Wednesday, May 4, 2011

ROSH CHODESH IYAR: We and the moon

Today is the 30th day of Nisan, 5771 ROSH CHODESH IYAR 15 days of Omer (2 weeks, 1 day)

The Jewish year and the Jewish day follow the sun. But the Jewish month follows the moon's cycle of 29 days and a half. This is why sometimes we have one day of Rosh Chodesh and sometimes two. Our rabbis mentioned a long time ago that there is a remarkable resemblance between the cycle of the moon and the cycle of renewal, furthermore, the cycle of renewal of the Jewish people.

"Whereas the sun is the symbol of unchanging nature, rising in the east, setting in the west, day in and day out every day of the year, the moon changes and it seems to be telling us something: You can be small and you can diminish until you almost disappear, but then, when things look their darkest, hope springs eternal. You can start looking up again. You can change a situation and yourself for the better, no matter how bad it seems. Nothing is static or set in stone. Human beings have free will and therein is their power of renewal -- an ever-present struggle against the steady, cyclical, repetitive and predictable march of time and nature.

The solar system determines the year, in Hebrew "shana," which comes from the same root as "to repeat, to go over," whereas the moon sets the months, "Chodesh" from the Hebrew root "chadash," -- new, change, different.

The Jewish people are compared to the moon. Though they are small, and suffering has been an integral part of their history among the nations, the Jew knows never to give up. As an individual and as a nation, he will rise up again and light up the night".

Adapted from "Rosh Chodesh", an article by Dina Coopersmith

To see the whole article click here:

Mazal Tov to Jacob Bitton and Rivka Souleimani!

Rabbi Yosef Bitton. YMJC | 130 Steamboat Rd. | Great Neck | NY | 11024