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Chodesh Cheshvan - the Month of Cheshvan

Chodesh Cheshvan -

A Month of Bitterness and Challenge

Fall: Chodesh Chet

The Month of Cheshvan - חדש חשון

On the Biblical calendar, the month of Cheshvan (חֶשְׁוָן) immediately follows the "holiday month" of Tishri, though it is sometimes called Mar-Cheshvan ("bitter Cheshvan") because there are no festivals during the month ("neither feast nor fast") and it marks the start of the cold and rainy season in Israel. The Torah records that God brought down the Flood that destroyed the world on Cheshvan 17 (Gen. 7:10-11), which lasted until Cheshvan 27 (Gen. 8:14) - exactly one calendar year after it began (the Jewish sage Rashi notes that the 11-day discrepancy between the 17th and 27th represents the 11-day difference between the solar and lunar year). Because Noah's Flood began and ended during this month, Cheshvan is generally regarded as "mar" - a time of judgment and hardship.

Historically, Cheshvan has been a time that has brought much suffering to the Jewish people throughout the ages. In more recent times, German Nazis launched a campaign of terror against Jewish people during this month. Die Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass"), the infamous pogrom that initiated the Holocaust, occurred on Cheshvan 15 (Nov. 9th, 1938). Its initial political purpose was to "disarm" all German Jews, though this became the pretext for cruelty, murder, and genocide of the Jewish people.

Despite its association with judgment, some Jewish traditions maintain that the month of Cheshvan will eventually lose its bitterness, because it will be during this time that the "third Temple" will be inaugurated. For Messianic believers, however, this future Temple will be the "Tribulation Temple," the place where the Messiah of Evil will betray Israel about midway through the final "week" of Daniel's great prophecy.  Indeed it will only be after Yeshua returns to save Israel at the End of Days that the Fourth (Millennial Kingdom) Temple will be established, and then all the surviving nations will come to Zion to honor the Jewish people and the LORD God of Israel...

Rosh Chodesh Blessing

The following (simplified) blessing can be recited to ask the LORD to help you for the coming new month:

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֵיךָ יהוה אֱלהֵינוּ וֵאלהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ
שֶׁתְּחַדֵּשׁ עָלֵינוּ חדֶשׁ טוֹב בַּאֲדנֵינוּ יֵשׁוּעַ הַמָּשִׁיחַ אָמֵן

ye·hi · ra·tzon · mil·fa·ne·kha · Adonai · E·lo·hei·nu · ve·lo·hei · a·vo·tei·nu
she·te·cha·desh · a·lei·nu · cho·desh · tov · ba'a·do·nei·nu · Ye·shu·a · ha·ma·shi·ach · A·men

"May it be Your will, LORD our God and God of our fathers,
that you renew for us a good month in our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. Amen."

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