Hi… It’s me. Benny.
It was soon time for the final plague – The Death of the Firstborn – but before HaShem sent this plague, He gave Bnei Yisrael some important Mitzvos.
“On the first day of the month of Nissan, at springtime, you will be freed from slavery,” began HaShem. “Count this special month as the first of the 12 months in the Jewish calendar. Every month, when the new moon is witnessed, declare Rosh Chodesh, the head of the month.”
Moshe was a bit perplexed, “What exactly is this ‘new moon?’” he thought. “How much of the new moon must one see in order to proclaim the day Rosh Chodesh?”
Within seconds, HaShem Himself pointed to the sky (as if He had a finger) and said, “Look up in the sky, Moshe. When you see the moon at this size, sanctify the new month, declaring the day Rosh Chodesh!”
Did you know that for many years after we left Egypt, most of the months had no Hebrew names? The springtime month when we left Egypt was called Chodesh HaRishon (the first month), the next month was called Chodesh HaSheini (the second month), and so on…
This was done so that whenever you’d mention a month, you’d recall Hashem’s kindness in taking us out of Egypt in the first month.
Similarly, until this very day, there are no Hebrew names for the days of the week – except for Shabbos. Sunday – the first day after Shabbos – is called Yom Rishon (the first day), and Monday is called Yom Sheini (the second day). Here again, every time you mention the day of the week, you are also mentioning Shabbos.
Let’s not get confused. The first day of the month of Tishrei (Rosh HaShanah) marks the beginning of the New Year. That’s when the year changes, for example from the year 5782 since Creation to 5783.
However, in honor of the Exodus, HaShem proclaimed the month of Nissan to be the first of the 12 months.
The Torah calls the season during Nissan, Aviv, meaning springtime.
Divide Aviv into two words – אב י”ב – Av Yud-Beis, and it means “father of 12.” Nissan is the head of the 12 months of the year.