The new moon of Nisan, is a very important day for many reasons. It was on this day that Israel received their first mitzvah as a people in preparation for leaving Egypt – the instructions regarding Nisan being the first of the months of the year, as well as the entire system of the Jewish calendar with all its secrets regarding how we can become the masters of time. It was the day we dedicated the Tabernacle in the desert, the future prototype of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, and it was this day, according to Rabbi Yehoshua in the Talmud, that God actually created the world. All of these ideas are intrinsically bound together with the common theme of renewal and newness.

In Nisan, nature awakens from its winter hibernation and everything is bursting with new life. So too in the soul; new life force and potential is now ready to manifest itself. Two terms – spring cleaning and spring fever – represent the very real manner in which this energy effects us. We are ready for new directions and new insight, ready to break free from the restraints of the past and embrace the future with new optimism and enthusiasm.

This being the first mitzvah given to the Jewish people signifies the essential power of renewal in our national life. Has any people had to begin again so many times due to our long and tortured history? No matter what the circumstances, we have persevered and renewed ourselves countless times in communities around the globe. This essential power exists in every Jewish soul and is one of the secrets of our survival. The miraculous ingathering of the exiles and the rebuilding of our ancient homeland in Israel today clearly testifies to this truth.

We are not referring to just renewal, but an even more essential power to reveal new insight and spiritual energy altogether. The verse in Ecclesiastes (1:9 ) stating there is “nothing new under the sun,” implies that “under” the sun there is nothing new, but “over” the sun there is always something new. Every Jewish soul is connected to the place “over the sun” in the deepest way. It is no wonder that approximately 20% of all Nobel Prize winners are Jewish, as this figure relates to the essential Jewish power in the soul to reveal new insight whether in Torah, literature, medicine, mathematics or science.

May we be blessed to see the fulfillment of the phrase: “A new light will shine upon Zion and may we all merit soon its light.” May a new world order and a new relationship with God never perceived before spread to the four corners of the earth.