MARḤESHVAN (Heb. מַרְחֶשְׁוָן), the post-Exilic name of the eighth month of the Jewish year, frequently shortened to Heshvan (Heb. חֶשְׁוָן). Its pre-Exilic name is Bul (I Kings 6:38). The name occurs in the Antiquities of Josephus, Megillat Ta'anit , and later branches of rabbinic literature, but nowhere in the Bible. It is believed to be etymologically connected with Arahsammu, the Assyrian for "eighth month." The zodiacal sign of this month is Scorpio. Like kislev , it consists of 29 or 30 days in either common or leap years (see calendar ). The 1st of Marheshvan never falls on Sunday, Tuesday, or Friday. In the 20th century, Marheshvan, in its earliest occurrence, extended from October 6th to November 4th (3rd), and, in its latest, from November 4th to December 3rd (2nd). Historic days in Marheshvan comprise: (1) 6th of Marheshvan, the marking of the blinding of King Zedekiah at the command of Nebuchadnezzar (II Kings 25:7), once observed as a fast (Meg. Ta'an. 13); (2) 7th of Marheshvan, the commencement in Ereẓ Israel of the Prayer for rain , inserted in the ninth benediction of the amidah prayer (Ta'an. 1:3); (3) 17th of Marḥeshvan, the commencement of the Flood (Gen. 7:11), and of a series of fasts by pious individuals in their intercession for rain in years of drought (Ta'an. 1:4); (4, 5, 6. 23rd, 25th, and 27th of Marḥeshvan, formerly commemorative of the respective victories of the Hasmoneans and Pharisees over the Greeks, Samaritans, and Sadducees (Meg. Ta'an. 8). (Ephraim Jehudah Wiesenberg)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • marheshvan — mar·hesh·van …   English syllables

  • Marheshvan — Mar•hesh•van [[t]mɑrˈhɛʃ vən, vɑn, ˈxɛʃ [/t]] n. jud Heshvan …   From formal English to slang

  • marheshvan — märˈḵeshvən noun ( s) Usage: usually capitalized Etymology: Hebrew marḥeshwān : heshvan * * * Seph. Heb. /mahrdd khesh vahn /; Ashk. Heb. /mahrdd khesh vahn/; Eng. /mahr hesh veuhn/, n. Heshvan …   Useful english dictionary

  • MEGILLAT TA'ANIT — (Heb. lit. scroll of fasting but see below), a list of 36 days on which there were significant victories and happy events in the history of the Jews during the Second Temple, as a result of which the rabbis forbade fasting on them, as well as, in …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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