HaChanah L’Shabbat B’Yachad – Preparation for Shabbat Together (to be used on January 15th for WL Shabbat or any other Friday night)
Women’s League Rosh Chodesh Nisan Service
Rosh Chodesh, the celebration of the arrival of a new Jewish month, has long been considered a special holiday for women. According to tradition, the Israelite women refused to surrender their jewelry to the men for the creation of the Golden Calf which, according to the Book of Exodus, the Israelites worshipped in the desert after their departure from Egypt. As a reward for the women’s righteousness and faith in Hashem, Rosh Chodesh was recognized as a women’s holiday and women were exempted from working then.
In some communities, Jewish women gather together on Rosh Chodesh to study Torah. It is with this in mind that Women’s League presents this exciting new program for our affiliates. Your Sisterhood may choose to hold this program in addition to our HaChanah L’Shabbat B’Yachad and WL Shabbat programs or in lieu of them.
The pandemic has created a unique set of circumstances for all of us as we try to come, B’Yachad, together, to celebrate services and holidays. Rosh Chodesh Nisan, on Sunday, March 14, 2021 includes a short Hallel service as well as a Torah reading service. It provides multiple opportunities for Sisterhood members’ participation and is unique because it is one of the 4 Jewish New Years and occurs only 2 weeks before Pesach.
- Confirm with your synagogue clergy that your Sisterhood may plan this program.
- As you would begin planning for any Sisterhood event, 2 or 3 months prior to March 14, 2021, begin to advertise the program. At the same time you can solicit volunteers to read the prayers and selected readings.
- The program chair should keep a list of who has been assigned each She should be prepared to fill in for anyone who may not be able to login at the last minute, or should note an alternate reader.
- Advertise that there are both Hebrew and English readings available.
- On the WL’s website (wlcj.org) reference both the 2021 WL Shabbat materials and HaChanah L’Shabbat B’Yachad materials to find relevant readings to incorporate in this service. The Divrei Torah may require a bit of tweaking but can work for Rosh Hodesh Nisan. One D’var Torah, written for Parasha Vaeira which coincides with Martin Luther King’s Birthday, speaks of freedom and may be edited to be applicable to the Jews’ freedom from slavery as March 14th is right before Pesach. The second D’var Torah speaks more universally about B’Yachad, together, and has Rosh Hodesh significance since women often learn together during this time.
- This program is easily adapted to a Zoom format. Be sure to encourage all Sisterhood members to Zoom in whether or not they have a reading. And, send the readings to EVERYONE in attendance. This may be done via email by forwarding the link. Being able to follow along definitely enhances engagement!