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The Month of Nissan
Splitting of the Sea - By <a href=''/k17105''>Natalia Kadish</a>
Splitting of the Sea - By Natalia Kadish

Nissan, the first month on Jewish calendar (according to the Torah), coincides with March-April on the civil calendar. The Torah calls it chodesh ha-aviv—the month of spring, as it marks the beginning of the spring months.

On the first day of Nissan in the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), two weeks before the Exodus, G‑d showed Moses the crescent new moon, instructing him regarding the setting of the Jewish calendar and the mitzvah of sanctifying the new month. “This month shall be for you the head of months, the first of the months of the year” (Exodus 12:2). This ushered in the first Jewish month and commenced the lunar calendar that Jews have been following ever since. It was the first mitzvah (“commandment”) given to the newly born nation of Israel, even before the exodus from Egypt.

It is in this month that we celebrate the eight-day holiday of Passover, from the 15th through the 22nd of Nissan. It commemorates the Jewish people’s miraculous redemption from slavery in Egypt, and the birth of the Jewish nation.

We observe the anniversary of the Exodus each year by removing all leaven from our possession for this week, eating matzah and telling the story of the redemption to our children. By following the rituals of Passover, we have the ability to relive and experience the true spiritual freedom that our ancestors achieved. (For more information, visit our Passover Megasite.)

It took seven weeks—49 days—from when the Jewish people left Egypt until they received the Torah from G‑d at the foot of Mount Sinai, celebrated today as the holiday of Shavuot. It is explained that the 49 days that connect Passover with Shavuot correspond to the 49 drives and traits of the human heart. Each day saw the refinement of one of these sefirot(“traits”), bringing the people of Israel one step closer to spiritual perfection. Each year, we retrace this inner journey with our “counting of the Omer.” Beginning on the second night of Passover, we count the days and weeks to the holiday of Shavuot, the “Festival of Weeks.”

A special mitzvah which can be fulfilled only once a year—anytime during the month of Nissan—is to recite the berachah (“blessing” or prayer) made upon seeing a fruit tree in bloom. Many people visit botanical gardens during this time, so as to avail themselves of an opportunity to observe this beautiful mitzvah.

It is mentioned in the Talmud that according to one tradition, the three patriarchs of the Jewish people—Abraham (1948–2123 from creation, 1813–1638 BCE), Isaac (2048–2228 from creation, 1713–1533 BCE) and Jacob (2108–2255 from creation, 1653–1506 BCE)—all were born and passed away in the month of Nissan.

Nissan Features
Creating yourself from the inside out
You're trapped in your life. Whichever way you turn, you encounter walls -- unshakable habits, antagonistic colleagues, elusive desires.
You feel the pain and bitterness, even more deeply than the others, yet you carry in your heart an inextinguishable flame of faith, hope and optimism.
When he opened the door, a cardboard box fell at his feet...
Jewish Kids Crafts
Festival of Liberation
He made of each Chasid a "rebbe," made each Chasid feel that responsibility and love for every Jew, made each Jew sense her or his own greatness and holiness.
Nissan is the first month, but it comes six months after the beginning of the year; Rosh Hashanah is the first day of the year, but it falls in the seventh month. Makes sense? It does, if you’re a...
What is freedom? What can be done with it? Nothing, unless we open the treasure chest and count its contents.
Nissan Calendar
Special Days in Nissan
10 Nissan Miriam's Passing
Miriam, the sister of Moses, passed away at the age of 126 on the 10th of Nissan of the year 2487 from creation (1274 BCE) -- 39 years after the...
11 Nissan Lubavitcher Rebbe Born
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, was born on this date in 1902. Links:
TheRebbe.org
A Timeline...
15 Nissan The Exodus
At the stroke of midnight of Nissan 15 of the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), 210 years after Jacob settled in Egypt and 430 years after the...
21 Nissan Red Sea Splits
On the eve of the seventh day after the Exodus, the Children of Israel found themselves trapped between the Egyptian army and cavalry pursuing them...
Jewish History In Nissan
1 Nissan
3761 BCE Creation of man (in thought)
The Talmud (Rosh Hashanah 10b-11a) cites two opinions as to the date of G-d's creation of the... Read More »
1813-1506 BCE The Patriarchs
According to the Talmud, the three Patriarchs of the Jewish people-- Abraham (1813-1638 BCE), Isaac... Read More »
1313 BCE Jewish Calendar Inaugurated
On the first of Nissan of the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE--two weeks before the Exodus), G-d... Read More »
1312 BCE Mishkan Inaugurated
On the eighth day following a 7-day training and initiation period, the portable Mishkan... Read More »
1312 BCE Death of Nadav and Avihu
On the day the Mishkan was inaugurated (see above), "Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aaron, took each of... Read More »
2 Nissan
1312 BCE First Red Heifer Prepared
On the 2nd of Nissan, one day after the inauguration of the Tabernacle, Moses prepared the very first... Read More »
1920 Passing of Rashab
The fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Sholom DovBer Schneersohn ("Rashab"), was born in the... Read More »
3 Nissan
1312 BCE Levites Inducted into Tabernacle Service
Following the procedure G-d prescribed (Numbers 8:5-22), Moses inducted the Levites into Tabernacle... Read More »
4 Nissan
1948 Hospital Convoy Ambushed
On the morning of the 4th of Nissan, a civilian convoy of doctors and nurses traveling to the... Read More »
5 Nissan
1273 BCE Spies to Jericho
Two days before the conclusion of the thirty-day mourning period following the passing of Moses on... Read More »
6 Nissan
1925 The Town of Afula Was Founded
The town of Afula in Northern Israel was founded in this date in 1925. It is located on the presumed... Read More »
7 Nissan
1273 BCE Jews Prepare to Cross into Canaan
The Jewish nation mourned for thirty days following the passing of Moses. (During this time, Joshua... Read More »
8 Nissan
1313 BCE War of Egyptian Firstborn
On the Shabbat before the Exodus--Nissan 10th on that year--the first-born of Egypt, who occupied the... Read More »
366 BCE Grand Feast Ended in Shushan
The grand 180-day feast hosted by King Achashverosh came to an end on this day. Achasverosh... Read More »
9 Nissan
366 BCE Seven Day Feast Begun
Following his 180 day feast for all his international subjects, which ended a day earlier, King... Read More »
10 Nissan
1274 BCE Miriam's Passing
Miriam, the sister of Moses, passed away at the age of 126 on the 10th of Nissan of the year 2487... Read More »
1273 BCE Israelites Cross Jordan
Three days after the two spies dispatched by Joshua scouted the city of Jericho (see entry for... Read More »
11 Nissan
1273 BCE Jews Circumcise upon Entering Canaan
Following the Jewish nation's crossing of the Jordan into the land of Canaan (see entry for "Nissan... Read More »
1270 Passing of Nachmanides
11 Nissan marks the passing of Nachmanides ("Ramban", Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, 1194-1270) -- Torah... Read More »
1630 Passing of Sheloh
Rabbi Isaiah Halevi Horowitz was a noted kabbalist, famous as the "Sheloh Hakodosh" (the saintly... Read More »
1902 Lubavitcher Rebbe Born
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, was born on this date... Read More »
1978-Current Education and Sharing Day USA
To emphasize the vital role of education in society, the United States annually marks... Read More »
12 Nissan
548 BCE King Hezekiah Falls Ill
On this day, King Hezekiah, the greatest of all the Judeaen kings, fell seriously ill, and was... Read More »
348 BCE Ezra and Followers Depart Babylon
A year following the building of the second Temple in Jerusalem (see Jewish History for the 3rd of... Read More »
13 Nissan
1714 BCE Abraham's Brit
According to one account in the Midrash, on the 13th of Nissan of the year 2048 from creation (1714... Read More »
357 BCE Haman's Decree
In the 12th year of his reign (357 BCE), King Achashverosh of Persia endorsed Haman's plan "to... Read More »
1575 Passing of R. Joseph Caro
Nissan 13 is the anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Joseph Caro (1488-1575), author of the Shulchan... Read More »
1866 Passing of Tzemach Tzeddek
The third Rebbe of Chabad, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn of Lubavitch (1789-1866; known as the... Read More »
14 Nissan
1135 Maimonides Born
Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, Talmudist, Halachist, physician, philosopher and communal leader, known in... Read More »
15 Nissan
1743 BCE "Covenant Between the Parts"
On the 15th of Nissan of the year 2018 from creation (1743 BCE) G-d forged a special covenant with... Read More »
1738 BCE? Abraham Battles Four Kings
When Lot was taken captive by the four kings who conquered the "five cities of the plain" (Sodom... Read More »
1714 BCE Angels Visit Abraham
On the 3rd day following his circumcision at age 99 (see "Today in Jewish History" for Nissan 13)... Read More »
1713 BCE Isaac Born
"G-d remembered Sarah as He had said; and G-d did to Sarah as He had spoken. And Sarah conceived, and... Read More »
1556 BCE Jacob Wrestles with Esau's Angel
"And Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn. When he saw that he... Read More »
1314 BCE Moses at Burning Bush
On the 15th of Nissan of the year 2447 from creation (1314 BCE) -- exactly one year before the Exodus... Read More »
1313 BCE The Exodus
At the stroke of midnight of Nissan 15 of the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), 210 years after... Read More »
366 BCE Queen Vashti Executed
On the seventh day of his royal feast (see Jewish history for 9 Nissan), King Achashverosh demanded... Read More »
372 BCE Daniel in Lions' Den
Daniel was cast into a den of hungry lions by Darius I of Persia for violating a royal edict that no... Read More »
16 Nissan
1714 BCE Sodom Overturned
The wicked cities of the Sodom valley, including Sodom, Gemorrah, Admah and Zevoim, were overtuned in... Read More »
1273 BCE Manna Ends
On the 16th of Nissan of the year 2488 from creation (1273 BCE), six days after the Children of... Read More »
357 BCE Esther Appears Before Achashverosh
On the 3rd day of the fast proclaimed by Mordechai at her behest (see "Today in Jewish History" for... Read More »
357 BCE Haman Hanged
At the 2nd wine party she made for King Achashverosh and Haman, Queen Esther revealed her identity to... Read More »
17 Nissan
1883 Passing of the Maharin
Rabbi Yisrael Noach, son of the third Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch, headed the... Read More »
18 Nissan
1313 BCE Pharaoh Becomes Aware of Escape
Following the Jewish nation's grand exodus from Egypt (see Jewish history for the 15th of Nissan)... Read More »
1878 R. Levi Yitzchak Schneerson born
Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson (1878-1944), was born on the 18th of Nissan in the town of Podrovnah... Read More »
1902 Lubavitcher Rebbe's Brit
On the eighth day following his birth on the 11th of Nissan, the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel... Read More »
1993 Passing of Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveichik
On the 18th of Nissan, 5753 (April 9, 1993), Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveichik, a scion of the illustrious... Read More »
19 Nissan
1796 Purim Fossano
On this day in 1796, the Jewish community of Fossano, Italy was miraculously saved from the hands of... Read More »
1943 Rabbi Zemba Murdered
Rabbi Menachem Zemba was born in a suburb of Warsaw, Poland in 1883. A follower of the Gerrer... Read More »
20 Nissan
1313 BCE Pharaoh Corners Jews at Red Sea
Pharaoh's pursuit of the Jews (see Jewish History for the 18th of Nissan) ended on this day, on the... Read More »
21 Nissan
1314 BCE Moses Departs Midian
After seven days of contention with G-d at the burning bush (see entry for "Nissan 15"), Moses... Read More »
1313 BCE Red Sea Splits
On the eve of the seventh day after the Exodus, the Children of Israel found themselves trapped... Read More »
22 Nissan
1713 BCE Isaac Circumcised
Eight days following his birth on the 15th of Nissan (see Jewish history for that day), Isaac was... Read More »
1273 BCE Encirclement of Jericho Begun
Shortly after crossing the Jordan River and entering the Land of Canaan, the Jews set their sights... Read More »
23 Nissan
1147 Second Crusade Mourned by Cologne Jews
The Jewish community of Cologne, Germany, designated the 23rd of Nissan as a day of fasting and... Read More »
24 Nissan
1313 BCE The First Shabbat Celebrated
Two days after the Jews crossed the Red Sea (see Jewish History for the 21st of Nissan) they arrived... Read More »
26 Nissan
1245 BCE Passing of Joshua
Joshua (1355-1245 BCE), who assumed the leadership of the people of Israel after Moses' passing (see... Read More »
27 Nissan
1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
In the summer of 1942, about 300,000 Jews were deported from Warsaw to Treblinka. When reports of the... Read More »
28 Nissan
1273 BCE Jericho's Wall Collapses
On the seventh day of the encirclement of Jericho (see Jewish History for the 22nd of Nissan), the... Read More »
1945 Buchenwald Liberated by American Forces
The Buchenwald concentration camp was founded in 1937 near the town of Weimar, Germany.... Read More »
1991 Rebbe's Call
On the eve of Nissan 28, 5751 (April 11, 1991), the Lubavitcher Rebbe issued an emotional call to... Read More »
30 Nissan
1620 Passing of R. Chaim Vital
Nissan 30 is the yahrtzeit (anniversary of the passing) of the famed Kabbalist Rabbi Chaim Vital... Read More »
Laws & Customs For Nissan
1 Nissan
On the Shabbat that falls on or before the 1st of Nissan, a special reading called "Hachodesh"... Read More »
Today isRosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") for the month of Nissan. Special portions are added to the... Read More »
A special mitzvah, which can be fulfilled only once a year, is to recite the berachah ("blessing" or... Read More »
Beginning today, and continuing through Nissan 13, we recite the verses (from Numbers ch. 7)... Read More »
2 Nissan
In today's "Nasi" reading (see "Nasi of the Day" in Nissan 1), we read of the gift bought by the nasi... Read More »
Tachnun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are... Read More »
3 Nissan
In today's "Nasi" reading (see "Nasi of the Day" in Nissan 1), we read of the gift bought by the nasi... Read More »
4 Nissan
In today's "Nasi" reading (see "Nasi of the Day" in Nissan 1), we read of the gift bought by the nasi... Read More »
5 Nissan
In today's "Nasi" reading (see "Nasi of the Day" in Nissan 1), we read of the gift bought by the nasi... Read More »
6 Nissan
In today's "Nasi" reading (see "Nasi of the Day" in Nissan 1), we read of the gift bought by the nasi... Read More »
7 Nissan
In today's "Nasi" reading (see "Nasi of the Day" in Nissan 1), we read of the gift bought by the nasi... Read More »
Once a month, as the moon waxes in the sky, we recite a special blessing called Kiddush Levanah... Read More »
8 Nissan
In today's "Nasi" reading (see "Nasi of the Day" in Nissan 1), we read of the gift bought by the nasi... Read More »
The Shabbat before Passover is termed Shabbat HaGadol ("The Great Shabbat") in commemoration of the... Read More »
9 Nissan
In today's "Nasi" reading (see "Nasi of the Day" in Nissan 1), we read of the gift bought by the nasi... Read More »
10 Nissan
In today's "Nasi" reading (see "Nasi of the Day" in Nissan 1), we read of the gift bought by the nasi... Read More »
11 Nissan
In today's "Nasi" reading (see "Nasi of the Day" in Nissan 1), we read of the gift bought by the nasi... Read More »
12 Nissan
In today's "Nasi" reading (see "Nasi of the Day" in Nissan 1), we read of the gift bought by the nasi... Read More »
13 Nissan
After reading the "Nasi" describing the gifts brought by the princes of the 12 Tribes of Israel for... Read More »
In preparation for the festival of Passover, in which even the possession of any form of leavened... Read More »
14 Nissan
Firstborn males over the age of Bar Mitzvah (13) are obligated to fast on the 14th of Nissan, in... Read More »
The Torah (Exodus 12:15, as per Talmud, Pesachim 5a) sets midday of Nissan 14--today--as the deadline... Read More »
Chametz is disposed of by: a) selling it to a non-Jew; b) burning the chametz found in our search on... Read More »
When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, the Passover offering was brought there on the afternoon of... Read More »
The 8-day festival of Passover--also called "The Festival of Matzahs" and "The Time of... Read More »
15 Nissan
Click here for a summary of the Passover Torah... Read More »
The month of Nissan marks the ends of the "season of rains" in the Holy Land. Beginning with the... Read More »
"And you shall count for yourselves from the morrow of the Shabbat, from the day on which you bring... Read More »
Outside of the Holy Land, biblical festivals are observed for an extra day. So in addition to the... Read More »
16 Nissan
Click here for a summary of the Passover Torah... Read More »
In the evening prayers tonight, we begin substituting the phrase v'ten berachah... ("and grant... Read More »
Tomorrow is the second day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at... Read More »
17 Nissan
Of the eight days of Passover, the first two and the last two are "yom tov" (festival days). The... Read More »
Click here for a summary of the Passover Torah... Read More »
Tomorrow is the third day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at... Read More »
18 Nissan
Click here for a summary of the Passover Torah... Read More »
Of the eight days of Passover, the first two and the last two are "yom tov" (festival days). The... Read More »
Tomorrow is the fourth day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at... Read More »
19 Nissan
Click here for a summary of the Passover Torah... Read More »
Of the eight days of Passover, the first two and the last two are "yom tov" (festival days). The... Read More »
Tomorrow is the fifth day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at... Read More »
20 Nissan
Click here for a summary of the Passover Torah... Read More »
Of the eight days of Passover, the first two and the last two are "yom tov" (festival days). The... Read More »
When Shabbat occurs immediately following a festival -- as it does this year -- an "eruv tavshilin"... Read More »
Tomorrow is the sixth day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at... Read More »
It is customary to remain awake on the eve of the Seventh of Passover (i.e., tonight) and spend the... Read More »
21 Nissan
On the Seventh Day of Passover we read how on this day the sea split for the Children of Israel and... Read More »
Unlike all the other festivals, only the abridged version of Hallel (Psalms 113-118, recited on... Read More »
Tomorrow is the seventh day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at... Read More »
22 Nissan
On the Eighth Day of Passover we read Deuteronomy 15:19-16:17. Like the reading for the second day... Read More »
Yizkor, the remembrance prayer for departed parents, is recited today after the morning reading of... Read More »
The last day of Passover ("Acharon Shel Pesach") is particularly associated with Moshiach and the... Read More »
Tomorrow is the eighth day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at... Read More »
23 Nissan
In remembrance of the tragic death of Rabbi Akiva's disciples who died in a plague in the weeks... Read More »
Tomorrow is the ninth day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at... Read More »
The day following a festival is called Isru Chag ("tied to the festival"). Tachnun (confession of... Read More »
24 Nissan
Tomorrow is the tenth day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at... Read More »
25 Nissan
Tomorrow is the eleventh day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at... Read More »
26 Nissan
Tomorrow is the twelvth day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at... Read More »
27 Nissan
Tomorrow is the thirteenth day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at... Read More »
28 Nissan
Tomorrow is the fourteenth day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at... Read More »
29 Nissan
This Shabbat is Shabbat Mevarchim ("the Shabbat that blesses" the new month): a special prayer is... Read More »
In preparation for the festival of Shavuot, we study one of the six chapters of the Talmud's Ethics... Read More »
Tomorrow is the fifteenth day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at... Read More »
30 Nissan
Today is the first of the two Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") days for the month of "Iyar" (when a... Read More »
Tomorrow is the sixteenth day of the Omer Count. Since, on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at... Read More »
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Rosh Chodesh
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What Is Rosh Chodesh?
The Jewish calendar follows the lunar year. The renewal of the moon, marks the beginning of the month. Rosh Chodesh, which means ‘head of the month’ celebrates the start of a new month on the Jewish calendar.

Throughout history our light has waxed and waned. But even in utter darkness, it has never been extinguished.

More About Rosh Chodesh
A Monthly Holiday for Women
The special connection between women and Rosh Chodesh harks way back to the episode of the Golden Calf, when the women refused to surrender their jewelry for use in making the idol. As a reward, they were given Rosh Chodesh as a special Holiday for women.

Rosh Chodesh celebrates the monthly renewal of the moon, after it wanes to the point of disappearance. Thus Rosh Chodesh celebrates the concept of perpetuity despite life’s peaks and plunges. It is the woman who through her steadfast faith that ensures our nation’s survival; it is she who ensures that no matter how much we wane, we will always be renewed.

More on the Women Connection
~ In honor of the Gold family of Montreal ~