Going deeper into “MAR” Cheshvan

ginsburg cheshvan.jpeg


💧 גשם:

A Drop of Water

“Others explain that the Hebrew word mar means “a drop of water,” as in the verse “like a drop (mar) from a bucket.” (Yeshayahu 40:15) It is in this month that Jews in the land of Israel begin praying for rain. Thus, we say mar as a prayer for rain. (Pri Chadash, Even Haezor 126:7.)

Additionally, the Mabul (Great Flood) in the times of Noach began in this month. (Opinion of Rabbi Eliezer in Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 11b.)

Interestingly, commentators point out that the original name for the month found in Scriptures, “Bul,” is also a reference to the Mabul. (Radak on I Kings 6:38.)

(I heard this in a Rosh Chodesh chabura - quote from Chabad. Org -RW)

Yeshayahu 40:15:

Behold the nations are like a drop💧from a bucket, and like dust on a balance are they counted; behold the islands are like fine [dust] that blows away.

טוהֵ֚ן גּוֹיִם֙ כְּמַ֣ר 💧מִדְּלִ֔י וּכְשַׁ֥חַק מֹֽאזְנַ֖יִם

נֶחְשָׁ֑בוּ הֵ֥ן אִיִּ֖ים כַּדַּ֥ק יִטּֽוֹל:


Yeshayahu 40:31:

But those who put their hope in the Lord shall renew [their] vigor, they shall raise wings as eagles; they shall run and not weary, they shall walk and not tire. לאוְקוֵֹ֚י יְהֹוָה֙ יַֽחֲלִ֣יפוּ כֹ֔חַ יַֽעֲל֥וּ אֵ֖בֶר כַּנְּשָׁרִ֑ים יָר֙וּצוּ֙ וְלֹ֣א יִיגָ֔עוּ יֵֽלְכ֖וּ וְלֹ֥א יִיעָֽפוּ:

💧“MAR” Cheshvan

The Navi Yeshayahu states,

“nations are like a drop💧מר from a bucket” (40:15)

and continues

“...But those who put their hope in the Lord shall renew their vigor, they shall raise wings as eagles; they shall run and not weary,(יָר֙וּצוּ֙ וְלֹ֣א יִיגָ֔עוּ (40:31

Delving into the MAR. It has always (subtly and subconsciously) bothered me how the prefix MAR is placed before Cheshvan. Isn’t it like a self-fulfilling prophesy? - as we voluntarily proclaim a whole month- 30 days!!! As bitter 😢

So if this IS the overpowering midda of this month ... shouldn’t I be feeling that I can hardly wait for this self-proclaimed bitterness to pass... 🥴

Am I REALLY bitter that the Yom Tovim are finally over???? 🤫

For years I thought... Finally I can breath again! 🤩No more cooking and cleaning and preparing and finally the kids are back to school. What a relief!

No, I am secretly not bitter and why should I be. 🤥

#1 I’m happy to resume by routine and I can stop ⏹ and breath again 😃


#2 Thank you H-Shem for this quiet still inner gift of time. 😌

I was infused with your Torah and bright shining lights during Tishrei.

The whole cycle beginning with defining my Ratzon for the coming year in Elul and proceeding with the Yomim Noraim which you have given us from your treasure chest of Rachamim Gedolim - a free gift /matnas chinam, to all of us to connect with You.

And then a whole 7 days of connecting with family, friends and self within the protective walls of our sukkahs. Yet still gazing upwards to the stars, secure in your love for us.

Nourishing our soul and gathering from the wellsprings of Simcha and Ahava. Gathering from your maayan /wellspring of happiness / Simcha for the whole year. soaking in the abundance in our simchas Bais Hashoevas,

Dancing and encircling Your Torah which we cherish and guard as our lifeforce...

Wow!!! That’s ALOT to absorb. 🥰

Now You have given me time and space to expand my keylim/ vessel to hold all of this incredible light that you have entrusted me with. 🤩

Raba emunatecha... in your enormous faith in me that I can take my ratzon and make it YOUR ratzon.

😙That I can connect with you with every breath I take. That I can inhale and not forget to exhale. Not to hold it all in.

😚So now ... thank you H-Shem for allowing me to slowly exhale. The love and Emunah I have ingested can Now be Digested. 🍽

In the quiet recesses of my inner middle gut (the Shechina in Exile) up through the height of my keter - (Your protective shield) You are constantly and graciously sustaining my life

I now can integrate all the assets of these new treasures 🔎💍into my very being.

As You are Creating me anew every moment. With constant chesed and rachamim

Maybe we can learn from this an incredible insight and chizuk for this MAR-ness through our Ratzo vshav ...


they shall run and not weary, יָר֙וּצוּ֙ וְלֹ֣א יִיגָ֔עוּ

I ask “How can I be constantly running and returning H-Shem?!

Just the thought of it wears me down!! 😴😬

I just passed one nisayon /test and now You’re expecting me to catch the next wave - BEFORE it crashes again. (AND be happy in the midst of it all)

⏩ You’re expecting me to catch myself in my fall?

Even though I know You’re doing everything. Yes everything ... and I have complete trust you will catch me and pick me up ... all the time ... because that’s what you’ve been doing my whole life ...

▶but really... I’m expected to be happy with this for as long as I’m breathing?

⏭As long as I’m breathing these thoughts keep floating around, and coming and going. Rising and falling. What a monstrous task 🦖


they shall run and not weary, יָר֙וּצוּ֙ וְלֹ֣א יִיגָ֔עוּ

Because only through the running ... and returning I WILL NOT WEARY!!!


💧Are the returns.

💧The necessary exhale before the incoming inhale.

💧The restful interludes between the birth surges.

💧The quiet on the surface of the ocean before the next wave arrives ...

💧The rain before the garden

I will patiently catch my breath and harness my energy before I hop on the surfboard.

Timing is everything.

Nows the time

we can sit with our self

and in the stillness.

Prepare our wings to fly🦋

in the stillness of Cheshvan ... May we be patient with the quiet times / to embrace, appreciate and allow the exhale

Patiently anticipating the ascent & vision of Kislev...

May we delight in seeds of our inner garden processing the potential blossoming & fruit


May we continue to support each other in our collective cacoon.
As we prepare for the rising new light🌔 . Bsha’ah tovah!!!


in the stillness

of the night in Cheshvan ...

It’s so necessary

to be patient /



allow the exhale.

As we internalize

the lights

and anticipate

the ascent

& vision ... BeH

May we delight

in the concealed roots

secretly activating

of our inner garden

processing the

embryonic potential


Perceptible fruit.



From Rise! Nexus Community Forum

to join:

Beautiful description of this transition time & beautiful picture. . . Here in N America & in Israel it’s seasonally the opposite. . . i’m not sure how to incorporate your message to our physical place here, but, what has struck me over the years is the tremendous beauty that Hashem Has “Implanted” into the leaves just before they “leave” and fall from their branches. Possibly a metaphor for the process of aging, maturing, growing in ruchnius before our physical bodies expire. Your thoughts:)

As I posted my tree with its new foliage and Chana posted her observation of how the two hemispheres are doing such different things.... a woman sent me a picture under the branches of a tree she had taken just the day before on her trip to EY, with the following byline: "A time to tap into our inner light and be comfortable with the ebb and flow of life’s rhythm." Cheshvan is the "yerida l'tzorech aliya" - descent for the sake of ascent - into the physical world to elevate its sparks and grow to an even higher level. This is the cosmic story of the feminine and holy work.

-Rebbetzin Tamar Taback

Along these same lines, Rabbi Aryeh Nivin explains that this is the time of year when the seeds have been planted, yet they are “rotting”, unseen, yet this “rotting” is the precursor & an integral part of the growth of the plant. He also explains that this is the stage during pregnancy, where nothing is “showing” to the outside world, yet this is a very critical stage of growth & development of the fetus. It is also a very challenging time, not to see the growth/change, and re pregnancy to feel sick, but it’s all part of the journey of growth & development


Rotting means that before going to the next stage, there needs to be an ayin, a nothing, in between. A tree cant grow until the seed rots. Meaning, we have to "forget" the previous level, as Reb Zeira had to forget Talmud Bavli before being able to absorb Talmud Yerushalmi. For us, we must forget believing in the fragmentation in Klal Yisrael, forget feeling superior, and unite and learn from others even though we have been told, subtlely or otherwise, that only our derech is correct. The tree is not inside the seed, its in the power Hashem put into the earth (bittul) and Heavenly waters, the rains.

The space between the flocks is ayin. Esav wants to keep the Galus going and going. So he’s looking at all the flocks. Yakov knows this is going to appease Esav. Think of the word “flock”… ie. the religious flock, each community has its own beautiful derech and minhagim. Its the SPACE between the flocks WHERE WE CAN MEET.


Rotting seed that we worked so hard to plant. First it rots. Then grows roots. Then finally sprouts forth!! Bitul is our avoda now. It’s an an exhale before we can inhale

-Michal Rus

Heard a beautiful thought based on a Baal Shem Tov.


When we hear suffering we call upon the Will of Hashem to open the window of the teva to answer our tefilot. When we pray for another person...anyone and everyone we also elevate their suffering which opens the window to Hashem's Will. My take is that when we do this we elevate Noach too...he was a tzaddik for his geberation only because he did not proactively go out of his way to help others. The takehome is that if we flip our tendancy to judge to spontaneous tefila for another then as we know we activate H's will to act on our own behalf
-Sara Liba

It is possibly the metaphor for life in this world, its challenges & coping with the darkness at times (often it “seems” to us to be dark, & it really is dark in “olam ha-zeh” perspective, but Hashem is Orchestrating it to bring growth & the outcomes that only He is in Charge of). Sometimes we’re Blessed to see the positive outcome in our lifetime, sometimes not. If we are truly connected to Hashem then we are Blessed to see it all as good, not as “b’di-eved”. . . may Hashem Grant us the fortitude, persistance, perseverance to forge forward:)


That’s also hidden thought in

מר חשון

Mar is bitter. But if you flip it, see it from the font perspective, you can lift the bitterness


Is lift. We can lift bitter and make sweet.

Or things that seem bitter looked at from a different perspective, from Hashem perspective is sweet

-Zahava Farbman

This discussion of Marcheshavan is reminiscent of a shiur by Rabbi Yakov Labinsky “Suspend Anochi-ness for Inter-inclusiveness”; ie. Bitterness is a prelude to Sweetness

In Shacharis we say והערב נא Ho’orev Na… “Make the teachings of Torah pleasant in our mouths and the mouths Your entire people, Bais Yisrael.”

Sweetness comes after the bitterness / bitul / decomposition. The process of refinement can be painful and humiliating! And appear to us as overclouded and dismal. However we can tap into the Daas and Pnimus of the time and plug into Positive hisbadlus / Nothingness. Nothing is of your own.

And be mindful of the fact that in the IN THE POSITIVE STATE OF NOTHINGNESS is where H’ will shine.

You can not be complete unto your self. You need the whole (Klal Yisrael) to make yourselves complete. This is the key to transition from Galus > Geula. Staying in the game within your selves and your chevra. Keep going and morphically changing. “I want to be In … To do the right thing” which is the mitziyas of Vehakel / gathering (ie. this incredible group of women). Keep investing in the group. Go to the “shevisi” state. Open your selves to holding onto H’. Within the this completely safe area.

This pain is H’. That’s our opportunity! “Please give it back to me. I want to hold this as compassion.”

Expand out. Derive Chizuk in menius. Kulo kadosh / kulo achdus. Meniya is from the shoresh לניע: stumbling block. Use the experience of tension for ultimate refinement.


A tree can’t grow until the seed rots...💖

On our spiritually evolving and psychologically maturing journey we decompose the non serving beliefs and thoughts planted early on in our subconscious, earthy psyches. We must unlearn and relearn truth. The tree is reflective of the seeds we plant.


All my children have been C-sections and they have each been amazingly Geuladik experiences. The exact way a Holy Soul comes into this world is up to Hashem. The Lubavitcher Rebbe actually spoke about C-sections being like Moshiach breaking down the wall of Golus.


Ok, actually it was more than a quarter of a century ago..but I do remember during the last stage/pushing out the baby having the intention that birthing this baby, my baby is akin to the Jewish people being birthed from mitzrayim, ie, it’s truly a geula—the birthpangs of geula—

the effort is beyond but the achievement/the prize is even greater!

-Tzivia Chaya

bakasha during birth

as we learn from the medrash in iyov when the Ayala gives birth.. כאיל תערוג על אפיקי מים.. she Davens and cries to H’ for the ayalim to have water.. it says that the water that begins to flow at that time is the sweetest waters. … .It also says that normally the ayalim being very swift and jumpy animals can’t be caught by their neighboring venomous snakes.

But because their labors are the hardest and most painful of any living creature they lay there thinking they will just die.. that’s when she Davens for others.. and at the exact moment of birth when she thinks it’s over the snake bites the Ayala and instead of poisoning her it acts as poticin and she’s able to give birth..

so many lessons for us.. one being when we get “bitten” by others it’s only to help us give birth to great things and our greatest selves! This is the ultimate in how what we perceive is bitter-mar, is really uplifting and the sweetest. It’s only our perception and that’s what needs our gardening.

(It’s a pasuk in iyov Perek לט׳ with Gemaras on it.. where H’ is answering iyov that HE doesn’t make mistakes.. after iyov calls out to him that maybe H’ thinks his name is אויב - enemy not איוב.)