Celebrating the New Moon: A Rosh Chodesh Anthology

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Overview

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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568214597
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 7/7/1977
  • Pages: 331
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgements
Introduction
1 Examining Rosh Chodesh: An Analysis of the Holiday and Its Textual Sources 3
2 The History of Rosh Chodesh and Its Evolution as a Woman's Holiday 13
3 Rosh Chodesh: A Feminist Critique and Reconstruction 23
4 My Body, My Self and Rosh Chodesh 33
5 "Kiddush HaChodesh": Teachings of the B'nai Yissasschar on Rosh Chodesh 40
6 Tkhines for Rosh Chodesh: Women's Prayers of Devotion 49
7 Nashot HaKotel: Women in Jerusalem Celebrate Rosh Chodesh 66
8 Rosh Chodesh Observances among Older Sefardic Women 78
9 Hallel: Praises of God 81
10 Starting and Growing a Rosh Chodesh Group 85
11 Rosh Chodesh for Children: Learning about and Experiencing the Jewish Lunar Calendar 96
12 New Moon-First Moon Celebration: Welcoming Daughters into the Circle of Women 102
13 Echad B'Yachad: Private Acts of Faith 107
14 Reflections on Observing Rosh Chodesh with My Women's Tefillah Group 111
15 Bat Kol: Jewish Women in Brazil Observe Rosh Chodesh 117
16 The Dark Rays of the Moon: Yom Kippur Katan as Preparation for Rosh Chodesh 125
17 Anticipating the New Moon: Birkat HaChodesh 130
18 Kiddush HaLevana: Sanctifying the New Moon 144
19 The Origins of Rosh Chodesh: A Midrash 153
20 A Rosh Chodesh Bracha (Song) 156
21 New Moon of the Daughters: Rosh Chodesh Tevet 157
22 The Moon as Life's Cycle 159
23 The New Moon (Pinchas - Numbers 28:1, 11) 161
24 A Woman's Rosh Chodesh Amidah 163
25 Meditation and Kiddush for Rosh Chodesh 167
26 Pale Moon 169
27 Birkat HaChodesh (Song with Notation) 170
28 Rosh Chodesh Sh'vat 172
29 Rosh Chodesh Nisan 174
30 they did not build wings for them 176
31 Rosh Chodesh Nisan 179
32 The Lunar Probe 181
33 Meditation for the New Moon 182
34 Rosh Chodesh 184
35 Hymn to the Moon 186
36 Red Moon Magic (Song with Notation) 187
37 Rosh Chodesh Moon (Song with Notation) 189
38 Hallel 191
39 A New Moon/Full Moon Meditation 193
40 The New Moon Time: A Love Song for the Shechinah 194
41 Grandmother Moon (Song with Notation) 196
42 HaChodesh Hazeh: Rosh Chodesh Song (Song with Notation) 197
43 Mooning 198
44 Kiddush Levono: Sanctification of the Moon 199
App. A A Visual Diagram of Rosh Chodesh Textual Sources 203
App. B A Rosh Chodesh Ceremony 207
App. C Focal Points for Each Month 214
App. D Specific Notes Regarding Rosh Chodesh 236
App. E Moon Musings 258
App. F Diagram of Conjunction: The Sun, the Moon, and the Earth at Rosh Chodesh 260
App. G The Days of the Hebrew Months 262
App. H Five-Year Calendar of Rosh Chodesh Observances 265
App. I Annotated Directory of Rosh Chodesh Groups 267
App. J Musical Notation 293
Glossary 303
Bibliography and Resources 307
Notes on the Contributors 315
Credits 323
Index 327
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