Shabbat Hachodesh & Shabbat Mevarechim Hachodesh
Torah Reading: Ex. 35:1-40:38
Maftir: Ex. 21:1-20
Haftarah: Ezekiel 45:16-46:18
Shabbat HaChodesh is the last of 4 special Shabbatot before Pesach. It falls on the Shabbat before the Hebrew month of Nissan begins, unless Nissan begins on Shabbat. In that case, Shabbat HaChodesh coincides with Rosh Chodesh. The special maftir reading for Shabbat HaChodesh describes the night of the first Pesach. Notable features include eating the Pesach lamb sacrifice with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, and painting the blood of the sacrificed lamb on the doorposts of Israelite homes. The passage, containing both the story and various laws of Pesach, connects us to our ancient past and prods us to accelerate preparations for Pesach, which is only 2 weeks away.