Why observe Rosh Chodesh? What’s the purpose?

For a number of years we have observed Rosh Chodesh and sounded the shofar somewhat regularly, but I have often wondered, ‘Why?’

Certainly, because it is a statute in Israel, we sought to be obedient, but often fell short simply because we did not make it a priority! The Scriptures say,

Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon,
    and when the moon is full, on the day of our festival;
this is a decree for Israel,
    an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
When God went out against Egypt,
    he established it as a statute for Joseph.

Psalm 81

(And, I suddenly realize that I have additional digging as this specifically names ‘Joseph’ in the Psalm that follows 80!! I need to dig into that possible connection, too! [The Hint…])

Anyway, this past weekend, I was blessed to host ‘Camp Ephraim‘ as he travelled through the region encouraging the house of Israel/Ephraim to ‘get ready.’ One of the blessings he shares with brothers across the planet is a live sighting of the moon from Jerusalem on Rosh Chodesh each month. Connect with him on Signal, Mewe, Gab, Telegram or The Torah Network for the monthly video link to sound your shofar with mishpocha on nearly every continent. But, I digress….

As we were on the live video conference for Rosh Chodesh, it suddenly hit me why we celebrate the sliver of the new moon!!

Several years ago, I posted Two great lights and a lot of fireworks… In it, I shared a bit about a blessed evening I spent with friend and Breaking News Israel author, Eliyahu Berkowitz. He shared a reading from the Gemara concerning the sun and moon that set off fireworks in my head. I suddenly recognized the parallels between the Almighty and the Mashiach that are written on the sun and the moon. See that article for a number of details. What I did not connect, at that time, was/is the significance of Rosh Chodesh!

We cannot look at the sun without burning our retinas, but we can gaze fully into the face of the moon that reflects the light of the sun! Similarly, no man can see God and live, but the Mashiach has fully revealed Him.

The sun is ever present, but the moon ‘dies’ and is ‘buried’ for a couple days, then we rejoice with the shofar at the ‘resurrection.’ The Rosh Chodesh celebration is a monthly reminder of the risen Mashiach! This also is, I believe, a pointer that supports the sighted moon instead of the calculated conjunction. Further, Yeshua was only witnessed by a few, dimly, as it were, when He first rose, but He has gotten brighter and brighter ever since.

I believe that Rosh Chodesh is a monthly reminder and celebration of the miracle of Yeshua’s resurrection!! And, as I roll this around in my head, Pesach and Sukkot always happen at a full moon which parallels those events as happening during His first and second appearing.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and hope to see you on the next live sighting from Jerusalem as we celebrate the King and His Kingdom!

About Pete Rambo

Details in 'About' page @ natsab.wordpress.com Basically, husband of one, father of four. Pastor x 11 years, former business and military background. Micro-farmer. Messianic believer in Yeshua haMashiach!
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9 Responses to Why observe Rosh Chodesh? What’s the purpose?

  1. Dan says:

    That’s terrific!! Thank you!

    Like

  2. Shaul says:

    Wow Pete, what a powerful revelation..I’ve been very weak and this gives me a much richer understanding and indeed awakens me to this.monthly event …thanks much for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Toda rabba (thanks much) Pete. That’s interesting and thought provoking about the moon being a reflection of the light of the sun. In Malachi 4:2 (3:20 in the Tanakh) “sun of righteousness” is mentioned which could be another clue.
    I’m not sure about the translations of Psalm 81 verse 3 (verse 4 in the Tanakh).
    For starters the word “בחדש”, (b’khodesh) who’s root is “חדש” (khodesh) meaning, “new, renewal, rejuvenate, or revive” can also mean “month”. “In the month” or “In the renewal”.
    Whereas “ירח”(yarakh), where we get the word, “Jericho” does mean moon and “yarakh” is not mentioned anywhere in Psalm 81.
    In English both words “month” and “moon” are related, but I don’t see any relationship between “khodesh” (new, month) and “yarakh” (moon).
    Another thing about that verse in Psalm 81 is that the shofar should be blown on “חגנו” (khagenu) or “our “chag” or “our pilgrimage feast”. A “חג” is one of the three “Shalosh Regalim” pilgrimage feasts to Jerusalem, Pesach (Passover), Shavuot *Pentecost), and Sukkot (Tabernacles). Shabbat (Sabbath) and the other “moedim” or appointed meetings with our Creator are not “khags” or “pilgrimage feasts”. Maybe seeing a crescent moon is a good time to blow a shofar, but I’m not sure that this verse is saying what the translations are saying.
    Another word in Psalm 81:4 (3) is the word “בכסה” (b’kesay) who’s root is “כסה” (kesay). The definition of “kesay” is “cover” or “conceal”. And another root of the word could be “כס”, meaning “throne”.
    That verse seems to insinuate too much. I don’t see where it mentions the moon at all, let alone a sighted crescent nor a full moon.
    At the same time, I enjoy looking at the moon in all of it’s beautiful phases and the stars and all of יהוה’s creation. I also enjoy reading His Word as do you and Camp Ephraim. Blessings to you all.
    May He reveal all of His truths to His people in His perfect timing. His mercies endure forever.
    Shalom.

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  4. Israel Ben HaGoyyim says:

    tsehelbenyosef did a great job of extrapolating the meaning of “chodesh,” “yerach,” and “chag,” and how they pertain to Psalm 81. I would suggest that the word “chodesh” has nothing to do with the moon, “yerach,” and that it is a specific designated period of time of 30 days with the 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th chodesh having 31 days each.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pete Rambo says:

      Interesting. I have been considering a few calendar options.. .. moving slowly as I see a few things that don’t quite fit Hillel II.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Israel Ben HaGoyyim says:

        Two red flags for me regarding Hillel II:
        1. No record of a 13th month in all of scripture, but there is pretty solid evidence for 12 months (Revelation 22:2 for example).
        2. As far as I can tell, the Hebrew word “Hillel” appears as a name only one time in all of scripture: Yeshayahu 14:12.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Pete Rambo says:

        Thank you. I LOVE number 2. And, thank you for number 1. I’ll study that out.

        Like

      • wendy Hallgren says:

        Trying to figure out the calendar thing too. This year it just felt off. Passover seemed way to early. I had just followed the set calendar because it was easier, and I observe alone. But the Spirit seemed to be speaking.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Pete Rambo says:

        We’ve been discussing and studying the calendar ever since.. 😁 No ‘solution’ yet, but it it is causing us to dig deeper.

        Like

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