Chodesh Tov!! As we have started the month of Cheshvan, here is a message on the significance of the New Month in the Torah and the month we have just entered, Cheshvan.
Rosh Chodesh (the new month) symbolizes renewal, the ability of the Jews to elevate themselves from oblivion and restore itself to its past greatness. Just as the moon vanishes at the end of each month, but comes back and grows to fullness, so Israel may suffer exile and fall, but it always renews itself - until the coming of the Moshiach, when the promise of the Exodus and the Revelation at Mount Sinai will happen, never to be dimmed again. We are introduced to the laws of Rosh Chodesh in the Torah reading of Parshat ‘Bo’ which is the third Parshah in the book of ‘Shemot.’
Cheshvan, the month following Tishrei in the modern Jewish calendar is referred to in the Tanach as the ‘Yerach Bul.’
In modern era, this month has become known as Cheshvan or Mar Cheshvan, which began at the time that Jews returned to Israel after the Babylonian Exile.
The prefix ‘Mar’ (which means bitter) is a source to this month, featuring no festivals or celebrations, but much suffering occurred for the Jewish people throughout history in this month. Also during this month, G-d brought down the Flood and drowned the world (except for Noach, his sons and his sons wives.) Mar also can be defined as ‘drop’ and refers to the first rains (the Yoreh), which fall in Cheshvan.
The month of Cheshvan always has a two-day Rosh Chodesh.
On the seventh day of Cheshvan those living in the land of Israel begin davening for rain by adding "Veten Tal U'Matar" to their Amidah prayers. If no rain has fallen by the 17th, a drought may be feared and ritual fasting and special prayer is common to commence.
The 27th of Cheshvan is observed by those who fast on Erev Rosh Chodesh as a Yom Kippur Katan (small scale Yom Kippur) fast day. If ten or more men are fasting, the passages of Vayechal is read during the Mincha service.
Many significant things occurred throughout Jewish history in this month, King Solomon completed the seven-year building of the Beit Hamikdash (Temple) during Cheshvan (which we learn in the book of Kings) and there should have been a festival. Though all Israel waited for G-d’s command concerning this dedication of the Temple, G-d waited until the next Tishrei (11 months later) before he finally commanded the dedication of the Temple.