Every Shabbat blesses the week that follows it. The spiritual work we do on the day of rest fills our “gas tank” with blessings to last us through the next six days. Once a month, however, we have the opportunity to fill an even larger tank.

Shabbat Mevarchim

The Shabbat before the start of a Jewish month (Rosh Chodesh) is known as Shabbat Mevarchim, “the Shabbat when we bless.” On this day, during the synagogue service, we recite a special blessing for the new month and announce the timing of Rosh Chodesh.

On Shabbat morning, after the Torah reading, the chazzan (reader) holds the Torah scroll in his arms, and the following is said:

May He who performed miracles for our fathers and redeemed them from slavery to freedom, speedily redeem us and gather our dispersed people from the four corners of the earth, uniting all of Israel, and let us say, Amen. (Amen)

Rosh Chodesh (name of month) will be on (day(s) of week), which come(s) to us for good.

May the Holy One, blessed be He, renew it for us and for all His people, the house of Israel, for life and peace (Amen), for gladness and for joy (Amen), for deliverance and for consolation, and let us say, Amen. (Amen)

Customarily, this is preceded by an announcement of the time and day of the molad (the projected time of the birth of the new moon). Many congregations also begin with a prayer starting with the words yehi ratzon (“May it be Your will”).