Tag Archives: Rosh Hodesh

Blessings for a New Month

P1130574Rosh Hodesh by Laya Crust

Elul and September, 5776…2016

Elul and September started at about the same time on the calendar this year.

In Judaism there is a beautiful prayer we say as we greet each new month:

May it be Your will, Lord our Gd….to renew for us this coming month for good and blessing. Grant us a long life, a life of peace, a life of goodness, a life of blessing, a life of sustenance, a life of physical health, a life marked by reverence for heaven and dread of misdeeds, a life without shame or disgrace, a life of richness and honour, a life with love for Torah and reverence for good, a life in which our heart desires are fulfilled for good.

joy-0024“Joy” by Laya Crust

September is a time of new beginnings. Students of various ages begin school and university. Employees say goodbye to the summer and start their work knowing autumn and winter are approaching.

Elul is a different type of beginning and ending. It is the beginning of looking forward to Rosh HaShana, the Jewish new year. It is a time of reflection and self improvement. The letters of the month of Elul (אלול) are the first letters in the words אני לדודי ודודי לי, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” So- Elul is a time of love…not just for our husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, but a time of giving love to those around us.

I was in the airport yesterday. A gentleman moved his luggage and then moved himself so a friend and I could sit together. I thanked him and we had a lovely conversation. At the end of the conversation he gave me his card.

p1150579

As we go forward in September and in Elul, let’s remember the prayers for the new month. Let’s try to be happier, feel blessed and share our blessings with those around us. And thank-you, Chris Rudge, for your daily commitment to Random Acts of Kindness.

Have a good month filled with love, health , peace and fulfillment.

Laya

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The New Moon

P1130574art by Laya Crust

This Shabbat coincides with Rosh Hodesh Elul- the first day of the month of Elul. We are lucky to be part of a tradition that celebrates so much. Each week we celebrate Shabbat- a day to rest and relax with friends and family. Throughout the year we have holidays- each with their own special prayers and traditions. And each month we celebrate the new month.

Rosh Hodesh is a time of renewal. It is graced by a tefillah (prayer) which reads like a poem, wishing for all good things. On the Shabbat before Rosh Hodesh we say the following:

Renew for us this coming month for good and blessing.

Grant us long life,

a life of peace,

a life of goodness,

a life of blessing

a life of sustenance,

a life of health,

a life marked by reverence for heaven and dread of sin,

a life without shame or disgrace,

a life of wealth and honour,

a life in which we have

love for Torah and reverence for heaven,

a life in which our heart desires are fulfilled for good.

The sentiments are beautiful. They provide positive thoughts to take with us through the month until we are renewed again.

The haftarah for this Shabbat is Isaiah, chapter 66. The chapter begins with the words, “”The heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool.” It made me think of the celestial bodies in the sky- the heavens inhabited by Gd and the earth way down below. The end  of the chapter mentions the new moon and every Sabbath- represented here by two new moons and four weeks of Shabbat candles between.

Summer is moving closer to autumn. The evenings are cooling down, the flowers are still bright and vivd. Enjoy this new month of ELUL. May it be a month of peace, blessing and health.

Have a good Shabbat,

Laya

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