The Hebrew Letter "Ayin"
bound to the Month of Tevet.

Tenth Month of the Jewish Year, Early-Winter.

Flowing winter rains mark Tevet, "the month of sinking in." 
So you are called to saturate her teachings.

Water, mud, and darkness,
the tools and conditions,
from which, by which, to
Re-Create yourself,
your life.

And as the wild storms sweep in,
as winds shriek through the trees, rattle the shutters,
shake the frames, threatening complete dismantlement,
here you meet
the sense of this moon,
rogaz, rage-depression.

Pointing to inner storms. 
Fires that lie beyond anger.
Reactions disproportionate to the event.
Signaling that which lies below the surface.

This moon calls you to face these.
To attend to them.

*Rogaz, anger, Sefer Yetzirah pg. 217
*Ecclesiastes 7:9: Be not quick to anger, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.
*Proverbs 16:32: Better to be slow to anger than mighty, better to have self-control
than to conquer a city.
* Maimonides, excerpts, Mishnah Torah, Hilchot De'ot, 2:3: Anger is an exceedingly bad passion and should be
avoided in the extreme...The ancient sages said,"One who is angry is as if one worshipped idols."
Babylonian Talmud Pesachim 66b...One should train oneself to be unmoved even by things that would
naturally provoke anger.
This is a good way.

With the task, comes the means.
So rises malchut, goverance, the
house of this moon.
For it is imperative to not allow these forces to rule you.

Malchut calls you now to truth-tell.

To reach below the layers where rage-depression live
and listen to their voices, to their words.

Malchut instructs you to not do harm. 
To cease causing destruction, to others, to self.

Stop blaming.
Own your part in this dance. 
Step aside. 
See, hear, listen. 
Open the door of self-awareness,

It's your job.
To govern yourself.

*Sefer Yetzirah pg. 198
*Webster Dictionary: pg 358: "Govern...means to exercise power or authority in controlling others; Govern
connotes at its end a keeping a straight course or smoother operation for the good of the individual and the whole.

So your own inner resources rise to help.
Kaved, part of your body linked with this moon,
your liver, comes to the fore.
This part which produces bile, linked with anger,
detoxifies harmful substances in the blood, 
and aids and distributes energy.

It's time to detoxify the harmfulness of your responses.
To better use your energies to build 
increased life.

Weighty teachings these.
Requiring rigorous work to respond differently.
Create a life worthy
of honor.*

So like Chinese medicine teaches, summon your liver, your "Commander,"
whose duty it is to keep physical, emotional, and spiritual needs in balance.
Just as a leader is responsible for the well-being of their troops,
so too are you. 

* Sefer Yetzirah: pg.218.
*The liver, weight, honor share the same Hebrew root.
* See the Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Nursing; A Dictionary of Symbols; Chinese Medicine
for Maximum Immunity

Ayin, hebrew letter of this moon,
now approaches, stepping forth now, regally. 
Bearing a crown
, * punctuating her importance,
she holds a protective weapon,* in her form.*

"Open your eyes," she says, " and deeply see.
Yourself, your situation, fully. See your shadows in play.

Use your sight, your insight, and different ways of seeing.
For there's always more taking place.

And remember, while doing this grueling work,  
that no matter how hard this task is,
goodness shimmers in this world,
lying in wait, for you.*

*The rabbis saw a Zayin in the arm of Ayin, the zayin meaning and in the shape of a weapon.
Ayin, the name of this letter is also the name of a Hebrew word meaning 'eye'.
*Rabbi Munk, pg.177: "the gematria of the two letters, the zayin and the yod is seventeen, the same gematria
as tov, good."

The rabbis saw tucked into Ayin's shape, the zayin and yud *
whose gematria equals the word, tov, good.

Seventy, the numerical value of the ayin
also holds aid.
For when enraged-depressed,
we see one picture, one path, one interpretation.

70, Ayin's gematria reminds us,
there are hosts of different ways of seeing.

Seventy nations exist in the world,

seventy souls of Israel descended from Jacob,
seventy names we have for God,
seventy faces lie in Torah,
seventy elders guided Moses,
and later seventy composed the Sanhedrin.

Open your eyes.
Rage-depression can shift.

It's all how you see,
how your mind frames happenings.

Seventy nations, Noah's seventy descents: Genesis 10 and 11
Seventy souls of Israel, descent of Jacob: Exodus 1:1-5
Seventy elders: Numbers 11:24
Seventy sages of the Sanhedrin:  Sanhedrin 1:6
God's seventy names: Bamidbar Rabbah 14:24
Seventy faces of Torah: Bamidbar Rabbah 13: 15

Gedi, the kid, sky-sign of this moon
too comes to your aid. 

For it was the kid
who stepped forward on our day of atonement long ago,
to champion us as we sought atonement for our misdeeds.
One goat walked out in the wilderness, the other was offered up for us as sacrifice.

And it was the kid's skin which covered the Mishcan, spiritual meeting place,
which served as protective covering.

The kid whose milk gives nourishment,
whose horns curls in the shape of the changing moon.
Our companion, protector, there by our sides.

Gedi, Sefer Yetzirah pg.217
*See A Dictionary of Symbols, A Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects
* Leviticus 16:5 "And he saw take of the congregation of the children of Israel two he-goats for a sin-offering...."
*Exodus 26:7, " And you shall make curtains of goats hair for a tent over the tabernacles" Hertz pg.331
"To protect the finely-spun curtains from dust and rain..."

Shaniel, Angel of this moon
joins us now too,
whose name bears the word 'change'.

This angel calls,
"You can change your responses.
Change is possible and is needed.
And spiritual reinforcements are here to help you.

In darkness, seeds of light are planted.

I will roll off the stone that covers your inner well,
that lies on the mouth of the springs of your heart.

So your desire for life
can rush forth freely once more.

I will remove that which blocks you from the full blessings of life.

I come as mid-wife, coach,
and will stay by your side through your labor,
reminding you to breathe.

I'll rub your back as the pain rises,
as you rid yourself of that which no longer serves you.

And I'll be there when you're left vulnerable,
after shedding that which you know well.

I'll catch you and guide you through this journey.
I'll clear your passages so your cry can be heard.

I'll walk by your side as you claim,
all who you are
and all you truly can be.

* Sefer Yetzirah translated by Aryeh Kaplan
*Drashed L'Shanot: to change

Dan, Tribe of this Moon
joins the others adding his gifts.
Dan's gift is that of wise judgment.

And belief in us.
That we can transform the
serpent embroidered on his emerald banner,
who raises her head to strike, as deadly as rage,
to one who drapes herself on a brass staff, halting plague,
bearing the promise of healing.

So the serpent appears, both warning and potential.
To make wise choices.

Dan's able to find what is lost, Midrash teaches.*
So we can do the same.

He stood on the North side of the Mishcan,
the side of darkness,
and comes to our aid, pointing the way
towards redemption, when we are lost,
towards judgment, when ours has departed,
towards healing.



*Genesis 30: 3 Dan's birth and Rachel's naming him, "God has judged me, heard my voice, given me a son!"
his name stems from judgment.

* Genesis 49: 16: Dan as snake; Midrash Rabbah Numbers 2:7: flag
*Dan returning that which is lost: Y. Eruvin 5:1
*Idolatry and standing on the North side: Midrash Rabbah Numbers 2:10.
*Symbols of snake, the ouroboros: A Dictionary of Symbols

As Tevet opens, on her very first night,
so the holiday of Chanuka, comes to her end,
the Chanukiahstanding,
all her lights aglow.

Time of Rededication, testimony and inspiration culminates 
all her lights aflame,
a beacon as we engage in the work of this moon.

That we too can glow.
We too can shine.
This is our promise
and this is
our destiny.

The first day of Tevet, Rosh Chodesh, which begins in the evening, we light all eight candles
as well as the shamash, the ninth.


As the winds and waters penetrate our beings,
as the storms wildly roam like ruffians
taking hostages as they sweep through,
we're invoked  
not to do the same.

For we've the capacity, proclivity to do so.
The pressure systems cook within us
as powerfully as they do without.

But we were formed with will, with the ability to make choices,
with the power to gain help,
and now we're called to exercise these.

So the kid walks by our side, 
the serpent twines on Mose's Staff,
and the angel of change accompanies us,

noble and inspiring companions they.

While our inner lights all shine.
Illuminating the way.

Words with Ayin-Musings

Av: Cloud                                       Ehved: Slave, servant          Avodah: Divine service
Averah: Sin, transgression             Igul: Circle                           Agur: Crane
Ehgel: Calf                                     Ehd: Witness                       Ehdah: Community
Ehder: Flock, herd                         Olam: World, universe        Ohf: Bird, fowl
Eiver: Blind                                    Or: Skin                               Orev: Raven, crow
Oz: Strength, power                        Ahz: Goat                           Eht: Pen
Atarah: Crown                               Aiyin: Eye                            Ir: Town, city
Ehrom: Naked                               Achavim: Spiders                 Achbar: Mouse
Eimek: Valley                                 Ani: Poor                             Anaf: Branch
Afar: Dust, dried earth                  Eitz: Tree                             Aitzah: Advise, counsel
Eitzem: Bone                                  Ahpav: Buzzard                   Achrav: Scorpion
Erev: Evening                                Aravah: Dried land, desert  Aravah: Willow
Arafel: Fog, mist                            Ehsev: Grass, herb             Eht: Time, season
Ahmood: Pillar                               Ekar: Root, foundation       Ohgen: Anchor
Anavim: Grapes

Agunah: Woman whose husband has not released her to re-marry, chained women

In this time of evening as the birds fly overhead, and the flocks move homeward,
as the clouds catch last light of day,
the circles of our lives come round in new ways.

We stand as witness to our lives, pens in hand,
open to our blindness, aware of our sins, holding our power,
and we walk nakedly through the dust, through the deserts of our lives.

Traveling we through the mists, the valleys, cities, communities,
through to the center of our universes.

In our skin, stripped down to the bone, we release our anchors,
that we might find our true foundations.

Then we open our eyes, crowned with light, as we seek our way in this time.
Servants ready for Divine service.

Creatures accompany us, each bringing their wisdoms,
the raven, the mouse, the spider, the crane,
the newly born calf, the goat, the scorpion, the buzzard,
all, there to give us their counsel.

We sleep beneath the willow trees, amidst the herbs of the fields,
the scent of the grapes fragrance fills our dreams, as the branches overhead sing.

We, poor ones, are the pillars of the world.  
We are chained women, we are free agents, all. 

We're on route, coming to our fruition, into our full spiritual strength,
ready now to grasp the tree of Life.

Avar: To pass over                      Eiver: To become pregnant       Uf: Fly, soar
Uor: To awaken, wake up          Azav: To leave, abandon
Ahzar: To help, assist, succor     Ahtaf: To cloak, wrap, cover
Ahyeif: Tired, fatigued               Ahlah: To go up, ascend, climb
Ahmad: Stand                            Ehmeitz: Close the eyes of the dying
Ahnah: Answer                          Ahnash: Punish
Ahtzav: Grieve, sad, sorrow      Ahtzal: Lazy, lethargy
Atzar: Stop, halt                        Ahkar: Barren, sterile
Ahrach: Arrange, put in order  Ahsah: To do, make
Ahlam: Disappear, vanish, be hidden, concealed

We arrange our lives, to do all that need be done.
We've learned not to punish ourselves for that which didn't happen.
We learn and relearn the art of stopping.
Stand for what we believe in. Respond to that needed to be answered.

The things barren, we've grieved.

We no longer wish to delay. We're tired from the way we've lived our lives.
We no longer wish to be hidden.

We've helped those we could aid, we've closed the eyes of the dying.
We've cloaked those naked.

It's time to move from our own lethargy of dealing with that which binds us.

We're pregnant now, with readiness to ascend, to fly, to pass over.
It's time, now, to awaken.

Ahz: Strong, powerful              Ahmok: Deep, profound     Oneg: pleasure, enjoyment
Ahnavah: Modesty, humility    Ahsuk: Busy                       Ahshir: Rich, wealthy
Ahsak: Oppressed, exploit       Atid: Future                       Atik: Ancient, old
Eden                                       Amalek: cruel people          Esau

In this time of darkness we move into the deep places,
memories of Eden, of deep wild beauty, well.

There we meet our inner Esau, our cruel, destructive Amalek, who exploited his power.
In the quiet of the year it's busy within.

The ancient parts call out, rich with beauty and with caution,
calling us to walk modestly, to retain our humble place within this world,
as well beckoning us to savor deeply, each moment with which we are graced, the pleasures of this earth.

For with each step, each action, each choice, we build our future.