I'm really angry right now!
Nah, it's just Tevet.
Tevet is another one of those Hebrew months that makes me go “Huh? What’s that one again?” every time it rolls around, so I did some research in my weekly quest to provide you with Jewish content!
This month is a dark one! The Festival of Lights comes to a close, there are no chagim (holidays), it’s the month when both sieges of ancient Jerusalem took place, and it’s in the middle of winter, the worst time of year in my (and everyone else’s) opinion. Because of this, it’s one of the three negative months in the Hebrew calendar, right up there with Tammuz and Av.
Last month, Kislev, we focused on our dreams. Tevet is the time to focus inward on anger and any other negative emotions that may be bubbling up inside us. That’s not an excuse to text your friend and tell her she should apologize for borrowing your favorite dress and shrinking it in the wash, nor is it a reason to curse your roommate out for not coughing up their half of the electricity bill, but rather the time to ruminate on your deeper and darker emotions you may have, and what you can learn from them. It’s like self-therapy!
On the downside: apparently people born in this month struggle to be happy. They constantly worry and have a hard time letting things go.
On the flipside: according to the Talmud, this is the month in which “the body takes pleasure from the body,” since it was during this cold month that Esther was summoned to King Ahasuerus’s palace. Did you know Jews invented cuffing season? Get your freak on!
It feels like a juxtaposition to focus on anger and negative emotions when it’s almost the new year and everyone is trying to turn a new leaf and form new habits and all that. I guess that’s why we follow our own calendar and not the Gregorian one, eh? Who needs toxic positivity anyway!
What about you? Is there anything you’re feeling, or for that matter, trying not to feel? Consider these questions:
If you’re feeling angry, is that anger productive, or is it hurting you?
What can you learn about yourself from your anger?
How can you take your anger and transform it into change, whether societal or personal?
Perhaps take the time to journal extra this time of year. And turn negative emotions into creativity, or listen to this Jewish meditation on Tevet.
🦾Since starting this newsletter a couple months ago, I’ve more than doubled my initial readership. I’m so excited to continue the journey in the new year with you. I’ve got plans in store, especially if you live in the NYC area!
🙏A new subscriber recently asked me how to donate. But all I ask is if you like what you read, please pass it along to a friend, and be sure to like, comment, engage. It would mean the world to me.
❗I’m seeking guest contributors! If you or anyone you know has an interesting Jewish connection or story, or a different Jewish perspective, I’d love to feature or interview you.
What are you doing this Shabbat, the last of 2022? In my Tevet research, I read that people born in this month are also connected to the earth/physicality, and they have a knack for manifestation. It just so happens that weeks ago, my friend and I planned a Shabbat dinner for tonight where we’re going to manifest and map out what we want our next year to look like! While we weren’t born in the month of Tevet, I like to think that’s all connected somehow. Here’s to manifesting thousands of subscribers!
Wishing you a happy and healthy new year.
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