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Friday, December 14, 2018 6 Tevet 5779



Hebrew Month of Teves
We are currently in the month of Teves. The word "Teves" is related to the Hebrew word "tov," which means "good." However, in this month, we commemorate many sad events, including the Tenth of Teves. This year, the tenth of Teves occurs on December 18.
The tenth of Teves is the day on which the evil king Nebuchadnezar laid siege upon Jerusalem, eventually leading to the destruction of the first Holy Temple, following by the exile in Babylon. The tenth of Teves is considered an especially solemn day, because it is the first in a series of events which led to the present exile. Therefore it is a day to reflect upon all of those events and the actions that led to them, and to reflect upon which of our own actions need improving in order to prepare for the imminent Redemption.
And yet, as stated previously, Teves is connected to good. We see from this that we have the power to transform bad into good, sorrow into joy, darkness into light, and exile into redemption. Since Teves marks the beginning of the calamitous events which befell our people, our Sages named this month "Teves" to inspire the positive, good energy that is within every one of us.
Teves has the added significance of being connected to the number ten, as Teves is the tenth month of the year counting from Nissan. Additionally, we commemorate the siege of Jerusalem on the tenth day of the tenth month.
Ten is a number of great power. Yom Kippur is on the tenth day of Tishrei. G-d gave us ten commandments. The Torah mentions nine times that the Jews sang to G-d and the tenth song will be song with the coming of Moshiach.
We must harness this additional power to fulfill the service of Teves, which is to transform the darkness into light.
* * *
We can conceive of the Tenth of Tevet - when the walls of Jerusalem were breached by Nebuchadnezzer, leading to the ultimate destruction of the First Holy Temple - as the beginning of the process of the construction of the Third Holy Temple.
The process of destruction which began on that day was intended to ultimately lead to the building of the Third Holy Temple.
(The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Shabbat Parshat Vayechi, 5752)
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