We are about to enter the Jewish month of Kislev. In the Tanach, Kislev is referred to as the ninth month, as it is the ninth month after Nisan. Although most famous for having Chanukah within it, Kislev is also a month with significant Biblical happenings.
The first rainbow, observed after the Flood, was seen in Kislev. “And G-d said: ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I set between Me, and yourselves, and between every living being that is with you, unto eternal generations. I have placed my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of a covenant between Me and the Earth.’ ” “This is the sign of the covenant” – G-d showed Noah the rainbow and said to Him: “This is the sign of which I spoke” (Bereishit 9).
Kislev is then, thematically, an appropriate month to console after tragedy.
As the days get shorter and the nights longer, it is natural to feel a lull in our growth and psyche. Yet, the darkest hour is just before the dawn and embedded in the Torah’s experience of time, is this very idea. We leave the darkness of Mar Cheshvan (lit. bitter Cheshvan) into the light of Kislev which is crowned by the holiday of Chanukah.
May we consoled by the great light of a time where “nation shall not lift up sword against nation” and humanity will be overcome by a great love for each other.