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The Laws Concerning the Thirty Days before Passover

The Laws Concerning the Thirty Days before Passover

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Matzah:

• It is customary to avoid eating Matzah from thirty days before Passover1.

Learning the Laws:

• Starting from the day of Purim (which is thirty days before Passover), one should start teaching and learning the laws of the holiday. However, since the laws are available in print and everyone can learn it on his or her own, it is no longer customary to teach it so much publicly. Rather each one should review the laws on his own until they know it well2.

Leaven:

• During the 30 days prior to Passover, one should be more careful with everything he does, and where he takes his meals, so that any leaven that remains during the month should be in such a way that it will not be difficult to remove it before Passover3. Hence, one should be extra careful with books that will be used at the time of eating, to shake out any leaven that may have fallen into the book.

• One is permitted to attach wallpaper with paste that is leaven even within thirty days of Passover since the leaven is covered and is not complete leaven. Likewise, one is permitted to paste papers upon windows, unless the paste or glue will be visible. In that case, it cannot be pasted within thirty days of Passover. Before Purim, however, there is no problem4.

Prayers:

• During the complete month of Nissan, we do not say< i>Tachnun in our daily prayers. We therefore omit: Lamnatzeiach (Between Asherei and Uva Letzion), Keil Erech Apaim (prior to taking out the Torah on a weekday), Av HoRachamim (before the Musaf Amidah on the Shabbat) and Tzidkotcho (during the Mincha prayer on Shabbat)

• Starting on the first day of Nissan, through the thirteenth day, a section from the end of Parshat Nasso is read after Shacharit from a printed text. On the first twelve days we read about the daily gifts brought by the prince of a tribe on its respective day of Nissan. On the 13th day we conclude with the end of the portion of Nasso and the beginning of Behaalotcha. Afterwards the special Yehi Ratzon is recited. This Yehi Ratzon is also said by a Cohen and a Levite5.

Fasting:

• One is not permitted to fast during the month of Nissan. Some exceptions: A fast for a bad dream, the bride and groom on the day of their chupah and the first born on the eve of Passover. A bride and groom fast as well if they get married on Rosh Chodesh Nissan. However, if they are getting married on Isru Chag of passover (for those who do not observe that period of Omer for mourning on this day), they do not fast on that day.

• The first of Nissan (marking the deaths of Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aaron), the 10th of Nissan (marking the death of Miriam) and the 26th of Nissan (marking the death of Yehoshua bin Nun) are days when certain individual fast and is known as "Taanit Tzadikim," the fast of the righteous.

Funerals and Visiting the Cemery

• During the month of Nissan Tziduk HaDin is not said at funerals.

• Nowadays the custom is to go to cemeteries during the month of Nissan only for a Yahrzeit, at the end of thirty days (the "Shloshim") or Shivah6 7.

Charity:

• One should contribute towards Maot Chittim, the charity fund to help the needy for the Passover holidays, anytime during the thirty day period before Passover. It is obvious that the earlier one contributes towards this fund, so easier it will be for those who need the money to avail themselves of it.

FOOTNOTES
1. The Nitei Gavriel writes and I have heard in the name of Rabbi Zalmen Shimon Dworkin that one is permitted to eat matzah that is according to Jewish law chometz (leaven) during this period.
2. Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch 429:1.
3. Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch 429:23.
4. Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch 429:35.
5. Hayom Yom Rosh Chodesh Nissan.
6. The Gesher haChaim (29:5) and this is the Chabad custom.
7. Some opinions say that one should not visit a cemetery during the month of Nissan, even on a Yahrzeit
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