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Women's Corner

The Month of Kislew Protects Us

Rabbanith Ruth Menashe, 'a"h
Thursday, December 14, 2017/Kislew 26, 5778

We begin by understanding what Kislew is about and what it means. First of all, the name Kislew is a Babylonian name and has a number of different  meanings.

One explanation is that Kislew means protection; something we can lean on. Just as when a person enters into a castle -he feels protected, so too is the meaning of month of Kislew. It’s something that gives us the sense of protection, of being under someone who guards us; something we can lean on. We all know that if you have someone that you can rely on, you feel that you can lean on him or her.

The question is however, what is there in the world to lean on? Some people feel maybe they can lean on their wisdom, their friends' wealth, their honor, and their position that they acquired, but we know all of this is temporary. The Gemara in Sota tells us that the time before Mashiah comes is going to be a time of great confusion. People are going to be all confused between what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s good and what’s bad, what is light and what is darkness. There is going to be a lot of confusion about who to rely on, who to believe, and who to follow. And there they write the famous sentence which I know many of you are familiar with:

"En Lanu 'Al Mi Lehisha'en Ella 'AL Abinu Shebashamim”- There is no one we can lean on except for our Father in Heaven. He’s the only One we can lean on and He’s the only One Who can protect us, that we can trust. G-d is our only protection and our only support. In fact, it is interesting to note that each of the 12 Jewish months have a letter of the Hebrew alphabet that is associated with that month.  Which letter is associated with this month of Kislew? Simmakh (ס). What are the characteristics of the letter Simakh? It’s all round, it’s all protected, it’s not open or broken. It’s all complete, there is no up or down, right or left; it’s just round, full, complete, and closed and we feel the perfection and the protection of this letter.

There’s nobody we can rely on other than our Father in Heaven! Sometimes, with the confusion of this world we tend to forget and we rely on doctors, professionals, and lawyers. We rely on all kinds, but the bottom line is they are all likened to the following: If you try to lean on grass that is not solid in the ground, you fall. They too are all like this flimsy piece of grass that grows from the ground. The only One we can rely on is Haqqadosh Barukh Hu -our Father in Heaven.

There’s a Pasuk in Yeshayahu which says “Weqowe Hashem Yahaleefu Koah”- those who trust in Hashem, those who have faith in Hashem, those who hope for Hashem’s salvation-their strength will be renewed. So not only that Hashem gives us strength, but we become even stronger when we really develop within ourselves the sense that Hashem is our protection, that He is the only One we can lean on.

We must make an effort to remind ourselves of this important message, especially now during this month of Kislew. Just as Kislew means protection,  and is represented by the letter Simakh, which too embodies completeness and protection, we must remember that Hashem is the only One we can rely on and lean on. As we learn from the Pasuk in Yeshayahu, this too will provide us with a deeper and stronger sense of strength within ourselves that Hashem is truly our only protection.


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