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ב"ה
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Sunday, 30 Tishrei, 5781

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan
Laws and Customs

Today is the first 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

Daily Thought

Envision a deluge over all the earth, hellish waves pounding back and forth, crushing every structure, carrying away every living being, until no dry land remains, no life endures.

This is the world into which you were thrown. The waves are the stress and anxiety of indecision, not knowing which way to turn, on what to rely. Up and down, hot and cold—constantly churning back and forth, sucking the life out of you.

The secret you must know is that these are truly peaceful waters. They are called “the waters of Noah”—because their energy can be harnessed to achieve true serenity.

Do as Noah did and build an ark. Ark in Hebrew is teivah—which also means “a word.” Your ark shall be the words of Torah and of prayer, of mitzvahs and of kind deeds. When the waves rage—whether from outside or from within your own heart—direct their power into those harmonious words.

Rather than drown you with everything else, let that raw energy of the mighty waters carry you upward—into a serene world you could never reach without them.

Mayim Rabim 5738.