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Secrets of the Month of Cheshvan: Finding one’s own light

The Month of Cheshvan is one of the least enjoyed in the Jewish Calendar.

One of the main reasons is because it’s a month devoid of any festivals. It seems

to be simply there as a bridge from the incredibly high month of Tishrei to the

next month of Kislev, when Chanukkah (the holiday everyone loves) starts. But,

besides being originally called MarCheshvan (“bitter” Cheshvan) since it lacks any

special observance, it also has the Zodiac sign of the Scorpio, something people

truly don’t look forward to.

As we are leaving now the bright month of Tishrei and entering Cheshvan

it’s important we understand what lies beneath its apparent lack of blessings!

Continue reading this article to learn some awesome deep secrets that the month

of Cheshvan teaches us!

Levels within levels

Kabbalah and Chassidut are very deep systems of wisdom. Their logic often

differs from what are used to, making them special from other forms of scientific

knowledge. One of the main reasons is because, by definition, they reveal a little

and hide a lot. Beneath the plain reading of the text one who knows how to gaze

deeply can find incredible gems to guide him. This is unique mechanism is built in

Creation by Hashem as a way of protecting this precious light, which is not only

too great, but also shouldn’t fall into wrong hands.

One of the most puzzling concepts in Kabbalah is understanding the many

spiritual systems (also called “Partzufim”) revealed to great detail by the Rasha’sh

(Rabbi Shalom Sharabi). As we mentioned in the previous articles, the Rasha’sh

divided all services and prayers into different “Partzufim”, which Hashem has

given us to fix in his infinite compassion and wisdom. For example, there’s a

Partzuf for the morning prayer, another for the Mitzvah of Shabbat, another for

studying, and so on. And each and every one of us has his/her own system making

us truly, spiritually unique and any comparison between each other completely


When it comes to the regular weekdays, each day is divided according to

one Sephirah (divine emanation) to be rectified. Thus, Sunday is Chesed, Monday

is Gevurah, Tuesday is Tiferet, Wednesday is Netzach, Thursday is Hod, Friday is

Yesod and Saturday (Shabbat) is Malkhut. But how is this conciliated with the

teaching of the Zohar that Pesach is Chesed, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and

Sukkot are Gevurah, Shavuot is Tiferet, Purim is Netzach, Chanukkah is Hod, Tu

B’Shvat and Tu B’Av are Yesod and Tisha B’Av is Malchut?

The answer is beautifully provided by the Rasha’sh: The system of the

regular weekdays is from the general Partzuf (or “level”) of Chesed, Gevurah and

Tiferet, while the system of the Festivals is of the level of Netzach, Hod and Yesod.

In other words, these 7 Sephirot of days and 7 Sephirot of festivals are included in

this greater system of another 6 Sephirot. Now, for those familiar with the Tree of

Life diagram, this presents a very big problem: how is the system of festivals on a

lower level than that of the weekdays?

Secrets of Hiddeness

The Arizal explains that the reason why the festivals are set apart from each

is because of the sin of Adam. When he ate from the fruit of Tree of Knowledge of

Good and Evil, the lights of the festivals became dispersed and their subsequent

rectification had to be done over a longer period of time.

In Sha’ar HaKavanot (Gate of Mystical Intentions), he teaches that the lights

that come to Creation each and everyday is like a little faucet that lets small drops

fall. When the festival comes, it’s as if “the Heavens open and pour down torrents

of rain [i.e. blessings]”.

So, how can we understand the teaching of the Rasha’sh that the festivals

happen to be in a lower level than the regular weekdays? It’s also important to

keep in mind that the Rasha’sh is considered by many great Kabbalists over the

ages to be the direct reincarnation of the Arizal, since thanks to his work that we

can truly make sense of Kabbalah. His work paved the way to understand many of

the difficulties the Arizal left in his writings.

The answer is that indeed, while we get a higher quantity of light on the

festivals than on regular weekdays, they may be in fact considered a form of

“clutch” since it’s easier to reach a higher level in them. It doesn’t take much

imagination to realize that one can much more easily be a Tzadik on Yom Kippur

and Rosh Hashanah than on a regular Monday any other day of the year!

Truly, we have to ride the waves Hashem sends us, and while the festivals

are indeed very high and enjoyable, there’s a time when we need to face the

world’s challenges without them!

In Tishrei, Hashem inspires, uplifts and gifts us with great blessings. It’s a

time when his presence is tangibly felt. But we are here to rectify the world

through our own efforts and must now face the month of Cheshvan, which is

devoid of all festivals!

But this doesn’t mean He abandoned us, and we would be remiss not to

address the apparently nasty Zodiac sign of Cheshvan, Scorpio. The word for

Scorpion is “Akvrav” עקרב which has the numerical value (Gematria) of 372. This

number is incredibly special because it is equal to the 2 fillings of the divine name

of lovingkindness אל (אלף למד), each of which is 185, plus 1 for each word [(185 x

2) + 2 = 372]. But if we take out the number for each word (which is perfectly

acceptable in the Gematria science), we are left with 370, the number denoting

the supernal lights of the Sephira of Keter from the world of Atzilut, brought in

the Zohar and writings of the Arizal.

As we can see, even when Hashem’s presence is hidden, he’s still very

much with us, especially as we enter the month of Cheshvan! May we all be

blessed to receive the 370 lights of the Supernal Face in the month of Cheshvan!

This article was written in the zechut of Michal Malka bat Tamar. May she have complete emuna and eternal success in all her endeavors as well as klal Israel.

Studying Kabbalah is a huge source of merit that can bring all sorts of salvation to a person’s life. If you want to sponsor to have me study in-depth Kabbalah from the Arizal or the Rashash in your merit and receive its blessings, especially for sustenance, children and health

To sponsor 1 hour of Kabbalah study click on this link: Malka bat Tamar

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