March 21, 2020 — 25 Adar 5780
THOUGHTS ON PARSHAT HACHODESH
This Shabbat is Parshat HaChodesh, the Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh Nissan. The Maftir reading explains that “this month” (which though unnamed refers to what we call Nissan) is to be the first month of the year.
The Ramban asks the question why this particular month, the month of liberation, is to be the first month of the year.
He answers that the counting of the months should serve as a reminder of Yitziyat Mitzrayim (the exodus from Egypt).
Furthermore, the months are not named in the Torah because each month should be associated not with a particular name but with the miracle G-d performed for us in that particular month. The first month was known as the month of liberation.
However, we retained the Babylonian names to remind us that G-d liberated us from Babylon just as he had liberated us from Egypt before.
Looking back and recounting past salvations helps us deal with the present and look towards the future with optimism.
Rabbi Steven Saks
P.S. During this time of anxiety please do not hesitate to reach out to me at [link removed]. Social distancing should NOT mean you should feel social isolation.
[Blog editor’s note: I am removing personal phone numbers and addresses from these posts, but congregation members, please consult your e-mail version of these messages for the Rabbi’s numbers and links to online events or call the office or a fellow congregant for that information.]