Celebrating the New Moon
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Celebrating the New Moon : A Rosh Chodesh Anthology

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Rosh Chodesh is the Jewish holiday marking each month's new moon. Celebrating the New Moon is an anthology conceived as a means to offer writings about Rosh Chodesh that are educational, inspirational, scholarly, programmatic, entertaining, and insightful; writings that teach tradition while inspiring innovation; writings from a variety of women and men, representing many writing styles, relationships to Judaism, and levels of observance.Rosh Chodesh observance has waned over the centuries despite the fact that the Torah provides several clues to the importance of this holiday and its observance. Rosh Chodesh was declared a festive day that included practices similar to those offered on other festivals. The joyous nature of Rosh Chodesh in biblical times was also marked by the blowing of the shofar. Today, the shofar is blown only on Rosh Chodesh Elul and onward through the month, to signal the process of preparation for the Holy Days.Modern Jews seem to have limited the festivities of Rosh Chodesh to the recitation of special prayers. It is no longer a holiday but simply a time to acknowledge the beginning of the new month. Perhaps the destruction of the Temple and the end of the sacrificial cult robbed Rosh Chodesh of its sacredness; perhaps it was the widespread adaptation of the solar/Christian calendar. Whatever the cause, only the late twentieth century has seen - indeed, is seeing - the resurgence of this minor holiday. Women in the search for ritual are connecting their search to the holiday of Rosh Chodesh - a day that has already enjoyed a special association with women in traditional lore, and one that is linked to women's unique cycle, the menses.This collection addresses each nuance of Rosh Chodesh, from the historical to the contemporary; from the traditional to the feminist. Rosh Chodesh is understood in a variety of ways: as a symbol of renewal, as a women's covenant, as a marking of time, and as a reminder of cyclical development and focus. Rosh Chodesh is a forever-returning opportunity for spiritual development and healing, a time to look inward and skyward, an occasion to contemplate the reflection of oneself in the moon's crescent light.Today, hundreds of women gather to study, to feast, to pray, to talk, but mainly to celebrate and revitalize the holiday of Rosh Chodesh. Celebrating the New Moon is the next milestone in this process. It records not only the history and halachah of Rosh Chodesh but also its unfolding during the past two decades. Celebrating the New Moon offers a blueprint for ways to celebrate Rosh Chodesh and stands as a testament to a changing Jewish community that is more open and receptive than ever before to women's celebration and ritual.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 331 pages
  • 152 x 224 x 22mm | 480.82g
  • Northvale NJ, United States
  • English
  • 0765760223
  • 9780765760227

Back cover copy

Rosh Chodesh is the Jewish holiday marking each month's new moon. Celebrating the New Moon is an anthology conceived as a means to offer writings about Rosh Chodesh that are educational, inspirational, scholarly, programmatic, entertaining, and insightful; writings that teach tradition while inspiring innovation; writings from a variety of women and men, representing many writing styles, relationships to Judaism, and levels of observance. Rosh Chodesh observance has waned over the centuries despite the fact that the Torah provides several clues to the importance of this holiday and its observance. Rosh Chodesh was declared a festive day that included practices similar to those offered on other festivals. The joyous nature of Rosh Chodesh in biblical times was also marked by the blowing of the shofar. Today, the shofar is blown only on Rosh Chodesh Elul and onward through the month, to signal the process of preparation for the Holy Days. Modern Jews seem to have limited the festivities of Rosh Chodesh to the recitation of special prayers. It is no longer a holiday but simply a time to acknowledge the beginning of the new month. Perhaps the destruction of the Temple and the end of the sacrificial cult robbed Rosh Chodesh of its sacredness; perhaps it was the widespread adaptation of the solar/Christian calendar. Whatever the cause, only the late twentieth century has seen - indeed, is seeing - the resurgence of this minor holiday. Women in the search for ritual are connecting their search to the holiday of Rosh Chodesh - a day that has already enjoyed a special association with women in traditional lore, and one that is linked to women's unique cycle, the menses. This collection addresseseach nuance of Rosh Chodesh, from the historical to the contemporary; from the traditional to the feminist. Rosh Chodesh is understood in a variety of ways: as a symbol of renewal, as a women's covenant, as a marking of time, and as a reminder of cyclical development and focus. Rosh Chodesh is a forever-returning opportunity for spiritual development and healing, a time to look inward and skyward, an occasion to contemplate the reflection of oneself in the moon's crescent light. Today, hundreds of women gather to study, to feast, to pray, to talk, but mainly to celebrate and revitalize the holiday of Rosh Chodesh. Celebrating the New Moon is the next milestone in this process. It records not only the history and halachah of Rosh Chodesh but also its unfolding during the past two decades. Celebrating the New Moon offers a blueprint for ways to celebrate Rosh Chodesh and stands as a testament to a changing Jewish community that is more open and receptive than ever before to women's celebration and ritual.
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