Rosh Chodesh Tamuz (the start of the month of Tamuz) begins at sundown on and ends at nightfall on .
Rosh Chodesh literally means “head of the month,” and is the day that marks the beginning of the lunar month- just as July 1 will mark the beginning of the solar month. It’s celebrated as a minor holiday, with an extra paragraph added to birchat hamazon in its honor.
This month, we’ll be celebrating two days of Rosh Chodesh. Why is that?
Because the Hebrew calendar goes according to the lunar year, each month is approximately 29 days and 12 hours. Instead of cutting it at the twelve-hour mark, we have 29 days in some months and 30 in others. When a month has thirty days, then the thirtieth day is observed as Rosh Chodesh along with the first day of the next month.
Since women refrained from joining in on the Sin of the Golden Calf, Rosh Chodesh is considered to be a day set aside for women. The Talmud says that women can be exempt from work on Rosh Chodesh, and indeed, many women until today will leave the laundry and sewing for a different day.
Regardless of how you choose to mark Rosh Chodesh Tamuz, enjoy this special day!