Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rosh Chodesh Nissan - ראש חודש ניסן

Seen in Jerusalem yesterday.
Photo: Miriam Woelke

Today (Monday) is Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the beginning of the Jewish month of Nissan. Rosh Chodesh is almost over in Israel but, nevertheless, the holiday always stands for a new beginning in life. Now is the time for you to start something new or make changes. Of course you can do so every day but a Rosh Chodesh may provide you with more energy.

Although we don’t really see it due to the bad rainy weather this week, Nissan is the month were spring is starting. Trees are blossoming. However, this Rosh Chodesh also has a very important meaning, as Moshe erected the Mishkan (Tabernacle) in the desert.

There is a long rabbinic discussion in Talmud Rosh HaShana whether the first of Nissan is the actual beginning of the new Jewish year or the first of Tishrei (Rosh HaShana). The Ohr HaChaim brings a great explanation: In Nissan, G – d was planning to create the world and in Elul, He turned His plan into reality. On the first of Tishrei, G – d created the first humans Adam and Eve.

According to the kabbalistic book “Sefer Yetzirah- Book of Creation”, each Jewish month symbolizes a special letter, an Jewish tribe, a horoscope, a human sense and an organ. The letter of the month of Nissan is the Heh ה, the horoscope is Aries, the tribe is Yehudah, the sense is speaking and the organ is the right leg.

Every year on 15th Nissan (Pessach) is full moon and we are enabled to get our life under control. It is the beginning of our inner freedom.

The most important task in Nissan is cleaning the house for Pessach. Getting rid of all the Chametz (forbidden grains such as wheat, rye, oats, spelt and barley) during Pessach. We are not allowed to own Chametz on Pessach, nor eat it or look at it.

Kabbalistic literature sees in Chametz our own Yetzer HaRah (evil side in us) and the Passach cleaning symbolizes the “getting rid of our Yetzer HaRah”. I am cleaning and cleaning but my Yetzer is still around and just doesn’t want to leave !

"A great, healthy and successful new month to all of you - Chodesh Tov "

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