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Sisterhood Observes Rosh Chodesh








Rosh Chodesh is the name for the first day of every month in the Hebrew calendar, marked by the birth of a new moon. In ancient times Rosh Chodesh was declared by the beit din (Jewish court) only after two credible witnesses would testify that they had seen the new moon. Since the fourth century, however, it has been determined by a preset calendar.

Jewish months, pegged to the cycle of the moon, have either 29 or 30 days. At the end of a 30-day month, the 30th day of the outgoing month and the first day of the new month are Rosh Chodesh. Following a 29-day month, only the first of the new month is Rosh Chodesh. Like all days on the Jewish calendar, Rosh Chodesh starts at nightfall of the preceding day.

The Jewish nation is often compared to the moon. Throughout history our light has waxed and waned. But even in utter darkness, it has never been extinguished. This is one reason why, when the new moon appears for the first time in the night sky, we celebrate.

According to the Talmud, women are forbidden to engage in work on Rosh Chodesh. Rashi delineates the activities from which they must refrain: spinning, weaving, and sewing—the skills that women contributed to the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). In modern times, female-centered Rosh Chodesh  observances engage in a wide variety of activities that center around issues important to Jewish women, depending on the preference of the group's members. Many Rosh Chodesh groups explore spirituality, religious education, ritual, health issues, music, chanting, art, cooking, sexuality, self-image, and other women's mental and physical health issues as well as share inspiration.

Your Sisterhood welcomes the new moon with a monthly gathering of Jewish women for study and lively discussion, typically on a Wednesday evening (7:30 – 8:30 p.m.) closest to Rosh Chodesh. We explore and learn from each other’s Jewish journeys, discussing topics of cultural and societal issues affecting us as Jewish women. Announcements of upcoming Rosh Chodesh celebrations will appear in the Flame newsletter as well as weekly email announcements.

Thu, January 20 2022 18 Shevat 5782