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What's the connection between women and Rosh Chodesh?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus

  

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Jewish women have a special connection to Rosh Chodesh and therefore refrain from extra work such as washing laundry and sewing on that day1 . This special connection is explained in an ancient book called Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer (chapter 45):


“When the Israelite men wanted to take their wives’ earrings for the Golden Calf, the women heard about it and were not agreeable. They said: ‘[You want our jewelery] to create a disgrace and an abomination that has no power? We will not listen to you!’


G-d therefore gave them reward in this world in that they celebrate Rosh Chodesh and grants them reward in the next world where they are renewed like the new month.”

Footnotes

  • 1. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (97:3)

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Rosh Chodesh

Posted by: Chana, Hachenburg, Germany on Dec 25, 2006

What is exactly meant by saying that women in the next world are renewed like the new Moon ?

Editor's Comment

Both the moon and women are symbolized by the kabbalistic attribute of "Malchut" (kingship) which will be more dominant than her male counterpart (which is symbolized by "Za"h" [the six emotional attributes preceding "Malchut"]). The moon's radience is a reflection of the sun's light, in past times, the role of the woman was more passive, reflecting her husband and household. In Messianic times this will change, the moon will emanate its own radiance and the woman will dominate. This is what King Solomon refers to in his statement in Proverbs (12:4) "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband." (The comparison in the renewal of the moon and women also refers to current times. The Maharam of Rotenburg explains that this refers to the monthly immersion of a woman in a Mikvah (after menstrual impurity) which, like the moon that renews its light monthly, renews the endearment of the woman to her husband like the day of their marriage.)

RELATED CATEGORIES

Women & Judaism » Women's Issues

Rosh Chodesh
The "Head of the Month," Rosh Chodesh is observed the first day of every Jewish month. If the previous month had 30 days, then the last day of the previous month is also observed; hence a two-day Rosh Chodesh. Rosh Chodesh is a semi-holiday, marked by Torah-reading and special prayers.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.