The Jewish woman is one step ahead. Her monthly celebrations reflect our ultimate renewal in the Messianic future. All mankind will then celebrate the birth of spiritual luminance that will grace each Rosh Chodesh. They will similarly embrace the superior source of radiance generated by the spiritual power of the Jewish woman in that future era of light.