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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rosh Chodesh Kislev Tov! (and not a moment too soon, because Scorpio/Cheshvan was killing us!))

"Kislev" by Shoshanna Brombacher
Chodesh Kislev is here!

Thank G*d - because if you, like me, have been suffering from a Scorpio overdose these last few weeks, you'll be so relieved to know that the BEST Month of the Jewish Year is finally here!

Of course some people would say I'm not entirely objective, since Kislev is my birthday month. Others would say because I myself am a Sagittarius it's impossible for me to be objective. I say: Who cares? Kislev is by far the best month for many reasons, not the least of which is that Kislev is the Month associated with the Tribe of Benyamin, the tribal inheritance of the Beit HaMikdash.

Kislev comes at the darkest time of the Jewish Year, bringing the biggest opportunity to reveal light. The festival of Chanukah comes during Kislev, reminding us that no matter how obscured our reality seems, a little light illuminates the darkness. What is that “little light”, aside from the obvious metaphor for the Chanukah candles? It’s the light of our own soul, and this is the time of year we’re most able to shine.

Chodesh Kislev is related to the Tribe of Benyamin and the “Mazal” (Zodiac Sign”) of Sagittarius. Kislev is the third and last segment of the “Rachel” Quadrant of the Jewish Year (Tishrei to Kislev / Autumn to Winter, when the Tribes associated with these three months are the descendants of Rachel – Ephraim  for Tishrei, Menashe for Cheshvan, and Benyamin for Kislev). 
Note the "Rachel" Side of the Jewish Year: Tishrei to Kislev

All the Signs of the “Rachel” side of the Jewish Year are RELATIONAL. Tishrei/Ephraim describes how we relate to partners in the realm of love and marriage. Cheshvan/Menashe describes how we relate to what we share with others (intimacy, possessions, and responsibilities). Kislev/Benyamin describes how we relate to our belief systems (religion, philosophy, higher education) and how we PERCEIVE ourselves, others and the world we live in.

During Kislev, our powers of perception are the greatest. Kislev is linked to the Hebrew Letter “Samech” and associated with the attribute of sleep. No other month in the Jewish Year has so much to do with sleep and dreams! Every Parsha we read during Kislev has some kind of prophetic dream associated with it. Yacov (Jacob) dreams of a ladder reaching to the heavens. Yosef (Joseph) dreams that the sun, moon and stars bow down to him. Later when he is wrongfully imprisoned, his fellow inmates have dreams which he successfully interprets, leading him to Pharaoh, whose dreams of cows and corns portended years of plenty followed by years of famine.  

"Samech" by Dani Antman
The Hebrew Letter associated with the Month of Kislev is Samech. Samech has the numerical value of 60.

60 is the number the Sages saw as the minimum manifestation of spiritual into corporeal reality, as it is said in the Talmud in various places:

"Sleep is one sixtieth of death." 
"Shabbat is one sixtieth of the world to come." 
"Dreams are one sixtieth of prophecy." 
"Honey is one sixtieth of mannah". 
"Visiting the sick removes one sixtieth of the illness." "Fire is one sixtieth of Gehenna."

Samech is a closed, round letter shaped like a womb, it encloses and supports (Somech), it provides a safe, nurturing place in which to dream, and to bring forth prophecy. Divine protection and shielding from spiritual harm belong to Samech.

How best to get your Samech on during Chodesh Kislev? Open yourself up to joy! Jupiter, the Planet associated with Kislev and Sagittarius, is currently transiting the Sign of Leo, which makes a supportive and positive Trine to the Sun in Sagittarius and invites us to warm ourselves and others in the glow of friendship, love, positive energy. Jupiter is called "Tzedek" in Hebrew - the same root as the word "Tzadik" (righteous person), "Tzedaka" (giving of charity), etc. 

Jupiter's energy focuses the attributes of generosity and righteousness upon us right now, especially in regards to how we perceive ourselves. Let's be generous and not judgmental - starting with ourselves, and then with each other. Rebbe Nachman of Breslov reminds us to always look for the "Nekudat Tovah", the "Good Point" in ourselves, in others, and in every situation, no matter how weird and scary it might be. Jupiter (Tzedek) helps us with that effort more this month than any other month!

May Chodesh Kislev bring SO MUCH LIGHT into our own hearts and lives, and into a dark and scary world that has been traumatized by too much Scorpio in the past few weeks - in fact, the past couple of years! Saturn will be moving from Scorpio (where it's been since early October of 2012) into Sagittarius near the end of December, and that's going to be a major game changer. More about that later ... but for now - Chodesh Kislev Tov Mayod!!!

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