Shalom, everyone! Rosh Chodesh Nisan, the first day of the first month on the religious/ecclesiastical Hebrew calendar, begins sundown Wednesday, March 25, 2020, on the Gregorian calendar, with the sighting of the new moon (first visible crescent). Rosh Chodesh Nisan lasts until nightfall Thursday, March 26, 2020. The month of Nisan, also known as Aviv, is the first month of the spring season. Rosh Chodesh Nisan (Aviv) marks the first day of the ecclesiastical new year; and the beginning of preparations for the annual mo’edim of Pesach (Passover) and Chag HaHaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread).
Bnei Yisrael Society wishes a “Chodesh Tov” (“A Good Month”) and a “Happy Ecclesiastical New Year” to all who celebrate!
About This Month
Nisan (Aviv), the First Month of the ecclesiastical Hebrew calendar, is a named month in the Tanakh. According to the Torah, Nisan marks the beginning of the counting of the months of the year for the religious/ecclesiastical calendar for marking the annual mo’edim (appointed times):
“The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months; it shall be the first of the months of the year for you,” ~ Exodus 12:1-2
The word “Aviv” is a Canaanite-Phoenician word which has several meanings including “spring” (one of the four seasons), “green ears (of corn),” and the stage when grain seeds have reached full growth and have filled with the necessary starch indicating maturity for harvest. During the course of the Babylonian Exile, the first month was named “Nisan,” a word of Assyrian-Babylonian origin. In the Tanakh, the first time this month is called “Nisan” is in Esther 3:7.
The following are the holidays and special events that occur during the month of Nisan (Aviv):
- 1 of Nisan (Aviv) – the first day of the ecclesiastical New Year
- 14 of Nisan (Aviv) – Passover
- 15-21 of Nisan (Aviv) – Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread)
The following are some of the significant events in Bnei Yisrael history which occurred during the month of Nisan (Aviv):
- Nisan (Aviv) 1 – The first day of the ecclesiastical year, regnal year, and new year for trees!
- Nisan (Aviv) 10 – Death of the prophetess Miriam, 39 years after the Exodus.
- Nisan (Aviv) 10 – The Nation of Yisrael crossed the Jordan river into Canaan, the Promised Land.
- Nisan 13 – Haman’s decree to annihilate the Yehudim of the Persian Empire was approved by King Achashverosh.
- Nisan (Aviv) 15 – The Exodus from Egypt.
- Nisan 15 – Esther appeared before King Achashverosh unsummoned, and invited him and Haman to a feast to be held the same day.
- Nisan (Aviv) 16 – The Nation of Yisrael stopped eating manna, six days after entering the Promised Land
- Nisan 16 – Esther’s second feast during which she accused Haman regarding his plot to annihilate her people. King Achashverosh ordered Haman’s execution by hanging.
- Nisan 17 – Haman hanged.
- Nisan (Aviv) 21 – The Nation of Yisrael passed through the split Sea of Reeds (Yam Suf), escaping the Egyptian army.Nisan (Aviv) 26 – Death of Joshua.
- Nisan (Aviv) 28 – Conquest of Jericho by Joshua.
For more information on the First Month, Nisan (Aviv), please watch our video WATCH: Hebrew Calendar: The First Month – Nisan (Aviv) – Mar 03 2020.