Halachos of the Month of Nissan

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  1. Chodesh Nissan
  •  Thirty days before Pesach one should start to learn the halachos of Pesach.
  •  Funds are raised in each community to provide Pesach needs for the poor (this collection is called “Ma’aos Chitin” or “Kimcha D’Pischah”). Everyone should contribute to the community that they live in throughout the year. Maser money may be used.
  •  Fasting is prohibited throughout Chodesh Nissan, even on the Yahrtzeit of a parent (except Ta’nis Bechoros on Erev Pesach). It is permitted to visit a cemetery.
  •  Tachnun, Av Harachamim, Tzidkascha and יהי רצון on Monday and Thursday after Krias Hatorah are not recited throughout Nissan.
  •  There is a minhag to read the Parsha of the Nesi’im after davening from a Sefer Torah. This is done without calling anyone up for the Aliya and brachos are not recited on the leigning. Some have the minhag to just read this from a chumash.
  • Many people refrain from eating matzah from Rosh Chodesh Nissan until Pesach (some even stop eating matzah from Purim)
  •  Starting from Rosh Chodesh Nissan, when one sees the blossoming of a fruit tree, he recites the bracha “שלא חסר בעולמו דבר וברא בו בריות טובות ואילנות טובים להנות בהם בני אדם”. This bracha is only said once a year.
  • The Shabbos before Pesach is called “Shabbos Hagadol”. Some have the minhag to say part of the Haggadah after Mincha on Shabbos afternoon. There is usually a shuir given on this Shabbos on the Halachos of Pesach.


  1. Bedikas Chametz
  • The night before Erev Pesach is the night of Bedikas Chametz[1]. The search for chametz should take place in the very beginning of the night, at צאת הכוכבים.
  • From a half hour before the time of the bedikah arrives, one may not engage in any work. Beginning a meal during this time is also prohibited. However eating fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese, cereal, etc. is permissible, as long as a meal is not made of it. Drinking is permissible.
  • Learning Torah is permitted in the half hour before the bedikah, however once the time of the bedika arrives it is prohibited (even if he started learning earlier in the day).
  • Some have the custom to daven Mariv before doing the bedikah.
  • Before the actual bedikah, all rooms which require bedikah must be cleaned, and all chometz must be put away in a secure place.
  • Many have the minhag to place ten pieces of bread around the house. Each piece should be less than a k’zais, and caution should be taken not to lose or misplace them.
  • When searching for the chometz one should use whatever light helps him search best, whether a flashlight, turning on the lights in the room, or a candle.
  • Before beginning the bedikah, wash hands and recite the bracha “אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו על ביעור חמץ”.
  • One should not speak words that do not pertain to the bedikah the entire time that chametz is being searched for. If one did speak throughout the bedikah he is not required to do anything again. However if he spoke between the bracha and the beginning of the bedikah he is required to repeat the bracha[2].
  • Any room that chometz may have been brought into it throughout the year requires bedikah.
  • The purpose of the bedikah is to make sure that the cleaning was done properly and that all chometz was put away.
  • After the bedikah one should be very careful to safely put away the chometz that has been found (in order not to have to do another bedikah).
  •  Right after the bedikah one should be Me’vatel the chometz. The bittul should be said in a language that he understands.


  1. Erev Pesach
  • On Erev Pesach, firstborns are supposed fast to remember that they were saved while the Egyptian firstborn’s were killed. The current minhag is for the bechorim to partake in a siyum which permits them to eat on this day.
  • When the firstborn son is still a child, it is incumbent upon the father to fast (or partake in a siyum) in his stead.
  • Chometz can only be eaten until the end of forth hour of the day. By the end of the fifth hour of the day all chometz must be burned or out of one’s possession, for from the beginning of the sixth hour it is prohibited to have any benefit from chometz.
  • The burning of the chametz is done on Erev Pesach. One should ensure that his chometz was burned thoroughly.
  • Right after the chametz is burned; another bittul of chometz is done.
  • From midday of Erev Pesach it is prohibited in doing any work that is not allowed on Chol Hamoed (a non-Jew, however, may do the work for you).
  • Haircuts, shaving, and cutting nails should be finished before noon. If one forgot to do so, he still may cut nails after chatzos, but haircuts and shaving are not permitted (unless he finds a non-Jew to do it for him).
  • After mincha it is proper to recite “סדר קרבן פסח” found in the machzor.



[1]אבל כשערב פסח חל בשבת אז בדיקת חמץ היא בליל חמישי.

[2] סימן תל”ב סע’ א’ “ויזהר שלא ידבר בין הברכה לתלחת הבדיקה, וטוב שלא ידבר בדברים אחרים עד שיגמור כל הבדיקה וכו.” וע’ במשנ”ב ס”ק ה’ “ויזהר שלא ידבר, ובדיעבד אם שח בדברים שאין צרך הבדיקה יחזר ויברך דהפסיק בין ברכה לבדיקה.” משמע שאם בהפסיק בדברים שיש בהם צרך הבדיקה שאינו מחויב לחזור וליברך. אבל מ”מ לכת’ לא ידבר כלום בין הברכה לבדיקה. אבל אחר שכבר התחיל הבדיקה לכת’ יוכל לדבר בדברים השייכים להבדיקה כמבאור במשנ”ב שם ס”ק ו’.