Tishrei       Marcheshvan (מַרְחֶשְׁוָן)       Kislev
Great Flood

The Great Flood, which supposedly wiped out the
world, started in Marcheshvan.
Month Number: 8
Number of Days: 29 (sometimes 30)
Season: autumn
Gregorian Equivalent: October-November

Marcheshvan (Hebrew: מַרְחֶשְׁוָן, Standard Marḥešvan Tiberian Marḥešwān; from Akkadian waraḫsamnu, literally "eighth month"), sometimes shortened to Cheshvan (Hebrew: חֶשְׁוָן, Standard Ḥešvan Tiberian Ḥešwān), is the second month of the civil year (which starts on 1 Tishrei) and the eighth month of the ecclesiastical year (which starts on 1 Nisan) on the Hebrew calendar.

In a regular (kesidran) year Marcheshvan has 29 days, but because of the Rosh Hashanah postponement rules, in some years an additional day is added to Marcheshvan to make the year a "full" (maleh) year. Marcheshvan is an autumn month which occurs in October–November in the Gregorian calendar.

Given the Akkadian etymology, it seems likely the מ and the ו were switched at some point in time, since y-r-ḥ is the Semitic root for "moon" (and thus also "month"), and š-m-n is the Semitic root for "eight". Since then, the first two letters מַר (mar) have been reinterpreted as the Hebrew word for bitter, alluding to the fact that the month has no holidays or fasts.

Interestingly, the Ethiopian Jewish community celebrates Sigd on the 29th day of Marcheshvan (50 days from Yom Kippur, analogous to counting 50 days from Pesach to Shavuos), as recognized by the Israeli Knesset July 2008.

The Hebrew Bible, before the Babylonian Exile, refers to the month as Bul (1 Kings 6:38).

Events in Marcheshvan

7 Marcheshvan - V'tein Tal u-Matar ("Deliver Dew and Rain"), a prayer, is added to the Shemoneh Esrei prayers in Israel. If no rain has fallen by the 17th of the month, special prayers are added for rain [1]

Marcheshvan in Jewish history

3 Marcheshvan - (1850) - Yartzeit of Rabbi Israel of Ruzhin

  • The 3rd of Marcheshvan is the yahrtzeit (anniversary of the death of Chassidic Rabbi Israel of Ruzhin (Israel Friedman) (1797–1850), known as "The Holy Ruzhiner"

7 Marcheshvan - (1933) - Yartzeit of Rabbi Meir Shapiro

  • The death of Rabbi Meir Shapiro of Lublin, who founded the daily "page a day" regimen of Talmudic study which is known as Daf Yomi.

9 Marcheshvan - (1327) - Yartzeit of the Rosh, Rabbi Asher ben Yechiel

  • Rabbi Asher died in Toledo on Marcheshvan 9 on the Hebrew year, 5088 (1327 CE).

11 Marcheshvan - (2105 BCE)- Yartzeit of the righteous Methuselah

  • Methuselah was one of the greatest tzaddikim and the longest-lived human being. He was the grandfather of Noah and died aged 969. The Holy One blessed be He, delayed the great Flood because of the 7 days of mourning for Methuselah.

11 Marcheshvan - (1553 BCE) - Yartzeit of Rachel.

  • Rachel the wife of Yakov is a Matriarch of the Jewish people, mother of Yoseph and Benjamin. She died giving birth to her second son Benjamin in Bethlehem, while on their way from Aram to Hebron and was buried there in order to be able to pray on the behalf of her children who were later to be exiled to Babylon (Jer. 31:14) and passed near her holy gravesite.

11 Marcheshvan - (1443 BCE) - Yartzeit of Benjamin.

  • The 12th son of The Patriarch Yakov and founder of one of the 12 Tribes of Israel. The only one of the 12 sons of Yakov to be born on Jewish soil in Eretz Israel. He died in Egypt aged 111.

11 Marcheshvan - (1797) - Yartzeit of Rabbi Nachum of Chernobyl (Menachem Nachum Twersky)

  • Rabbi Nachum of Chernobyl was a disciple of the second leader of the Chassidic movement, Rabbi DovBer of Mezeritch, and the founder of the Chernobyl dynasty of Chassidic Rebbes.

15 Marcheshvan - (139 BCE) - Yartzeit of Matityahu (Mattityahu)

  • Mattityahu was the son of The Kohen Gadol Yochanan. When during the 2nd century BCE the Seleucids-Syrian Greeks under Antiochus IV Epiphanes tried to forcefully hellenize The People of Israel, Mattityahu started a revolt in the city of Modiin. After his passing, his sons, The Maccabees led the uprising to a victory establishing an independent Jewish state. This victory is celebrated every year on the festival of Hanukkah.

15 Marcheshvan - (1938) - Kristallnacht/Pogromnacht

  • Pogrom considered to be the start of the Holocaust

17 Marcheshvan - (2105 BCE) - Great Flood began

  • The rain started on the 17th of Marcheshvan of the Hebrew year, 1656 (2105 BCE), flooding the entire earth. Only Noah and his family is said to have survived, in the ark (Noah's Ark) he built (by Divine command), and a pair of each animal species.

17 Marcheshvan - (960 BCE) - First Temple completed

  • King Solomon completed the building of the First Temple (it was not inaugurated until the following Tishrei however)

18 Marcheshvan - (1990) - Assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane

23 Marcheshvan - (137 BCE) - Hasmonean holiday

  • In Talmudic times, Marcheshvan 23 was commemorated as the day on which the stones of the altar which were defiled by the Greeks were removed from the Holy Temple.

27 Marcheshvan - (2104 BCE) - Flood ends

  • On the 27th of Marcheshvan of the Hebrew year 1657 (2104 BCE) "the earth dried" (Genesis 8:14), which finished the 365-day duration of the great flood which is said to have wiped out all life on earth except for the eight human beings and the animals (two of each species) that were on Noah's ark. On this day, God is said to have commanded Noah to "Come out of the ark" and repopulate, settle and civilize the earth.


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  • Cheshvan — noun The second month of the civil year in the Jewish calendar …   Wiktionary

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