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A Timely Torah Message By Shaya Gross

A Fresh New Start

[Editor’s note: As a memory of my beloved brother Shaya, I would like to continue sending out his pearls of wisdom that he has shared with all of you in the past. For some of you this may ring a bell and for others it may appear to be totally new. May the learning of Shaya’s Divrei Torah inspire us to change our ways and thereby give an Aliya to the neshama of our dear beloved Shaya whom we miss so much.]

The Pasuk in Parshas Bo tells us that the very first Mitzva that Hashem gave Klal Yisroel was the Mitzva of Kiddush Hachodesh-sanctifying the new moon. What is the symbolic meaning of this Mitzva, and why did Hashem particularly choose this Mitzva to be the very first Mitzva to give Klal Yisroel while they were still in Egypt?

As we all know, the moon waxes and wanes. It grows larger during the first half of the month, and shrinks during the second half of the month, until it totally disappears from view, and appears to be gone. Yet the moon always reappears at the beginning of the next month.

Klal Yisroel is compared to the moon. Although we may have our moments of waning and distance from Hashem, that does not define who we are. We can always do Teshuva. While Klal Yisroel was steeped in the impurity of the Egypt, they could have become depressed thinking about how low they had sunk and that it was too late to make a change for the better. Hence, the very first Mitzva that Hashem gave them was the Mitzva of Kiddush Hachodesh, to demonstrate to them that there is always time to repent and turn over a new leaf in service of Hashem.

This is the lesson of every Rosh Chodesh. The word “Chodesh” comes from the same root word as “Chiddush” which mean renewal. After every 29 or 30 days, Hashem gives us a precious gift, a new month, to enable us to get off to a fresh new start in serving Him.

Having just celebrated the beginning of a new month, let us take this lesson from the Parsha to heart. That although we may have slipped in our Avodas Hashem in the past, let us not allow that to get us down; rather let us refresh and rejuvenate our service of Hashem.

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