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Aish Da’at: Rosh Chodesh

“This month shall be for you the beginning of the months, it shall be for you the first of the months of the year.” (Exodus 12:2) The Midrash (Shemot Rabbah 15) says, This is what is meant in the verse,  “He relates His Word to Jacob,” refers to Torah. “His statutes and judgments to Israel,” refers to the sanctification of the month, that includes both statutes and judgments, and statutes also include festivals as it says, “For it is a statute for Israel.”

The Tanchumah (Bereishit) and the Zohar ( II 39b) say, “The Torah did not have to begin from anywhere other than “This month shall be for you.”

In order to fully understand the powerful concept of the Sanctification of the New Moon we must look from the perspective of AShaN – Olam, Shana, Nefesh – Space, Time & Soul, as is explained in Sefer Yetzirah (Chapter 4) that we find Kedusha – Holiness in each of these three categories. The three join at special times, such as when the holiest soul, the High Priest, enters the holiest place, the Holy of Holies, on the holiest time, Yom Kippur.

The Sanctification of the New Moon can only happen in the Holy Land. (Rambam; Laws of Sanctification of the New Month, Chapter 5). It must be performed by the holiest people, the members of Beit Din, and by the joining of a Holy Place with Holy People, they are able to create a Holy Time, namely, the new month.

The people who study Torah as new every day, can join with God, Who renews creation each day, to introduce the idea of New as holy.

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