Kislev כסלו – The 9th Hebrew Month

Chodesh Tov to you all! The month ahead is always referred to as the month of miracles. The Hebrew word for miracle is Nes נס. The shoresh or root for this word comes from the concept of running away. In short a miracle is running away from the natural order of things in the physical world. Since this world is an illusion and was designed to come to a final end, running away from this world is the natural thing to do. Therefore, miracles are the true natural law in our spiritual and physical worlds.

Kislev is the month where all of the miracles that we see in our lives are potentially developed and earned. We will speak of this later.

Kislev is also known as the month of dreams. The physical reason for this is 9 of the 10 dreams in the Chumash are read from the Torah during the month of Kislev כסלו. The spiritual reason is seen in the letters of the word Kislev. The first two letters spell the word Kiseh כס (although incompletely - without the Aleph at the end.). The Vav can be substituted for a Bet which then spells the word Lev or heart. What is the Heart of the Throne? This is the source of our dreams.

Kabbalah of the Rabbi Issac Luria teaches that there are five worlds: Olam (world) Adam Kadmon (Primordial Man), Olam (world) Atzilut (Emanation), Olam (World) Beriah (Creation), Olam (World) Yetzirah (Formation), and Olam (World) Assiyah (Action). It (the Kabbalah of Rabbi Isaac Luria) also explains that the World of Adam Kadmon connects to the tip of the Yood of the Tetragrammaton. The World of Emanation connects to the Yood of the Tetragrammaton. The World of Beriah connects to the upper Hey of the Tetragrammaton. The World of Yetzirah connects to the Vav of the Tetragrammaton. While the World of Assiyah connects to the lower Hey of the Tetragramaton which is our physical universe.

Now when we permutate the letters of the Tetragrammaton we are able to speak of the position of the Worlds as being distinct from the letters themselves. Please see the following discussion about what the letters in the position of the worlds teach for the month of Kislev

Olam (world) Atzilut is the first position in the Tetragrammaton and for Kislev that is the Vav. The Vav in the first position indicates that a large amount of light and energy or divine flow is flowing into the highest world of Atzilut. This flow manifests in Olam (World) Beriah as we see below. This is the second month in a row that the divine flow is through the Vav. This energy is actually the source of the miracles that potentially happen during the year.

Olam (World) Beriah is the second position of the Tetragrammaton and it has the letter Yood. The letter Yood is the smallest letter in the Aleph Bet. This indicates that the mental or intellectual areas represented by the Olam Beriah need to be minimized and controlled.

Olam (World) Yetzirah is the third position of the Tetragrammaton and in this permutation the letter is a Hey and not a Vav. This means that the energy that manifests in the world of Beriah is not being channeled to the lower world of Assiyah. The Hey in the Olam Yetzirah indicates that the Heart the seat of emotions needs to be expanded. We need to think with our emotions this month but not with body of the emotions, with the head of our emotions. This is something that we relate to intuitively not truly emotionally. In fact, the Sagittarius (the astrological sign associated with Kislev) has no real emotions. They are a pale reflection of what is true in other signs like the Cancer.

Olam Asyiah has the Hey in the fourth position which is its normal position. The Hey represents the expansion of activity during the month of Kislev. Yet the month of Kislev is the darkest month of the year and the month with the shortest days. This is why spiritually the potential for the revelation of the greatest amount of light is possible from our actions during this month. Remember miracles are the natural order of things. Even if we are not used to seeing them in the physical world. We should expect miracles as that is what the month is teaching us.

Here is the permutation:


The month of Kislev is called the month of Light even though in the physical world it is the month of darkness because the days are the shortest. The reason is it is called the month light is due to the Holiday of Chanuka. We will speak about this below.

Letters of the month: ג. The Gimmel is the letter that created the planet Jupiter. Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. It is constantly growing and expanding. This is the essence of the vessel: to grow larger in order to reveal more light. This is the will of HaShem to share more so that the vessel needs to expand and be able to reveal more of the Light of HaShem. It is the longest nights of the year that the potential to reveal the greatest amount of light is generated. This is what we call miracle. Yet a miracle is actually the natural order of the spiritual world. Ultimately, the natural order of the spiritual will be revealed in the physical. The Gimmel has the ability to connect Heaven to earth.

  • Please listen to the class on the Hebrew Letter Gimmel here.
  • . This will help you to understand the relationship of the Gimmel to the month of Kislev.

    Sameck ס is the letter that created the Astrological Sign of Sagittarius called in Hebrew Keshet קשת. Keshet means bow. It also means rainbow. When the half circle of the bow is matched to the half circle of the rainbow the result is the circle shape of the Sameck. The Sameck is actually made by the Scribe as a Caf rotated clockwise 90 degrees and a Vav. Together the Caf and the Vav have a gematria of 26 which is the Gematria of HaShem. The Sameck is connected to HaShem and also to Zeir Anpin through its gematria of 60. Sixty represents the 6 Sefirot of Zeir Anpin times a complete structure of 10 Sefirot. Zeir Anpin and HaShem are one and the same thing.

    The bow is usually thought of as a weapon of war and the rainbow is thought of as a representative of peace. This is because the rainbow is a sign that HaShem will never destroy the world by water again. Actually, the bow is a projection of the rainbow so that the bow is not the weapon of war but it is one of defense and eventually it will be a tool of peace. Remember most people have a difficult time imagining how peace in the Middle East will manifest. It will happen in a miraculous way. This miracle may be concealed or it may be revealed, but it will manifest.

    Keshet is spelled with a Koof as the first letter. The Koof and the Caf come from the same part of the mouth and thus may be substituted for each other. The word Shet spelled Shin Tav means backside and also foundation. The Caf at the beginning of a word means "like" as in similar. Therefore, concealed in the Keshet is the essence of the following energy "like a foundation." This is how the foundation stone is connected to Sagittarius.

    Sameck as a word means "support." Gimmel means "to render." Therefore, the two words are saying to us "render support." This is the essence of the month of Kislev. Since we are always in need of support from HaShem, the month of Kislev is the month where HaShem renders support to us. This takes the form of miracles. All of the miracles that will happen in our lives are are revealed in potential during the month of Kislev. This is why we light the Candles of Hanukah to bring in this energy of miracles and manifest it potentially in our lives. These miracles will actually manifest throughout the year, but know that the energy is received during the month of Keshet and Kislev.

    Together the two letters Samech and Gimmel have a gematria of 63. This is a number that represents the energy of Binah. Binah is called the energy store. This is the place we go to save the metaphysical energy that we have elevated to the spiritual worlds doing our MItzvot. This is where HaShem renders support to us for the whole year. This is why it is taught by the Baal Shem Tov that the last opportunity to do Teshuvah for the year 5772 is during Chanuka. The Parasha of Mikketz is usually read during the week of Chanuka. Mikketz means "At the end." It is from these type of hints that this teaching comes.

    Mazel: The astrological constellation is Keshet which we have hinted at above. Keshet has the gematria of 800. 8 is 1 above 7. Seven represents the 7 lower Sefirot and represents the physical world including the 7 days of the week. Remember the week includes Shabbat. 8 represents going above the physical and reaching the spiritual. 8 represents the supernatural or the metaphysical. 8 represents the miracles in our lives. This is why we do the Brit Milah on the 8th day. Removing the end of the body called the foreskin is truly a miracle because it potentially removes the energy of death from the child. Of course, the actual miracle will be when we remove the actual curse of death from the world. That is what we can do during the Holiday of Chanuka as we will discuss below.

    Tribe: The tribe of Benjamin is the Ninth of the Tribes when it comes to giving offerings at the Mishkan dedication. There is much to be learned from the Name Benjamin about the characteristics of the month of Kislev, so here is the link to the ninth day of the dedication that we have available on our website.

  • Nissan Day 9 - Tribe of Benjamin.
  • I suggest you spend some time during this month checking out the attributes of the name Benjamin and the Name of the Nasi who gave the dedication and his consciousness of why he gave what he gave. Remember not all of these attributes are positive, and with the tool of "Binding by Striking" we can correct them and transform them into positive aspects.

    Benjamin is the last of the 12 Tribes to be born. He is also the only son of Jacob born in the Land of Israel. The Tribe of Benjamin has the unique attribute of hosting the Temple within its tribal territory in Israel. Benjamin means Son of the Right. As we know from Kabbalah Right indicates sharing. Therefore, the Tribe of Benjamin represents the idea of "the sharing children."

    One of the strengths of Benjamin is the art of the bow. Benjamin’s talent and prowess with a bow—the ability to shoot and hit his target—depend upon a most tranquil inner spirit. In fact, the whole process of aiming, shooting and hitting the target can be described as being almost asleep. The archer’s tranquility comes from the realization that it is God that guides his arrows to their intended targets. A tranquil personality is one with little inner friction and tension. The sense of sleep suggests the ability to release stress, as one lies quietly confident in God’s support. As we will see below the sense for the month of Kislev is sleep.

    Moses prophesied in his blessing for Benjamin, “To Benjamin he [Moses] said, ‘[Benjamin is] the beloved of God, He [the Almighty] shall dwell trustfully over him; He hovers over him all the day, and between his shoulders He rests." Here we explicitly see that Benjamin symbolizes both trust and rest, the sense of the month of Kislev as we will see below.

    In contrast to the prophecy of Moshe, Jacob likened Benjamin to a wolf. The wolf represents craving and gulping down food on the physical level. In Benjamin this craving and gulping is for the Light of HaShem.

    In the body, the kidneys are identified as the source of craving. One of the meanings of the word Kislev is kidneys. In addition, the kidneys are the seat of the Sefirot Netzach (Victory and Acknowledgment) whose inner essence and motivating force are active and passive trust.

    Sense: Sleep How is sleep a sense? Sleep that we all crave is a "sound" sleep. This is based on your level of trust both active and passive as we will discuss. The word for sleep in Hebrew is חוש Chosh. This is cognate to חיש Chish which means quickness. This implies that sound sleep is also achieved quickly. Our sages, it is said, needed very little sleep. Sleep is actually the tool that provides strength to all of the other senses. This is because sleep is a renewal for the soul. Without sleep the senses become clogged and unclear (foggy and drowsy).

    The sense of sleep is of course deeply related with the dream state. When one possesses complete trust in God, one dreams the future in positively. Good dreams at night reflect good thoughts throughout the day, especially the optimistic attitude and consciousness our sages teach. “Think good and it will be good.”

    The Chumash contains descriptions of 10 dreams. By Divine Providence, Nine of the 10 dreams appear in the weekly Torah portions read during the month of Kislev. This is one of the best examples of the Alter Rebbe’s saying that one should “live with the times,” i.e., live life with the messages of the weekly Torah portion in mind. This is a very important teaching that has a corollary. Use the Hebrew Calendar as a tool to "know" the times, and thereby live with them.

    Controller: Belly. The part of the body considered Kislev’s controller, or guide, is the belly kaveh (קֵבָה). The relation between the belly, especially when it is full and satiated and the tranquil state of sleep (Kislev’s sense) is clear and explicit in the teachings of our sages. The rectified individual always has a figuratively full belly, regardless of his or her conditions. To attain this state of contentment, one must never be jealous of others, as the sages state, “Who is rich? He who is happy with his portion.” Being content demands a spiritual outlook on life and its conditions; an outlook that makes us realize that our portion—the hand we have been dealt by the Almighty—is indeed ours and no one else’s. The word “belly” derives from the word “measure” kav (קַב). The sages state that by nature, “The individual desires one measure of that which is his, more than he desires nine measures of that which belongs to his fellow.”

    Being content ourselves is the best way to feed the world—to ensure that Divine effluence reaches all. One of the greatest (and poorest) Mishnaic sages was Rabbi Chaninah ben Dosah. Despite his extreme poverty, Rabbi Chaninah was always content. The Talmud relates that it was said in heaven that, “The entire world is fed in merit of Chaninah my son, yet Chaninah himself is content with merely one measure of carobs every week.” Rabbi Chaninah also teaches us that a content belly is possible when one knows one’s proper measure.

    In English, belly is not a very specific anatomical term. To properly identify the belly, we need to go back to the Chumash, where we find that the belly is one of the three organs donated to the priests from every kosher animal slaughtered (not for the purpose of a sacrifice).

    Still, from the description of Pinchas’s act of self-sacrifice, we learn that the word “belly” kaveh (קֵבָה) also refers to the womb. Thus, belly can be understood not only as a specific organ in the body but a general term, including the entire region of the abdomen, which like its synonym בטן, can refer to the stomach, the (large) intestines, or the womb. The womb, in particular, relates to Benjamin, Kislev’s tribe. Benjamin is described as the “point of Zion” in Kabbalah, referring to the feminine aspect of the sefirah foundation, anatomically identified with the female procreative organ, the womb.

    The color of the month is Blue - Violet.

    Energy Days: Starting the 25th day of Kislev is the Holiday of Chanukah. Chanukah is called the festival of lights. The physical reason behind the holiday is to publicize the miracle of the victory over the Greeks. The Kabbalists teach that the spiritual connection is to the flow of Light (energy) that comes into the universe at that time every year. This flow is connected to by lighting a candle. It is suggested that this be done at an open door to one's home so that the flow of light is drawn into the home. Our sages teach that this flow of light is the original LIght of Creation referred to as Ohr Ganuz (Concealed Light).

    The victory over the Greeks is more than a physical victory. The battle itself is a metaphorical as well as an actual battle between two views of life and the world. Today, we find it hard to realize that this battle ever took place. This is an indication that we have lost perspective on Torah.

    The Greeks represent the view of Edom (the Nation of Esau). That view is that the physical world is the most important aspect of existence. The Greeks and Greek philosophy acknowledge God but put our perspective about God as secondary. The perfect example of this philosophy is the Olympic Games which highlight the body and physical competition and physical achievement. That is why the original Olympic Games were performed in the nude.

    The spiritual view as taught by our sages is the exact opposite. The physical, while important, is not our work. Our work is spiritual. This battle has been going on within humanity since Cain and Abel. The Torah says "Abel ALSO brought his sacrifice". This is the reason, according to the Kabbalists, why Abel had to leave the world by dying. Of course Cain did not have to be the channel if he had learned to control his jealousy. This is why the world sometimes seems so confusing. Because our true motivations are veiled by the Satan even from ourselves. This battle between "Spiritual is more important physicality" and Physical is the most important is still going on. It is the Tikune of this generation as it has always been the Tikune of each generation. If you are reading this you stand on the side of Spiritual first. Yet due to the beauty and pleasure of physicality it is difficult to maintain that perspective in all things. That is the true battle between "Good and Evil." That is the true meaning of the Holiday of Chanukah. It is not an Holiday of materialism. It is a Holiday of freedom from the desire to receive for the self alone

    Chanukah is the only Holiday that crosses over between two months. The month of Kislev and the month of Tevet. The sign of Tevet is the goat Gedi גדי. The gematria of Gedi is 17 the same as the Hebrew word Tov which means good. This goodness of Gedi is why the Holiday of light crosses over into the month of Tevet. We will explain more about Tevet next month.

    Also, take advantage of all of the Tzadikim that left during this month of Kislev. There is someone who left each day and they will relate to the Sefirah of that day.

  • Here is a link to the Hilula of all of the Tzadikim who left in Kislev, day by day.
  • The more you learn about an individual Tzadik the more you can be assisted in your spiritual work by the work that the Tzadik did during his lifetime. He is making him or herself available to you. I hope you will utilize them. All you have to do is light a 25 hour candle in his or her name.

    Tikune or Correction for the Sagittarius.

    If you do not know where is your north node, refer to an astrological chart or write to and give us your time, date, and place of birth.

    For people who have their north node in Sagittarius, their lifetime correction is their desire for justice. In fact, it will manifest as values of integrity sincerity and a refusal to compromise.

    During this month the Astrological influence on all of us will be run away. Run Away is the shoresh (root) of the Hebrew word Nes which means miracle as said above. We can run away from responsibility, and we can run away from our spiritual work. We can be attracted to the physical aspect of life, OR we can run away from our desire to receive for the self alone. We can get out of our comfort zone and do our spiritual work. If we do this, Miracles occur in our lives all through the next 9 months leading up to Rosh Hashana. Failure to do this leads to increased chaos during the short days of winter. The choice is yours.

    One final point: The Holiday of Chanukah is not a Torah Holiday. It is not mentioned in the Chumash. It is definitely hinted at in the Chumash. When Noach sent the dove out of the window. it was the 25th day of Cheshvan, hinting at the 25th day of Kislev. The dove brought back an olive branch hinting at the olive oil needed to light the Menorah in the Temple. These hints are strong suggestions to do our spiritual work, part of which is Torah study. Have you studied Torah this week? Have you lived Torah this week? Do you know how to live Torah? Study Kabbalah to learn!

    Have a good month!

    Chodesh Tov!