This Hebrew term means "head of the cycle and is a biblical term translated as "New Moon."
The new moon is important to the Hebrew calendar because it ushers in a new month. Sometimes this also meant the start of a holiday. The declaration of a new moon wasn't’t taken lightly, because if a mistake was made, then one of the “appointed times of the Lord” (Lev.23), might have been observed at the wrong time.
To celebrate the new moon under Mosaic Law, two silver trumpets would be blown (Num. 10:10), along with a burnt offering and a sin offering (Num. 28:25).
During the second temple era, the declaration of the new
moon grew into a festive time and was almost considered to be a holiday in
Declaring a new moon was both a legalistic and festive event.
The Sanhedrin would search for official legal witnesses that could testify to the fact that they could see the new moon. At least two witnesses were needed along with the high priest. This is because the declaration of the new moon became a judicial act similar to a verdict issued by a court of law. (Sanhedrin 11b). Because all judgments were based on witnesses, it became a custom to include the testimony of a witness in the declaration of the new moon process.
If the witnesses were reliable and accurate, a declaration was made. The High priest had absolute authority to declare that a new moon had arrived. The celebration would start and sacrifices were made.
After the Sanhedrin had declared the new moon had officially arrived, bonfires would be set on top of mountains as a signal so people outside of Jerusalem would know the correct time to celebrate.
One reason the Samaritans and the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem didn't’t get along was because the Samaritans attempted to confuse the Jewish lookouts by lighting their own bonfires at the wrong time of the month.
It is believed that included in the High Priests' declaration of the new moon was the reciting of the benediction from Num. 6:24-26 “May the Lord bless thee and keep thee….” along with prayers and blessings for the holiday wine, the giving of the Hebrew Calendar, and the desire for the Messiah to come with Elijah.
We also find reference to our Messiah and the new moon in
Ezekiel’s book. It is possible that during the Messianic era, all believers in
Messiah will celebrate this holiday. Ezekiel refers to this in a vision of a
temple still to come in Chapter 46.
The month of Tishri was the only month where the new moon was announced by the blowing of the shofar, due to Rosh Hashanah. The rest of the new moons were announced by the blowing of silver trumpets (Num. 10:10). It may be that the announcement of the new moon was done with the traditional blowing of the silver trumpet, followed by the blowing of the shofar.
A new month on the Jewish calendar begins with the molad, (pronounced moh-LAHD). Molad is a Hebrew word meaning "birth," and refers to what we call the "new moon" in English. The molad for the month of Tishri (the month that starts with Rosh Hashanah) is the most important one for the calendar calculations, and is referred to as Molad Tishri.(1)
The cycle of the New Moon was approximately 29 days - 44 minutes - and 2.8 seconds.(2)
Feast of Israel notes by Bruce Scott.
2). The Prophet Isaiah by Victor Buksbazen.