Dear Friend,

Look outside tonight and you’ll see a small sliver of a moon. We’ve just begun a new Jewish month: Marcheshvan, often called Cheshvan.

Notice how the first syllable of the word was lobbed off in common parlance? This is because the Hebrew word “mar” means “bitter” and we don’t want to call a month bitter—even one woefully bereft of holidays like this one.

“Mar” also means “droplet,” alluding to the many raindrops we expect to fall this much-needed rainy season in Israel.

Taken together, these two meanings offer a wondrous lesson. Even when things turn bitter, remember that your troubles are like a drop of rain, soon to run off and nourishing at the core.

Here’s to a month that is all nourishment and no bitterness (oh, and not too much rain when I have a long walk to synagogue on Shabbat)!

Menachem Posner
on behalf of the Editorial Team