The Jewish Year

Shevat: The Month of Salvation and Miracles

The month of Shevat (which starts today) is a special month that has great salvations hidden inside it. Shevat is the month of miracles, blooming and renewal. Shevat means stick in Hebrew, like the stick of salvation that can literally rest in your hands.

Our sages tell us that there were 10 things G-d created at the end of the 6 days of creation right before the onset of the first Shabbat in the world. Among them was the staff with G-d’s name engraved on it which Moses used upon leaving Egypt.  Before leaving the Garden of Eden Adam took a branch from the tree of knowledge and that is the staff that went from Adam to Enoch. Enoch gave it to Noah who gave it to Shem who gave to Abraham to Isaac to Jacob. Of This staff Jacob said: “With my staff I crossed this Jordan River (and now I am two encampments)”…

The staff went to Yehuda and was given as collateral to Tamar. It got to Yosef in Egypt and when Yosef dies all his possessions were taken to Pharaoh’s palace including the staff. Yitro who was one of Pharaoh’s astrologers saw the staff with the letters engraved on it and he desired it for himself. He took it and planted it in his garden in Midian. The Midrash says that no one could approach the staff and remove it from its place until Moses came along.

Moses goes to Yitro’s house and prays in the garden. He notices the staff (made of sapphire) planted in the garden. He approached it and saw the name of G-d engraved on it. He took it out easily and it became something always with him and ultimately something inseparable from the process of redemption which continues till this very day. The staff will be given to Moshiach in the final redemption, we hope real soon.

As we said Shevat is the ‘month of the staff’. In this month the Torah portions are full of the miracles of the redemption and exodus from Egypt; the 10 plagues, the splitting of the red sea, the song on the red sea, receiving Egypt’s wealth at the red sea, receiving the manna and the clouds of glory that surrounded and protected the children of Israel in the desert.

This month is auspicious for wisdom. Moses in his last 40 days of his life gathered all of the children of Israel with great love and reviewed the entire Torah with them going over all its commandments. He gave them the book of Deuteronomy in those 40 days which was in preparation for their entering into the holy land to receive it as their inheritance and eternal home.

Those last days until the 7th of Adar when Moses passed away he lovingly prepared the nation with the love of a father for his children. Our sages say about the time from the first of Shevat until the 7th of Adar that they are considered like the day of the giving of the Torah. These days are auspicious to know and understand and offer a great potential for renewal as new wellsprings of Torah start to open in our hearts and flow.

May we merit salvations and renewal! Have a great month!
 

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