[Avodah] Does Rosh Chodesh have Kedusha?

Akiva Miller akivagmiller at gmail.com
Sat Feb 13 18:38:50 PST 2021

No, I don't really doubt that Rosh Chodesh *does* have kedusha, if for no
other reason than the Beis Din's announcement of "Medudash!" My actual
question concerns how we express that kedusha, and in particular, how we
talk about its kedusha in our tefilos.

In the Musaf of Rosh Chodesh, the middle bracha - often nicknamed "Kedushas
Hayom" - closes with the words, "Baruch Atah Hashem, mekadesh Yisrael
v'Rashei Chadashim. - Blessed are You, Hashem, Who sanctifies Israel and
New Moons." This conclusion certainly attests to the kedusha of Rosh
Chodesh, but it seems strange to me that the body of the bracha doesn't.

The main text of this bracha, beginning with the words "Rashei Chadashim
l'amcha natata," says many nice things about Rosh Chodesh: It's a time for
kapara, we would bring korbanos. We ask Hashem that we should be able to
bring these korbanos again, and we ask Him for all sorts of brachos in this
new month. And we finally state the basis for these requests: "For You
chose your people Israel from all the nations, and You established the laws
of Rosh Chodesh for them."

Not a single word about the kedusha of the day (until after we cross over
from the body of the bracha into the chasima). The root k-d-sh never even
appears, except in the phrase "Beis Hamikdash".

What's going on here? I clearly recall learning, once upon a time, halachos
about the structure of a bracha, and how the conclusion should summarize
the main point of what the bracha is about. But that doesn't happen here.
The body of the bracha talks about the Newness of the new month, and
the conclusion talks about its Holiness.

When Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbos, this omission is even sharper: "You
made your Holy Shabbos known to them, and You established the laws of Rosh
Chodesh for them." Shabbos is explicitly holy, but Rosh Chodesh just has

For the sake of comparison, let's look at the middle bracha on other
Shabbos has four different versions, and the references are so abundant
that I won't bother to list them.
Amida and Musaf on the Shalosh Regalim have at least two mentions of the
day's kedusha: The paragraph of "Vatiten Lanu" has the phrase "Yom Tov
[Ploni] Mikra Kodesh", then just before the chasima we have the phrase
"Moadei Kodshecha".
On Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, "Mikra Kodesh" seems to be the only
explicit reference, but that's still a lot more than Rosh Chodesh's zero.

I readily concede that the kedusha of Rosh Chodesh is less than that of the
other holidays, possibly even less than that of Chol Hamoed. And perhaps
that's the message that Chazal were sending us when they formulated this
bracha. Any other ideas?

Akiva Miller
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