Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rosh Chodesh Nissan - ראש חודש ניסן

Seen in Jerusalem.
Photo: Miriam Woelke

Tomorrow night (Erev Shabbat) and on Shabbat, we are going to celebrate Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the beginning of the Jewish month of Nissan. Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh together always stand for a double portion of Kedusha (holiness). 

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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