Laws and Customs
There are twelve months in the Jewish calendar, with Nisan being the first, because it is the month in which the Jewish People left Egypt. All dates of events mentioned in the Torah are calculated from Nisan being the first month. Nisan is the month of freedom in which we were liberated from Egypt, in which we entered Eretz Yisrael in the time of Joshua, and in which we are destined to experience redemption in the future.
The month of Nisan is not only the first of the months, it is also the New Year for five events (see below).
Today, the month is characterised by the following:
The tahanun prayer is not said;
No eulogies are said for the dead.
The month is dedicated entirely to preparations for Pesach.
1. The first day of the month is the New Year for five events:
Kings (civil dates)
Leap year (extra month)
2. The tahanun prayer is not said at all during the entire month.
3. Kimcha da Pascha - donations for Pesach wheatflour to make matza for the poor - is collected.
4. The haftarah of ‘Shabbat Hagadol’.
5. The month of past and future liberation.
6. The parashah of Hahodesh (Exodus 12:1).
7. The People of Israel's entry into Eretz Yisrael under the leadership of Joshua.