Sunday, October 22, 2006

New Moon, New Beginnings, and a Reason to Celebrate

Today is the first day of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, and tonight we see the new moon appear. The Jewish calendar is mainly a lunar one, although we do add a month every few years in order to coordinate with the solar calendar so that our holidays always come out at roughly the same time of year (in contrast to the Muslims whose calendar is just lunar, and Ramadan comes out at a different time every year.)

There is symbolic significance of following the lunar calendar, as this article in explains. The moon waxes and wanes, and when it looks like it has completely disappeared, it then appears again and grows. The Jewish people have gone through many periods in its history where it looked like we were going to be wiped out, but we always came back. G-d is watching over us at all times, even when things look bad. There is a special connection between women and the mini-holiday of Rosh Chodesh, because of our special ability to believe that things will get better, if we just hang on a bit. As the article states about the women, "When things seemed dark and hopeless, they knew that light was just around the corner. Patience and trust in G-d would be all that would be needed to get through the "bad" times and into the good ones."

So to celebrate this mini holiday, my kids dressed in blue pants and white shirts as is customary, and will probably have music and dancing for part of their school day. I also made it a little special this morning by packing them chocolate spread sandwiches for lunch (a very rare treat in this American mother's household).

I should really come up with something special for dinner too. (Chocolate spread sandwiches won't do it for the adults, I'm afraid). Any ideas out there?


Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

WBM: Garlic bread. We made some last night for a melaveh malka (rolls split in half, crushed garlic and butter).

Kids loved it...

3:46 PM, October 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... if she'll surrender it, ask Bec for her recipe for Rose Water Custard.

It's my favorite treat, ever.

6:35 PM, October 22, 2006  
Blogger aliyah06 said...

New moon cookies--use a round cookie cutter to make a full moon round from sugar cookie dough, then use it again (or a smaller one) to slice a 'new moon' off of it, bake, and sprinkle with sugar or sprinkles or (best) dip partly in chocolate.....mine tend to be kind of 'fat' new moons for easier holding/eating....

7:29 PM, October 22, 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

jameel - great idea, as I was planning on making pumpkin soup - delicious combo

erica - I am waiting for bec to make aliyah so she can make me her chocolate cake!

aliya06 - now that's an interesting idea. I haven't made sugar cookies in years!

8:45 AM, October 23, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know how you can know if the moon is at the begining of the month or at the end? Imagine a small line of the "top" of the moon. If it looks like the letter Zayin it meen zoreach (shining) - begining of the month. If it looks like the letter Gimel it meens gorea (subtracting) - end of the month.

11:16 AM, October 23, 2006  
Blogger bec said...

i was just going to suggest chocolate cake for dinner, but that would be just a bit over the top, eh?

12:04 AM, October 24, 2006  
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