The Hebrew Letter "Samech,"
bound to the month of Kislev.

Ninth month of the Jewish year, late fall.

"Month of the rainclouds" in Akkadian,
the skies in the Land now open their gates,
watering the fields.

Time of deepest night, within it's silky depths,
a 'pocket' of heart *

Sense of this moon-Sheinah, sleep
arrives just as in Torah Jacob rests,
dreaming of a ladder reaching heavenward,
wrestles with an angel in the night.

Sleep carries us
to the river
of the unconscious,
to territories both known and unfamiliar,
to a place without time running through it,
messages lie in wait of us,
knocking upon our doors, seeking entry,

whispering things we may know,
but haven't yet allowed ourselves to fully receive.

The vast sea of dream shimmers in the night,
wishing to speak, trying to reach us,

in this ninth month,
for new awarenesses are ready to birth.


*Some drash, interpret the name of this month from the words found within it,
'Kis,'  meaning pocket, and 'lev,' heart.
*Sheinah, Sefer Yetzirah 5:1, the sense of this moon

Part of the body linke with this month-Kivah, the pancreas,
serves as our chariot.

For digesting a good meal, folklore says,
transports us
to sleep.

* Sefer Yetzirah: pg.213-214: Midrash speaks of Kivah associated with "a sleep of sweetness";
Talmud and Zohar teach the Kivah's purpose is to induce sleep.

Numerical value of Samech, letter of this moon-Sixty
Brings to mind lines in Talmud,
that experiences of this world instruct us of worlds unseen.

"Fire is one-sixtieth of purgatory,
honey, one-sixtieth of manna....
dream, one-sixtieth of prophecy."

For dreams can gift us vision beyond that which we can see,
that we might
rectify our lives,
get on track,
to better fulfill
our purpose here on earth.


Barchot 57a "Fire is one-sixtieth of purgatory, honey is one sixtieth of manna,
Shabbat is one sixtieth of the World to Come, sleep is one sixtieth of death, and dream is one sixtieth of prophecy."

House of this moon-Derech, travel

Others who've traveled before us, carved out a road. 
And while the way ahead is faint now, due to the increasing night, it is yet still visible,
if we search.

The path beckons.

Sky-sign of this Month-Keshet, the Archer, 
appears, on horseback riding through the night,
galloping bravely through wild terrain
teaching it's time for us to do the same. 

Drawing back her bow, arrow pointing towards the stars,
she pierces the evening's sky, 
illuminating the way for us.

*See Sefer Yetzirah, A Dictionary of Symbols

Samech, hebrew letter of this moon
Her shape

closed and round,
a wedding ring.

Tells us that as we travel 
we're not alone.

We've a Partner by our side,
Who has our back.

Reminds us that we are linked to Another.

"The end is wrapped in the beginning," *
she teaches, the cycle is continual.

"Embark  fearlessly on the road ahead.
You won't be abandoned in dream-scape." she sings,
"You will emerge from your wanderings,
better able to find your way

* Sefer Yetzirah 1:7: "Their end is enwedged in their beginning and their beginning in their end."
*The Aleph-Beit by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh: Samech as wedding ring, tradition in kabbalah.
*The endless cycle: Ecclesiastes 3:11

Tribe linked to this Month-Benjamin, 
the youngest of twelve brothers,   
the son of his fathers right side,' 

He stands in the west, place of setting sun,
joining Manasseh and Ephraim round the Mishcan.*
The symbol of the wolf embroidered on his banner,
creature able to see in the dark,
who's fierce and loyal to his pack,
in mythology, the wolf's known
as a conductor of souls
to other worlds.

He joins us in travel now, our protector.


*Zevachim 118b: Link with the West and the Shechina.
*Genesis 35:17: Benjamin's birth and receiving his name.
*Mishcan: the name of the Tent built in the wilderness as the Israelites made their way to the Promised Land, which traveled in their center, within it the ark and tablets of commands.
*Benjamin's blessings: Genesis 49:27: ravenous wolf, dividing his spoil;
*Deuteronomy 33: 12: "Beloved of God, he rests securely beside Him. Ever does God protect him, as he rests between God's shoulders."

*Midrash Rabbah Numbers 2:10: The place of the West round the Mishcan and the brothers who stood there.
*Maimonides comments that the strength of these three tribes enable them to withstand the weather.

Angel of this moon-Maduniel

"Strive with me.
Pitch all your might against me, pull me to the ground.
Feel my weight, my breath.
Call your strength, your power, your will,
forth to battle.

We stand at a crossroad, the River Yavok,*
facing each other.

I, Guardian of the way,
was placed here.

That you might confront the fears which block you
from moving forward
in ways you need to now in your life.

I serve your Source
and I serve you.

wrestle me to the ground.

Then I
shall bless you."

* Sefer Yetzirah translated by Aryeh Kaplan
*Drashed Madan: strife, contention
*River Yavok, where Jacob wrestled with a man-angel-the night he stayed alone before meeting his brother Esau, who had sworn long ago he would kill Jacob for conniving to gain his birthright as well as his blessing.

Holiday of this Month-Chanuka
reminds us that

Yisrael, bear wrestling within our name.*

Our ancestors in Kislev wrestled within themselves,
against their kin,
with the lures of foreign culture.

Resulting in war, in victory,
in return of land and sanctuary,
in re-dedication

of both soil and soul.

This holiday rises in the last six days of this month,
as the moon slips away into night.
Our dreaming and traveling, almost near their end,
we then are ready to kindle light.

Each night we add another flame.
Both we and the night

*Yisrael is broken into the meanings of 'wrestlers with God"


So we enter this pocket of time and open our hearts.
Undertaking the journey,
we travel, slipping into the world of dream.

Sleep, our transport,

the Samech, our comfort,
as we drink the meed of prophecy.

The wolf, our trusty escort, stands by our sides 

as we wrestle our angels,
coming forth therefrom, limping perhaps,
but strangely whole.

having claimed our deepest name,
ready at moons end,
to kindle

Words with Samech

Savah: Elder, grandfather                    Savtah: Grandmother           Siddur: Prayerbook
Sahar: Crescent moon                            Sohar: Prison                        Sod: Secret
Some: Blind                                            Sus: Horse                             Suf: Reed, bulrush
Sukkah: fragile temporary dwelling      Sofer: Scribe                        Sal: Basket
Sulam: Ladder                                       Selaa: Cliff, rock                 Sandal: Sandel
S'neh: Thorn-bush                                 Seudah: Meal, feast, repast
Se'irah: Tempest, storm, gale                Sipur: Story, tale                  Sefer: Book

Weavings with the words

In this time where secrets hide, we travel to inner places.

Mounting silver horses at midnight, we gallop into the heart of the desert.
Removing our sandals, we sit near the thorn-bush, all aflame,
seeing ladders connecting earth and heaven.

Entering ancestral circles, we sit near the fires of our elders, our grandmothers,
who share with us their repasts.
We listen to their wisdoms as winter storms whistle wildly outside their caves
carved from rock.

In the light of the crescent moon we scribe their tales which bid us,
break free from our prisons, and move, gropingly, towards the light.

The ancient mothers then bequeath us hidden prayer-books
tucked into baskets woven from bulrushes,
as they urge us to claim our true freedom. 

Samech Verbs


Saval: To suffer, bear, endure                    Sagar: To close, shut, lock up
Sadar: To put into order                              Sur: To turn aside
Siyem: To finish, end                                    Siyeir: To tour, visit
Sacach: To screen, cover, shelter, hide      Salach: To pardon, forgive
Samach: To rely, trust in, support            Saaad: To assist, succor, support, lean upon
Safar: To number, count


As darkness rises, suffering increases,
as parts of ourselves desperately try to create order,
so as not to go to these places.
We close them away, hoping the pain will end if we don't open the door.

Yet this moon instructs, "Now is the time to visit there.
I will support you. Lean on me, and I will be with you.
For the darkness offers opportunities to look, see what pieces are ready for pardon.
This is the work in the dark of this moon.

Pluck the fruits now ripe and distribute them.
For I tell you, there will be gifts beyond numbering,
which will turn into bright lights in the night sky,
singing crystal lullabies, wooing you to sweet sleep and peace."

More Samech words

Savlanut: Patience                             Sacanah: Danger, peril, hazard
Sefek: Doubt                                         Satan: Accuser angel
Sambatyon: River beyond which the ten tribes dwell                                       
Sandak: Holder of a boy on his brit
Sefirot: Spheres of spiritual energy from Kabbalah

More spinnings from the words

In our bones we know this time contains seeds of change.

For darkness was seen as a time of danger, wherein Satan lurked.
Yet women know within darkness, life is borne, there, in the dream-time.
Women have learned to wait for things to be revealed, knowing patience most times is well-rewarded.

And when doubts loom, listen for the splashing waters of the Sambatyon,
and remember, there are worlds we cannot see,
as the sefirot dance within and around us, invisible to the untrained heart.

This is a time of mystery, of healing.
This a time of rest.
This a time of transformation.