“וביום שמחתכם ובמועדיכם ובראשי חדשיכם”
There are two סימנים in שו”ע או”ח, each containing only one halacha, pertaining to meals. One is סימן ש’ which speaks about סעודת מלוה מלכה. The other is סימן תי”ט which discusses סעודת ראש חודש. It is brought in the sefer משפט צדק that people say the reason the מחבר made a special סימן for each of these סעודות is because many people are not careful about them. To stress the importance of them he gave them each their own סימן. Reb Yisroel Rizhiner jokingly said that one who is not careful with these סעודות, on him the passuk says עד מתי אתם פוסחים על שתי הסעיפים – meaning these סימנים which are two סעיפים.
The מחבר (סימן תי”ט) says מצוה להרבות בסעודת ראש חודש. The מחבר (סימן קפ”ח סעיף ז’) says that if one forgot to say in bentching יעלה ויבוא on Rosh Chodesh he does not go back מפני שאינו חייב לאכל פת כדי שיתחיב לברך ברכת המזון – there is no obligation to eat bread on Rosh Chodesh therefore if he forgets it he does not have to bentch again. Still the מחבר here is saying מצוה להרבות. The Mishna Berurah explains that even though there is no obligation, still if one spends money for the סעודת ראש חודש and eats and drinks הרי זה משובח. The שער הציון quotes the אור זרוע that לכתחילה it is better to eat פת for סעודת ראש חודש. The opinion of רבינו יהונתן is that there is a חיוב פת on Rosh Chodesh.
It is enough to be מרבה בסעודה on the day of Rosh Chodesh. One does not also have to do it by night. According to some poskim if one only has his סעודה at night it is not considered a סעודת ראש חודש. The פני משה says that when there are two days Rosh Chodesh one should have a סעודה on both days.
Many people have the מנהג to make an extra dish for Rosh Chodesh. When Rosh Chodesh falls out on Shabbos they make an extra dish more than what they usually have on a regular Shabbos. The כף החיים says that one should be בוצע on two ככרות to honor Rosh Chodesh more than a regular weekday.
The כף החיים also says that this mitzvah להרבות בסעודה applies to women as well. The Steipler zt”l would drink wine every Rosh Chodesh and would also give his family to drink, including the women. By doing so one is being מכבד Rosh Chodesh.
The פסיקתא says that any expenses one spends for Rosh Chodesh are not included in the amount of money that was set for him on Rosh Hashana, just like Shabbos and Yom Tov.
Prepared by R’ Avrohom Yehoshua Ziskind
1Sources:משנה ברורה, דרשו, אוצר פלאות התורה