Rosh Chodesh Adar and Shabbat Shelalim
The religious observances of Judaism rely on the lunar calendar and the monthly arrival of a new moon is an occasion for special prayers and celebration. Rosh Chodesh, Hebrew for “head of the month”, is the monthly holiday that celebrates the arrival of the new moon, marking the start of a new month on the Jewish calendar. With the next new moon we usher in Adar (אֲדָר), the sixth month of the civil year and twelfth month on the Hebrew calendar.
As a special treat for Rosh Chodesh Adar, Florida Region FJMC President Blake Lenett offers a Dvar Torah about Shabbat Shakalim:
“Shabbat Shekalim takes place the Shabbat prior to (or on) Rosh Chodesh for the month of Adar and is named for the maftir reading, Exodus 30:11 which describes the census requiring every Israelite man to contribute a half shekel to support communal sacrifices in the Mishkan, the portable tent of meeting and later the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The egalitarian nature of this contribution is emphasized – “the rich shall not pay more, and the poor shall not pay less than half a shekel.” The requirement that all individuals contribute equally to the community helped develop a sense of unity crucial to the new nation created by the Exodus. In honor of Shabbat Shekalim, the Haftorah is designated to reflect the theme of Shekalim rather than the weekly portion of Mishpatim.
The Haftarah notes the fact that those who were tasked with distributing the money were trusted to such a degree that they did not need to present an accounting of their expenditures, “for they did the work honestly.” The lesson of the Martir and the Haftorah is that Jews in every generation have a responsibility to support and maintain the upkeep of the Synagogue and other communal causes. The acceptance of this responsibility has contributed to the inner strength of the Jewish people through the ages. As leaders of FJMC, we often find ourselves giving up personal interests for the sake of the community. One who does so gains infinite benefit, because the mission of K’lal Israel is dependent upon the unity of the entire people. May we continue to have the strength and ability to support this Holy Mission.”
As the secular calendar turns from February to March and the Hebrew calendar turns from Shevat to Adar, the Florida Region of FJMC wishes you Chag Purim. It’s Adar; Be Happy 🙂
This moment of Jewish Learning is brought to you by the Florida Region of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs (FJMC). We are part of a confederation of over 200 Jewish Men’s Clubs and Brotherhoods representing over 20,000 members across the United States, Canada, Latin America, and beyond. Learn more about how your Jewish Men’s Club or Brotherhood can affiliate with the FJMC at: https://www.fjmc.org/content/affiliating-fjmc.
The Florida Region of FJMC serves the needs of affiliated Men’s Clubs and Brotherhoods throughout the State of Florida. Get to know more about the FJMC Florida Region and our growing network of Jewish Men’s Clubs and Brotherhoods at www.floridaregionfjmc.org and please visit and LIKE our Florida Region FJMC Facebook Group at www.facebook.com/FloridaRegionFJMC.