This week at Azamra
11 Nisan 5784 / 19 April 2024

Torah Calendar

28 Adar II-12 Nissan, 5784
April 7-20, 2024<

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Attributes of the month of Adar: Ruling permutation of the letters of HAVAYAH are HEH-HEH-YUD-VAV contained in the final letters of four of the Hebrew words in Genesis 49:11, eeroH velashrekaH bniY athonO, "his foal..., and his ass's colt unto the choice vine". The month's corresponding letter is: KUF; Human attribute: LAUGHTER; Body Part: SPLEEN; Tribe: NAFTALI; Constellation: DAGIM (Pisces).

In a leap year in the thirteenth month (Adar II) all twelve permutations of HaVaYaH (=26) rule in unity. 12 x 26 = 312. A simple kavanah would be to attach oneself in all one's devotions to the Tzaddik Emet: Shimon Bar Yochai and Yisrael Baal Shem. The numerical value of Shin Beit Yud is 312.


When cleaning your home in preparation for Pesach, don't throw away unwanted clothes and other items without first thinking if they might be of use to others. Many organizations are happy to take such items and give them to the needy.

Monday April 8 / 29 Adar II
YOM KIPPUR KATAN

This is a day for introspection and repentance prior to the beginning of the new month. Many fast from dawn until nightfall and engage in self-examination and repentance, reciting a special service in the afternoon and, where possible, journeying to pray at the graves of the Tzaddikim.
Today is a particularly auspicious day for offering prayers for one's livelihood (SheLaH).

Attributes of the month of Nissan: Ruling permutation of the letters of HAVAYAH is the first in the order of permutations: YOD KEH VAV KEH, contained in the initial Hebrew letters of Yismechu Hashamayim Vetagel Ha'aretz -- "Let the heavens rejoice and the earth exult" (Psalms 96:11). The month's corresponding letter is: HEH; Human attribute: SPEECH; Body Part: RIGHT FOOT; Tribe: JUDAH; Constellation: RAM (Aries).


Monday night-Tuesday April 8-9 / 1 Nissan:
Rosh Chodesh NISSAN

On Rosh Chodesh we recite Ya'aleh VeYavo in Birkhat HaMazon (Grace after Meals) and in all the day's Amidah prayers. After the morning Shacharit service, the "Half" Hallel is sung followed by the special Rosh Chodesh Torah reading Numbers 28:1-15 and the additional Musaf service. It is customary to mark the day with a more festive meal than usual.

Chodesh Tov UMevorach!!!
Have a Good and Blessed Month!!!

The Sanctuary in the wilderness was inaugurated on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, and this auspicious day has ten crowns: (1) On that day the Creation was complete; (2) Nachshon Prince of Judah brought his offering to Moses' wilderness Sanctuary; (3) Aaron began his duties as High Priest; (4) The first communal offerings were brought; (5) Fire came down from heaven to the altar; (6) Sacrificial portions were eaten within designated limits; (7) The Shechinah dwelt among the people; (8) The Cohanim blessed the people; (9) It was henceforth forbidden to sacrifice on private altars; (10) This day was designated as Rosh Chodesh. Numerous sections of the Torah were revealed on 1 Nissan.

Since the Princes of the Twelve Tribes of Israel brought their inaugural sacrifices to the Sanctuary day by day on the first twelve days of Nissan, many have the custom of reading the corresponding passages from Numbers 7:1-89 each day after the morning prayers, starting with verses 1-17 on the first day and concluding with vv. 78-89 on the twelfth day. Some study the lengthy Midrashim on how the identical sacrifices of the twelve princes in each case had different intentions and allusions (Midrash Rabbah NASO and see Me'Am Lo'ez).

Each of the first twelve days of Nissan corresponds to one of the twelve months of the coming year. "And those with clear vision can see how the events on each of these days allude to what is to come in the corresponding month" (R. Menachem Mendel of Riminov).

Blessing of the trees (Birkhat Ha-Ilanot): This special blessing is recited only once a year at any point during the month of Nissan on seeing at least two blossoming fruit trees, whether of the same or different species. "Blessed are You, G-d, our Lord, King of the universe, for He left nothing lacking in His universe, and He created in it good creatures and good trees, to give mankind pleasure in them." Birkat Ha'ilanot is available in most Siddurim. Sepharadic and some Chassidic Siddurim include extended accompanying readings of the Psalms and a special prayer for the elevation of the souls.

1 Nissan was the birthday of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. He once said, "When somebody thinks of me they become like a newborn babe".

The first ten days of Nissan correspond to the letter Yod of the holy name A-D-N-Y "our Lord"; the four days of checking the Paschal lamb from 11-14 Nissan correspond to the Dalet; the fifty days from the first day of Pesach to the eve of Shavuot correspond to the Nun, and Shavuot itself corresponds to the Aleph, signifying our complete acceptance of the kingship of G-d through our service in this period.


From Rosh Chodesh Nissan until Pesach, many have the custom of not eating Matzot in order to eat the Pesach matzot with relish. Don't forget to spare a thought for the many who cannot afford Matzot and other Pesach needs. In this period it is customary to give Kimcha d'Pischa -- special charity to the poor to cover their "flour" and other Pesach needs.

Wednesday April 10 / 2 Nissan

We are now quickly approaching Pesach, which begins on Monday night April 22. As we work to clean out the chametz (leavened bread etc.) from our homes and make our other preparations for the festival, let us remember to cleanse ourselves inwardly and offer our personal prayers from the heart for all we need, spiritually and materially, personally and collectively.

Friday night-Saturday April 12-13 / 5 Nissan
Shabbat Parshat TAZRIA

Torah reading TAZRIA (Leviticus 12:1-13:59) setting forth the laws of "leprous" marks on the skin of the body and the head.

Please spare a thought for the many who cannot afford Matzot and other Pesach needs. In this period it is customary to give Kimcha d'Pischa -- special charity to the poor to cover their "flour" (kimcha) and other Pesach needs.

Sunday April 14 / 6 Nissan

We are now in the final count-down to Pesach, which begins on Monday night April 22. As we work to clean out the chametz (leavened bread etc.) from our homes and make our other preparations for the festival, let us remember to cleanse ourselves inwardly and offer our personal prayers from the heart for all we need, spiritually and materially, personally and collectively.

Thursday April 18 / 10 Nissan

Today is the anniversary of (1) The taking of the paschal lamb by the Children of Israel in Egypt without the Egyptians daring to attack them even though the lamb was their god; (2) Death of Miriam in the 40th year of wandering in the Wilderness; (3) Miracle of the splitting of the River Jordan when the Israelites entered the Land under Joshua; (4) Birthday of the Lubavitcher Rebbe on April 5, 1902.

Thursday night-Friday April 18-19 / 11 Nissan

Today is the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman of Girona, known as Ramban, or Nachmanides (1194-1270) , outstanding Biblical and Talmudic commentator and one of the key links in the kabbalistic chain of tradition. Today is also the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz (1565-1630), known as the Sh'LaH Hakadosh after the acronym of the title of his major work, Shney Luchot HaBrit ("Two Tablets of the Covenant'), one of the first works introducing the kabbalistic teachings of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, the "ARI", to Europe.

Friday night-Saturday April 19-20 / 12 Nissan
Shabbat Parshat METZORA
Shabbat HaGadol, the "Great" Shabbat

Torah reading: METZORA (Leviticus 14:1-15:33) concluding the Biblical laws of Tzora'at ("leprous" marks on the human skin and head, garments and houses) and the purification ritual. Leviticus 14:1-15:33.
Special Haftara for Shabbat HaGadol, the last Shabbat before Pesach: Malachi 3:4-24 prophesying G-d's coming Day of Judgment.
It is customary for the rabbi of the community to give a special Drashah (sermon) on themes relating to the coming festival of Pesach. It is also customary to read the main narrative portion of the Pesach Haggadah on Shabbat afternoon in preparation for the Pesach Seder night.


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