Hour Glasses Cufflink Pair - Jewish Time In History - A Timeless People.


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Hour Glasses Cufflink Pair - Jewish Time in History - A timeless people. 

Ha’chodesh ha’zeh lachem rosh chodashim – “This month shall be for you the beginning of the months.” (Exodus 12:1) I emphasize what I think the verse intends to emphasize, for you. In this injunction, Moshe and Aaron are given the first mitzvah to proclaim this month, Nisan, as the first of the year.

 The Talmud understands lachemto mean that the Bais Din HaGadol, the High Court in Jerusalem, was granted full authority to establish and regulate the calendar, to vary the lengths of the months and, if necessary, to declare a leap year. In other words, “lachem” teaches us that our calendar, our months, and our festivals do not simply happen, nor do they occur by God’s declaration. Rather, it is our involvement that tames the movement of time through the year.

The Beis Din must then proclaim the Rosh Chodesh. Then, and only then, does the new month commence and with it, our festivals and sacrifices. Without this human involvement in time, there is no calendar, no festivals, no Jewish liturgical time.

Lachem teaches us that with this very first mitzvah of the Torah, the mitzvah of Kiddush Hachodesh, we are given mastery over time.

In a commentary on this verse, the Sforno explains that, as slaves, the Jewish People had not been master of their time. As free men, they were given the gift of time. Hachodesh Hazeh lachem!

Just as Jewish life and survival is never static – can never be static – so too the movement of time cannot be static. It moves according to the meaningful witness and rhythm we give it.

Pirkei Avot: There are four time-periods when plagues increase: on the fourth and seventh years [of the sabbatical cycle], on the year following the seventh, and following the festivals of each year. On the fourth year, because of [the neglect of] the tithe to the poor that must be given on the third year; on the seventh, because of the tithe to the poor that must be given on the sixth; on the year after the seventh, because of the produce of the sabbatical year; and following each festival, because of the robbing of the poor of the gifts due to them.

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