The first commandment given to the Jews as a nation was to create a calendar based on the cycle of the moon: "And G‑d said to Moses… in the land of Egypt… This month is for you, the head of the months. First it is for you among the months of the year." (Exodus 12:1-2).

Rosh Chodesh, literally the “head of the month,” is celebrated as a minor holiday. Special prayers are added to the daily service; we wish each other “chodesh tov,” a good month. Rosh Chodesh is also known as a “women’s holiday,” and many women have the custom to refrain from tedious household chores such as laundry and sewing on these days

The Jewish month begins when the new moon first appears, a tiny sliver in the night sky. Indeed, the word “chodesh” comes from the root chadash, which means new. The moon’s cycle of waxing and waning is a powerful symbol of renewal, reminding us that every diminution creates the possibility of rebirth. Rosh Chodesh offers us the opportunity to begin anew, not just once a year, but once a month... Read More