November 2016 overlaps with the Jewish calendar’s month of Cheshvan 5777, a month that typically flies by our Jewish communities unrecognized for its sparseness of holidays and gatherings. Many even refer to Cheshvan as Marchesvan, or the bitter month. Bitter due to its lack of celebration and structured time of reflection. However, we have the opportunity to redefine this bitterness and time of isolation as into something more productive and rejuvenating. I have been inspired by the earth and by our farm here at Ekar to re-envision Cheshvan.
For Cheshvan, I’d like to call for a Hebrew Hibernation.
In this month with no major Jewish commitments beyond our weekly Shabbos and monthly Rosh Chodesh observance, let’s take this space and time to hibernate. Let’s be like the garlic, shallots, and other bulbs that have been planted this month and begin to regain strength and take comfort in the warmth from ourselves, our communities, and our environment. Especially in this historic time as a country, with uncertainty about the future due to the outcome of a tense election, let us take time to decompress and evaluate our role in the world. How can we harness our energy to make the world a better place? How can we better engage in our society to fight for justice, peace, and understanding? This is the time to recuperate the bitterness of the world and dig for hope amongst the chaos. Let’s burrow into stillness and find honorable ways to react to our surroundings.
To hibernate is not to hide. To hibernate is not to recoil. To hibernate is not to eliminate yourself from the equation.
To hibernate is to dive deeper into the ground. To hibernate is to hold closer onto the things you hold dear. To hibernate is to bond with the earth, the people, and the spirits that ignite our souls.
Hibernate with me this Cheshvan to grow stronger, brighter, and healthier.