I love learning about the Jewish months. Rosh Chodesh means “New Moon” or “New Month”. Chodesh Tov means “Good month” – it is a greeting given on the Rosh Chodesh.
Rosh Chodesh Kislev.
Shalom and Chodesh Tov to you! Here we are at the start of a new Hebrew month – Kislev.
At I sit down to write this blog post to you all I have been reflecting on the last two months since the Jewish new year started. For me, these two months have seen lots of changes and things I didn’t see coming! I have learnt so much in these few months, and intend to keep learning. I always find it so exciting (as well as a bit uncomfortable) when I find Hashem is changing my focus. It really is like someone grabbing you by the shoulders and changing which way you’re facing. You want to be open to the change, but at the same times it’s all a bit stiff and jolty and uncomfortable! But once you’re headed in the right direction again it’s all worth it.
Let us talk about Kislev. The 9th month of the Hebrew calendar. One of the themes of Kislev is that of darkness and light. In Israel Kislev is in the Winter. The days are as short as they will ever be in the year, and therefore the darkest. BUT we have a light as well – on the 25th of Kislev is the start of Hanukkah. Hanukkah sees us lighting candles and bring light into the dark night! When we light an additional candle each night for 8 nights, and slowly bring more and more light into the month, we can think about the light we are called to be, and how we are sharing Hashem’s light into the darkness of the world.
As we look forward towards Kislev, lets think about what light we are bringing into our world, and how we are representing our Hashem.
1 How blessed is the one who does not follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand in the pathway with sinners,
or sit in the assembly of scoffers!
2 Instead he finds pleasure in obeying the Lord’s commands;
he meditates on his commands day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by flowing streams;
it yields its fruit at the proper time,
and its leaves never fall off.
He succeeds in everything he attempts.
4 Not so with the wicked!
Instead they are like wind-driven chaff.
5 For this reason the wicked cannot withstand judgment,
nor can sinners join the assembly of the godly.
6 Certainly the Lord guards the way of the godly,
but the way of the wicked ends in destruction.
– Rosh Chodesh –
The Rosh Chodesh is not often celebrated these days, but I’m not letting that stop me! Traditionally the Rosh Chodesh is particularly important to women, as they are often in tune with the moon, and considered a “Women’s day”. Some women like to take time off from some of their regular household duties and spend time reading the Torah. Perhaps you’d like to meditate on the Psalm I’ve posted above. xo