I promised myself (and you) that this wasn’t going to become an “aliyah blog”, and I don’t want to write post after post that gushes about how life here is better because…. I chose it, so I must think it is better.
So here comes the “but”…. today is the first day of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan. “Chodesh Tov” means “Good month” and is a customary greeting on this festive day. It is festive in both a spiritual and a ritualistic sense, with changes to our daily routine within Halacha.
Today I can feel that it is a new month. This one is sometimes known as “Mar Cheshvan” which means “Bitter Cheshvan”, or different reasons depending on who you ask. Common consensus explains that we are leaving an intense period of holidays and therefore a close relationship with Hashem, so it feels bitter.
This year I find it hard to relate to that sentiment. I am still riding the wave of the holidays, and it is still pushing me forward – to somewhere.
I attended an event for women here in Neve Daniel in honor of Rosh Chodesh. Food, friends and Torah teachings. Women just put it together because it is a good thing to do for each new month. Today I started new classes in a Women’s Beit Midrash in Efrat. Wonderful teachers, students and ideas. I am appreciative of the new beginning, and the luxury of not working (for now) and having time for such things.
But the best part of Rosh Chodesh is that all of the children on the yishuv went to school – and are walking around – in white shirts. The notion that I live in a Jewish place, bound to the Jewish land, the Jewish weather and Jewish time is such an extraordinary gift. When the externals are “synced” with the Torah, such as clothing, what holidays are in the stores/schools etc., it is so much easier to find a path to syncing one’s soul.