rosh chodesh biblical new year brittni greenberg

A New Month Begins: What Does Rest Look Like?

A New Month Begins: What Does Rest Look Like?

This Wednesday evening is Rosh Chodashim – the Head of the Months. Also known as the Biblical New Year.

Because the Bible follows the Lunar calendar, the first of every new month begins with the New Moon. Do you know what I find neat about this?

Since creation, God has been teaching us to rest. He has written it into time itself.

According to the Bible, a new 24-hr day begins at sundown. It begins with rest.

With Shabbat, the week ends and begins with rest.

In antiquity, people planned their travel during a full Moon so that they would be able to travel by moonlight when needed. The full moon extends the day for other travel activities and visibility. Have you ever noticed how bright it is outside when there’s a full moon?

A new moon is the phase of the moon when it is in conjunction with the sun and invisible from earth. This makes it super dark outside. Because of this, people were more likely to stay home instead of travel. Back then, this could have meant that fathers were home and families were together. I wonder what our lives would feel like if we lived according to nature’s cycles that were established at creation. Nowadays, people are always talking about how we can “connect to the universe” instead of our phones, but what if that was the plan from the beginning?

It would make sense, following God’s divine patterns, that a new month would also begin with — you guessed it — rest.

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Rest looks different in each season for each person. When I was in college, rest meant exploring rooftops in downtown Dallas, TX with friends until 2am. But rest with a precious newborn bundled up in between you and your spouse looks a lot different. And that’s okay. There’s a time and a season for everything under the sun – and moon!

Our Family Tradition

My husband and I just bought our first home together, and one night we stepped outside on the back porch and were amazed at how clearly we could see all the stars – very different from living in downtown! They were beautiful. Because the New Moon is perfect for stargazing, I bought my husband a telescope for his birthday and it’s become a small Rosh Chodesh tradition in our home to look up at the stars the same way Abraham our forefather did.

Another small tradition we created is whenever Rosh Chodesh falls on an Erev Shabbat, which only happens once this year, we light colorful Shabbat candles instead of our traditional white Shabbat candles. It just adds something a little special to the evening!

This Rosh Chodesh when you are dreaming for the new year ahead, reflect on what rest looks like for you. What it feels like. What it sounds like. What it tastes like. Find whatever vibes your Jesus-loving soul and establish that as a monthly lifecycle for yourself. And who knows, you might even begin new traditions along the way.

Chodesh tov, dear friends. Have a great new year. •

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