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Parshat - Vayikra Rosh Chodesh Hachodesh

Friday, 16 March, 2018 - 1:15 pm

This week we use three Torahs for the Torah reading. In the first Torah, we read Parshat Vayikra, which teaches about the various animal offerings that were made in the Holy Temple. Some were for atonement of sin, and others as a voluntary gift.  Each has its own requirements, what kind of animals, birds or flour and water combinations can be used. In the second Torah, we read the special portion for Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the new month, since this is the first day of the month of Nissan. In the third Torah, we read Parshat Hachodesh, teaching us to follow the lunar calendar and that Nissan should be counted as the first month, as well as the laws of the Pesach lamb offering, as I wrote last week.

The first day of the month of Nissan is a unique day on our calendar. Many great things happened on that day, and our sages described as a day that “took ten crowns.” Among other things, it is the day the Mishkan - Sanctuary - was dedicated in the Sinai desert, the first time the Presence of Hashem was seen there in the form of a fire that came down from heaven to consume the offerings, and it is considered the “beginning of creation” in the sense that spirituality and the miraculous were revealed in this month, beginning with the Exodus. The name of the month, Nisan, is relayed to the word Nissim, which means miracles. The Talmud says that if a person sees the word Nissan in a dream, it means that “nisei nissim” - miracles upon miracles - will happen to him or her.

So this Shabbat, we are reminded that there is more to the world than what meets the eye. It is time when the air is filled with a supernatural spirit. It is an auspicious time when our soul is strengthened and it is easier for us to rise above our natural tendencies and habits and move to a new spiritual level.

Practically speaking, if a person has been thinking of taking a step forward in connecting to Hashem, perhaps committing to a new Mitzvah or enhancing the observance of one we already do, this is a great time to act on our thoughts. May we all be blessed with a “kosher and happy Pesach", one of spiritual growth with the freedom for our soul to soar. 

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