of coming days of note in the Torah calendar
1-7 Kislev 5775
23-29 November 2014
Attributes of the month of KISLEV: Ruling permutation of the letters of HAVAYAH: VAV YOD KEH KEH, contained in the initial Hebrew letters of the words of the verse Vayar Yoshev Ha'aretz Hakena'ani, "and the Canaanite inhabitants of the land saw ..." (Genesis 50:11). The month's corresponding letter is: SAMECH; Human attribute: SLEEP; Body Part: KIVAH-Stomach ; Tribe: BENJAMIN; Constellation: KESHET (Sagittarius, the Archer).
Saturday night-Sunday 22-23 November / 1 Kislev
Rosh Chodesh (New Moon) Kislev
Ya'aleh VeYavo is introduced in the Saturday night evening prayer and the Sunday morning and afternoon Amidah prayers of Rosh Chodesh and in the Birchat HaMazon Grace after Meals. "Half" Hallel is recited after the morning Amidah prayer, then the special portion for Rosh Chodesh (Numbers 28:1-15) is read in the Synagogue followed by the Mussaf Additional Service. It is appropriate to celebrate Rosh Chodesh with festive meals on Saturday night (Melaveh Malkah) and on Sunday and Monday, and fasting is forbidden.
Tuesday 25 November / 3 Kislev
In Second Temple times today was celebrated as a festival because the Hasmoneans cleared the Temple courtyard of Greek idols.
Wednesday 26 November / 4 Kislev
On this day Zechariah received his prophecy that the fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months mourning the destruction of the Temple will turn into festivals "...and have love for truth and peace" (Zechariah chapters 7-8).
It is propitious to give Tzedakah today, just as it is a mitzva to give charity on the eve of the festival of Succot, because today is the first of the three days that climax on 6 Kislev, which has the potential of a festival celebrating the giving of the Torah (see entry for 6 Kislev).
Wednesday night-Thursday 26-27 November / 5 Kislev
Yahrzeit of Rabbi Shmuel Eidels, the Maharsha (1555–1631), famous Talmudic commentator.
Friday night-Saturday 28-29 November / 7 Kislev
Torah reading: Gen. 28:10-32:3. Haftara: Hosea 12:13-14:10 (Optional addition: Micah 7.18); Sephardi ritual: Hosea 11:7-12.12.
Just as the festival of Shavuot falls 50 days after Pesach, so it would have been fitting for Shemini Atzeret to be celebrated today, 50 days after Succot, except that this would have been burdensome to Israel, who needed to return home from the Succot pilgrim festival in Jerusalem before the onset of the rains. For this reason the Torah placed the actual celebration of Shemini Atzeret one day after Succot. Nevertheless, today has the potential of a festival akin to Shavuot, time of the Giving of the Torah, and is propitious for ascent in Torah and service of G-d.