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I have read the great answers to Purpose of announcing Molad and understood that the halakhic reason to know the molad is to know what the Sanhedrin would know when they declared a new month.

But what meaning am I to get out of this? What can I think about or do to make this ritual and/or turning-point meaningful?

For instance, does anyone have a practice that they do or thought they consider at the molad or at its announcement?


To clarify, I am asking for either rituals or thoughts to do/concetrate on at the molad itself, or rituals or thoughts for the announcement of the molad during Birkat haChodesh at the synagogue.

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I think the meaning is in the ritual of announcing it. What do you do to make Musaf meaningful? –  Seth J May 3 '13 at 19:56
    
@SethJ There's a thousand things in musaf that are meaningful. Aside from concentrating on prayer as sacrifice and longing for the Temple, there are beautiful words of praise and thanks, and a sanctification of the day. Also, it's a positive mitzvah. The announcement of the molad seems to be a prerequisite for another positive mitzvah (Birkat haChodesh) but the announcement itself lacks meaning for me. I can concentrate on fulfilling Birkat haChodesh, but I am asking if there's a way to find meaning in the molad or its announcement itself). –  Charles Koppelman May 3 '13 at 20:13
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4 Answers

Just an idea that comes to mind, the idea of kiddush ha'chodesh and the holidays in general is that we establish and sanctify time. This is reflected in the wording of the bracha of shmoneh esrai on holidays and rosh chodesh of "מקדש ישראל והזמנים - ...who sanctifies the Jewish people and the times" ie. God sanctifies us and we sanctify the times.

This plays into a broader idea that God has given us the raw materials in this world, but it is our responsibility to sanctify and complete them (See Midrash Tanchuma Tazria 5).

The month renews itself automatically when the molad occurs, but we must actively sanctify the month to renew it for the world. Announcing the Molad reminds us that God provides us the raw materials and it is our duty to uplift and "fix" those raw materials.

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If your idea is to, "find meaning in the molad or its announcement itself,", I think you need to look no further than the fact that we do it.

The point, I think, of these types of exercises, is to emulate the process that was done in the era of the Beith HaMikdash, not to replace what was done, but to make us aware of what is missing in our spiritual lives. At the time of the Beith HaMikdash, there was not necessarily the same emphasis on synagogue participation that there is now, when that's all we have. It is easy to imagine that the existence of the Beith HaMikdash could have been taken for granted. It's in Yerushalayim, you're somewhere in the north or along the coast, or maybe the south, and if you need to bring a Korban you go, if you don't, you don't, until the Regalim.

That's actually why the Regalim were so important - and Shabbath too - to force us to do something as a community and as a nation. Now that everything is so decentralized, it's reversed. We don't have the Beith HaMikdash, so we bring everything we can from it into our daily lives so that we don't lose it. We copy the rituals as best we can, and so we announce the Molad before blessing the new month.

It's easy to ask for blessings; it's something else entirely to copy the ritual that was done when the new month was declared in the Beith HaMikdash. If we're doing the latter, it becomes so much more than just asking for success and health for the month. We are reminding ourselves and putting ourselves into the mood to reflect on what we are missing as we ask HaShem to bless us.

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The reason we call out the molad is simply to know when the last day of saying the blessing on the new moon is. I must mention that this is not the actual molad but an average one. The real molad according to the chazon ish should be used for 'ending' the time of the brocho. At an eclipse one has of course the real one. מכריז הגבאי את זמן מולד הלבנה, כדי שידע הציבור מתי אפשר לקדש את הלבנה Here

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But do you remember the time of the molad till the last time for kiddush levonoh? –  Avrohom Yitzchok May 5 '13 at 20:41
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You probably already know the story of when Hashem created the world he made two great luminaries, and the moon complained how can two kings wear one crown.

After Hashem made the moon smaller the moon complained why the moon should have to be small. In answer Hashem told the moon that the Jewish people would sanctify the moon each month.

The deeper meaning behind this story is that at first the world was completely bathed in Godliness - but the moon (representing humans) only reflected Godliness, and had none of it's own. The moon asked what is the purpose behind doing this. Hashem agreed and made the moon smaller.

But now the moon had less Godliness, and complained. So Hashem told the moon, you are right, and I wall command the Jewish people to sanctify it each month. If the moon was right, why did Hashem do this instead of correcting the "mistake"?

Doing this allowed Humans to perceive themself as distinct from God. And willingly choose to enter into a relationship with God. This is why God did not make the moon larger himself - the point is for the Jews to do this.

Source: JLI Class Curious tales of the Talmud Lesson 2. (The class said it better, and had the original sources for all these ideas, but I hope this quick summary at least gives you the idea since it's too long to transcribe in full.)

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