It's the new month of Kislev - most well known for the holiday of Chanukah. It's always exciting to start a new month, hoping and praying for the best. In Judaism the months are set by the new moon - it's known as a lunar calendar.
On the Shabbat prior to Rosh Chodesh (new month), the new month is announced with the day that it will land. This month Rosh Chodesh Kislev landed this Sunday and Monday (November 7 & 8).
I enjoy being in synagogue for this announcement - it's found in the siddur/prayer book under "Blessing for the New Month". It's usually sung with a special tune, the congregation standing at attention, and the person leading the prayers holding the Torah scroll. It's a special moment.
The congregation says the blessing first followed by the leader:
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 Israel; and let us say, Amen [Cong: Amen].
The leader then announces the following, followed by the congregation:
Rosh Chodesh (name of the month) will be on (name the day(s) of the week on which it falls) which will come to us for good.
The congregation says the following, followed by the leader:
May the Holy One, blessed be He, renew it for us and for all His people, the House of Israel, for life and for peace [Cong: Amen], for gladness and for joy [Cong: Amen], for deliverance and for consolation; and let us say, Amen [Cong: Amen].
In the spirit of the new month of Kislev I want to wish everyone a wonderful, successful and healthy month - and may we all be blessed with peace and redemption.
The Significance of Rosh Chodesh
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