Articles for Jewish Mother’s Day – 11th of Cheshvan
The figure of our matriarch Rachel is the one most associated in Kabbalah with the building of Jewish nature, the inbred character of an individual who walks willingly and naturally in the path of God. Jewish nature and character—best exemplified by our patriarchs and matriarchs—calls upon an individual to perform God’s will out of his or her own accord, a state described by the sages as “acting without dictation [from Above].” Just as our matriarch Eve, “the mother of all life,” is the mother of human nature, so our matriarch Rachel is the mother of our unique Jewish nature.
Rachel is the spiritual matriarch of the Jewish People who are scattered throughout the world. Rachel personifies the cry for the spiritual and physical return of all Jews. Rachel is she who refuses to be comforted until the ingathering of her children is realized (see Jeremiah 31:14). Following is a deeper understanding of the symbolism connected with Rachel Imenu, Rachel our matriarch.
Although Rachel is the mother of only two of the twelve tribes of Israel—Joseph and Benjamin, Rachel is considered the mother of the entire Jewish people. While Rachel cries for all her children, there is one specific child who she prays for the most. He is the son who is considered absent, or the most distanced from the fold of the Jewish people.
In the Torah portions read during the month of Cheshvan, the three Patriarchs of the Jewish nation, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, appear for the first time. In accordance with the well-known principle that one should live with the times (referring to the weekly Torah portion), the month of Cheshvan is the proper time for strengthening our identification with our Forefathers with the purpose of strengthening our service of G-d.
The Reconstructing Rachel: Returning to Jewish Nature Series
Notable Dates in Cheshvan
5 Cheshvan – Rebbe Klonimus Kalman Shapira of Piasetzna (Yahrzeit 5704)
11 Cheshvan – Rachel, our matriarch (Yahrzeit)
11 Cheshvan – Rebbe Menachem Nochum of Chernobyl (Yarhzeit 5558)
12 Cheshvan – Rebbe Ze’ev Volf Kitzes, student of the Ba’al Shem Tov (Yahrzeit 5549)
13 Cheshvan – Rebbe Baruch of Kosov (Yahrzeit 5542)
17 Cheshvan – Rebbe Menachem Mendel (Hager) of Kosov (Yahrzeit 5586)
20 Cheshvan – Rebbe Shalom Dov Ber, 5th Rebbe of Lubavitch (Birthday 5621)