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Wisdom for the month of Kislev. By Laya Lurie

Wisdom for the month of Kislev. By Laya Lurie

Wisdom for the month of Kislev. By Laya Lurie

Kislev is a month of miracles and moving forward in our lives. The whole month is shaped by the holiday of Channukah, which occurs at the end of the month, going into winter, with early Shabbatot, and the darkest time of the year. The message is clear when we light our Channukah candles on the 25th of Kislev and we bring light to the darkness. We actually light 36 candles during the festival of Channukah- which corresponds to the gematria of Kislev- ‘khes’ –( which means ‘hidden’) and lamed , vav- =36 – which Also relates to the 36 hidden righteous people who exist in our world.

What is the message of candles, light and shining in the darkness?

It is not only about the story of Channukah, the miracle of the oil, but also the miracles that occur in our everyday lives. Sometimes we are too busy to recognize them or even notice them, and we overlook them and carry on – If we stop, breathe, and notice the small miracles that occur in our lives every day, we will be filled with a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving. . The special lights of Channukah, give us an opportunity to see even the ordinary daily things that happen in our lives as miraculous.

 

It is interesting to note that this year there is a rare convergence of the calendar and the secular holiday of Thanksgiving in USA is celebrated in the month of Kislev on the first night of Channukah. This overlap has happened only once before in 1888, and they say it might only happen again in a few hundred years. This year it’s being called ‘Thanksgivukkah’. It’s become a bold platform for expression, with creations ranging from sweet potato latkes, to the ‘Menuturkey’- a turkey shaped Menorah!

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Channukah is the celebration of the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in 164B.C.E. During that time, the Greeks entered and violated the Sanctuary and defiled all the oils, and when the Maccabi’s returned to the Temple, they found one jar of undefiled oil which was enough to burn for one day, and a miracle occurred and the oil burned for 8 days. The sages of that generation decreed that the eight days beginning with the 25th Kislev should be days of rejoicing, Hallel is recited, lights are lit at the entrance to the homes, each of the eight nights, in order to publicize the miracle and sing songs of Thanksgiving (‘Al Hanisim’)

The Astrological sign connected with Kislev is Sagittarius, sometimes represented by an archer, or arrow- which expresses the desire to go forward and reach beyond oneself with new visions.

The Hebrew tribe associated with this month is ‘Binjamin’ (Benjamin) who was the second and

last son of Rachel after many years of infertility. The land of Benjamin included the Holy Temple

on the site of the Temple Mount, which was the site of the greatest dreams for humanity, and

ultimately a place of worship for all nations.

Chocolate-vanilla_cream_sufganiyot

The Hebrew letter of the month is ‘Samech’which looks like a circle. (it is one, of only two letters in the whole Hebrew alphabet that is closed) There are many visualizations connected with a circle,- a closed system, feeling protected in the circle, the continuous nature of a circle, – not being able to tell the beginning from the end of a circle and it reminds us that life is an endless cycle.

The healing area of this month is sleep. So much healing occurs during a sleep state, and although sleep is likened to one- sixtieth of death, it is also a time of vision. We are told that our soul is able to ascend to the higher world, and sometimes our dreams are a manifestation of our visions and may be prophetic. This is a month to pay attention to our dreams, our visions and goals for our own future. Happy Channukah – enjoy this special month of Kislev!

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