However, in this post I would like to focus more on what is done to celebrate Rosh Hodesh. Primarily, Rosh Hodesh is celebrated with extra prayers. This makes me very excited; my dear friend Katherine (probably my best friend in the world) once told me that I was the only person she knew who would be excited by extra prayers. There are three, listed below.
- First comes an extra paragraph in the Amidah, or central standing prayer. The paragraph is called "Ya'aleh V'Yavo." I just skimmed it really quickly, because I always say it in Hebrew and my Hebrew isn't good enough to remember what it means. Basically, "Ya'aleh V'Yavo" is about remembering the Jewish people and our ancestors with goodness and merit; as well as the coming of the Messiah, descended from King David.
- After normal morning prayers comes a collection of Psalms called "Hallel." Hallel is all about praising God for various miracles, and most of the selections have pretty tunes. In fact, I nearly always do Hallel out loud just so I can sing through it.
- Finally, an extra Amidah is added. It is called the "Musaf" Amidah, literally "additional." Those of us who wear tefillin take them off before reciting this part of the service.
Also, I celebrate Rosh Hodesh by dressing up a little in three ways: ladies' tallit katan, spritz of perfume, and jewelry. Today's jewelry is my pink/gold/white/magnetic coil bracelet; and yes, there are reasons I am wearing bracelet only. I cannot tolerate rings in this kind of pain, and the neckline of the blouse I am wearing does not allow for necklaces. I used to also wear my fancy bobby pins on Rosh Hodesh; but since Shepard gave me the set of pretty, flowered clips for Valentine's Day, the fancy bobby pins have been retired.
So there you have it! Rosh Hodesh Nissan.