Explore the spiritual energies present during the month of Sivan, including the astrological sign, the Hebrew letter, the number three, and more.
The month of Sivan is the third month of the Jewish Calendar. This is the month of the giving of the Torah (Five Books of Moses) to the Jewish people. We celebrate this great event on the Holy Day of Shavuot – this year Wednesday and Thursday May 23-24.
The zodiac sign of Sivan is Teomim (Gemini-twins). The twins symbolize the greatest level of unity between the Jewish people themselves as well as the the unity between the Jewish people and G-d. The giving of the Torah is viewed as a wedding between G-d and Israel – the groom and the bride. The highest level of relationship between the two is described as being identical twins – Israel reflecting G-d on earth. The twins’ sign represents also the reconciliation between the good and evil inclinations in man, achieved with the transformational power of the Torah. This is represented by the two tablets containing the Ten Commandments . The twins also represent Moses and Aharon – the two brothers that took the children of Israel out of Egypt and lead them through the desert to Mt Sinai where the Torah was given.
The day of receiving the Torah is called the Holiday of Shavuot. Shavuot means weeks referring to the seven weeks that are counted between Passover and Shavuot in preparation for and anticipation of the Giving of the Torah. These seven weeks represent the seven clean days in Jewish Law that a woman has to count before she can be intimate with her husband. The consummation of the marriage between G-d and the Jewish people will take place in the final redemption when the world will be totally transformed and G-dly.
The Hebrew letter that is crowned in the month of Sivan is Zayin – the seventh letter of the aleph bet. The Torah was given on the Sabbath – the seventh day of the week, Moses was the seventh leader of the Jewish people. The translation of the word zayin is weapon. One of the names of Mt Sinai is Mt Chorev- the mountain of the sword. It is only with the power of the Torah that we can battle the evil forces within ourselves and surrounding us and still prevail.
According to the Book of Yetzirah, the month of Sivan is associated with the left foot and the power of walking. We have learned before that through the spiritual power of the first month Nissan we can rectify our right foot. With this foot we can skip, jump, and leap breaking through our limitations and constraints. Following the spiritual work of the second month Iyar, when we reach the third month of Sivan we are ready to rectify the left foot as well. Now we can actually walk with both feet steadily- the ability to grow from level to level and from strength to strength- in an orderly fashion.
The number three is very prominent in this month: Sivan is the third month of the year. The Torah which was given in this month is composed of three parts – Torah,Neviim, and Kesuvim. The Torah was given by Moses the third child in his family to a three-part nation: Kohanim, Leviim, and Israelites.
Torah was given to make peace in the world: peace between G-d and man, peace between the G-dly and the mundane, peace between evil and good, and between heaven and earth. The number three represents the higher power that can reconcile two opposites represented by the numbers 1 and 2
There is a custom to stay awake the first night of Shavuot and learn Torah. This is to correct and rectify the mistake that the Jewish people made when they were preparing themselves to receive the Torah. They assumed that since they were expecting such a great, G-dly revelation, their physical body would be too coarse and interfere with the soul’s experience. They therefore chose to sleep, releasing the conscious connection between the body and soul. Nevertheless, they were awakened by Moses to find that they had made a crucial mistake: The Torah was given to help us refine and elevate the worldly and physical, so it can be receptacle to the spiritual and G-dly – the ultimate peace.
This peace was reflected in the unique phenomenon that occurred while G-d revealed himself and his thundering voice was heard throughout the world uttering the Ten Commandments. Our sages tell us that despite the high volume, there was no echo whatsoever. The message was totally absorbed in the physical. This began the long process of refining the physical. Until then, says the Medrash, there was a decree that the spiritual could not descend to the physical and the physical could not ascend to the spiritual. On the day of the giving of the Torah this decree was annulled – G-d came down on the mountain and Moses ascended the mountain.
Jewish souls of all generations were present at Mt. Sinai: those who lived in the past as well as those who were destined to live in the future. Every year on the sixth of Sivan our soul re-experiences that awesome revelation. The entire family – even tiny babies – should come to the synagogue to hear the reading of the Ten Commandments. The children were the ones accepted by G-d as the guarantors of the Torah when it was given.
The significance of Mt. Sinai is that it is a low mountain to represent the proper attitude to have when integrating and generating the light of Torah. On the one hand, we have to be proud of our heritage and have a positive self-image. On the other hand we must be low and humble in order to be fitting vessels for Divine truth.