Dear Friends and Family,
This dvar torah is in memory of Yitzchak ben Moshe, whose neshama should have an aliyah.
This past week was New Years. Although I live in an exciting place to be for New Year, it never meant too much more than having a day off. Anyways, I already work out everyday. But this week there was a loss in my family which got me thinking though that although I don’t “celebrate” New Years, it is not bad to every once in while take a look at your life, evaluate where you are, set some goals and re-inspire oneself to grow. As I was reflecting I realized that “New Years” this year went straight into Rosh Chodesh Shevat. As a Jew, we have the opportunity every month to renew ourselves.
In Parshas Bo, Hashem gives Moshe and Aaron the first mitzvah in the Torah. “This month shall be for you the beginning of the months, it shall be the first of the months of the year.” The mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh is very powerful and meaningful to the Jewish people. It symbolizes renewal, the ability to rise from oblivion and restore itself to its past greatness. Just as the moon disappears at the end of each month, but returns and grows to fullness, so Israel may suffer exile and decline, but it always renews itself until the coming of Mashiach. This essential characteristic of Jewish history was first exhibited in Egypt, when the nation had fallen to the forty ninth level of impurity, one level above spiritual extermination. Yet, only to renew itself so breathtakingly that seven weeks later, it stood at Mount Sinai and experienced prophecy. This is the reason that one thousand years later, the Syrian Greeks prohibited the observance of Rosh Chodesh. They wanted to eradicate this sense of renewal. Instead, the Jewish people rose up in defense of the Torah and it is what commemorate during the holiday of Chanuka.
The Jewish people have built into our DNA, the ability for renewal and to survive. Although the moon does wain, it is always in the sky. We may not be able to see the light, but it still there. Thus is the essence of the Jewish people. Our ability to never give up and rise back. Even when we are in the depths of despair, Rosh Chodesh comes, bringing new Mazal and bracha into our life.
Have a beautiful and uplifting Shabbas and to all my family in Peru, I miss you! May this new month bring our family from a time of mourning to a time of happiness. (baby time!!!) May Hashem bless the Jewish people with the continued ability to renew itself and grow and May we merit to see Mashiach soon!