This weekend we read Parshas Tazria. It is also called Parshas Hachodesh, which is the fourth week of the special readings we have before Passover. The word Hachodesh refers to the New month that begins every month on Rosh Chodesh. We read of the first time that the Jewish people received the mitzvah to sanctify Rosh Chodesh, - for the month on Nissan, which is the month of Passover. The basic point of this mitzvah is that the Jewish court had an obligation to sanctify the New moon every month. However, there is a deeper side to this reading that is one of the most basic points to living like a Jew. Indeed, this may be why this reading is so essential for us to hear before Passover. The word Hachodesh (the month) can be read Hachidush (the novelty). This indicates that the Jewish people were given the power to start new, fresh, and all over. This is signified by the moon, that the Jewish people are compared to; although the moon may disappear every month, it comes right back anew. This power is given to us – no matter where we are, what we’ve gotten into, we are able to start anew and fresh.
This is of utmost importance to us as Jews. If there is anything that can dilute the power of our mitzvohs and reduce their power, it’s when we do them by rote. Lack of excitement, carelessness for details, lip service without any real feeling, acts that have no life to them, these all indicate a serious problem with one’s attitude to the mitzvos. If we are more excited over the opportunity to go to a ball game, than the opportunity to say shema in the morning, then something is lacking in our appreciation for the priceless value of doing a mitzvah. If we can read of a missile or rocket falling in Israel, and then go on as if nothing was read, something is missing in our Ahavas Yisroel, in our care for another Jew. But can we change? Can we improve? Parshas Hachodesh is what tells us that we can!!! Hashem gave us the potential to grow and to change in all ways, to unlock the great potential that lies within us and to become the great person that we really can be.
This thought is what helps us prepare for the holiday of Passover, as we celebrate no longer being servants to Pharaoh, but being servants to Hashem.