Rosh Hodesh

Join us at the Kotel on Rosh Hodesh. We meet each Rosh Hodesh morning on the women’s side of the Kotel. Prayer begins promptly at 7AM.

We do not meet on Shabbat. When Rosh Hodesh is two days, our service is held on the second day. Can’t make it to the Kotel? Join our prayer LIVE online here. 

Future dates: 

Rosh Hodesh Tevet – Sunday, December 25, 2022

Rosh Hodesh Shevat- Monday, January 23, 2023

Rosh Hodesh Adar – Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Rosh Hodesh Nisan – Thursday, March 23, 2023

Rosh Hodesh Iyar – Friday, April 21, 2023

Rosh Hodesh Sivan – Sunday, May 21, 2023

Rosh Hodesh Tammuz – Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Rosh Hodesh Av – Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Rosh Hodesh Elul- Friday, August 18, 2023

Rosh Hodesh Tishrei/Rosh Hashana – Saturday, September 16, 2023 – We will not be praying at the Kotel

Rosh Hodesh Heshvan – Monday, October 16, 2023

Rosh Hodesh Kislev – Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Rosh Hodesh Tevet – Wednesday, December 13, 2023

What is Rosh Hodesh?

“In the day of your gladness, and in your appointed seasons, and in your new moons, you shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings; and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the Lord your God.” (Numbers 6:6)

Rosh Hodesh, literally translated as “the head of the month,” is the celebration of each new month of the Hebrew calendar. Each Rosh Hodesh, we gather at the women’s section of the Western Wall for the traditional morning service, Shacharit, including the reading of the Rosh Hodesh Torah portion.

Why is Rosh Hodesh associated with women? At the time of the sin of the building of the Golden Calf in the desert, while the Jews were waiting for Moses to descend from Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments, Aaron told the Israelite men to take the golden rings from the ears of their wives and children and bring them to him for the idol. The next verse tells us that the Israelites took the rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron.

The midrash explains that the women refused to hand over their earrings toward the building of a blasphemous idol. Thus, the women were rewarded with the holiday of Rosh Hodesh – in this world, that they alone do not perform work on the first day of the new month; in the world to come, that they will, in the future, be renewed as is the new moon. This is just part of a long tradition connecting women and the feminine spirit to the moon.

In the Shulchan Aruch, the Code of Jewish Law, the Laws of Rosh Hodesh, Section 1, it is written that one is permitted to perform work on Rosh Hodesh, but that there is a “good” tradition for women not to do so.

Today, there are still women who do not work on Rosh Hodesh, typically refraining from household chores, such as laundry and cleaning. However, the most popular way in which women have reclaimed this women’s holiday in our time is by forming Rosh Hodesh groups. In these groups women celebrate together, whether through prayer, ritual, study, or discussion of relevant topics.

In recognition of the power of these traditions, Women of the Wall chose Rosh Hodesh as the day to gather and pray.  We are proud to be the impetus for women’s reclamation and reshaping of traditional practices in a way that expresses their own spirituality.

 

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