The blessing of the new moon and the festive character of Rosh Hodesh (New Month) originated in the time of the Second Temple. Due to the significance of the moon in the Jewish calendar (see Ex. 12:2), it may be of much older origin; in the course of time it has, however, undergone substantial changes. The rite takes the moon as a symbol of the renewal in nature as well as of Israel's renewal and redemption. Various other elements, some of them of a kabbalistic nature, have become attached to the rite.