Today is the 22nd of Kislev. It begins what we could call the ‘shloshes yemei hagbala’ – the three days before Chanukah begins. As we noted in previous posts, Chanukah is the end of the buildup from Succos, and each day of Chanukah is exactly seventy days after each day of Succos. The last day of Chanukah (“Zos Chanukah”) corresponds to Shmini Atzeres. As we have seen before, the concept of seventy is ten sets of seven, or ten weeks. The first in the set of ten is Keser, the transcendental realm, and it is embedded in the last of the ten, which is Malchus. Thus, the light of Shmini Atzeres is reflected in the completion of Chanukah.
Besides for this, there is also another significant series of time that is being completed, which also involves the 22nd of Kislev. The 25th of Kislev, which is the first day of Chanukah, is also precisely nine months after the 25th of Adar. The 25th of Adar was the day the world was created according to the opinion that the world was created in Nissan (see Maharsha Moed Katan 28). The nine months from the 25th of Adar until the 25th of Kislev are a period of ‘fetal development,’ or a full stage in the processes of time. On the 25th of Kislev, there is a realization of the potential that was inherent in the 25th of Adar. In the context of Chanukah, the world was created (as represented by 25th Adar) in order to reveal Hashem in the world, even in the darkest places and moments in history. That hidden aspect was revealed on Chanukah, nine months later. Because this aspect has been programmed into the calendar, we have access to a special light that is revealed each year, the light of Hashem being revealed in the darkness.
The first of the seven days of creation was the 25th of Adar, but, as we have seen, the series of seven is always the revealed aspect of a fuller series of ten. Thus, the ‘hidden brains’ of creation began on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of Adar. Today’s date, the 22nd of Kislev, is precisely nine months after the 22nd of Adar, and therefore it is the culmination of the gestation period of that first hidden aspect (Keser).
It is also significant to note that just as in the ten weeks, the last of the weeks (Malchus) reflects the first of the weeks (Keser), this is the same with the nine months. The tenth month of gestation (Malchus), which is after the ‘baby’ is born, is the fruition of the first month (Keser). It is important to realize that although a child takes nine months to be born, the child is not called a ‘ben kayama’ – a viable entity – until it has completed the thirty days of its first month of life (or its tenth month since conception). This is the reason why we wait until the 30th day to perform a pidyon haben. In any event, the concept is that the tenth month is the completion of the series, and thus Teves, which Chanukah rolls into, constitutes the month where we see the full reflection (and remember we are just seeeing a reflection) of the creative aspect of Nissan of the previous year.