Posted on Nov 20, 2020 | 0 comments

Kislev (כִּסְלֵֵו)

The biblical calendar brings us to the month of Kislev (כִּסְלֵֵו). It is the ninth redemptive/ecclesiastical month, if we use Nisan as the first month or the third month of the civil calendar – our November-December. And as we’re sure you’ve noticed, the days are getting shorter and the nights a bit longer….night around my neck of the woods comes about 5:30pm. Kislev is also known as the ‘month of dreams’ probably due to the fact that it is not only the darkest month of the year but it also contains the winter soltice. And to top that, the readings during this month include more dreams than in any other parshas. Most of these dreams involve Jacob’s son, Joseph, who was nicknamed by his brothers as master of dreams and Pharaoh called him the Decipher of Secrets.  So never discount a dream 🙂

So, with all that happening, Kislev is also noted as the “darkest” month of the year and the Winter Solstice generally happens around the last week of Kislev (many times around December 21). Even Chanukah, which sometimes falls between Kislev and Tevet, will contain the longest night of the year! With Chanukah being the ‘Season of our Joy’ or ‘Season of Lights’ it makes perfect sense to dig a bit deeper into the symbolism of this time. One of the ‘lights’ of the season is that if Yeshua/Jesus was born at Sukkot…he would have been conceived at Hanukkah…thereby truly being ‘The Light of the World’!

Many commentators believe that the Hebrew word Kislev comes from the primitive root word  כִּסְל, kesel or kisla meaning hope or trust. However, it can also mean foolishness, maybe eluding to the wisdom of God appears as foolishness to man (1 Cor 3:19).

There is a great deal of late Jewish history centered in the month of Kislev. The time of Antichus IV Ephanies and the Maccabean revolt centered in and around the month of Kislev (167 to 164 BCE). Much of this history is recorded in the apocryphal books of the Maccabees and in the writings of Flavius Josephus, whom himself was a descendent of the Maccabean (Hasmonean) family. The Hasmoneans were members of the tribe of Levi and part of the priesthood. This was a time of great upheaval but a light and hope to the Maccabees.

The sign in the heavens (zodiac) for the month of Kislev is the bow represented by the constellation Orion, or the Archer which is highest in the sky during the month of Kislev. In the Hebrew, bow can mean either an archer’s bow or a rainbow. The theme of Chanukah can bethought of as the archer’s bow of the Maccabees, symbolizing their trust in God to fight against the Hellenistic culture of the  Selucid Empire. The art of archery and the bow are ascribed to the tribe of Benjamin.

Here are some events in history that occurred in the month of Kislev:
4th – 412 BCE – The people inquired of Zechariah whether they should continue with the
tradition of fasting for the destruction of the Temple. (Zechariah chapter 7&8)
14th – 1568 BCE – The birth of Ruben, son of Jacob.
14th – 1445 BCE – Death of Ruben.
15th – 167 BCE – The Greeks set up the “Abomination of Desolation” in the Temple.
20th – 457 BCE – Ezra addresses a three day long assembly in Jerusalem, telling the people to observe the Torah and dissolve their interfaith marriages.
21st – 128 BCE – The Samaritan temple at Mount Gerizim was destroyed.
25th – 167 BCE – The Greeks make pagan sacrifices in the Temple.
25th – 164 BCE – The miracle of Hanukkah.
27th – 2105 BCE – Flood rains cease (Genesis 6:8)

Here are the Parsha readings for Kislev:

Kislev 5777 Scripture readings (from Torah Portions) (includes Haftarah (prophets& writings) and Brit Chadashah (New Testament)
Hebrew Date Kislev 5 (Nov. 21) – Toldot
Genesis 25:19-28:9; Malachi 1:1-2:7; Luke 3:1-18

Hebrew Date Kislev 12 (Nov. 28) – Vayetze
Genesis 28:10-32:3; Hosea 12:13-14:10; Matthew 3:13-4:11

Hebrew Date Kislev 19 (Dec. 5) – Vayishlach
Genesis 32:4-36:43; Obadiah 1:1-21; John 1:19-2:12

Hebrew Date Kislev 26 (Dec. 12) – Vayeshev
Genesis 37:1-40:23; Amos 2:6-3:8; John 2:13-4:42

May this month be one of HOPE and LIGHT in a dark world!


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