Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi
1) Studying the Laws of PassoverIt is customary to inquire concerning the laws of Pesah (Passover) beginning thirty days before the Holiday. Everyone should therefore study and review these laws during this time in order to become as familiar with them as possible. These laws are very intricate and difficult, so one should devote time to reviewing them.
2) No TahanounDuring the entire month of Nisan we do not recite Tahanoun in the tefilah. The days of Nisan are days of happiness and joy for Yisrael, in the past, present, and future.
Past: On the first day of the month, the Mishkan was erected, and for the next twelve days, a Nasi (viceroy) representing each of the twelve tribes came and offer his contribution. That day was a Yom Tob. [This is why we have the customer to read the Nasi of that day with his contribution after the tefilah from a siddour, followed by Psalms 126, and Qaddish Yehe Shelamah] We do not recite Tahanoun for each of these twelve days, representing the past Yom Tob that used to be on that day.
The thirteenth of the month is the "Isru Hag" of the tribal contributions. [concept of Isru Hag is explained in the Yerushalmi Talmoud as being the day after the holiday that has a part of the holiday itself.]
Present: The fourteenth of the month is Ereb Pesah, and of course, no tahanoun is said, followed by the actual holiday of Pesah (15-21), with the 22nd being the Isru Hag of Pesah (or the eighth day of Pesah outside of Israel).
Future: Our Rabbis teach us that the third Bet Hamiqdash will be built
on Pesah, but the dedication of the new building will be after Pesah, for we do
not mix the happiness of the holiday with the happiness of the the dedication (simha
be'simha). Therefore, the dedication will be after Pesah for seven days, completing
the month of Nisan.
3) No Public FastsRabbis do not decree public fast days during this month for any difficult situation that may arise upon world Jewry. However, an individual may fast a personal fast during this month (excluding on Rosh Hodesh and the actual holiday of Pesah). Examples of a personal fast are: fasting on the anniversary date of a parent's death, fasting after a disturbing dream, etc.
4) Birkat Hailanot