Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan

Today and tomorrow are Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan. Because Cheshvan is the only Jewish month without a holiday, it's referred to as Mar Cheshvan--which means bitter Cheshvan. But there really is a holiday in the month, because Rosh Chodesh is a holiday all its own! So here, as the Jewish Virtual Library puts it, is something about Rosh Chodesh:
Rosh Chodesh has long been recognized as a women's holiday. In the Talmud [tractate Megillah 22b], we read that women are exempt from work on Rosh Chodesh. Rashi, on commenting on this passage, delineates the activities from which they may refrain: spinning, weaving, and sewing, because these are the skills which women so enthusiastically contributed to the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Why do women merit a special holiday once a month? In midrash Pirke DeRabbi Eliezer, chapter 45, we are told that in the incident of the Golden Calf, the women refused to relinquish their earrings to the men who were building the calf. As a reward, God gave them an extra holy day each month, free from work. It is customary to wear new clothing on Rosh Chodesh, in celebration of the day's special character.
Rosh Chodesh Sameach!

1 Shpeils


Anonymous miryam said...

thatnks for the dvar torah, dina. and btw, if i wouldnt have seen your post during my 10:30 lunch, i totally would have forgotten to say hallel and yaaleh veyavoh:)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005 6:31:00 PM  

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