(1) The God said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: (2) This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months; it shall be the first of the months of the year for you.
Pirkei d' R. Eliezer, 45
When the Jews asked Aaron to make them a golden calf, Aaron said to them, "Remove the rings that are in the ears of your wives (Sh'mot 32:2)." The women, however, did not agree to give their jewelry to their husbands. Rather, they said to them: "Should we make a calf which is an abomination and has no power to save us? We will not listen to you!" God rewarded them in this world that they keep Rosh Chodesh more than the men do. He also rewarded them in the world to come that they will be renewed like the Roshei Chodoshim (the new moons), as the verse says: "Your youth shall be renewed to be [as light] as an eagle (Tehillim 103:5)."
(י) בֵּית דִּין שֶׁקִּדְּשׁוּ אֶת הַחֹדֶשׁ בֵּין שׁוֹגְגִין בֵּין מֻטְעִין בֵּין אֲנוּסִים הֲרֵי זֶה מְקֻדָּשׁ וְחַיָּבִין הַכּל לְתַקֵּן הַמּוֹעֲדוֹת עַל הַיּוֹם שֶׁקִּדְּשׁוּ בּוֹ. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁזֶּה יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁטָּעוּ חַיָּב לִסְמֹךְ עֲלֵיהֶם שֶׁאֵין הַדָּבָר מָסוּר אֶלָּא לָהֶם וּמִי שֶׁצִּוָּה לִשְׁמֹר הַמּוֹעֲדוֹת הוּא צִוָּה לִסְמֹךְ עֲלֵיהֶם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר אֲשֶׁר תִּקְרְאוּ אֹתָם וְגוֹ':
(10) If the court sanctified the new moon erroneously, incorrectly or forcibly, the sanctification remains valid and everyone must fix the dates of the festivals in accordance with the day in which the members of the court sanctified the new moon. Even if someone knows that they have made a mistake, she must rely on their decision, because the authority in this matter rests only with them. God who has commanded us to observe the festivals has also commanded us to depend on them, as it is written: "The festivals … which you shall proclaim" (Leviticus 23:2).
And Rabbi Aḥa bar Ḥanina says that Rabbi Asi says that Rabbi Yoḥanan says: With regard to anyone who blesses the new month in its proper time, it is as if she greets the Face of the Divine Presence. Alluding to this, it is written here concerning the sanctification of the new month: “This month shall be for you the beginning of months” (Exodus 12:2), and it is written there, where the Jewish people encountered the Divine Presence at the splitting of the sea: “This is my God and I will glorify Her” (Exodus 15:2). The term “this” is employed in both verses. The school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: If the Jewish people merited to greet the Face of God in Heaven only one time each and every month, it would suffice for them, since in the blessing of the moon there is an aspect of greeting the Divine Presence. Abaye said: Therefore, we will say the blessing while standing, in honor of the Divine Presence.
Rabbi Simeon ben Pazzi pointed out a contradiction between verses: One verse
says, "And God made the two great lights", and immediately the verse continues, "The greater light...and the lesser light."
The moon said unto the Holy One, blessed be They, "Sovereign of the Universe! Is it possible for two kings to wear one crown?" God answered, "Go then and make thyself smaller".
"Sovereign of the Universe!" cried the moon, "because I have suggested that which is proper must I then make myself smaller?" God replied, "Go, and thou wilt rule by day and by night."
"But what is the value of this?" cried the moon. "Of what use is a lamp in broad daylight?" God replied. "Go. Israel shall reckon by thee the days and the years."
"But it is impossible," said the moon, "to do without the sun for the reckoning of the seasons, as it is written, "And let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and for years."
"Go.The righteous shall be named after thee as we find, Jacob the Small, Samuel the Small, David the Small."
On seeing that it would not be consoled, the Holy One, blessed be They, said, "Bring an atonement for Me for making the moon smaller."
This is what was meant by Rabbi Simeon ben Lakish when he declared, "Why is it that the he-goat offered on the new moon is distinguished in that there is written concerning it unto God? Because the Holy One, blessed be They, said, "Let this he-goat be an atonement for Me for making the moon smaller."
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה׳ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר בְּמַאֲמָרוֹ בָּרָא שְׁחָקִים, וּבְרוּחַ פִּיו כָּל צְבָאָם חֹק וּזְמַן נָתַן לָהֶם שֶׁלֹּא יְשַׁנּוּ אֶת תַּפְקִידָם שָֹשִֹים וּשְֹמֵחִים לַעֲשֹוֹת רְצוֹן קוֹנָם פּוֹעֵל אֱמֶת, שֶׁפְּעֻלָּתוֹ אֱמֶת וְלַלְּבָנָה אָמַר שֶׁתִּתְחַדֵּשׁ עֲטֶרֶת תִּפְאֶרֶת לַעֲמוּסֵי בָטֶן שֶׁהֵם עֲתִידִים לְהִתְחַדֵּשׁ כְּמוֹתָהּ, וּלְפָאֵר לְיוֹצְרָם עַל שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה׳ מְחַדֵּשׁ חֳדָשִׁים:
Kiddush Levana (Sanctification of the Moon) Blessing
Blessed are you, God, ruler of the universe, whose word created the heavens and whose breath created the heavenly hosts, who gave them ordinances that they not change their orbits. Joyful and happy are they to do the will of their creator, a worker of truth whose work is truth! To the moon God said; renew yourself, crown of glory for those borne in the womb, for they like you, are destined to renew themselves,and to give glory to their creator for the sake of God's holy honored sovereignty (malkhut/Shekhinah). Blessed are you, God, renewer of months.
מוסף לראש חודש
ראשי חדשים לעמך נתת, זמן כפרה לכל תולדותם.
Musaf for Rosh Chodesh
Beginnings of Months you gave to your people, a time of atonement for all their deeds.
(א) רֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ מֻתָּר בַּעֲשִׂיַּת מְלָאכָה, וְהַנָּשִׁים שֶׁנּוֹהֲגוֹת שֶׁלֹּא לַעֲשׂוֹת בּוֹ מְלָאכָה הוּא מִנְהָג טוֹב.
On Rosh Chodesh it is allowed to do Melacha (work), and the women who choose not to do work are participating in a good custom.
A woman’s body is characterized by cycles of change” as women go from one stage of life to another: puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, birthing, breast-feeding, and menopause. “Likewise,” she writes, “each month the moon waxes and wanes with a comforting predictability” (33). She further writes: “All throughout the generations women have experienced the same cycles of life. Like the familiar moon, the body gently speaks to us. The moon’s cycles are reflected in our counting and deposited in our bodies. One can look at the moon to observe its phases, and likewise, a woman can observe her internal body changes."