Tefillah Tips - Blessing the New Moon
The time honored custom of the people of Israel is to announce the date and time of the new moon the Shabbat before it arrives. The reason it is done in Synagogue on Shabbat is simply because it is the time of the week when the most congregants are present.
This week the Jewish people will again announce the upcoming new month of Nissan. Nissan has historically been an outstanding month for the Jewish people. The Talmud remarks, "That in Nissan we were redeemed (from Egypt), and in Nissan we will be redeemed".
In fact a segment of the actual prayer in which we bless the new moon states this exact point in prayer form. " Mi Sheasah Nisim..Hu Yigal Otanu Bikarov" - He that has done miracles for our forefathers and redeemed them from slavery-may He redeem us as well and gather us from the four corners of the earth." And then the prayer ends off enigmatically "Chavairim Kol Yisrael Venomar Amen- The Jewish people are all friends and let us say Amen."
The Talmudic passage is understandable, the request for redemption is understandable but why the phrase about the brotherhood and collective friendship of the people of Israel?
The Dovair Shalom remarks that latent in this little passage is the itinerary for the future redemption of the Jewish people (may it be soon). First G-d will remove any oppression and oppressors from us, then G-d will gather us all to one place and then when the people of Israel become united in purpose and friendship the Geulah- redemption will be completed.
As we the Jewish people currently struggle against terror, war and hatred we all ask ourselves what can we do about it. We pray and do mitzvot and give money, urge our local politicians. We must also follow the directions from this prayer. "Chavairim Kol Yisrael" genuine and loving friendship within the people of Israel. We must put it high on our agendas- on our personal agendas, community agendas, and national agenda- all differences aside we must be Chavairim. And in the merit of our efforts may G-d deliver us from our enemies and restore peace to the land and the people of Israel-Amen.