– Rosh Chodesh relates to the word chidush meaning “novelty” or “new development.” Each month, the moon undergoes a “new birth.” The moon’s rebirth is preceded by a process of self-diminution. This process is alluded to in the verse, “And you shall be taken notice of, for your place will be empty.” (Shmuel Alef, 20:18) This implies that the path to receiving special attention is making one’s place empty, i.e., self-diminution. Similarly, the waning of the moon to the extent that it is totally obscured allows for its rebirth on a higher level.
Although it’s just a point in time, the moment of “molad” is very special. Just as the moment of birth includes the entire future life of a person, the birth of the moon includes and reveals the potential for the moon’s subsequent growth.
In this context, we can understand the name Rosh Chodesh, literally, “the head of the month.” Just as the head contains all the life-energy of the entire body, so too, Rosh Chodesh contains all the spiritual potential for all the days of the coming month.
This must be reflected in a Jew’s service, for the Jews “establish their calendar according to the moon” and “will be renewed in the future as the moon is renewed.” This implies that each Jew must:
a) experience a personal renewal;
b) bring about new developments in the world at large.
These two concepts are interrelated. Through a Jew’s service in the world at large, he can reach new heights of personal development. This will be revealed in an ultimate manner in the Era of the Redemption.
Based on the Rebbe’s talk on chapter Toldot (5752).
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