Greg Killian: A Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) - Aleinu

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(Aleinu and V’Anachnu)

It is incumbent upon us to praise the Master of all, to exalt the creator of the world, for He has made us distinct from the nations and unique among the families of the earth. Our destiny is not like theirs, our calling is our task.

We therefore bow in awe and thanksgiving before the One who is sovereign over all, the Holy One, blessed be He. For He stretched forth the heavens like a tent and established the earth. Truly there is none like our Lord and King. As the Torah says, "You shall know this day and reflect in your heart that it is the Lord who is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath, there is none else."

We hope, HaShem our God, to soon behold Your majestic glory when all abominations shall be removed and all false gods shall be at an end.

Then shall the world be perfected under the rule of the Lord Almighty and all mankind shall call upon Your name. For to You every knee must bow and every tongue declare that You are God.

Reign over us soon and forever. May the kingdom of David's greater son be established forever.

For then shall the words be fulfilled, "HaShem shall be king forever", and, "HaShem shall be king over all the earth; on that day HaShem shall be one, and his name one." – Tehillim (Psalm) 104:1-2, Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:39, Tehillim (Psalm) 10:16, Zechariah 14:9

End of synagogue service.

Haftorah for Shabbat Erev Rosh Chodesh

I Shmuel (Samuel) 20:18-42 Then Jonathan said to David: "Tomorrow is the New Moon festival. You will be missed, because your seat will be empty. The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hid when this trouble began, and wait by the stone Ezel. I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I were shooting at a target. Then I will send a boy and say, 'Go, find the arrows.' If I say to him, 'Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring them here,' then come, because, as surely as HaShem lives, you are safe; there is no danger. But if I say to the boy, 'Look, the arrows are beyond you,' then you must go, because HaShem has sent you away. And about the matter you and I discussed--remember, HaShem is witness between you and me forever." So David hid in the field, and when the New Moon festival came, the king sat down to eat. He sat in his customary place by the wall, opposite Jonathan, and Abner sat next to Saul, but David's place was empty. Saul said nothing that day, for he thought, "Something must have happened to David to make him ceremonially unclean--surely he is unclean." But the next day, the second day of the month, David's place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, "Why hasn't the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?" Jonathan answered, "David earnestly asked me for permission to go to Bethlehem. He said, 'Let me go, because our family is observing a sacrifice in the town and my brother has ordered me to be there. If I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away to see my brothers.' That is why he has not come to the king's table." Saul's anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, "You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don't I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send and bring him to me, for he must die!" "Why should he be put to death? What has he done?" Jonathan asked his father. But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David. Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger; on that second day of the month he did not eat, because he was grieved at his father's shameful treatment of David. In the morning Jonathan went out to the field for his meeting with David. He had a small boy with him, And he said to the boy, "Run and find the arrows I shoot." As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. When the boy came to the place where Jonathan's arrow had fallen, Jonathan called out after him, "Isn't the arrow beyond you?" Then he shouted, "Hurry! Go quickly! Don't stop!" The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master. (The boy knew nothing of all this; only Jonathan and David knew.) Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said, "Go, carry them back to town." After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side [of the stone] and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together--but David wept the most. Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of HaShem, saying, 'HaShem is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.'" Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.

It is apparent from the above passage that, even in the days of Samuel and Saul, already Israel was celebrating Rosh Chodesh, the New Moon, for two days. We celebrate for two days when the preceding month is twenty-nine days.

Rosh HaShana 19b R. Joshua b. Levi testified on behalf of the holy community of Jerusalem concerning the two Adars, that they are sanctified on the day of their prolongation.[24] This is equivalent to saying that we make them defective but we do not make them full, and excludes the statement made in a discourse by R. Nahman b. Hisda; [for R. Nahman b. Hisda stated in a discourse]: ‘R. Simai testified in the name of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi concerning the two Adars that if they [the Beth din] desired they could make both of them full, and if they desired they could make both of them, defective, and if they desired they could make one full and the other defective; and such was their custom in the Diaspora. In the name of our teacher,[25] however, they said: One is always to be full and the next defective, unless you have been informed that New Moon has been fixed at its proper time’.[26]

Torah for Shabbat Rosh Chodesh

(Annual Shabbat reading – The Triennial portion is: Bamidbar 27:15 – 28:25)

Bamidbar (Numbers) 28:9-15 "'On the Sabbath day, make an offering of two lambs a year old without defect, together with its drink offering and a grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil. This is the burnt offering for every Sabbath, in addition to the regular burnt offering and its drink offering. "'On the first of every month, present to HaShem a burnt offering of two young bulls, one ram and seven male lambs a year old, all without defect. With each bull there is to be a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil; with the ram, a grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil; And with each lamb, a grain offering of a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil. This is for a burnt offering, a pleasing aroma, an offering made to HaShem by fire. With each bull there is to be a drink offering of half a hin of wine; with the ram, a third of a hin; and with each lamb, a quarter of a hin. This is the monthly burnt offering to be made at each new moon during the year. Besides the regular burnt offering with its drink offering, one male goat is to be presented to HaShem as a sin offering.

Haftorah for Shabbat Rosh Chodesh:

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 66:1-24 This is what HaShem says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares HaShem. "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. But whoever sacrifices a bull is like one who kills a man, and whoever offers a lamb, like one who breaks a dog's neck; whoever makes a grain offering is like one who presents pig's blood, and whoever burns memorial incense, like one who worships an idol. They have chosen their own ways, and their souls delight in their abominations; So I also will choose harsh treatment for them and will bring upon them what they dread. For when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, no one listened. They did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me." Hear the word of HaShem, you who tremble at his word: "Your brothers who hate you, and exclude you because of my name, have said, 'Let HaShem be glorified, that we may see your joy!' Yet they will be put to shame. Hear that uproar from the city, hear that noise from the temple! It is the sound of HaShem repaying his enemies all they deserve. "Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says HaShem. "Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?" says your God. "Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her. For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance." For this is what HaShem says: "I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem." When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass; the hand of HaShem will be made known to his servants, but his fury will be shown to his foes. See, HaShem is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirlwind; he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For with fire and with his sword HaShem will execute judgment upon all men, and many will be those slain by HaShem. "Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the midst of those who eat the flesh of pigs and rats and other abominable things--they will meet their end together," declares HaShem. "And I, because of their actions and their imaginations, am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory. "I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations--to Tarshish, to the Libyans and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations. And they will bring all your brothers, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to HaShem--on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels," says HaShem. "They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of HaShem in ceremonially clean vessels. And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites," says HaShem. "As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me," declares HaShem, "so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me," says HaShem. "And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind."