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A New Month

This Shabbat we celebrate Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the Jewish month of Nisan, the month in which Passover occurs.

There’s an accepted opinion in the Talmud (R.H. 10b) that the world was actually created on the first day of Nisan. Even so, we don’t do any special rituals to commemorate the creation on that day. Shabbat will be celebrated like any regular Shabbat Rosh Chodesh, with an additional Torah reading (“HaChodesh”) signifying that Passover is occurring this month – but without any mention of it being the anniversary of the creation of the world.

Judaism is, and always has been, more focused on the here and now, our current relationships with God, and with our families and friends, and this is one of my favourite aspects of Judaism. We celebrate the Exodus since it’s a moment when our people interacted with God in one of the most intimate ways, resulting in us becoming a people. But the origin or our world, while interesting, is not really of theological significance to us, so it’s greatly downplayed.

Enjoy Shabbat with your families, and enjoy your preparations for Pesach. And come to shul!

Shabbat Shalom, Chodesh Tov!