The Rosh Chodesh has just come, but we can already feel the very special atmosphere of the coming month – the lights of Hanukkah, the taste of donuts and the warmth of Chassidic gatherings…
Why so? Actually, there is a reason for this anticipation. Chassidic masters explain that every month brings with it a very special new “light” which has never been revealed in the world before. You can feel this change from the very first day – the day of Rosh Chodesh, which is called “Head of the month” – rather than just a “beginning”.
From the Alter Rebbe’s explanations:
– In a human body the head is the vital source for all the limbs of the body. It’s in the head that the living power is revealed at first in its general state. And from there vitality and power spread out to all parts of the body, bringing it from the hidden (potential) state to the actual realisation – “giluy”… Similarly, Rosh HaShanah includes within itself and controls the functioning of all the days of the year. But first, the living power, given to the world on Rosh HaShanah, is divided between the 12 months of the year. On the first day of every month the vitality of this whole month shines through and for this reason it’s called “Rosh Chodesh” (“Head of the month”), because (just like head) it bears the living power of the whole month, and from there this vitality is extended to days, hours and even seconds.
(Source: “Likutey Torah”, the explanation of Rosh HaShanah – לקוטי תורה, דרושי ר”ה נח, סעיף א’ ואילך).