Tag Archives: Mysticism

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


Kindling our hearts

6 Jun

This Shabbat we read about the lighting of the menorah in the Tabernacle, an obligation that we all have to bring light into our homes, here’s a quick meditation inspired by that and an anonymous 13th Century text, see Daniel Matt’s The Essential Kabbalah, p. 119 for the source text:

When we pray on our own we aim for unity with all,
we kindle the fire on the altar of our hearts.
By concentrating our thoughts, we unify our feelings,
our principles, our hopes, our dreams,
until they are drawn to the source of the infinitely sublime flame.
Here lies the secret of unifying which we perform in prayer,
raising up our ideas, like an elevating offering, towards one source.
In praise and in thanks
we draw ourselves nearer to the spark that ignites all.


Image source:

Day 15 of the Omer – See Beauty

10 Apr

Chesed in Tiferet – loving kindness and mercy in the perfection of beauty and balance.

Perfection and balance are seldom seen as the outcomes of kindness – discipline and rigor definitely, mercy comes less to mind.

So let us find the forgiveness and ease in ourselves that allows us to see beauty. Perfection results from perception as well as devotion.

In our aim to achieve beauty, let us also open ourselves to finding it.

Find beauty in the Counting!

Finding deeper meaning during Elul

28 Aug

For today, Va-Yishlach, Genesis 32:4 – 36:43 – Jacob wrestles with a divine being, reconciles with his brother Esau, the story of Dinah, and more.

A strange lone verse appears here, with no introduction or follow-up:
Gen. 35:22 And it was when Jacob was dwelling in that land: Reuben went and lay with Bilka, his father’s concubine. And Israel heard – Now the sons of Jacob were twelve…

We hear nothing else about this incident until the end of Jacob’s life, when he offers blessings and curses to all of his sons:
Gen. 49:3 Reuben, my firstborn, you, my might, first-fruit of my vigor! Surpassing in loftiness, surpassing in force!
Gen. 49:4 Headlong like water-surpass no more! For when you mounted your father’s bed, then you defiled it – he mounted the couch!

Our text omits most of the details of this father and son relationship. Seldom do we know what really goes on between two people.

A message for our month of reflection in Elul – a few words often hint at a bigger story. Hidden beneath the surface we may find much more meaning.