Rosh Chodesh

The beginning of the Jewish month of TEVET – ראש חודש טבת

20121215_182831Photo: Miriam Woelke
Today (Sunday) and tomorrow, the Jewish world is entering a new month called TEVET. And, as we know, a beginning of a new Jewish month is always the time for renewal as well as for making positive changes in our lives. This Rosh Chodesh even gets more Kedusha (holiness), as we still light the Chanukkah candles. Tonight we will light the 8th candle.
Chanukkah is the only holiday taking place in two months; it starts in Kislev and ends in Tevet. Every additional candle raises our Simcha (joy) and increases our inner light. According to kabbalistic and chassidic literature, everyone has his or her personal individual inner light in order to light up the world. For this reason it is extremely important that each of us lights his own Chanukkiah at home. When you go through Jewish religious areas you can see many Chanukkiot standing in the windows and it is customary that even small children light their own candles.
According to the “Sefer Yetzirah-Book of Creation”, every Jewish month hat it’s own colour, letter, tribe, organ, horoscope and human sense. The colour of Tevet is blue, the tribe is the Tribe of Dan, the human sense is the anger, the letter is the AIN ע, the horoscope is Capricorn and the organ is the liver.
Historically, Tevet, Tammuz and Av are the worst months for the Jewish People. All of them are connected with negative events in Jewish history. Especially the 10th Tevet which I will describe in a later article.
Our task in the month of Tevet is to fight our own anger. The Talmud Berachot 61b sees the liver in charge of our anger and in Tevet we should transform our negative anger into positive anger. According to the Chozeh of Lublin (Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz), we have the ability to take something negative (such as jealousy) and change it into something positive.
But how can jealousy be positive ? The moment I am jealous of other people who became more religious than I am. They succeed in keeping the Mitzvot and I do not. Eventually this will lead me to make higher efforts in order to reach higher levels of observance as well. The same with negative anger. We have to overcome our own ego and strive for more perfection.
Halachic rules for Rosh Chodesh:
1) We do not fast.
2) We add the “Ya’ale VeYavo – prayer” in the Birkat HaMazon
3) Usually women do not do any work at home such as laundry, cleaning, etc.
Have a great Rosh Chodesh and a healthy and successful Chodesh Tevet. 🙂

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