Rosh Chodesh Shevat on Sun, Jan 10

Join us for Congregation P’nai Tikvah Women’s Rosh Chodesh Shevat on Sunday, January 10.

Here are some insights from Ritualwell:

The first of each Jewish month—the celebration of the new moon, its slender crescent barely visible in the night sky—is a day historically associated with women’s renewal and celebration.

In recent decades, Rosh Chodesh has become an occasion for Jewish women to gather for learning, ritual, and spiritual exploration, and to mark life passages. Rosh Chodesh groups, meeting monthly, offer a women’s space in time. (Some men’s gatherings have begun as well, sometimes associated with kiddush levanah, celebrating the coming full moon.)

Fast Facts

Shevat is the eleventh of the twelve months of the Jewish calendar.

Shevat comes at the same time as the secular months January/February. Days begin to grow longer, and the sun shines a bit brighter. In Israel, spring begins in Shevat. Deep underground, the roots of trees slowly wind their way towards water. High above our heads, branches stretch toward the brightening sun.

In Israel almond trees begin to blossom in Shevat. Because they are the first to bloom each Shevat and the nut resembles an eye, an almond tree is called shaked (watcher). Almond trees are said to “keep watch” for spring.

The mazal (constellation) for Shevat is Aquarius, d’li (a vessel filled with water). Miriam (Moses and Aaron‘s older sister) was also associated with a vessel of water. Legend teaches that because of her righteousness, Miriam was followed by a mysterious well that sustained the Israelites during the years of the desert wandering. The well, filled with the waters of Creation, is still with us today.

In Shevat Jews take special care to fulfill our obligation to protect and preserve the environment.

Features

Shabbat Shira (The Sabbath of Song) falls on the Shabbat in Shevat when we read the Torah portion B’shalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16), which contains Shirat HaYam (The Song of the Sea). Moses sang this song after crossing the Reed Sea. Afterwards, Miriam led the women in singing their own Shirat HaYam as they danced and played tambourines to celebrate their freedom. The haftarah for Shabbat Shira (See “Festivites”) is the story of the wise judge Deborah (Judges 4:4-5:31) and the heroic woman Yael.

Read more here.

For details and to RSVP email congregation.pnai.tikvah@aol.com or call (702) 436-4900.