Karaite Israelite Mosque of Ascension






(The Original Kedar-Rite of the Karaim)



    Just as the Sabbaths are a weekly renewal,the NEW MOON known as ROSH CHODESH is a monthly purification, being a day set apart from the rest of the month. This is a day of Fasting,Reflection and Redirection in reconfirming our status as servants of The Most High. In this regard the NEW MOON was originally a Sabbath of rest known as “Shabbat Mevarkhim” meaning the Sabbath that blesses and purifies the months.


                    EZEKIEL 46:1 OLD TESTAMENT(O.T.)

“ Thus says the Lord: The gate of the inner court that faces east shall be shut on the six working days, but on the Sabbath day it shall be opened, and on the day of the NEW MOON it shall be opened.”



   A true Lunar Calendar is synchronized with the exact time in which it takes the MOON to fully orbit the earth. The completion of a full orbit introduces the NEW MOON which marks the beginning of a new Lunar Month. It takes the MOON exactly 29 and a ½ days (29.6) to orbit the earth and return to the same exact position in relation to the earth. The 29 and ½ day cycle is known as a Synodic Month. Since it is impossible to observe a ½ day in any given month, the true Lunar Calendar has six 29 day months and six 30 day months which averages the necessary 29 and ½ days needed to complete a Synodic Month.                                                             


  In understanding the fixed and accurate numerics of a Synodic Month it was never necessary to actually sight the NEW MOON in order to begin the new month or observe the purification practices of ROSH CHODESH. In fact the sighting of the NEW MOON was simply a part of a ritual that followed the end of a 12 hour fast which took place on the day of the  NEW MOON being the 1st of the Month. The NEW MOON Fast begins at 6AM and ends at 6PM. Following the NEW MOON Fast of purification the Israelites would hold a festive meal and then gather for the sighting of the NEW MOON. Whether the NEW MOON was visible or not was irrelevant as it had no bearing on the fixed numerics of a Synodic month which accurately ushered in the timing of the NEW MOON and of course the new month.

  The Fast of Rosh Chodesh was at one time heavily associated with female purification as the average monthly menstrual cycles of all women were perfectly timed in relation to Rosh Chodesh. It has now been scientifically proven that the average menstrual cycle is 29.1 days. The 29.1 days of the menstrual cycle plus the 12 hour Fast(0.5 days), brings the total cycle to 29.6 days which is the exact timing of a Synodic month. Ovulation on the 15th day of the month was perfectly coordinated with the Full Moon. This was also the origins of the timing of the “Honeymoon” which was meant to coincide with the Full Moon of Ovulation. Counting from the onset of menstruation at ROSH CHODESH a woman was set apart for 7 days.


                                  LEVITICUS 15:19(O.T.)

   ' And if a woman have an issue,and her issue in her flesh be blood she shall be set apart seven days.'



   Although she was set apart for 7 days her uncleanliness lasted 14 days.


                                       LEVITICUS 12:5(O.T.)

  ' If she bears a female she shall be UNCLEAN TWO WEEKS(14 DAYS) AS DURING HER MENSTRUATION.'



 The above mentioned verse allows us to understand the fact that in addition to being unclean for two weeks after giving birth to a female baby, a woman was also unclean for two weeks during menstruation.However unlike the first week(7 days) she was not SET APART meaning that she was not totally separated as one would not become unclean by simply touching her belongings which was the case during the initial 7 days. Nevertheless she was still considered unclean for sexual intercourse for 14 days. 

   At the end of the 14 days the women would take a ritual bath of purification. This bath was considered the transition from Unclean to Clean as she was now if married,ready to conceive. This meant that the first permissible day for sexual intercourse between a man and his wife was at the Full Moon of Ovulation. This was another example of Yah-Allaha's perfect timing in regards to purification,marriage and conception. In this regard weddings always took place during the day at the Full Moon of Ovulation. However at the end of the “Day” as in Daylight which was 6PM the Newlyweds would depart for the Groom's chambers and the marriage would be consumated at the Full Moon of Ovulation and Conception.   


  According to the Book of Samuel, Bat Sheba became impregnated by King David immediately after taking her purification bath. This was due to the fact that Purification had to coincide with Ovulation which further supports the 14 days of uncleanliness leading up to Ovulation.



                                        II SAMUEL: 4-5(O.T.)

Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman BATHING, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was PURIFIED from her UNCLEANLINESS: and she returned unto her house. And the woman CONCEIVED, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.



   Just prior to the beginning of the New Moon Fast being 6AM, The First verse of the 54th Surah of THE HOLY KORAN ENTITLED QAMAR(MOON)  IS RECITED.



'The Hour (of Judgment) drew nigh, and
the MOON is rend asunder'

Iqtarabati alssaAAatu wainshaqqa alqamaru
اقْتَرَبَتِ السَّاعَةُ وَانشَقَّ الْقَمَرُ                                      


Upon completion of the New Moon Fast at 6PM recite the following from SURAH 2:189 :

'They ask you concerning the NEW MOON. Say: They are times appointed for (the benefit of) men

Yas-aloonaka AAani al-ahillati qul hiya maw
aqeetu lilnnasi  

 يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْأَهِلَّةِ ۖ قُلْ هِيَ مَوَاقِيتُ لِلنَّاسِ 



* White is the preferred dress for ROSH CHODESH