Cheshvan. Oy, Cheshvan.
It's the Rodney Dangerfield of Jewish months: It doesn't get any respect. While Tishrei, the month that immediately precedes it, is packed with holidays - Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah - Cheshvan has nothing. A big, fat goose egg. Goornisht. It's no wonder the Sages called it Mar-Cheshvan - “Bitter Cheshvan.”
But it doesn’t have to be that way. We Men’s Club guys can change it.
First of all, the Mar business. In modern Hebrew, "Mar" means "Mister." So it doesn't have to be Bitter Chashvan. It can be Mister Cheshvan!
We're celebrating the first Monday of Mar-Cheshvan - Mister Cheshvan! - and turning it into a Guy Holiday. You don't have to do much. Go to morning minyan. Maybe have someone deliver a special d’var Torah or teach prospective daveners about some aspect of the service. Put on a breakfast for the minyan crowd. And if you can't do it on the first Monday, any Monday will do, so long as it's in Cheshvan.
We propose to call this festive little occasion M5: the Men’s Club Mar-Cheshvan Monday Morning Minyan. Catchy, huh?
Just as the World Wide Wrap helps connect us to the mitzvah of Tefillin, M5 can connect us to the mitzvah of daily worship. So pick a Monday (the first Monday of Cheshvan is October 27, but November 3, 10, or 17 work just as well). Make it a special day. Get your club to turn out, put on tefillin if you got 'em, and have a great shacharit service. Let Cheshvan know that it doesn’t have to stand in the corner of the Jewish calendar by itself. Give it some love... and then send us pictures of your Club's M5 activities - we'll publish 'em next month.
M5: the Men’s Club Mar-Cheshvan Monday Morning Minyan!