Directives Of The Rebbe MH"M For The Month Of Nissan
(Free translation by Rabbi Shais Taub)

Laws of Pesach

*On Rosh Chodesh Nissan, two Shabbasos before Pesach, we must increase in learning the laws of Pesach. We should increase both in the quantity and the quality of learning in a way befitting the general theme of the month of Nissan - miraculous behavior.1

The Pesach Offering

*Preparing for the Pesach offering necessitates that one learn the detailed laws of the korban Pesach, found in any siddur. (T’hillas Hashem, pp. 382-383)2

A Spiritual Dimension

*Learning in preparation for Pesach also means according to the explanation about destroying chametz on a spiritual level. We have to be free from the one whom our Sages call chametz, the evil inclination.3

Educating the Children

*Children in age as well as in knowledge should be educated prior to Pesach, not just so they won’t fall asleep at the seider, but so they will have a great effect on the seider by asking the Four Questions.4

Maos Chitin

What Does One Give?

*Giving maos chitin includes providing for everything a person needs for all eight days of Pesach, all requirements for the seider (matzos, wine for the Four Cups), and everything necessary for the Yom Tov, like new clothes, special foods, etc.5

*Maos Chitin must be from the best and the "sweetest" of our own possessions, as we see by the very name maos chitin - money for wheat. Even though one may fulfill the requirement of eating matza on Pesach by eating matzos made from any of the five species of grain, wheat is the finest of them all.6

*In keeping with the command "Love your fellow as yourself" we should see to it that our fellow Jew has as much of what he needs for the holiday as we have for ourselves.7

*We must strive to provide for every individual Jew - including children in both the physical and spiritual sense8 - so that not only will their Yom Tov needs be met, but so they will be able to cry out and invite others [in the words of the Hagada]: "Kol dichfin! Whoever is hungry let him come and eat!"9

Is there a Limit?

*After giving away a tenth or even a fifth of our income for holiday needs, we will need to make a new calculation, since our earnings will have also increased with the blessings bestowed on behalf of the tzedaka we have already given. Accordingly, the amount equal to a tenth or a fifth will have grown as well, and we will need to add on and give even more.10

*Anyone who increases in providing others with Yom Tov needs, increases for himself G-d’s blessing for tremendous wealth.11

*When Rosh Chodesh Nissan arrives, we must further increase in maos chitin in a manner reflecting the special power granted in the month of Nissan for miraculous behavior exceeding one’s nature and habit. This means giving more than a tenth and more than a fifth of one’s earnings, until he gives without any limits.12


*We should start the shturm - the tumult - about maos chitin while there is still ample time. Immediately after Purim13 we should already begin, and we increase as the holiday draws near.14

*We shouldn’t wait until the official collector comes asking for money. Instead, each person on his own should run to find a place to give maos chitin. This is in addition to the sum he will also give to the official collector when he comes.15

*We provide another Jew with whatever required for his Yom Tov even before arranging for our own needs.16

*Even in the last minutes right before Pesach, we can still increase our last minute contributions in the speedy manner typified by the holiday of Pesach, for which we speedily bake the matzos before allowing them to rise.17

Role of Women

We must emphasize that women, too, have a role in providing tzedaka for holiday needs. The tzedaka of women possesses a special quality beyond that given by men.18



1. Sicha Shabbos Parshas VaYikra 5751 (Hisvaaduyos, p. 414 - 415): "The halacha has been established according to the Mishnaic opinion that we begin reviewing the laws of Pesach thirty days beforehand. However, it is possible to uphold the dissenting view of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, who holds that we begin reviewing its laws two Shabbasos before Pesach. We begin learning the laws thirty days before Pesach, and as the holiday approaches, we intensify two weeks before Pesach.

2. Sicha Shabbos Parshas VaYikra 5748 (Hisvaaduyos, p. 448)

3. Sicha 26 Adar 5751 (Hisvaaduyos, p. 402)

4. Sicha Shabbos Parshas VaYikra 5748 (Hisvaaduyos, p. 444)

5. Sicha of Shabbos Parshas Tzav 5751 (Hisvaaduyos, p. 443)

6. Sicha of Shabbos Parshas VaYikra 5748 (Hisvaaduyos p. 444)

7. Sicha of Erev Pesach 5750 (Hisvaaduyos, p. 51)

8. Sicha of Shabbos Parshas Shmini 5749 (Hisvaaduyos, p. 512 footnote 80)

9. Sicha of 16 Adar 5750 (Hisvaaduyos, p. 399)

10. Sicha of Shabbos Parshas VaYikra 5751 (Hisvaaduyos, p. 415)

11. Ibid.

12. Ibid. "And although Our Sages say, ‘Do not squander more than a fifth,’ the Alter Rebbe explained: ‘In these generations we must increase in tzedaka without concern for the limit of one fifth.’ In our generation, we must do so even more, since we are many generations after the Alter Rebbe made this statement; and especially since we are in the generation of our nasi, the Alter Rebbe’s successor, whose name is Yosef - meaning to increase - and Yitzchak - with happiness and gladness of heart."

13. Sicha of Motzaei Shushan Purim 5749 (Hisvaaduyos 464)

14. Sicha of Erev Pesach 5750 (Hisvaaduyos p. 51)

15. Sicha Shabbos Parshas Tisa 5750 (Hisvaaduyos p. 417)

16. Sicha of Erev Pesach 5750 (Hisvaaduyos, p. 51)

17. Sicha of 11 Nissan 5748 (Hisvaaduyos p. 50)

18. Sicha of Shabbos Parshas VaYikra 5751 (Hisvaaduyos p. 419): "As explained in Talmud, Taanis 23b, ‘A woman is the one at home [when the pauper comes to the door]. She gives him bread, aiding him [faster than if someone gives him money].’"




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