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Archive for May, 2013

Tonight we counted Day 44 of the Omer, which is 6 weeks and two days of the counting. Day 44 is referred to as Gevurah sheh b’Malkhut,  Strength within our kingdom.  A beautiful kingdom is one that is blessed with Shekhinah’s presence.  Only when God or godliness dwells where people are, is it possible for a malkhut or ’kingdom’ to exist.

Gevurah sheh b’Malkhut comes when we:

  • Find the spark
  • Create the light
  • Thrive in the warmth!

If each and every one of us navigated the world with as sense of empowerment and inner strength, our world would truly be full of light and possibilities too.  You would feel the presence of the shekhinah within each night, within each day, and within many human interactions.

Photo courtesy of Eliezar Kaplan

Photo courtesy of Eliezer Kaplan

Even in times of darkness, don’t ever stop looking for the light.  With every ounce of darkness, believe that sparks and one day light can emerge.  If you can’t believe, ask your friends to believe for you until you can find the sparks again.

May sparks emerge and may our kingdom emerge with light and warmth.

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Dovi and Aryeh enjoying their time together while playing backgammon.

Dovi and Aryeh enjoying their time together while playing backgammon.  May we all feel the shekhinah’s presence at home and when we walk on the way too.

Tonight we counted Day 43 of the Omer, which is 6 weeks and one day of the counting. Day 43 is referred to as Chesed sheh b’Malkhut,  Loving-kindness within our kingdom.  A beautiful kingdom is one that is blessed with Shekhinah’s presence.  Only when God or godliness dwells where people are, is it possible for a malkhut or ‘kingdom’ to exist in a healthy way.

By filling our lives with loving energy and then sharing it with others, we ultimately create an environment that radiates with the Shekhinah’s presence.   This cycle perpetuates itself to all facets of our personal lives and our communities too.

May we experience Shekhinah within us and wherever we travel too.

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Tonight we counted Day 42 of the Omer, which is 6 weeks of the counting. Day 42 is referred to as Malkhut sheh b’Yesod,  Shekhinah within our Foundation.  Shekhinah is a way of looking at Malkhut (meaning kingdom).  When God or godliness dwells in one central location, you have a kingdom.

black butterflyPhoto©Brad Lehrer, BLCreative Studios

Bringing godliness into my essence or foundation comes from walking with my heart and soul wide open.  The world isn’t always ready for my rhythm, but when I am truly open to being my authentic self I seem to touch people which in return warms my heart .  Walking gently, being loving, valuing all life-forces, and living fully are ways for moving through life.

Many years ago, my heart was broken when my writing became a painful struggle.  For a long period of time, I choose not to type or to write a word that was personal.  I closed myself off from the written word.  During this time, my youngest son Dovi knew something was wrong.  Every day, for months, he would look deep into my eyes and ask me if today would be a writing day.  When I finally returned to my writing, my entire being was once again being nourished  with inner-peace/godliness.  I felt the Shekhinah’s presence return to my life; I saw Dovi’s beautiful energy soar; he had his Imma (mother) back.

With each breath, I pray that my body, my mind and my soul are at one with the universe and all that she encompasses.

May the Shekhinah fill my foundation and yours too!

 

 

 

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Tonight we counted Day 41 of the Omer, which is 5 weeks and six days of the counting. Day 41 is referred to as Yesod sheh b’Yesod, Foundation within our Foundation.

Building a foundation means you have to hear your voice and the voices that surround you too.

Building a foundation means you have to hear your voice and the voices that surround you too.

Life is full of building blocks that we need in order to navigate all aspects of life including nature.  With all the moving parts that encompass life, each part of the whole has to be developed as fully as possible so that all parts of the foundation are solid.

As a writer,

  • each word matters.
  • sentences need to be concise.
  • paragraphs need clear sentences to develop an idea.
  • each paragraph has to blend with the words that come before and the words that will come after it.
  • every sentence, every paragraph needs to support the ultimate goal of the writing.

As a environmentalist,

  • each of us have to be conscious of how we walk in the world.
  • take small steps as we develop the skills to move forward within the larger world.
  • learn to listen to all sides of the different issues before taking on a specific issue.
  • formulate plans for how you can get involved in doing the holy work of tikkun olam (repairing the world)
  • work with a team or create a team that will support each other to make a difference by meeting ‘the goal’.
  • follow your heart and mind while doing what it takes to make a difference.
  • don’t give in or allow people that doubt you to drive you to silence.

As a Jewish leader,

  • one needs to know the subject matters that are part of your leadership or how to work with what isn’t  yet known.
  • be sincere in your work with others.
  • be able to be kind to those you work with as well as yourself.
  • know that being a leader means knowing how to listen to what others are saying without needing to control each step of any process.
  • don’t be afraid to lead.
  • loving Judaism should be a given.
  • realize that you don’t have to navigate the work alone.
  • be a role model of integrity, but not perfection.

I could do the same exercise and develop the different foundations for my roles as a mother, a friend, a teacher, a dreamer, an artist, a political activist, a Progressive Jew, a dog owner, etc.  Life is full of building blocks that develop all that we do as human beings.

With all that we navigate in our lives, may we have the fortitude to build foundations with knowledge and thoughtfulness.

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Tonight we counted Day 40 of the Omer, which is 5 weeks and five days of the counting. Day 40 is referred to as Hod sheh b’Yesod, Expansiveness within our Foundation.

When you are truly living expansively, your creativity soars and the strength of your foundation grows.

hammer_silhouette-svg-hi

A good illustration of this comes from Pete Seeger, who celebrated his 85th birthday this week.  Seeger’s song, If I had a Hammer, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSWQfCkduu0 has touched many of our lives and compelled many of us to reach outside of ourselves to make a difference in the world.  At nearly every rally I have ever been to, we have sung that song.  Good folk music like that of Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Peter, Paul, & Mary, Phil Ochs, and Emmas Revolution-among others-inspires people to actively engage in tikkun olam (repairing the world).

With each step we take, may our world expand for good.

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Tonight we counted Day 39 of the Omer, which is 5 weeks and four days of the counting. Day 39 is referred to as Netzach sheh b’Yesod, Endurance within Foundation.

Living life is a full time job; you never get a day off for good behavior; it just doesn’t happen. The moving parts always keep moving and even that which seems like rest ultimately leads to movement.

Endurance is choosing to thrive while always developing the foundation that makes up your life.

May each step we take guide us towards open doorways leading to light.

Wood

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Tonight we counted Day 38 of the Omer, which is 5 weeks and three days of the counting. Day 38 is referred to as Tiferet sheh b’Yesod, Beauty within Foundation.

Have you ever noticed how perfect flowers are in their own environment? They always look at home within the soil and their surroundings. Their beauty always takes my breath away; they seem to always belong exactly where they are at any moment.

Monkey Flowers Photo courtesy of Gary Tenen

Monkey Flowers
Photo courtesy of Gary Tenen

With each step, I pray for the ability to blend into my surroundings exactly as I am.  For so many years of my life, I was trapped in a body that was never home.  Over time I have slowly allowed my true soul to shine as I am.  Mostly I think of myself as a wildflower or maybe a weed trailing in every direction.  I love weeds.  Some people want to reign in their beauty or kill them, but in the end of the day, weeds running wild signify life.  Sounds like pure ecstasy for me, life.

May each of us find the beauty within ourselves wherever we are planted.

 

 

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