In Kislev, To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

In Kislev, To Sleep, Perchance to Dream


Dr. Terry Segal’s New Moon Meditations /

Rosh Chodesh Kislev begins at sundown Wednesday, Nov. 11.

Dr. Terry Segal
Dr. Terry Segal

Kislev’s Zodiac sign is Sagittarius. The Hebrew letter is samech, tribe Benjamin, sense sleep, and controlling organ belly.

We look for divine sparks to light the dark nights this month. It’s a time of contrast. Cheshvan was about the floodwaters; Kislev is about the rainbow that follows. There is brightness from the Festival of Lights but also the darkness of winter, with its sleepy hibernation and decreased light from the sun.

Kislev is often referred to as the Month of Miracles, but it’s also a month of dreams and dreamers. The Torah portions of Kislev contain most of the dreams mentioned in the entire Torah. The Book of Genesis has 10 detailed dreams by seven dreamers.

Our task is to feel peaceful and trusting of HaShem to allow us, like babies, to curl up and dream in a deeply relaxed state. However, we must also awaken to be a light in the world rather than stay asleep, lethargic, apathetic or complacent.

Sagittarius in Hebrew is Keshet, or rainbow, and is represented by the archer, who is half-man, half-horse.

Each of us possesses the aspects of every sign. Sagittarians are good-hearted, justice- and peace-seeking intellectuals who are creative and lively, often forging their own paths. They’re known for speaking their truth, which may be considered blunt or hurtful by some. The energy of the Maccabees mirrors the Sagittarian soul.

There are two Hebrew letters that rule each month, their frequencies enabling us to achieve spiritual abundance.

Sagittarius, ruled by the letter samech, is associated with trust and supporting the fallen. Kislev’s planet, Jupiter, a symbol of bliss and good fortune, has gimel as its letter, representing those willing to share with others who are less fortunate.

The tribe is Benjamin, the 12th son of Jacob and the only one born in the Promised Land. Joy and sorrow coexisted as the world received Benjamin but had to release his mother, Rachel, as she died in childbirth. Benjamin grew, like the archer, to be gifted in the art of using a bow.

Sleep is the sense this month, achieved when we feel safe in HaShem’s watching over us. Often, dreams inspire us. The etymology of the word “inspiration” is “immediate influence of G-d or a god.” It’s inhaling or breathing in spirit. When we sleep, G-d breathes into us.

Psychologically, dreams represent unresolved issues with which the unconscious mind wrestles. Sometimes we’re given a new perspective, insight, or warnings of danger or impending doom. When we have an important decision to make, we say that we need to sleep on it.

In dreams we can fly, leap to rooftops and read the thoughts of others. When we awaken, it’s as if we have gone back to sleep, appearing to be less than we were in the dream. During Kislev, we must relax into the darkness, dream, but awaken into the light, move into action and expand ourselves toward our purpose.

The controlling organ is the belly, which can reference the stomach, large intestine (yang, or masculine energy organs) or the womb (feminine).

In Maslow’s theory of hierarchy, which stretches from physiological needs to self-actualization, the basic hunger in the belly must be met before loftier ideals of becoming moral, creative, spontaneous, and for the self and others can be realized.

But we don’t need to eat a Thanksgiving meal to be full. We can learn to feel satiated and content with whatever we have. As written in Pirkei Avot, “Who is rich? He who is satisfied with his lot.”

Whether with food or wisdom, we have the responsibility to feed others when we feed ourselves. Staying in the dark is isolating, but when we become the light, we can feed the world.

Meditation focus: Go into the darkness, be still, and dream your dreams. Get clear on the vision of who you are and what you are here to do. Then emerge as a candle flame and bringer of light. What are your gifts that you can shine outward to create miracles in the world?

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