The Sighting of the New Moon
Living in harmony with environmental observation and experience connects us to that which is real in the creation around us. And that is exactly how the Creator intended us to live. We may have meticulously calculated calendars written on paper – but living according to these calendars actually disconnects us from the very world in which we live and the nature surrounding us. Getting ourselves in tune with the intricate cycles of life designed into creation is a tremendous blessing for us; and it is the way in which we thrive as human beings. We do not thrive when we are disconnected from life and that which is real in the universe around us.
God made the sun and moon to be for “signs and seasons, days and years”. (Ge 1:14). They were put there for us to be in tune with the cycles of life designed into the creation. From a Hebrew Scriptural perspective, this includes the end of one day and beginning of another, the entry of the Sabbath (the seventh day of rest), the entry of months, the entry of years and the timing of the Creator’s appointed feasts.
This is the Creator’s Cosmic Calendar – His Timing. 1
And, did you know that in the Hebrew Scriptures the calendar begins with the first sighting of the “new moon”?
What is engaging and fascinating about the first sighting of the New (Crescent) Moon according to the Hebrew Scriptures is that it appears right after the sun has set and is observable only for a short period of time into the night. The awareness of the newness of time is enveloped in the experience of the passing of day to night; light to dark. As soon as the light of day fades, the light of the new moon appears – and a brand new month (moon-th)2 has begun. The new month begins at a time of day when we are generally slowing down from the busyness of daily life, and the quietness of evening brings opportunity to reflect upon the month that has just concluded; as well as the coming of the new month and what that may mean for us. What a refreshing experience according to the plan and design of the Creator. How rich and lovely.
In fact, the Scriptural Hebrew associated with the sighting of the New Moon speaks to this very opportunity for renewal. The Hebrew word in the Scriptures for the “New Moon” is “chodesh”, stemming from the Hebrew root word: “chadash”; which, as it splendidly happens, actually means “to renew”. This we can see in the following Psalm, where the Hebrew word “chadash” appears:
“Bless Yah, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! He forgives.. heals.. redeems.. crowns, He satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (from Ps. 103)
As for the Scriptural directions concerning observing the New Moon for the beginning of the month, we find the most clear specifications in the context of the Scriptural beginning of the year – and the first month. Stunningly and gorgeously, the year according to Yah’s design begins in the Spring, when the very creation is springing back into renewed life. Below are some verses that speak to how YHVH taught Israel to begin the first month of the calendar year – the month of the Aviv by observing the new moon (in addition to the “aviv” barley).
“Observe the month (“chodesh” – New Moon) of Aviv, and keep the Passover to YHVH your God, for in the month of Aviv YHVH, your God, brought you out of Egypt by night.”
“This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” (Deut 16:1; Ex 12:2)
An important detail to note here, is that the Hebrew word “shamar” for “observing” the new moon for the month of Aviv is the exact same Hebrew word for “keeping” or “guarding” the garden of Eden; as God had commanded Adam to do in Genesis 2. It is also the same word for the “guarding” by the cheribum which “guarded” or “preserved” the way to the tree of life after Adam and Eve had been banished from the garden for choosing to bring the experience of evil into the world.
Thus, we can correctly read the above verse from Deuteronomy as follows:
"Guard the keeping of the Aviv New Moon(th), and keep the Passover to YHVH your God."
This unlocks to us the understanding that the Creator’s Cosmic Calendar and the way of keeping time according to Yah’s design is so precious and important to Him, that He has asked His people to guard it. What an honour to be a part of this beautiful and harmoniously designed system of the universe, as he has so lovingly invited us to do. Truly He is good and his lovingkindness endures forever!
Yah has indicated to us that He wants us to be connected to His creation and design – to nature, to the soil and to the celestial bodies in the heavens. We were created to guard the earth and the ground – and the Creator has also called upon us to guard the observance His Cosmic Calendar that He designed in the heavens. For, as we know, every beautiful thing around us speaks to us of His marvelous handiwork. In all things may we walk with Him, in His glorious ways.
"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world." Psalm 19:1-4 "By awesome deeds You answer us with deliverance, O God of our salvation; You are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas. By your strength you established the mountains; You are girded with might. Those who live at earth's farthest bounds are awed by Your signs; You make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy. You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water." From Psalm 65
1 ) What do I mean by Cosmic? Here are the simple definitions lended by http://dictionary.reference.com/.
2) The word “month” is derived from a complete cycle of the moon – ie. moon-th (29.5 days).
3) Photos were taken by Yiskah in Nova Scotia, Canada, at the beginning of the Eleventh Month on the Creator’s Cosmic Calendar 2015 (Jan 21, 2015). The New Moon had been sighted that same evening, (Jan 21st) in Israel – beginning the eleventh month.