[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living memoriam to Shaya through the sweet words and thoughtful insights of  his Divrei Torah. BJL readers will remember his weekly column on the Parsha and on various Torah ideas and concepts. These meaningful words will help us remember this special young man who will be sorely missed and for those who did not merit to know him, this will be the most appropriate way for them to become familiar with who he was.

This past week was the beginning of the Hebrew month MarCheshvan. Most understand the name Mar-Cheshvan to refer to a bitter month where there are no Yomim Tovim. However, based on the Gemara in Megilla, we can understand this month and the terminology 'Mar-Cheshvan' in a beautiful way. 

The Gemara says that after one finishes Shemoneh Esray, he must wait a [short] period of time before using the facilities because the Tefilla is still fluent in his mouth and 'rachushai MARACHASHAN sifvasay,' his lips are still moving in prayer. This means that for a short time after we finish Shemoneh Esray, we are still 'under the influence of the Tefilla' and hence, we must remain in a clean place. 

Rav Simcha Bunim of Peshischa and others suggest this same term is the root of the name “MarCheshvan.” After a whole beautiful month of tefilla and so many Yomim Tovim, we shouldn't think that all the holiness of Tishrei is now fading away. Rather, these Tefillos are ‘MARACHSHON sifvasay,’ they are still [figuratively] being mouthed by our lips, and we can take their strength and influence with us into MARCHESHVAN and the cold winter months ahead!