With thanks to Halacha for Today, a most worthwhile site and mailing list.
1. The month of Nisan is a very opportune time to increase one’s giving of charity.
Charity given in Nisan helps accelerate God’s acceptance of our tefilot (prayers). (Shelah HaKadosh, beginning of the section Masekhta Pesachim. See also Kav Hayashar #88.)
2. Giving charity is especially worthwhile on each of the first twelve days of the month, when the reading of the korbanot (sacrifices) brought by the twelve nesiim (tribal princes) is read. (In many congregations the nasi’s korban is read publicly [without any blessing, etc.] from a sefer Torah on his day. Where it is not so read, individuals read it on there own from a siddur.)
According to Kabbalistic sources , it is a proper custom to set aside thirteen (13) coins for charity on Rosh Chodesh (the first day of) Nisan, because thirteen is the numerical value of the words echad (one)and ahavah (love), signifying the great love that Hashem Echad (the One God) has for His beloved children, the Jewish people. We hope thereby to help bring the final geulah (redemption) and Mashiach, this month (Moed l’Kol Chai, Rav Chaim Palaji zatzal 1:3, quoting Sefer Maaseh HaTzedakah #64). Amen!
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