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Section: Moadim   Category: Around The Year
Chodesh Nisan: Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky: Chodesh Nissan Or Chodesh HaRishon?
In Chumash and the early Nevi'im the months are always called by numbers like the Torah explicitly dictates (Bo 12:2), with Nisan being Chodesh HaRishon.  However in the later Nevi'im that were after Galus Bavel started, as well as in Megilas Esther, we find the first use of the current names (Nisan, Iyar, etc.) which are Persian names.  These names were continued to be used even in Eretz Yisroel after they rebuilt the second Bais HaMikdash.

The Ramban writes in Parshas Bo (12:2) that the reason for this is to remind us that we were in Bavel and Hashem brought us back from there to Eretz Yisroel.  Nevertheless asks Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky why would we not revert to the names the Torah gave the months (i.e. Rishon, Sheini, etc.), especially given that some of the Persian name are names of Avodah Zara?

Rav Yaakov answers with his Yesod that the Yidden were supposed to remain in Galus Bavel for a very long time.  However Hashem saw that given the pace of deterioration there would be no Jewish nation left to redeem when it was time for the Geula.  Therefore Hashem brought us back to Eretz Yisroel and rebuilt the Bais HaMikdash, not as part of the Geula, but rather as preparation and training for the long Galus that we were facing and still find ourselves in today.

It is for this reason, says Rav Yaakov, that during the time of the Second Bais HaMikdash there was no Aron, no King from Bais Dovid, and we continued to speak Aramaic even in Eretz Yisroel.  This period was a vaccination period where we were injected with sufficient doses of Emunah to survive the horrible future Galus that lie ahead.

With this Rav Yaakov explains the Ramban.  We continued to use the Persian names of the months to remind us that Hashem took us from Bavel since we still belong there and we had still not really been redeemed.  As part of our training, we needed to be reminded this at every turn.

B'Nisan Nigalu U'B'Nisan Asidin Liga'el (Rosh HaShana 11a).  This Nisan may we be Zocheh to the real Geula, Bimheira B'Yameinu Amein.
RELATED ARTICLES:Bais HaMikdash  bavel  Chodesh Nisan  Ramban  Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky

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