Rosh Chodesh Sivan

Spiritual Energy of the Month: Harmonizing

Sivan 5784: Nightfall Thursday June 6th, 2024 - nightfall on Friday June 7th, 2024.

Pronunciation: See-VAWN

Wellness Area: Receiving

Astrological Sign: T’umim (Gemini)

Hebrew Letter: Zayin


Counting the Omer, 49 days of introspection

(began in Nissan at Nightfall on Tuesday April 23, 2024 and ends at nightfall on Tuesday, June 11, 2024.)

Shavuot, the giving of the Torah

(Nightfall Tuesday, June 11- 2024- nightfall on Thursday, June 13th, 2024)

Each month, At The Well shares a new Moon Manual to introduce you to the spiritual energy of that Hebrew month. These manuals are written with beginners in mind — and there is incredible depth behind each of the teachings we uplift.In the source sheet below, we're sharing direct textual references for this month. We hope this supports you in greater learning and finding even more meaning in the practice of anchoring to Jewish sacred time.Download this month's Moon Manual.

(Note: Each Moon Manual is limited-edition and available for just four weeks. Depending on when you're reading this source sheet, we may be featuring a new Moon Manual available for download.)

(א) בַּחֹ֙דֶשׁ֙ הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֔י לְצֵ֥את בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם בַּיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֔ה בָּ֖אוּ מִדְבַּ֥ר סִינָֽי׃ (ב) וַיִּסְע֣וּ מֵרְפִידִ֗ים וַיָּבֹ֙אוּ֙ מִדְבַּ֣ר סִינַ֔י וַֽיַּחֲנ֖וּ בַּמִּדְבָּ֑ר וַיִּֽחַן־שָׁ֥ם יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל נֶ֥גֶד הָהָֽר׃

(1) On the third new moon after the Israelites had gone forth from the land of Egypt, on that very day, they entered the wilderness of Sinai. (2) Having journeyed from Rephidim, they entered the wilderness of Sinai and encamped in the wilderness. Israel encamped there in front of the mountain,

(ב) ויחן שם ישראל. כְּאִישׁ אֶחָד בְּלֵב אֶחָד, אֲבָל שְׁאָר כָּל הַחֲנִיּוֹת בְּתַרְעוֹמוֹת וּבְמַחֲלֹקֶת:
(2) ויחן שם ישראל AND THERE ISRAEL ENCAMPED as one man and with one mind — but all their other encampments were made in a murmuring spirit and in a spirit of dissension (Mekhilta d'Rabbi Yishmael 19:2:10).
(א) ביום הזה. בְּרֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ; לֹא הָיָה צָרִיךְ לִכְתֹּב אֶלָּא בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, מַהוּ בַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה? שֶׁיִּהְיוּ דִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה חֲדָשִׁים עָלֶיךָ כְּאִלּוּ הַיּוֹם נְתָנָם (ברכות ס"ג):
(1) ביום הזה THE SAME (lit., this) DAY — on the day of the New Moon. (Mekhilta d'Rabbi Yishmael 19:1:3; Shabbat 86b). It ought not to write ביום הזה, but ביום ההוא, “on that day”; what, then, is the force of the words “on this day”? Since they refer to the day when the Israelites came to Sinai to receive the Torah they imply that the commands of the Torah should be to you each day as something new (not antiquated and something of which you have become tired), as though He had only given them to you for the first time on the day in question (Yalkut Shimoni on Torah 273; cf. Berakhot 63b).

Sefer Yetzirah: "He made the letter zayin king over motion and He tied a crown to it and He combined one with another and with them He formed Gemini in the Universe, Sivan in the Year, and the left leg in the Soul, male and female."

(ז) וַיְדַבֵּר ה' אֶל משֶׁה בְּמִדְבַּר סִינַי (במדבר א, א), לָמָּה בְּמִדְבַּר סִינַי, מִכָּאן שָׁנוּ חֲכָמִים בִּשְׁלשָׁה דְבָרִים נִתְּנָה הַתּוֹרָה, בָּאֵשׁ, וּבַמַּיִם, וּבַמִּדְבָּר. בָּאֵשׁ מִנַּיִן (שמות יט, יח): וְהַר סִינַי עָשַׁן כֻּלּוֹ וגו'. וּבַמַּיִם מִנַּיִן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שופטים ה, ד): גַּם שָׁמַיִם נָטָפוּ גַּם עָבִים נָטְפוּ מָיִם. וּבַמִּדְבָּר מִנַּיִן וַיְדַבֵּר ה' אֶל משֶׁה בְּמִדְבַּר סִינַי, וְלָמָּה נִתְּנָה בִּשְׁלשָׁה דְבָרִים הַלָּלוּ, אֶלָּא מָה אֵלּוּ חִנָּם לְכָל בָּאֵי הָעוֹלָם כָּךְ דִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה חִנָּם הֵם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה נה, א): הוֹי כָּל צָמֵא לְכוּ לַמַּיִם, דָּבָר אַחֵר, וַיְדַבֵּר ה' אֶל משֶׁה בְּמִדְבַּר סִינַי, אֶלָּא כָּל מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ עוֹשֶׂה עַצְמוֹ כַּמִּדְבָּר, הֶפְקֵר, אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִקְנוֹת אֶת הַחָכְמָה וְהַתּוֹרָה, לְכָךְ נֶאֱמַר: בְּמִדְבַּר סִינָי.

(7) [7] “Hashem spoke to Moshe in the wilderness of Sinai,” (Num. 1:1) Why “in the wilderness of Sinai”? From here the Sages taught that the Torah was given with three things: With fire, with water, and with wilderness. From where do we derive fire? “Mount Sinai was entirely smoking…” (Ex. 19:18). From where do we derive water? As it is said: “The Heavens dripped, the clouds dripped with water,” (Jud. 5:4). From where do we derive wilderness? “Hashem spoke to Moshe in the wilderness of Sinai.” Why was it given with these three things? Just as these are free to all who come into the world, so too words of Torah are free, as it is said: “All who thirst, come for water,” (Isa. 55:1). Another interpretation of “Hashem spoke to Moshe in the wilderness of Sinai”: Anyone who does not make themselves like the wilderness - ownerless - will not be able to acquire the wisdom of the Torah, therefore it is said: “in the wilderness of Sinai.”

(יז) שִׁמְעוֹן בְּנוֹ אוֹמֵר, כָּל יָמַי גָּדַלְתִּי בֵין הַחֲכָמִים, וְלֹא מָצָאתִי לַגּוּף טוֹב אֶלָּא שְׁתִיקָה. וְלֹא הַמִּדְרָשׁ הוּא הָעִקָּר, אֶלָּא הַמַּעֲשֶׂה. וְכָל הַמַּרְבֶּה דְבָרִים, מֵבִיא חֵטְא:

(17) Shimon, his son, used to say: all my days I grew up among the sages, and I have found nothing better for a person than silence. Study is not the most important thing, but actions; whoever indulges in too many words brings about sin.

It is no wonder that the Torah was given in the desert, a place of expansive silence. “To be open to receive new wisdom, we first need to empty ourselves, to make ourselves like a Midbar/desert. Why was the Torah given in a desert? Say our Sages, to receive Torah we need to make ourselves into a desert, empty of all preconceived ideas and frames of reference”-Rav Dovber Pinson

Rabbi Abbahu said in the name of Rabbi Yoḥanan: When the Holy One blessed be He gave the Torah, no bird tweeted, no fowl flew, no bull lowed, no wheels11Of the Divine Chariot flew, seraphs did not say: “Holy, holy” (see Isaiah 6:3), the sea did not tremble, people did not speak, but rather, the entire world was quiet and silent. The voice emerged: “I am the Lord your God.”
Likewise it says: “These words the Lord spoke to your entire assembly…with a great voice, and it went on no more” (Deuteronomy 5:19) – Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish said: What is “and it went on no more”? When a person calls to another, his voice has an echo, but the voice that was emerging from the mouth of the Holy One blessed be He did not have an echo. If you are astonished by this, Elijah, when he came to Carmel, he assembled all the priests and said to them: “Call in a great voice…as he is a god” (I Kings 18:27). What did the Holy One blessed be He do? He muted the entire world and silenced the heavenly and earthly beings. The world was emptiness and disorder as though there was no creature in the world, as it is stated: “There was no voice, no respondent, and no listener” (I Kings 18:29). Had anyone spoken, they would have said that Baal responded. All the more so, when the Holy One blessed be He spoke on Mount Sinai, He silenced the entire world, so that the creatures would know that there is no one other than He. He said: “I am the Lord your God.” Regarding the future it is written: “I, it is I who is your Comforter” (Isaiah 51:12).

"The Hebrew word for “desert wilderness”- midbar- is the same word for speak, midaber. The mystics teach that when we leave our routines, habits, and expectations and allow ourselves to go into the unknown- to transverse the wilderness of mind and spirit- we open ourselves to receive Divine guidance. “God midaber in the midbar” The Divine speaks in the wilderness. Our task is to open and to listen." - Rabbi Yael Levy

Journal Prompts for Sivan

Set a timer for 3 minutes for each question. We encourage you to write by hand, as you are able. Keep writing the whole time, to stay open to the flow of new realizations.

  • What wisdom have you received this year?

  • How do you receive the best from others?

  • In what ways can you increase harmony in your relationships with others and with the divine?