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Nissan—A Month Unlike Others

Written by Rabbi Yehoshua Alt, 21/3/2020

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Fascinating Insights—The Sefer (in English)

Nissan—A Month Unlike Others

Nissan is no ordinary month rather it is special. This is how the Ohr Hachaim[1] explains ראש חדשים—Nissan—as ראש is the choicest as in בשמים ראש, choice spices, since Nissan is the greatest of all months.[2] The Siduro Shel Shabbos[3] writes ראש חדשים refers to the head like the head of a person where the powers of the body and its vitality come from the head. In the Sefer Magid Masharim,[4] the Magid tells R’ Yosef Karo thatעתך עת דודים[5], your time was the time of love, refers to the holy days of Nissan.


R’ Tzadok Hakohen[6] tells us that Nissan includes all the Kedusha of the 12 months. The Shela[7] informs us that each day in Nissan is like Rosh Chodesh as it says החדש הזה לכם ראש חדשים, each day of this month is like a Rosh Chodesh. As a result, there is no Tachanun this entire month. In a letter dated Motzai Shabbos, Parshas Acharei Mos in the year תרמ"ו (1886), the Avnei Nazer[8] writes to R’ Chaim Berlin, who asked him questions on matters regarding Pesach, that it is hard for me to answer because these days of Nissan are so precious as it isשעה כיום יחשב, an hour is like a day. However, since I was asked very much for an answer as it is for his Oneg and Simchas Yom Tov, I took a little time to answer. In fact, the Shem Mishmuel testifies about his father, the Avnei Nazer, that in the days of Nissan he would go around in the upper worlds and because of the great Kedusha of these days, he didn’t need to sleep![9]

Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

[1] Shemos 12:2.

[2] Shemos 30:23.

[3] 6:3:1, s.v. ויש לומר.

[4] Beginning of Parshas Emor.

[5] Yechezkal 16:8.

[6] Pri Tzadik, Parshas Hachodesh, 2. R’ Tzadok Hakohen says elsewhere (מחשבות חרוץ, p. 63, s.v. וכלל) that on Rosh Chodesh Nissan one can attain the great light from the light of Moshiach.

[7] Meachta Pesachim, Perek Ner Mitzva, 6.

[8] שו"ת, Orach Chaim, 336. The Chidushai Harim (Likutai Harim, Nissan, s.v. שם החודש) points out that the name of Nissan is supernatural as ניסן is sourced in נס, miracle, that which is above nature. Each person can remove himself from his negative nature. 

[9] אביר הרועים, 264, 299. 

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