In the Harry Potter series there is one thing the magicians cannot do. It’s a “rule” of Rowling’s magical world. No magician no matter how Dumbledore/Voldemort-powerful they are can bring the dead back to life. Oddly, the Jewish sages always had that power. From Moses in 1313 BCE through the elders, the prophets (400BCE), the Great Assembly, the Mishna sages (200CE), and the Talmudic sages (500CE), every single one of them could, if they chose to, bring a corpse back. But that’s not how we roll. With rare exceptions, they just didn’t.

You see we aren’t interested in tricks, even awesome astounding ones; we’re interested in closeness to God. We are interested in mysticism and esoteric ideas mainly as a means to elevate ourselves and inspire. We want to touch the Infinite.

With that in mind we approach each month of the calendar year and look to our sages for mystical insights so we can focus more acutely on self growth with a possible tool to make us more successful.

An invaluable tool specifically during Cheshvan is to focus on coming back from a spiritual “fall”. The letter “nun” in Hebrew is associated with the word “nefila”, to fall. Both the flood and the recovery from the flood happened in Cheshvan. This implies the ability to recover. Cheshvan is the month for recovery.

It’s the beginning of the year since it comes after Rosh HaShannah and the first month. Now is the time to plan for the year. And the beginning of wisdom is fear/awe of the Almighty. If you spend time trying to inspire yourself with more awe of the Creator, it will help you overcome a bad habit you’ve developed. Pick one area of spirituality that you used to be on a higher level in, and use this month to get back to your old lofty self.

Make a specific plan for the year. Map it out. Nothing happens over night.

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