Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fighting in Kislev

As mentioned in the last post, this Sunday is Rosh Chodesh! We will be beginning the month of Kislev. Every month has its mazal and the mazal of Kislev is Keshes, Sagittarius.

One of the first things that might catch one's attention is that the association between Keshes and Kislev seems pronounced in the imagery used to describe Keshes. Keshes is an archer and is the only one of the mazalos that depicts a warrior. Channukah is celebrated in Kislev and is the only holiday that we have that celebrates a military victory. While Purim certainly discusses salvation from murderous people, the focus there is how we were saved by Hashem using what appeared as political methods to save His nation. The association between Keshes and this time of year predates Chanukkah by many many years, so it is interesting to see that this mazal ended up with this month. Interestingly, resisting hellenism was crucial in the Channukah story. Perhaps, the appeal was that often times the Greek philosphy was so similar to Torah true concepts that it was appealing. The subtle differences, however, made the world of a difference. For some perspective on this see this earlier post,
Midrash Similar to Mythology.

Another aspect why Keshes is associated with Kislev is that the root of the word Keshes is "KSL" which also refers to Kesil, another name for Orion/Sirius. (See Torah Sheliemah Miluim Parshas Bo 177) It is during this month that this bright constellation/star rises and therefore the entire mazal is called by its name. An interesting fact is that that makes this the only month that the name of the mazal is based on a constellation other than the zodiacal one that is the mazal itself. I would love to hear if anyone has any suggestions why this is the case (other than the obvious "because Sirius is the brightest star in the sky).

I finally have more of a timeline for when The Secrets of the Stars will be available!!! It is at the printer now and in a week and a half should be at the publisher. The subsequent week it should be in bookstores! That means that it will hopefully be in stores just in time for Chanukkah! So please keep your eyes open and let's hope it will be a mazaldikke sha'a!!!


Anonymous said...

Who is publishing your book?

Ari S. said...

Thank you for asking, Israel Book Shop is the publisher.