Festivity of Rosh Chodesh
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Festive Meals on Rosh Chodesh
- It is a Mitzvah to have a big seudah on Rosh Chodesh. One should add on to one's meal with at least one food more than usual.
- One can fulfill this with any type of special food, however, it's praiseworthy to do so with bread and make Birkat HaMazon (with Yaaleh VeYavo).
- One fulfills one's obligation with the meal of the day and it's not necessary to have a meal also at night.
- The Midrash in Vayikra Rabbah states that Hashem pays back whoever spends for Rosh Chodesh, along with Shabbat, Yomim Tovim, and what a tinok takes to the house of their rebbe.
Fasting on Rosh Chodesh
- It's forbidden to fast on Rosh Chodesh.
- Some have the minhag to fast on Erev Rosh Chodesh (the day before Rosh Chodesh) and even those who don't fast should do teshuva on this day since it's the last of the month (similar to Erev Rosh Hashana).
- It is a nice practice to wear special clothing for Rosh Chodesh.
Working on Rosh Chodesh
- It's permissible to do work on Rosh Chodesh. In some places the minhag is for women not to work on Rosh Chodesh and it's a praiseworthy minhag.
Cutting Hair and Nails on Rosh Chodesh
- There is an Ashkenazic minhag not to cut one's hair, shave, or cut one's nails on Rosh Chodesh even if it falls out on Friday. Sephardim aren't concerned for this.
- Rosh Chodesh is a segulah (i.e. more conducive) for tefilah.
- For one who finds it difficult to learn during the week, learning on Rosh Chodesh (and Shabbat) is spiritually beneficial.
- Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 419:1.
- Shulchan Aruch 419:1, Mishna Brurah 419:2
- Mishna Brurah 419:1. Kaf Hachaim 419:2 quotes the Rabbenu Yahonatan who holds that there's an obligation to have a bread meal on a Rosh Chodesh and a Yareh Shamayim would be strict for him. He concludes that it is a nice practice to make hamotzei with two loaves of bread. Also, in Kaf Hachaim 419:5 he quotes the Chida who says that there's an obligation to honor Rosh Chodesh and infers that one should have a meal on Rosh Chodesh in a honorable manner like one would for Shabbat or Yom Tov. Yalkut Yosef 418:8 writes that someone who has a bread meal is praiseworthy. Chazon Ovadia Chanuka p. 256 disagrees with the Kaf Hachaim that there's an obligation to have a meal with bread.
- Mishna Brurah 419:2, Chazon Ovadia Chanuka p. 256
- Vayikra Rabbah 30:1. The Midrash states that whatever one spends for these special days is added to his sustenance (decreed on Rosh Hashanah), and whatever he does not spend for these days is lessened from his decreed sustenance.
- Shulchan Aruch 418:1
- Mishna Brurah 417:4
- Kaf Hachaim 419:6 citing the Or Tzadikim 31:2, Machzik Bracha 419:2
- Shulchan Aruch 417:1
- Mishna Brurah 260:7 writes that there is a minhag to be strict for Rabbi Yehuda Hachasid's will not to cut one's hair or nails on Rosh Chodesh even if it is a Friday.
- Yalkut Yosef 260:2
- Sefer HaMidot, Tefilah, Chalek Rishon, 48
- Sefer HaMidot, Learning, Chalek Rishon, 65