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Shabbat, 1 Cheshvan, 5778

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Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan
Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Laws and Customs

Today is the second of the two Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") days for the month of Cheshvan (when a month has 30 days, both the last day of the month and the first day of the following month serve as the following month's Rosh Chodesh).

Special portions are added to the daily prayers: Hallel (Psalms 113-118) is recited -- in its "partial" form -- following the Shacharit morning prayer, and the Yaaleh V'yavo prayer is added to the Amidah and to Grace After Meals; the additional Musaf prayer is said (when Rosh Chodesh is Shabbat, special additions are made to the Shabbat Musaf). Tachnun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted.

Many have the custom to mark Rosh Chodesh with a festive meal and reduced work activity. The latter custom is prevalent amongst women, who have a special affinity with Rosh Chodesh -- the month being the feminine aspect of the Jewish Calendar.

Links: The 29th Day; The Lunar Files

The month of Cheshvan is also called "Mar-Cheshvan." Mar means "bitter" -- an allusion to the fact that the month contains no festive days. Mar also means "water", alluding to the month's special connection with rains (the 7th of Cheshvan is the day on which Jews begin praying for rain (in the Holy Land), and the Great Flood, which we read about in this week's Torah reading, began on Cheshvan 17th).

Links: The Last Jew

Daily Thought

G‑d is with me among my helpers.
—Psalms 118:7

Your best friends are those who are at your side in time of distress.

And why are they there? Because you are at their side at the time of their distress.

Sometimes your charitable donations are seriously threatened. You might be short on funds, or the market might be unstable. Yet, nevertheless, you still provide with a full and generous hand.

You have stood by a good friend at an hour of distress. A friend called charity.

Sometimes, your fixed time for Torah study is under existential threat. You might be running off to business, chasing another client—and instead you stick it out to the end.

You have stood by a good friend at a threatening hour. A friend called Torah.

Without a doubt, such dear friends will not leave your dedication unrequited. When you will need them, they will come running.

12 Tammuz 5725, sicha 6.