Cheshvan 5783

Below are some notes I’ve taken from a variety of sources about the Hebrew month of Cheshvan that we have just started. At the end of the notes I’ve also written some of my personal goals for this months that align with the energies and principles of Cheshvan.

Woman standing in from the holy Jewish Western Wall in Jerusalem, Israel.
Talia at the Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel.

Cheshvan Notes:

Nun – letter of Moshiach. 

Nun also associated with the word nephal (sp?) – to fall. Sometimes to go higher we must first go lower, and understanding this ebb and flow – this ability to “fall” gracefully and use it as an opportunity to come back up again greater than before is important spiritual work. Along the lines of going through a hard time (study, physical pain, etc.) in order to achieve a higher goal.

8 – eternal revelation of Hashem. 8th month of the year. 

Astrological sign – Scorpio. Rebirth. The rising after a fall is like a rebirth. We must have faith and believe that Hashem (and us!) can use these falls as opportunities to raise higher.

G-d is near us, even in the depths. Sometimes we feel him even closer then than we do when we are in times of happiness and simcha.

Meditate on the dark spots and failures in our life and in the world, and turn them into happiness. Like a ball that is thrown to the ground in order for it to bounce up higher!

Sometimes called MarCheshvan. Some say because there are no Yomin Tovim during Cheshvan. But others say it’s because we are doing the work of connecting with the bitterness of the world so that we can internalise it and repair it. Bitter accounting.

In a world sense – we can see this as the world falls further away from Hashem we can potentially use hitting rock bottom, to see Moshiach come!

If loss comes this month accept it and move through it. This can be part of going down in order to come up.

Scorpio – returning to the essence in order to heal oneself of obsession. 

In this context, the Hebrew word עקרב akrav (“scorpion”), contains an important teaching. Akrav is composed of the same letters as the word בעקר – be’ikar (“in the essence”). Thus, the only way for us to be saved when we are “possessed” by the objects of our passion is to separate from the object and transform this passion into the passion for true essence, the source of our spiritual renewal.

Focus back on our true loves – the things that bring us love and life. Loving ourselves (and part of this is doing the things that we love) is part of the freedom that comes in Cheshvan. 

We believe G-d is an absolute, non-negotiable presence in our lives, and as such this believe catches us when we really get to rock bottom.

MarCheshvan can be a month of trials and reckoning. Sefer Yetzirah also refers to this month as a month of Chesed. It is Hashem’s love for us that brings trials – so that we can grow and mature. 

We must demonstrate Chesed towards ourselves when we go through trials and bitterness. 

Hashem encompasses both joy and bitterness, both chased and trials. HaSatan is but an angel doing Hashem’s work by tempting us a giving us opportunities to reach more enlightenment. Hashem creates both light and darkness.

A month of self reflection and internalisation. We made Teshuvah in Elul, and we celebrated and did more Teshuvah in Tishrei, and now is our first chance to really integrate those intentions we made while doing Teshuvah.

“The transformation we seek this month comes when we come to love ourselves on a soul level more than we need to be loved and validated by others on an ego level.” – Mindy Ribner

2022 goals and notes:

Context: I am currently travelling in Israel and Cyprus. We will be home just around Rosh Chodesh Kislev.

  • Finish this trip with joy and appreciation.
  • Try and find some space for self care on this trip. I can feel myself feeling stressed and overwhelmed and snappy at the kids. Need to reset a bit. Will spend 2 very chill weeks in Cyprus, so that might be the ticket!
  • I think yoga or breathwork on this trip would help me to be in touch with my body and connect and integrate my mind and body and spirit.

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