Chodesh Tov to you all! Do you know which is the first Mitzvah given to the Jewish Nation? It is even given prior to the Exodus from Egypt. That Mitzvah comes from the Torah in Exodus Chapter 12 Verse 2. It says החדש הזה לכם ראש חדשים ראשון הוא לכם לחדשי השנה 'This month shall be unto you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. I will discuss this at more length below. ‘
The two names of this month (Nissan and Aviv) have extremely interesting Gematriat that teach many important aspects. The gematria of Nissan is 170 which represents 10 times 17. The ten represent the 10 Sephirot and 17 is the gematria of Tov or Good. Therefore Nissan is a good month which is also a complete structure unto itself. This comes from the 10 Sephirot. When ever there are 10 Sephirot, there is a complete structure.
The Gematria of aviv is 15 which relates to the upper worlds called Chochma and Binah. Aviv can also be translated as Father of 12. This is consistant with the Kabbalistic teaching that the first includes all of the others. The Keter includes all 10 Sephirot and the first month Nissan includes all of the other months as we shall see from the teachings of the ARI below.
Lets review what the Sefer Yetzirah and other Kabbalistic Teachings say about this month.
To explain why I do this each month, the Sefer Yetzirah is a book written by Abraham Avinu as a book of outreach to the people of his generation. This book actually explains the relationships between things in our physical world. It is a book that originally had 400 chapters and taught people how to have a personal relationship with the creator. By the time of the second Temple, Rabbi Akiva only had 6 chapters left. He reorganized the Sefer Yetzirah written by Abraham into the book that we have today.
In these 6 chapters are organized relationships that can be used as meditative tools to grow and strengthen your personal relationship with the creator.
Letters of the month: Dalet is the letter that created the planet Mars Maadim מאדים. The Shoresh of Maadim is אדם and also דם. אדם means “to redden” or “to blush” or “to turn red”. דם means blood. It is from these roots that we get the idea of Mars being the planet of blood and from there to the phrase the planet of war. The gematria of Maadim is 95 which is both the gematria of Haman (from Purim infamy) and “The King” HaMelech also the name of God concealed within the Scroll of Esther as discussed in our Purim recordings.
Constellation: The constellation is the Taleh טלה which means the lamb. Of course the Egyptians think of the Taleh as the male animal referred to as a ram. The gematria of Taleh is coincidentally the same as Blood, 44. Concealed in the Taleh is the Hebrew word Tal which means dew and represents the dew of redemption. Our sages teach that just as we were redeemed in Taleh (which is the same time as the month of Nissan) for the first redemption (which is the time of the leaving the slavery of Egypt) we will also be redeemed during Taleh for the final redemption. The constellation Taleh was created by the Letter Hay. The hay is formed by a Dalet and a Yood or Vav or Aleph. This can be hard to visualize especially the Aleph. The letter Hay is the phonetic source of the letters of the Aleph Bet. It is expressed as the sound of (Ruach) wind or spirit that comes from the mouth. When it is spelled fully, meaning said in full, It is spelled הא or הי or הה. It is these different spelling outs that give rise to some of the differences in the various levels of the Gematria of the Tetragamaton.
Holidays: There are many days of Holiday during the month of Nissan. In fact every day in Nissan is a Holiday as we shall see below. The first 13 days are high energy days as taught by the ARI (see below) and can be considered Holidays.
There is the first day of Pesach and the 7th day of Pesach. There is also the 8th day of Pesach for the people in the diaspora. There is also a total of 14 other holidays called Chol HaMoed and Counting of the omer.
Yes the Omer is a holiday period but most people do not see it that way. We will talk about it below. One thing to keep in mind is to not start anything new during the Omer period, which lasts for 50 days. This year it is from April 20 to June 10.
Most religious people do not understand what a Chol HaMoed means. They translate it as a secular occasion. But it truly is a holiday. So lets take the opportunity to discuss this once and for all. Kabbalah teaches how the universe and all of the worlds are really different levels of energy and/or consciousness. On Shabbat the physical world elevates to the higher spiritual world level automatically. Some one can disconnect from that unified world. When they do an action of proscribed service they disconnect and fall into the abyss (the empty space left behind by the physical world elevating to the spiritual world). Once that is done the person can grow back to the unified level but it is much harder to do than it was at the moment of sundown.
On Holidays, the spiritual world is called down to the physical world by a certain prayer said during the evening prayers or Arvit. This calls the light down to our world and unifies both worlds. Clearly the physical world has not elevated but has become energized by the spiritual unification as opposed to Shabbat that is both unified and elevated.
On Chol Hamoed days the spiritual world goes back to its location but not all the way. There is still some partial unification between the spiritual and physical worlds. Therefore there is the following hierarchy of energy in our physical world. There is a mundane day – a regular day, this is the lowest. There is Chol Hamoed which is the next level up the scale of unity but it is not complete. There is the unity of a Holiday which has been called by people in the Arvit Minyan. This is higher than Chol Hamoed. There is the energy of Shabbat which actually elevates the physical world. It is clearly higher than a Holiday. The highest level is the Holiday of Yom Kippur which lowers the world above our immediate close spiritual world to our spiritual world and also both of these worlds unify and energize the physical world. Yom Kippur is the highest level. Please understand, Chol Hamoed is a time to do additional Torah Study, to do additional Mitzvoth, To get closer to HaShem by your actions and desire to get closer to HaShem. The structure of the worlds make it easier to accomplish. So Why do we go to normal work on Chol HaMoed? Remember, the money you will earn this year was determined on Rosh Hashana. If you go to work during Chol Hamoed, or not, will not change your total income for the year.
Tribe: The tribe of Judah is the first of the Tribes. Yudah is the King as King David and all of his descendants come from the Tribe of Yudah. It is also important to know that the Shoresh of Yudah is Hoda which means thank you. Appreciation is very much a trait of the Jewish people who come from the tribe of Judah. An interesting fact is that Rosh Chodesh Nissan is also the New Year for Kings. This is why the historians have so much difficulty with the dating of Biblical events. If a King was crowned on the First of Kislev then on the First of Nissan he entered his second year of being a King and it is said that he has reined for 2 years when he has not actually reined for a whole year yet. Can you appreciate the irony in the scientists having so much difficulty with such a simple illusion?
Yudah was the 4th son born to Jacob so why is he the first of the Nasiim that brought his offering for the dedication of the Mishkan in the dessert. The tribe of Yudah went first in the order of the marching in the desert. Yudah went first and Reuben who is the first born son of Jacob (on the physical level only) went 4th? This is a question that takes much discussion about the energy of the first born and the relationship of consciousness to physical actions. There is just not enough space in this email to answer this question adequately.
Sense: Speech is the sense of Nissan. This is because speech is the power of the King as it written “For the Kings Word is his sovereign Power”. Speech is the tool HaShem has given man in order to motivate other men to follow his lead. This is the energy of a King weather that King is born to his role or elected to his role as it is done in democracies today.
As we will see below, the main Mitzvah of Nissan is the telling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt. Without speech this could not be done adequately.
The Seder meal is the highlight of the telling of the story of Pesach. Pesach is a Hebrew word that can be seen as actually saying “a mouth that speaks”. The word Seder is a Hebrew word that means “put in order”. By following the 14 or 15 steps of the Seder we actually put our lives in order. We remove all blockages and battles for the coming 12 months. This is the reason behind the ritual of the Seder. Controller: The right foot. What does your foot have to do with speech or kingship? Our gait is controlled by our right foot. The right foot has an aspect of trust and confidence. Walking connects us to speech as it is written in Judges 5:10, “Walkers on the way, speak”. Many of the secrets of the Zohar are revealed while the people are taking a journey usually implying walking by or on the way.
The word controller comes from the astrological uses of these relationships. Each sign has a ruler which is being translated here as a controller.
The color of the month is Bright Lite Green.
Energy Days: Each day of the month of Nissan is an energy day as will be explained. According to the teachings of the ARI (Rabbi Issac Luria may he continue to bless the world with his teachings), the first 13 days of Nissan connect to each of the 12 months of the year and as the universe works by giving us a second chance the 13th day lets us connect to any of these months that we did not do correctly. This means you go through all the dedications from all of the Tribes from all of the first 12 days again. Please see the link about the First days of Nissan. Please also test this ritual as it truly works and takes just a little effort to get up a few minutes early for 13 days.
The 14th day is Erev Pesach. Clearly an energy day, which deals with spiritual actions of searching and burning the Chametz.
The 15th day is Pesach. There are then 5 days of Chol Hamoed and the 7th day of Pesach leading us to the 22nd of the month.
The 16th day begins the counting of the Omer which is a period of intense energy that the Rabbi’s warn us not to start anything new during that period because it is an elevated state of consciousness and most people do not have the vessel to handle that elevated state.
The Omer continues all the way until Shavuot. We will discuss it the next month of Iyar as well.
Nissan is the month of the war against the desire to receive for oneself alone. This is what gives us freedom and redemption with the light of Pesach. That same light of redemption is available on Shavuot. The difference is that it has no bread of shame on Pesach as it is a free gift from Hashem. On Shavuot we will have earned that light, by counting the Omer, so that it can manifest in our life as the Light of Torah. Remember Shavuot is the giving of the Torah. Pesach is the energy of Freedom and setting our lives in order. Both Pesach and Shavuot are the same light of fulfillment. Pesach comes without bread of shame even though we have not earned this light. Shavuot comes without bread of shame because we have earned this light by counting the Omer.Chodesh Tov
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