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.
Last week the Jewish people announced the upcoming new month of Nissan. Nissan, which begins this Shabbat, 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. “מי שעשה נסים לאבותינו… הוא יגאל אותנו בקרוב- Hashem, who 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 “חברים כל ישראל ונאמר אמן- 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 embedded in this passage is the secret ingredient necessary 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 actualized.
As we the Jewish people currently struggle against both global terror, war and hatred, as well as internal strife and turf wars we must all ask ourselves, “what can we do about it?” While we pray, do mitzvot and give money, and advocate and urge our local politicians, we must also follow the clear directions of the prayer. “חברים כל ישראל” genuine and loving friendship within the people of Israel. We must put it high on our agendas- on our personal agendas, communal agendas, and national agenda- all differences aside we must be Chavairim. We can disagree with love. And in the merit of our efforts may G-d once again deliver us from our enemies and restore peace to the land and the people of Israel-Amen.
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