Cheshvan / חֶשְׁוַן

Moon of Stillness (October/November)The month that invites introspection to allow us to see what we may have forgotten along the way. Basics Linear Month: 2 Torah Month: 8 Season: Autumn Holidays:  Yarzheit of Rachel Imeinu Offerings1: Salt Water, Olive Branches, Red String, Offerings at Crossroads Element2: Ruach (רוּחַ) Air within Aphar (עָפָר) Earth Spiritual Focus3: Communal…

Cheshvan: Still Waters Run Deep

Cheshvan is month, like Elul, with no holidays.  Elul lets us prepare for the flurry of activity that happens with all the holidays of Tishrei, and Cheshvan lets us recover.  The seeds of transformation that were planted during the Days of Awe need time to sprout and take root.  That’s what Cheshvan is all about. …

11 Cheshvan: Yarzheit of Rachel Imeinu

The 11 of Cheshvan, and it is the historical Yahrzteit of Rachel Imeinu (Rachel the Matriarch). This ritual can be used to honor Rachel Imeinu or be adapted to honor any ancestor of blood or spirit. This is intended a simple solitary ritual, which can easily be adapted for a group. If you are interested…

Menasheh: Tribe of Cheshvan

The tribe of Cheshvan is Menasheh (מְנַשֶׁה), the first-born but officially second son of Joseph.  That means the first two months of the spiritual year (Tishrei and Cheshvan) make up the “House of Joseph” in the Jewish Wheel of the Year.  Joseph is generally not counted in the listing of the tribes, because his birthright was passed to his sons…

Red String: Symbol of Cheshvan

There are no holidays in Cheshvan (except Shabbat), so it was harder to decide which object to explore this month.  I thought about exploring Besamin, the spices we use at Havdalah, since according to the Sefer Yetzirah the sense of the month is smell.  I thought about yahrzeit candles because there are many famous yahrzeits celebrated…

Cheshvan: Kavod (כבוד) Honor

Explore the month of Cheshvan through the mussar soul-trait of Kavod (כבוד) Honor and the Mekonenet – the Mourning Woman.