fbpx
Bringing in the Hebrew Month of Cheshvan
October 14, 2015
Gush Etzion in Autumn. (Photo: Yehoshua Halevi)

Gush Etzion in Autumn. (Photo: Yehoshua Halevi)

The Hebrew month of Cheshvan is the second month in the Jewish calendar counting from the New Year (Rosh Hashana). Cheshvan is the only month in the entire Hebrew year in which there is no Jewish holiday, festival or special mitzvah (commandment). Therefore it is also known as “Marcheshvan”, or the “bitter month”, as the prefix “mar” means “bitter.” Jewish tradition holds that this month is empty because it is reserved for the Moshiach (Messiah), who will inaugurate the Third Temple in Cheshvan.

Several important Biblical events occurred during this month. The Flood, during the times of Noah, began on 17 Cheshvan, and ended a year later on 27 Cheshvan. In the same month, Noah and his fellow passengers left the Ark to build the world anew.

Rachel, one of our revered matriarchs, died in the month of Cheshvan, and the anniversary of her passing, known as a yartzheit, is still commemorated to this day as Jews visit her tomb outside of Bethlehem, where she was buried by Jacob, and pray in her blessed memory. She died in childbirth delivering Benjamin, who was the only one of the 12 sons of Jacob, each the progenitor of one of the 12 tribes, to have actually been born in Israel. Rabbis teach that Rachel’s death and Benjamin’s birth represent the sometimes bitter nature of redemption, which requires pain and loss in order to bring renewal and return.

2016 Calendar banner

Cheshvan falls during the autumn season, usually between the months of October and November, as the days grow shorter and the Earth turns away from the sun. As a result it is not only a spiritually trying time, but a physical period of darkening. Many believe Cheshvan to be a dark and empty month, but our sages teach that it is only in darkness that we are able to truly see light shine.

The month, coming right after the jubilance and joy of Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, forces us to come to terms with the more mundane realities of the year, but it also gives us a chance to incorporate the changes we hope to make in the coming year into our everyday lives. Cheshvan is an opportunity to bring light and change into the dark days of winter!

Support Israel365’s life-changing work

Bottom of Posts general form

$
 
Dedicate Your Donation

Details

Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.

Donation Total: $100.00 One Time

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Our Latest post
A Holocaust Survivor’s Gripping Story

A Holocaust Survivor’s Gripping Story

  Special thanks to Israel365’s donors who support Holocaust survivors with us. Our donors support therapies for Holocaust survivors throughout the Land of Israel suffering from dementia, Alzheimer's, and other cognitive disorders.  These therapies increase...

A Holocaust Survivor’s Gripping Story

  Special thanks to Israel365’s donors who support Holocaust survivors with us. Our donors support therapies for Holocaust survivors throughout the Land of Israel suffering from dementia,...

read more
No, Thank You
Wait a sec!I don’t want to lose you.

You really want to bless the people of Israel, but you need some time to think it over. Good for you. Fill out this simple pledge form, and we’ll call you in the next couple of days. No strings attached.