Tag Archives: Kabbalah

New conversations and connections

21 Jan

Seeking a new approach to spiritual life and bringing meaning into our lives?

We have two new opportunities – one is a four session class exploring Kabbalah from a useful and scholarly perspective – how can Jewish mysticism affect my life for the better every day?
Find out – details and registration here:
Entering Kabbalah

The other is a new conversation:
Lunch with Martin Buber
Monday, February 2, Noon – 1:15 PM
Bricktop’s Restaurant, 6401 Morrison
“I and Thou” and lunch.
We will begin to read and discuss Martin Buber’s majestic and humble approach to finding God in the world.
We will look at at the First Part (pages 53-85 in Walter Kaufman’s translation).
Copies provided, no reading ahead required

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A little more on silence and the Akeidah

25 Oct

A piece of commentary from last week…

This week we read the Akeidah, the binding of Isaac, I know, again.

Still, it may contain the most important long walk in the entire Torah, if not in our entire tradition.

God sends Abraham on a long walk to bind and, in Abraham’s mind, sacrifice Isaac. Here’s the text from Genesis, Chapter 22, just to refresh our memories:

Gen. 22:2 He said: Pray take your son, your only-one, whom you love, Yitzhak, and go-you-forth to the land of Moriyya/Seeing, and offer him up there as an offering-up upon one of the mountains that I will tell you of.

Gen. 22:3 Avraham started-early in the morning, he saddled his donkey, he took his two serving-lads with him and Yitzhak his son, he split wood for the offering-up and arose and went to the place that God had told him of.

Gen. 22:4 On the third day Avraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar.

Rabbi David Kimchi remarked on this, nearly 700 years ago, that God could have asked Abraham to do this immediately. God doesn’t. God says go on a walk. Think about it, in Rabbi Kimchi’s words, so that he would have three days’ time to build insight for himself on the matter.

That seems pretty reasonable. Most of us take at least that long to make a decision of importance. From relationships, to large purchases, from job changes, to college applications – we spend a lot of time reflecting on what to do in those moments of our lives. The wisdom from the Torah here reminds us that we do well when we do this, especially if we give ourselves the time to take a walk.

On that walk we may find the moments to reflect and to listen. We have to listen to the quieter voices around us and within us. In the words of Hannah Senesh, “the rush of the waters, the crash of the heavens,” – we are often too caught up in the noise of the everyday to even notice the thundering of the world beyond our walls.

Our prayers on Shabbat offer us moments to take an inner walk, to find our ways within. These moments of silence that we enter together every week, every time we offer t’fillah, can be that walk. They can be the time to travel deeper, to build upon our insights, to construct new frames of wisdom.

May the silence we find together allow us to walk towards a meaningful Shabbat.

Let us take a few longer moments of silence to deepen the walk into our selves.

Day 49 of the Omer – time to do

14 May

Malchut in Malchut – the fullness of well-considered meaningful presence and realization in itself.

This is it. Plans have been laid, preparations have been made, we stand in front of our next big motion.

For the Israelites in our story, the mountain and revelation and eventually the holy land lay before them.

What is imminently in front of us? How can we bring all that we have learned and reflected on into the next moment?

Breathe, think, feel, balance, act.

May we all create and find and celebrate as we go forward.

Happy Shavuot tonight everyone!

Precipice

Image source: http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130207064024/creepypasta/images/a/a8/Precipice.jpg

 

Day 48 of the Omer – leap from solid ground

13 May

Yesod in Malchut – the solid balancing point in the wholeness that rules useful doings.

Our best steps start from solid ground. Bringing all the ingredients together to create that stable starting off spot requires all the principles that we have reflected on up until now.

Find that spot, build it even, and then take the next step trusting in our preparations, hoping for the best, and maintain openness to all the unpredictability that may ensue!

Prepare, plan, set our feet solidly, and then go and do!

Almost through the Omer now – we look towards Shavuot on Tuesday night.

one_step_into_the_future_by_slevinaaron-d5mg4w4

Source of photo:

Missed a few Omer reflections?

10 May

I didn’t post all of my Omer reflections through here – looking for some of them? You can find them all here:

Rabbi Jonathan’s Spirituality Page

omer count

Image source: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/kerenkeet/omer%20count.jpg

 

Day 45 of the Omer – inspire the moment

10 May

Tiferet in Malchut – balanced beauty in the implementation of divine presence into reality.​

Ever been perched on one of those moments when all is ready and we have done everything possible to be prepared and our anticipation is a thrill of perfect beginning?​

This could be a physical preparation – about to start a race, or look down the perfect ski slope. An intellectual, social, or emotional endeavor – sitting down to write when we’ve done the right mental preparation, or sitting across from a person we’ve been eagerly waiting to talk to for a long time. It could be a spiritual moment – finally getting the chance to sit and reflect or meditate on something important.​

All of these reflect some of the great balance and beauty of injecting Tiferet into the next moment of doing. Let us balance our expectations with preparations, and infuse the next minute with some inspired excitement.​

Happy Friday, Shabbat Shalom, and more great counting everyone!​

tahoe_calm

Photo source: http://jackieannpatterson.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/tahoe_calm.jpg

 

Day 43 of the Omer – kind actions

8 May

Chesed in Malchut – kindness and mercy in the dwelling presence of the universe.

We want to act, to make a difference. Let us find compassion for our acting – when we act not as well as we would like we can opt to forgive. When we do not act at all let us avoid blame and doubt.

Be kind and then do with kindness.

The last week of the Omer has begun!

soldierpausingforkindness
Photo credit: http://www.war2003action.com/soldierpausingforkindness.jpg