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The Jewish Month Kislev and Tevet -- Hanukka and Beyond

Updated on November 10, 2014

Kislev -- the Month for Hanukka

In the Jewish year, Hanukka is unique in that it is the only holiday that runs from one month to the next.

All other Jewish holidays occur in only one Jewish month but Hanukka runs from the end of the month of Kislev to the beginning of the month of Tevet.

More about Hanukka from Amazon - Vote for your favorites

They Rested on the 25th

The 25th day of the Month of Kislev marks the beginning of Hanuka. Read more about Hanuka here. The word Hanuka is Hebrew for Dedication (or rededication).

Back in the years when the Children of Israel wandered in the Sinai Dessert for 40 years, G-d told them how to build a Mishkan, a Tabernacle, for G-d's Shekhina (spirit -- they female essence of G-d -- Shekhina and Mishkan come from the same root in Hebrew) to "dwell" in. It was a place of worship and a place for the people to congregate around. The Mishkan was portable and it was the job of the Levites (the descendants of Jacob's son Levi) to build it up and take it down for travel (sort of like the MASH 4077th on M*A*S*H).

The Mishkan was originally ready to be dedicated on the 25th of Kislev , but G-d told Moses that there would be an appropriate rededication on that day, so the dedication, with all the gifts from the leaders of the 12 tribes, was postponed until Nissan.

The word Hanukka in Hebrew also has a wordplay meaning -- Hanu Kof-Hay, Hanu means "they rested (or camped)" and Kof-Hay is the Hebrew representation of the number 25. After the fighting to regain the Temple from the Greek-Assyrians, the Jews Rested on the 25th of Kislev and celebrated Hanuka, the rededication of the Holy Temple.

Kislev and Tevet are both months that can have either 29 or 30 days, depending on the year. Rosh Hodesh (the "head of the month" or the day of the New Moon) Tevet comes during Hanuka, on the 6th (and possibly the 7th, when there is a two day Rosh Hodesh, as happens when the previous month has 30 days) day of Hanuka.

A few days after the end of Hanuka comes a sad day on the Jewish calendar. One of 4 days that commemorate something that led up to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, Asara B'Tevet (the 10th Day of Tevet) represents the day when a siege was placed around the city of Jerusalem during the time of the Babylonian attack. Two years later, the city was breached and, on the 9th day of Av, the Temple was destroyed.

The Rabbis decreed that this day, the 10th of Tevet, would be a fast day until the Temple is built again.

Menorah 10 Light Set
Menorah 10 Light Set

Colorful Hanukkah string light set - 10 lighted menorahs which can be set for steady light or blink. If one goes out, the others stay lit. UL listed. Can connect up to 3 sets. Indoor use only.

Frosted mug from Compugraph Designs on Printfection
Frosted mug from Compugraph Designs on Printfection | Source

Compugraph Designs Printfection Store (Judaica themed merchandise)

Compugraph Designs has a store on "Printfection" which includes cutting boards (good wedding or housewarming gifts), mugs and cups, tees, etc.

This frosted mug is only one of several Jewish holiday themed items at our store:

Did you learn anything about the Jewish Calendar from this lens?

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    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 9 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Welcome to Judaism, Jewish Holidays, and Jewish Culture.