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Friday, Kislev 1, 5780 / November 29, 2019


Today is the second day Rosh Chodesh Kislev. The Hebrew calendar has been set that certain months have one day Rosh Chodesh and some two days. 


The month of Kislev, however, will in some years have one day Rosh Chodesh and in others, two days Rosh Chodesh.  This year Kislev consists of two days Rosh Chodesh.


The mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh was the first mitzvah which G-d gave the Jewish people, while still in Egypt, before the Exodus.


Q. What is the significance of Rosh Chodesh?


A. Our calendar is a lunar based calendar. Each month the moon goes through different stages. The first half of the month it becomes more and more visible until a full moon is seen. Then it becomes smaller and smaller until at the end of the month it is completely hidden. Rosh Chodesh is when the moon begins to shine again.


The significance for us is that the Jewish people are like the cycles of the moon. At times we shine and even shine bright like the full moon. But unfortunately at other times we are not recognized or significant like the moon when it is hidden from view.


We celebrate Rosh Chodesh, because Rosh Chodesh, which is when the moon is reborn again, gives us hope and faith that we too, will never be diminished and extinct. We will one day come back to our full glory, with the coming of Moshiach and the rebuilding of the Holy Temple..


Each month, about a week after Rosh Chodesh, we recite a special prayer and blessing called, "Kidush Levanah" - "Sanctification of the Moon."  This prayer is said outdoors on a clear night when the moon is in sight. It is preferable to say this prayer at the conclusion of Shabbat (Motzaei Shabbat).


Q.  Why is the "Kidush Levanah" - "Sanctification of the Moon" recited at the conclusion of Shabbat?


A.  Due to the importance and significance of this prayer, we recite it at the end of Shabbat, when we are dressed in our Shabbat clothes.


Another reason:  Rosh Chodesh, is a sign of encouragement to the Jewish people. The Temple was destroyed on a Saturday night.  Thus, on Saturday night, the time when we lost our Holy Temple, we recite the Kidush Levanah prayer and proclaim our faith in the coming of Moshiach and the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, where G-d's glory will again rest as before. May it be speedily in our days.  Amen.




Montreal candle lighting time: 3:55 / Shabbat ends: 5:02