The lunar month of Cheshvan begins tomorrow night.
Cheshvan is a rare thing on the Jewish calendar: an entire month without any holidays at all (except, of course, for Shabbat.) Especially after the whirlwind of the Days of Awe, this can feel either like a relief or like a let-down. The rabbis called this month Mar-Cheshvan — “Bitter Cheshvan” — because it contains no holidays. But Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, may his memory be a blessing, used to reverse the word Mar into Ram, which means “elevated.” This can be an elevated month, a high and holy month for us, even without special celebrations.
Our Song for the Month this month is a setting of one line of Psalm 92. The melody is by Rabbi Shefa Gold, and can be found on her cd Chants Encounter. Here it is:
part 1: Hallelujah, hallelujah
Part 2: Mah gadlu ma’asecha Yah, me’od amku machshevotecha!
(Translation: How great are Your works, God; Your thoughts are very deep!)
If you can’t see the embedded audio player, you can go directly to the recording or download it from https://congregationbethisrael.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/mahgadlu-gold.mp3
We’ll sing this during our Family Shabbat service / special Shabbat honoring 30-year members at CBI this coming Saturday, and will sing it at other Shabbat morning services during this month as well.
Wishing you a sweet month of Cheshvan!