“Cheshvan” is a contraction of the Hebrew letters chash-vav and nun. The Hebrew word “chash” means silence; the letter vav is a conjunction—it means both “and” and “connector”; the letter nun has a numerical value of fifty and represents the fifty gates of Binah, of discernment that catalyze teshuvah.
Rebbe Nachman explained the greatness of bearing insults silently. We don’t have control over what other people think, say or do. But we do have input into how we react to their attitudes, words and deeds. While we might need to take appropriate action to protect our own interests, our internal work is to judge others favorably and practice acceptance of the Divine will.
A vav is a conduit, bringing down Divine blessing. After the “chas”—practicing silent acceptance—comes the vav, the flow of blessing. As we continue on this pathway, the vav extends downward until it forms the final-letter nun. This alludes to the deepening of the channel of connection until we are able to access the fifty gates of Binah. Our patience bears fruit and we become willing to change, opening our hearts to Divine assistance. We are transformed.