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Why does the Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Musaf have its own special text (Ata Yatzarta Olamecha Mikedem ...) for the middle beracha?

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What would you expect it to have? Every Musaf has a middle berachah appropriate to the day. And after all, we can't use the text for Shalosh Regalim, since there is no mitzvah of appearing in the Beis Hamikdash on Rosh Chodesh. Or do you mean why don't we use ראשי חדשים לעמך נתת as on weekdays, and just add inserts for Shabbos? – Alex Jul 4 '11 at 3:32

I once heard a great Dvar Torah that I think is relevant to your question. I'll sum it up for you here and you can look up the sources if you wish.

We see a number of special minhagim related to Rosh Chodesh and Shabbat Rosh Chodesh:

  • Women refrain from melacha

  • On Shabbat Rosh Chodesh we add a dish to the seuda (as opposed to Shabbat-Purim where we wait for Sunday to make up for the missed seuda)

  • On Shabbat Rosh Chodesh we say a special Musaf which includes a section that is very similar to Musaf of a Moed and specifically does not appear in musaf Rosh Chodesh for weekdays:

    בָּחַרְתָּ בָּנוּ מִכָּל עָם אָהַבְתָּ אותָנוּ וְרָצִיתָ בָּנוּ וְרומַמְתָּנוּ מִכָּל הַלְּשׁונות וְקִדַּשְׁתָּנוּ בְּמִצְותֶיךָ. וְקֵרַבְתָּנוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ לַעֲבודָתֶךָ וְשִׁמְךָ הַגָּדול וְהַקָּדושׁ עָלֵינוּ קָרָאתָ

An explanation for the above and some additional questions that I can't remember at the moment could be the Midrash that states that before the sin of the golden calf Rosh Chodesh was a Moed, meaning that there was Isur Melacha.


  • Women, who did not partake in the sin continue with Isur Melacha.

  • The seuda on Shabbat Rosh Chodesh is like the Seuda of Shabbat and a
    Moed, so we don't postpone the seuda.

  • When Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbat and we get a sense of Rosh Chodesh
    with Isur Melacha the Musaf changes just a bit to more similar to the musaf of a Moed.

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Very interesting idea! Does this explanation assume that both versions (Rosh Chodesh chol and shabas) were composed first, and then this one chosen for shabas because it includes that line or that the rest of the Rosh Chodesh shabas version was written around this line? – WAF Jul 5 '11 at 22:41
@WAF My assumption is that all tefilot (amida) were written by Anshei Knesset Hagedola, a mix of neviim and chachamim. The tefila of any day represents a spiritual state in heaven (nevua) that can be understood to an extent by humans (chochma). So my answer to your question would be that each version was written for a specific variation of Rosh Chodesh. – David Perlman Jul 6 '11 at 7:46

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