The Basis of Jewish Emunah, Rosh Chodesh

The Basis of Jewish Emunah


by R' Moshe Wolfson, shlita

Rashi opens his commentary on Chumash: Rabbi Yitzchak says, the Torah should have begun with “HaChodesh Hazeh Lachem,” because that is the first mitzvah that the Jewish people were commanded.

Is the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh truly the first mitzvah? We already have pru urvu, the mitzvah of producing offspring, which was given to Adam, milah which was given to Avraham, and gid hanasheh which Yaakov received. Rosh Chodesh appears to be the fourth, not the first, mitzvah.

Rosh Chodesh is the first mitzvah because the Jewish people do not trust individuals, no matter how great or worthy; we only trust the testimony of a multitude. We don’t accept mitzvos from Adam, Avraham, and Yaakov. We only accept mitzvos from Moshe Rabbeinu because we all, as a nation of 3 million people, saw Hashem appoint him as our prophet on Har Sinai.

Excerpted from upcoming book on Emunah.

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