Hebrew Month

Cheshvan

About the Month of Cheshvan

Cheshvan is the second month of the Hebrew year (or the eighth month when counting from Nissan). Like all Hebrew months, the name Cheshvan is of Babylonian origin, corresponding to the constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpio), visible in the night sky during this lunar month. Cheshvan usually overlaps the solar months of October and November.

The month is also called Mar Cheshvan meaning “Bitter Cheshvan” because it has no holidays to make it joyous until the Messiah comes. Some say Mar Cheshvan should actually be read “Marach shevan,” the “month of light.”

The original Hebrew name of the month is Bul, meaning “withering,” referring to the withering of tree branches and field stubble during this month. As the Hebrew Bible says:

“And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul—that is, the eighth month—the House was completed according to all its details and all its specifications. It took him seven years to build it.” (I Kings, 6:38)

Tribe of Cheshvan

Levi Tribe Symbol

The Tribe of Levi

Levi

Stone of the Month of Cheshvan

Bareket

Cheshvan’s stone in the High Priest’s breastplate is the Bareket (Emerald)

Holidays in Cheshvan

Cheshvan 29

Sigd

Worship

Notable Dates in Cheshvan

11 Cheshvan

2105 BCE
Death of Methuselah at age 969. He was the oldest human who ever lived. The start of the Great Flood was delayed seven days so that a full week of mourning could be observed for Metuselah.

11 Cheshvan

1553 BCE
Death of the matriarch Rachel while giving birth to Benjamin in the Land of Israel. She was buried in Bethlehem on the road to Ephrata, the site of Rachel’s Grave to this day.

15 Cheshvan

165 BCE
Death of Matityahu (Mattathias), the patriarch of the Hasmonean family who began the Maccabee revolt against the Greeks in the city of Modiin.

16 Cheshvan

1994
Death of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, the famous “Singing Rabbi,” whose musical and spiritual impact is still felt today.

17 Cheshvan

960 BCE
The First Temple was completed by King Solomon.

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