Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chodesh Tov! Some notes from Hakhel on today's deep significance

Special Note Four: Today is one of the most renowned days in the Torah, as, once again, we read last week, Hashem taught Moshe Rabbeinu on this day-- “HaChodesh HaZeh Lochem Rosh Chadoshim--This month is the first month to you of the year…” (Shemos 12:2).

The Gemara (Shabbos 87B) teaches that Rosh Chodesh Nissan took “Eser Ataros”--ten separate and distinct crowns--for ten unique events that happened on this day, which include the first day of the Avodah--the complete service in the Mishkan, with Aharon and his descendents to serve everlastingly as Kohanim Gedolim and Kohanim. It was also the first day ever of the Shechina descending into the Mishkan, and of fire coming from Heaven to consume the Karbanos.

Additionally, not one or two, but eight different Parshios of the Torah were taught to K’lal Yisroel on this specific day (See Gittin 60A).

The Navi in Yechezkel (45:18) teaches that on THIS DAY the “Miluim”--the consecration of the THIRD BAIS HAMIKDASH will commence. Accordingly, the Siddur Bais Yaakov writes that all who are “Mitzapim L’Yeshua”--await the Redemption--should recite the Pesukim related to the dedication of the Third Beis HaMikdash in Yechezkel, 43:18-27 and 45:18-20.

Indeed, the first 12 days of Nissan, the days of the dedication offerings of the Nesi’im (the princes of the tribes) in the Mishkan, are so powerful that Reb Menachem Mendel of Rimanov taught that in each of these days are inherent an entire month of the year. With true clarity of vision, on each of these 12 days, one can understand what the entire corresponding month will be like. The first day of Nissan provides the clarity for the entire month of Nissan, the time of Redemption.

Today’s Nasi, i.e., the first one to bring Karbonos in the Mishkan, was Nachshon ben Aminadov, who was the same Nasi who jumped into the stormy sea for Geulah. Perhaps the lesson for today is not to be ashamed or hesitant--but to jump in--to give it all that we have, to prepare for--and to bring--the Geulah!

Today is also the first day we can recite the Birchas Ha’Ilanos (list of locations supplied yesterday), upon seeing a blossoming fruit tree (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 226 for further details on the proper performance of this Mitzvah). One can show his/her zerizus and chavivus--alacrity and dearness--for this once-a-year Brocha by reciting it as early in the month as possible.

Finally, Rosh Chodesh Nissan is the Rosh Hashana for Shekalim (Rosh Hashana 7A)--the day **NEW** contributions were **REQUIRED** to be used to purchase the daily sacrifices for the Bais Hamikdash (no matter how full the Temple treasury already was). This teaches us that today is the day to start again, with a fresh and new commitment, to utilize the coming days to personally spring and blossom. Let us feel the Special Time in the AIR--and improve and elevate our actions accordingly. The opportunity is oh so blatant--grab on and enjoy!

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