In this parsha the Torah gives us the first mitzvah, of “Kiddush Hachodesh” (“hachodesh hazeh lachem”). The word for “month” (חֹדֶשׁ) comes from the word “new” (חָדַשׁ), and the mitzvah is referring to the reappearance of the new moon. Many of us are familiar with the idea that each month in a lunar year represents the actual reappearance of a “new moon”, whereas a “month” in a solar year is just a division of 365 days in to 12 somewhat-equal parts.
Hashem took the rejuvenation of the moon and gave it as a gift to Klal Yisrael, as we say in Kiddush Levanah: “Klal Yisrael will also be able to rejuvenate, just as the moon will become new.”
“But is the moon really ‘new’?” asks Rabbeinu Yona in Mesechta Brochos. Any astronomer will be able to predict each and every aspect of the moon’s waxing and waning. It is just a monthly cycle without anything “new” to it at all, just like the solar system. Rabbeinu Yona answers that while it really is a cycle, it “appears” to us as something new each month, and that apparent “newness” is enough for us to make a brocho on it.
So too, I would say that in life a mere second chance to do the same thing is also something new. For example, when Pesach comes around, many women cringe at the thought of all the work required for preparation—as they do every year. So too, many men look forward to the opportunity to lead the seder and to give over the story of the Exodus from Egypt to their children.—as they do every year. When the next year comes, and each person falls into their specific roles, while it might seem as if there is nothing new happening, when each person has a second chance to perform the same mitzvah, it is also like a new opportunity.
Reb Gedalia Schorr explains this on a spiritual level, and he points out that Pesach—the time which is the birth of our nation—is in the month of Spring (chodesh aviv)—a time of newness (chidush). The world as we see it is actually an upshot from the spiritual plain. When the “new” is infused into teva, there is newness, but it will be veiled in the natural world as a recurring phenomenon. Therefore, when there is a new moon, in reality, it is total newness. The way we perceive it physically is in the lunar cycle.
The sfarim hakedoshim tell us that when we read the parsha each week, the spiritual energy of that parsha is here, and ready to be accessed. Though we may find ourselves in the dead of Winter with nothing new around us, we do have the “new” energy of this week’s parsha containing “hachodesh hazeh lachem”, which can give us the ability to connect to the Exodus from Egypt. Do not let it just slip through your fingers in the cold of winter. Become revitalized by accessing the “super natural” power in the parsha.