Sunday, December 25, 2011

Rosh Chodesh TEVET

The SOREK Cave near Jerusalem


Tonight, tomorrow and on Tuesday, we celebrate Rosh Chodesh Tevet, the beginning of the new Jewish month Tevet. Rosh Chodesh is always time for renewal and we should use especially this time to make positive changes in our lives.

The Rosh Chodesh even gets more Kedusha (Holiness), as we still light the Chanukkah candles. Chanukkah is the only holiday taking place in two months; it starts in Kislev and ends in Tevet. Every additional candle raises our Simcha (joy) and increases our inner light. According to kabbalistic and chassidic literature, everyone has his or her personal individual inner light in order to light up the world. For this reason, it is extremely important that each of us lights his own Chanukkiah at home. When you go through Jewish religious areas you can see many Chanukkiot standing in the windows and it is customary that even small cildren light their own candles.

According to the "Sefer Yetzirah", every Jewish month hat its own colour, letter, tribe, organ, horoscope and human sense. The colour of Tevet is blue, the tribe is the Tribe of Dan, the human sense is the anger, the letter is the AYIN, the horoscope is Capricorn and the organ is the liver.

Historically, Tevet, Tammuz and Av are the worst months for the Jewish People. All of them are connected with negative events in Jewish history. Especially the 10th Tevet which I will describe in a later article.

Our task in the month of Tevet is to fight our own anger. The Talmud Berachot 61b sees the liver in charge of our anger and in Tevet we should transform our negative anger into positive anger. According to the Chozeh of Lublin (Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz) we have the ability to take something negative (such as jealousy) and change it into something positive.
But how can jealousy be positive ?
At the moment when I am jealous of other people who became more religious than I am. They succeed in keeping the Mitzwot and I do not. Eventually this will lead me to make higher efforts in order to reach higher levels of observance as well.
The same with the negative anger. We have to overcome our own ego and strive for more perfection.

General halachic rules for Rosh Chodesh:

1) We do not fast.

2) We add the "Ya'ale VeYavo - prayer" in the Birkat HaMazon

3) Usually women do not do any work at home such as laundry, cleaning, etc.

Have a great Rosh Chodesh and a successful Chodesh Tevet and Chanukkah Sameach !!!

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