Dan דן

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Dan shall avenge his people; The Tribes of Israel will be as one”. (Genesis 49:60)

Dan shall be a serpent on the highway…..that bits the horse’s heels so that its rider falls backwards”. (Genesis 49:17).

“Dan is a lion cub” (Deuteronomy 33:22)

Dan was the most numerous tribe, physically strong, and marched at the rear of the Israelite camp in the desert, half inside and half outside the clouds or Glory.

They gathered weaker stragglers and lost objects from the other tribes indicating involvement in acts of kindness.

Dan (Oholiav) and Yehuda (Betzalel) join forces as the craftsman built the Tabernacle. This symbolizes the necessary partnership of spiritual and material forces.

Dan and Yehuda also combine in Shimshon (Samson) who was descended from Dan and Yehuda. Yehuda is also described as a “lion cub”. This partnership is represented by the two lions that often appear on the Arc curtains in synagogues.

Shimshon takes vengeance on the Philistines on behalf of the Jewish people, toppling their temple. He engaged in guerilla warfare, alone and cunning, like a snake.

Tevet is the month of Dan (Judge), challenging us to use judgement in improving ourselves as we face the darkness of the approaching winter months.