Askmoses-A Jews Resource
Why do we pour wine out of the cup at the Seder?
Browse our archives

The Scholar is ready to answer your question. Click the button below to chat now.

Scholar Online:

Type in your question here:

Click the button below to either CHAT LIVE with an AskMoses Scholar now - or - leave a message if no Scholar is currently online.


Why was the word “mar” added to Cheshvan?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus


Library » Miscellaneous » The Jewish Calendar | Subscribe | What is RSS?


Mar has two meanings: “bitter” and “drop”—as in a drop of water.

The month of Cheshvan has a pretty bitter history for the world and the Jewish people, starting as far back as Noah’s flood which the Torah says began in Cheshvan, and continuing down through the ages. Cheshvan is also a month that is completely void of any joyous festivals or holidays—in stark contrast to its predecessor, Tishrei, which is filled with holidays (Rosh Hashanah etc.).

But “mar” meaning “drop” refers also to the rainwaters the world thirsts for during Cheshvan. Thus Cheshvan also corresponds to the constellation of Scorpio, just as the scorpion thirsts for water.

Source: Sefer Hatoda’ah

[Cheshvan, the challenge of living in the “real” world, outside the spiritual environment of Tishrei seems like a descent, a bitter pill. But it is only through this descent, this challenge, that we can reach the ultimate ascent—the “mar” in the sense of water.]

TAGS: mar cheshvan


Please email me when new comments are posted (you must be  logged in).
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year. An early autumn two day holiday marking the creation of Adam and Eve. On this day we hear the blasts of the ram's horn and accept G-d's sovereignty upon ourselves and the world. On Rosh Hashanah we pray that G-d should grant us all a sweet New Year.
The seventh month of the Jewish calendar. This month, which arrives in early autumn, has more holidays than any other month: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah.
The eighth month of the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to October-November.
Tenth generation from Adam. Of all humankind, only he and his family survived the Flood which destroyed all civilization in the year 2106 BCE.