Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rosh Chodesh

This week's haftorah is from Isaiah 66 due to Rosh Chodesh--the new moon. Here's an excerpt from torah.org:
[...] a greater dimension of Rosh Chodesh was intended to be and will eventually become a reality. The Tur in Orach Chaim (417) quotes the Pirkei D'R'Eliezer which reveals that Rosh Chodesh was actually intended to be a full scale Yom Tov [i.e. holiday]. The Tur quotes his brother R' Yehuda who explains that the three Yomim Tovim correspond to our three patriarchs and that the twelve days of Rosh Chodesh were intended to correspond to the twelve tribes. This link reveals that each Rosh Chodesh truly has a unique aspect to itself and that one of the Biblical tribes' remarkable qualities is available to us each month. However, as the Tur explains, due to an unfortunate error of the Jewish people this opportunity has been, to a large degree, withheld from us.

But in the era of Mashiach this error will be rectified and the experience of Rosh Chodesh will actually reach its intended capacity. Yeshaya reflects upon this and says at the close of our haftorah, "And it will be that from month to month. . . . all will come and prostrate themselves before Hashem." (66: 23) The Psikta Rabbsi (1:3) explains that in the days of Mashiach we will have the privilege of uniting with Hashem every Rosh Chodesh. All Jewish people will come to the Bais Hamikdash each month and experience His Divine Presence. During the illustrious era of Mashiach sin will no longer exist and Rosh Chodesh will be viewed exclusively as an opportunity for elevation. Each month will provide us its respective quality and opportunity which we will celebrate through the Rosh Chodesh festivities. The sacrifice of Rosh Chodesh will reflect our great joy over being with Hashem and will no longer contain any aspect of remorse or sin. In those days, the experience of His Di vine Presence in the Bais Hamikdash will be perpetuated throughout the month and the entire period will become one uplifting experience.*
*Copyright (c) 2010 by Rabbi Dovid Siegel and Torah.org. The author is Rosh Kollel of Kollel Toras Chaim of Kiryat Sefer, Israel.


Timothy B said...

Pretty cool :)

Yahnatan Lasko said...

Yeah, I finally got back to your Rosh Chodesh question!

Since then I have also discovered that both John Fischer and Jeremiah Greenberg have siddurs with a Rosh Chodesh service incorporating traditional readings for the new moon.

Apparently there's also a recent trend of female-centered Rosh Chodesh groups in the larger Jewish world.