Kislev: The 3rd Month
Kislev is the third month of the
year when counting from Rosh Hashana. The Torah, by contrast, starts
counting from Nisan, the month in which the Jewish people left Egypt.
From this perspective, the third month of the year is Sivan. However,
both "third months" share an intrinsic connection:
Kislev and Sivan are months in which the Torah was given. In Sivan,
on Shavuot, G-d gave the Torah to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai.
In Kislev, on the 19th of the month (Yud Tet), the inner part of
Torah (Penimiyut HaTorah) was more fully revealed when Rabbi Shneur
Zalman, founder of Chabad Chasidism, was released from prison. From
that point on Chasidic teachings began to be disseminated publicly.
In truth, all of Torah, including the Torah of Moshiach, its highest
and most esoteric level, was revealed at Sinai. But it was given to
mankind in a concealed form, and only a select few in any generation
had access to it. It would not be until several thousand years later
that the wellsprings of Chasidut began to flow outward in preparation
for the ultimate revelation of Moshiach.
The connection between Kislev and redemption is also seen in the fact
that the holidays of the month of Kislev are associated with oil. On
Chanukah, the oil in the Temple's menora burned miraculously for
eight days. And Penimiyut HaTorah, which was revealed on Yud Tet
Kislev, is described by the metaphor of oil, as the awareness of G-d
it brings prepares us for the outpouring of G-dly knowledge that will
accompany the ultimate Redemption.
May it happen immediately.