Section: Moadim   Category: Around The Year
Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz: When The Calendar Strikes 10
In every season (Tekufa), says Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz (Yaaros Devash - Drush 15), there is one 10th of the month that stands out.  Sometimes for good and sometimes for bad.  It all started after Adam was chased out of Gan Eden.  In Gan Eden the nights and the days were equal length.  However, Adam was placed in Eretz Yisroel in the northern hemisphere, and during this time of year between Tishrei and Teves the days kept getting shorter and the nights longer.

Adam feared the world was closing in on him and would eventually leave him in total darkness.  On the second of Teves that first year after the Winter Solstice, the days started getting longer.  Adam in thanks to Hashem made an eight day Yom Tov.  This eventually became a Yom Tov for Avodah Zara known in the gemara a Kaladaria.  This climaxed on the 10th of Teves.

From here we see, says Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz, that this day had in it potential for good, a day of thanks by Adam, and bad, a day of avodah zara worship.  Similarly Asara B'Teves which was celebrated as a Yom Tov during the times of the Bais HaMikdash, but is mourned in the Galus as the day Nevuchadnetzar's armies laid siege on Yerushalayim.

This pattern can be seen throughout the year during the first 10th of the month in the first month of each Tekufa.  Three months after 10 Teves comes 10 Nisan, the great day that Bnei Yisroel tied the Egyptian lamb to their bed post for the Korban Pesach.  Three months after that comes 10 Tamuz, the day the walls of Yerushalayim were breached during the Churban Bayis Rishon.  (The Navi says the 9th but it happened towards the evening and the enemy soldiers entered on the 10th.)  Three months after that on the 10th of Tishrei comes the great day of Yom Kippur.  Sometimes good and sometimes bad.

Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz says that there are four things that bring a person to the right path, Torah, Tzedaka, Tefila, and Tshuva.  Each one is highlighted during one of these quarterly months.  Teves is Torah, as its long nights perfectly suited for Torah learning when the work of the day ends.  Nisan is all about Tzedaka as the geulas Mitzrayim came B'Zchus Tzedaka.  This is why give Maos Chittim in Nisan.  Tamuz is for Tefila as Moshe went up to daven on the Chet HaEgel in that month.  And of course Tishrei is synonymous with Tshuva.  

With the special mitzvos suited for each of these crucial times we have the opportunity to turn these days into good ones.