ב"ה
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Monday, January 3, 2022

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Rosh Chodesh Shevat
Jewish History

On the first of Shevat in the year 2488 from creation, Moses convened the Jewish people and began the 37-day "review of the Torah" contained in the Book of Deuteronomy, which he concluded on the day of his passing on Adar 7 of that year.

Links:
Overview of Deuteronomy
Moses: The Man of G-d

Laws and Customs

Today is Rosh Chodesh (“Head of the Month”) for the month of Shevat.

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 Jewish Month of Shevat
The Laws of Rosh Chodesh
How Does a Jewish Woman Celebrate Rosh Chodesh?

Daily Thought

The ancient philosophers divided the world into four realms of life. Look closely and you will see they are realms of transcendence—because to live means to transcend:

The “silent” realm—earth, rocks, water, air, and the like—they are all alive, but they do not transcend their bounds in any way.

Plants transcend their bounds by growing.

Animals transcend their bounds by traversing space.

And we human beings, how do we transcend our bounds?
We reach outside of ourselves with words. With dialogue.

Of all creatures, we alone are capable of hearing ourselves through the ears of another.

Likutei Sichot, vol. 6, Yitro.