Your Hardships Are Moments To Rise Up - Rosh Chodesh Tevet

Transitioning from Kislev into Tevet is a powerful energetic awakening. Chanukah transfers into the first days of Tevet, providing us with light and hope. This light is known as Or HaGanuz. Briefly explained, this light is the primordial light Hashem used to create the world and it can be used as protection during challenging moments. To read more about this light in a previous blog post, click here.


Kislev and Tevet are challenging months because of their lack of light both in the weather and spiritually. Tevet, along with the Hebrew months of Tammuz and Av are considered the months with the most hardships. Thankfully, Tevet has the light of Chanukah opening the month for us with support, guidance, and protection.


Rosh Chodesh marks the birth of the new moon and is a minor holiday that occurs at the beginning of every month in the Hebrew calendar. Rosh Chodesh Tevet is the tenth Hebrew month counting from Nisan or the fourth month counting from Tishrei. Tevet corresponds with December and January on the Gregorian calendar.


According to Kabbalah, each month offers its own unique spiritual opportunities and blessings. Just as there are changes in the weather, there are also changes in spiritual energies. By connecting to these energies, they help us gain knowledge and wisdom for our personal and spiritual growth.

Tevet is the coldest and darkest month, making it a great time to ignite the light, transform, and redeem. Although at face value, Tevet appears to be strictly dark and gloomy, there is enormous potential light we can draw down. Just like how the light of Hashem is concealed waiting to be revealed by us, the light of Tevet is also concealed in the darkness. In the name of Tevet, we see that hidden gem. Tevet starts with the Hebrew letter Tet (ט), which is also the first letter of tov (טוב), meaning “good”.


It is no coincidence Chanukah stretches into Tevet, as it reminds us of the power of good over evil. In this, we learn to reveal the good that is hidden in our lives and in the world around us. Even during the month with personal challenges, struggles, and hardships.


Fasts During Tevet

During Tevet, the 8th, 9th, and 10th are three recognized fast days. The 8th and 9th are fast days by choice whereas on the 10th of Tevet, is an obligation to fast for the whole Jewish community.


The 8th of Tevet marks the beginning of the “Greek Era” when the Torah was translated into Greek by the decree of King Ptolemy, in the year 313 B.C.E., according to the Bayit Sheni Timeline. This is a tragedy because Ptolemy wanted to Hellenize and degrade the Torah.


The 9th of Tevet is a fast day in honor of Ezra the Scribe and Nechemia, two great leaders of the Jewish people. They are the ones that brought the Jews out of Babylonian captivity. The Jews were exiled out of their homeland after 850 years. They remained in Babylon for 70 years.


The 10th of Tevet is a fast day in regard to the siege that took place in Jerusalem by the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar. The walls of Jerusalem were breached on the 17th of Tammuz, during the third year of the siege, and the Temple destroyed on Tisha B’Av, the 9th of Av, the saddest day in the Hebrew Calendar, the Date of Destruction of both Temples, and the most somber fast day. But the start of the siege set the stage for both of those tragic events. It was for this reason that the Prophets and other Jewish leaders of the time chose the Tenth of Tevet as a fast day for the Jewish People.


The tenth of Tevet marked a new beginning that till today has left an imprint on the nation. Since the siege and the breach of the Jerusalem walls the Jewish nation entered an exile and lost something of great value; the temple, a place where we once felt a deep intimacy with our Creator. Without this essential piece to our nation, we long for that connection.

Although fast days appear to be heavy-hearted and melancholic, they have the potential to draw down divine grace and mercy from Hashem. According to our sages, a fast day is not really a sad day but rather, a day of opportunity to fix the cause of the destruction of the temple thus ending the exile. The book of Zechariah tells us that fast days are reserved for days of joy and festivities when Meshiach arrives.


According to Sefer Yetzirah (The Book of Formation) – written by Abraham the Patriarch, each Hebrew month has a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, a zodiac sign, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, a sense, and a controlling limb of the body that corresponds to it. Below are for the month of Tevet.


Capricorn

The Jewish month of Tevet connects with the astrological sign of Capricorn. Capricorn in Hebrew is G’di (גדי). G’di contains the Hebrew letters gimmel and Dalet (גד), this is another word for good luck. However, as explained below, Capricorns do not rely on good luck and fortune for their success, rather they believe only in hard work. Thus, causing them to be pessimistic, overworked, and anxious.


Capricorns in nature don’t rely on luck, they feel luck is going to betray them and thus always waiting for the “other shoe to drop”. Capricorns (some, not all) struggle with their spirituality because they lack faith in Hashem. They fear what tomorrow might bring preventing them to trust the process and in Hashem. Capricorns have a tendency to sabotage and set themselves up for failure by not seeing their own success and therefore reinforcing the belief system that they cannot rely on anything else besides themselves and only hard work, hence their immense devotion to work.


Capricorns are earth elements and the first of the winter months. Earth signs are considered to be very practical. As such, it also explains why Capricorns are “dry”, well organized, and realistic (they can often be found working in management and accounting). Capricorns have a huge desire/hunger for material security. It is said that Capricorns are born with an “old” soul, have had rough childhoods, and experienced great crises that matured them. This contributes greatly to them growing into strong, hard, resilient, and realistic adults.


Tribe The Wisdom of Kabbalah teaches that the biblical twelve tribes of Israel, the sons of Jacob represent secrets of the twelve signs of the zodiac. By the story of their births, the name and the history of each tribe describe the features of the zodiac signs themselves.


According to the birth story of the tribe of Gad in Genesis, it tells us when Gad was born, Leah (Jacob’s wife), called him Ba-Gad (בא-גד meaning luck has arrived because Jacob was blessed with another son). However, in the biblical text, the letter א – Alef, a symbol of the Creator’s Light is missing and is written as בגד (meaning, betrayal). This absence of Divine Light is the reason why people of the sign of Capricorn are constantly looking for this lost א- Alef, lost Light, and feel lack and anxiety often. Additionally, this is why Capricorns are constantly searching for a missing piece they’ve lost.


Ruling planet & letter Sefer Yetzirah tells us that the 22 Hebrew letters of the alphabet are the building blocks of the Universe. These letters represent the spiritual frequencies that created our Universe. Sefer Yetzirah teaches us that these 22 frequencies, represented by the 22 Hebrew letters, are the tools used for transferring spiritual abundance.


According to Kabbalah and Sefer Yetzirah, each month is ruled by two Hebrew letters. One letter rules the planet that dominates the sign. The other letter rules the astrological sign of the month. Tevet’s planet is Saturn and it is ruled by the letter ב (Bet). Its astrological sign is Capricorn, which is ruled by the letter ע (Ain).


Tevet is ruled by the month of Saturn (שבתאי) The Hebrew word for Saturn, Shabtai, has the Hebrew words of Shabbat (שבת) in them. Tevet is an opportunity to reach high spiritual and personal growth because Saturn is the planet of learning. Saturn teaches us by destroying physical illusions of what we believe we need and reveals to us the spiritual truth of what matters. Saturn is connected to the Jewish people. Saturn can be either cold or hot. The month of Tevet is a very heavy month. People born in this month are connected to the earth/physicality. They have a big desire for money and often make good business people. They also have the power of manifestation when they work through their anxieties and feelings of lack.


The tikkun (rectification) of Tevet is to trust Hashem. However, this energy is experienced by everyone, not only Capricorns, the energy is amplified and affects everyone. Since Capricorns are deeply connected to the earth, they have a difficult time with emunah (faith) because they count on nature/earth and their abilities. Capricorns have to break their chains, go against their nature and fully trust Hashem. Once they put their trust in Hashem and elevate their spiritual senses, they can gain mastery over the physical.


People born in this month struggle to be happy. Capricorns tend to worry about things and never have peace of mind. They struggle to be in the present and happy. However, they can transcend their ways and let go of their worries. Once they do, they can reach great heights.


The book of Exodus starts this month, and there is a period of six weeks that connects to the first six portions of the book of Exodus. This period is called “Shovavim”. It is a time to restore and refresh our value system and our priorities. More on this soon to follow.


Letters

The two letters that control this month are Ayin and Bet עב

The letter Ayin created Capricorn and the letter Bet created Saturn. The combination of Ayin and Bet is the level of Chochmah. Ayin (70) Bet (2) = 72, which is the number of names of Hashem!

72 connects to the second-highest Sefirah, Chochma. At this level there is only good, evil does not exist. This is the power of this month, to connect to this high level. Happiness connects us directly to Chochma.


The structure of the letter Ayin (ע) shows us the capacity this month gives us to shoot ourselves upwards and fulfill our potential


The structure of the letter Bet (ב) has a bottom line that symbolizes the earth. The upper line symbolizes the sky, and the vertical line connecting them together symbolizes the connection between the two forces of earth and sky. This connection between earth and sky is where the power of blessings emanates. The letter ב – Bet also faces forward and is closed from behind and that teaches us that if we desire the blessings in our life we should always look forward. So, then why did we say before that Capricorns are pessimistic and only rely on their own hard work? The RABaD (Rabi Abraham Ben David of Posquières) explains that the power of Saturn comes from the fact that it is a planet of destruction. Saturn is known as “the Great Teacher”. From Saturn, we are taught that our spiritual and mental skills are our truest assets. Only they can provide us with a true sense of joy, happiness, and confidence.


Throughout life, Capricorns learned the hard way, that spirituality, practical sense, kindness, and sharing are the only true things that matter. Therefore it is also known that as Capricorns age, they become younger because they finally understand in their adulthood that the secret to life is all spiritual. They then begin to truly enjoy their life in full throttle.


Once the Capricorn understands true wealth is his practical sense, spirituality, compassion, and sharing, he/she channels his energy of devotion, calculated nature, and ambitiousness to this direction and nothing can stop him.


As mentioned above the Hebrew letter that controls the Capricorn, according to Sefer Yetzirah, is ע Ain together with ב make, ע”ב which symbolizes the Sefira of Chochma, an enormous energy. Capricorns have the ability to sustain this powerful energy and to work for it. This explains why Capricorns have the highest opportunity to enjoy spirituality, wealth, joy, and true certainty.


Sense The sense of this month is anger. Anger is a natural human emotion that can be used for the positive. The rectification of this month is the ability to separate yourself from your anger and even get angry and your evil inclination. Do not let it bully you.


Body part Our sages teach us the body that corresponds with Tevet is the liver (כבד). The function of the liver is to purify the blood in the body. The liver is what gets “angry” in the body. The numerical value of the liver (כבד) is 26 = to one of the names of Hashem, Havaya (הויה). This name sweetens a person’s judgment. When one is angry, he is under judgment (דינים) and by meditation on the name, one can bring Light to the anger.


Tools for Tevet

The light of the Menorah reminds us to keep on going, connect to our inner flame, strive to achieve greatness, and nourish our soul. In a world of confusion, anxiety, and pressure, we are granted an extraordinary light that danced into Tevet. In the midst of chaos, one can feel confused, lost, angry, uncertain. It is in the chaos there is a choice to either respond or react. In Tevet, there is hardship. Use spirituality as an antidote to guide you during chaotic times, elevate each experience, and reveal the hidden light.


Meditate on the Hebrew letters Ayin and Bet as well as one of the 72 names of Hashem for reconnecting to your soul. As you reconnect to your soul, you are sure to find light in all.

In the month of Tevet, we are all influenced by Capricorn. This month is a great opportunity for us to learn and to see our lives through spiritual lenses. It is a great time to reflect on all the spiritual tools we’ve collected over the years. By doing this exercise it will give us a good indication of what we want from life and what motivates us to keep striving to be like the Capricorn; to enjoy spirituality, wealth, joy, and true certainty.


Remember, the light shines brightest in the darkest places. If you find yourself experiencing challenges and darkness, be kind to yourself. This is a period of learning, trusting in Hashem, and revealing the light in the darkness. Allow yourself to feel, sit with what’s unpleasant, and experience both sides of the scale of what it means to be human.


Rather than focusing on the importance of physical needs and desires, navigate this month by embracing your successes no matter how small, and by noticing your spiritual and personal growth. Use these tools to elevate your consciousness and experience this month to manifest the blessings.


גם הכשלונות לפעמים, הן הדרך לגלות בעצמנו את היכולות האדירות שבנו.


Resources https://www.inner.org/times/tevet/tevet.htm https://livekabbalah.org/tevet-capricorn-kabbalah/


https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/2263466/jewish/Tevet.htm


https://www.ou.org/holidays/rosh_chodesh_tevet/


https://www.aish.com/jl/hol/hm/48968951.html


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