Rosh Chodesh: Start of a Lunar month.
Literally Rosh Chodesh means “Head of the Month”. New Moon Festival is described in the Torah as the day of rejoicing (Bamidbar (Numbers) 10:10) , the time of renewal. Even the word “Chodesh” – month – comes from the root “חדש” – “Chadash” – “NEW”.
Rosh Chodesh: Time of opportunity.
Like all “moadim” – appointed times – Rosh Hodesh is the time of opportunity. The deeper meaning of Holidays and special times in Torah is not “commemoration” of some event. Holidays are an active opportunity to use the flow of energy that is descending at that time into the physical world. On Rosh Chodesh, the surge of energy that is creating the reality of the upcoming month is available to us! The way to receive this surge of energy is to be joyous!
Rosh Chodesh: Why the Joy is the key?
Rosh Chodesh: Why beginnings are important.
We can compare the energy of a new month to a garden hose that can create various shapes of a spout by twisting the nozzle; The jetstream of water changing the shape in the nozzle, in the place where it is forming. So is each month is taking shape at Rosh Chodesh.
Rosh Chodesh: Best time for a change.
Of course when we talk about “Changing the month”, we really mean “Changing ourselves”. We create the new month of opportunities for spiritual growth. The change is always easier when level of energy is high. If we direct the energy of ta month into changing ourselves in Tefillah, we will use it constructively. If we are oblivious to the chance, the energy can even destabilize us or dissipate inconsequentially.
In a sense, Rosh Chodesh is similar to Rosh HaShanah – just with a different scope.
Just like Rosh HaShanah helps us to create a new year full of opportunities, so does Rosh Chodesh give us a chance to break out of our routine and rise up.
Rosh Chodesh: Female Connection.
New lunar month is also regarded as a special time for Jewish women. You can read the standard explanation “why?” here, but I think the deeper reason for women’s special connection to Rosh Chodesh, is that our ladies are much more in tune with the dynamics of time and renewal.
Men need rigorous halachic times laws just to be basically in sync with spiritual reality.
While women are exempt from those laws – because they are generally already in tune with times; so women do not need specific Halachic instruments to achieve the alignment with zmanim. Interestingly, many Chassidic Tzaddikim were known to be very liberal with halachic times – perhaps because they reached the level of being in tune with times – similar to what most women have from birth.
So while women might be more in tune with the energy of Lunar renewal, men also try to catch up with Kiddush Levanah. Kiddush Levanah is another wonderful mitzvah using the Lunar energy of growth and rejuvenation.
Rosh Chodesh to Shavuot.
Today is the first day of Sivan and in 4 days we have Chag Shavuot – holiday of receiving the Torah. The energy needed to form the Holiday is also descending today – so we start defining our receiving of the Torah already today!
Good Month Sivan to everyone!