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Women's Corner

The Meaning and Message of the Month of Kislew

Rabbanith Ruth Menashe
Thursday, November 14, 2013/Kislew 11, 5774

The name of the month of Kislew is a Babylonian one which has a number of meanings. Rashi explains that it means a furrow, as this is the time of planting in the furrows that were made in the ground while plowing. Kislew also means thick or heavy, which alludes to the fact that this month is known for abundant rainfall (especially in the land of Israel) which we pray for. In addition, it means protection, i.e. something we can lean on for support.

The letter of the alphabet connected with this month is the letter Simakh (ס), which is round, closed and complete. The fact that it is closed symbolizes protection and trust. The letter Simakh stands for the phrase 'Somekh Noflim' - He who supports the fallen. It is interesting to note, that the verse does not say the One who RAISES the fallen, but rather SUPPORTS the fallen, from which we learn why He is the only One we can lean on and trust. Before we fall, when we start our descent, our Loving Father supports us and makes sure we can lean on Him, so that we do not actually fall down.

There lies a profound and strengthening message in this for all of us: no matter what kind of fall it is, we must always be aware that the Holy One Blessed be He is there for us to lean on, especially during hard and challenging times. As it says (Masekheth Sotah:9:15), "We have no one to lean on, but our Father in Heaven".

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