Spring Ahead!

In Parshat Bo we learn about the season when the Exodus took place. We read in Shmot 13:4: ďOn this day you went out (from Egypt), in the month of Aviv.Ē

 

A few questions come up here:

Why is the month called Aviv? Isnít Aviv the name of the season (spring)?

Didnít Bínai Yisrael know what month it was when they left Egypt (Nisan)?

 

Rashi says that of course they knew what month it was. God wanted to show them that He planned the Exodus from Egypt at the nicest time of the year as an act of Gmilut Chasadim, loving kindness. It was not hot, not cold and not raining as it says in Tehilim 68:7, ďHe brings out prisoners bikosharot- in a month that is kasher- kosher or fit to go out.Ē

 

In Israel we really understand the seasons as described in the Torah since at the beginning of Pesach we stop praying for rain and we really donít see any rain until after Shmini Atzeret (the end of Sukkot when we start praying for rain again). Pesach time is actually a great time to travel to Israel (or within Israel if you live here already!) since it isnít raining and it is not too hot yet.

 

This past week, we had very heavy rain storms in Jerusalem and snow in the north. Since we are still in the first half of the winter season, Israelis are excited about the rain and continue to celebrate each time another storm heads our way. We know that we need the rain and we know that the rain will be finished by Pesach and will not interfere with our Pesach and summer vacations.

 

We can also learn from this pasuk that Pesach has to be celebrated in the spring- It is not good enough for Pesach to be in Nisan, Nisan must be in the spring. The years that Pesach would have fallen out too early we add an extra month of Adar to make sure that Pesach ends up in the spring. This is a very different concept from the Muslim holiday of Ramadan which ends up being in a different season each year.

 

Leaving Egypt in the spring gave Bínai Yisrael the opportunity to start off on the right foot!