by Melanie Gruenwald
I am blessed to have two moms in life, the one who gave birth to me, and the one I chose when I married her son.
On the Jewish calendar, we are on a path of journeying. We move from Passover to Shavuot, journeying from slavery in Egypt to revelation at Mount Sinai. Physically, we are shlepping (trudging) across the desert, one foot in front of the other, not really sure where we are going or when we are going to get there. We are counting up the days and know we are where we need to be at any given moment.
Spiritually, we have worked our way through many of the energetic sefirot along this path—Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach and Hod. This 6th week in the counting (of the Omer), we are focusing on Yesod (Foundation.)
Yesod is in the center of the Tree of Life, towards the bottom. It is represented in green in our Kabbalah Experience logo—it shows where we stand on the ground, and how we stand grounded.
As I taught and reflected on this Sefirah (energy) of Yesod this week, I thought of both of you. I thought of you as women, as mothers, as grandmothers, and how you manifest Yesod in your many capacities.
As women, you both demonstrate the importance of knowing your roots. You show that this awareness helps bring stability to your lives, and the lives of the people around you. In your friendships and ‘sisterhoods’ we bear witness to your life-long relationships and in your ability to make new friends wherever you go. You are rooted in relationship and integrity. You walk your own paths. Sometimes you might feel alone. Please know that your Yesod, your foundation, core values and truths that you uphold, will sustain you in this journey.
As moms, you demonstrate the importance of knowing who we are, where we come from, what are our core values, and to remember whose shoulders we are standing on when we shine. You teach us, that even through adversity, if we have strong foundations, we will remain able to stand. The wind will not blow us over. And if it does, you will be there to catch us. Our connections are like the roots of an Aspen tree.
Since you are not from Colorado, let me explain. When we see a grove of Aspen trees, they look like tall, wobbly, individual trees. However, their roots, hidden underground, are all interconnected. Aspen tree groves are actually a single, interconnected organism. We are both aware and grateful for the interconnectedness of our roots, and our shared understanding we are part of One.
As grandmothers, you model selfless love and intention with our children. You have suffered the greatest loss of your lives, when Koby (z”l) died. We are all on this journey together. We learn that grief does not define us. Brokenness does not shatter us. Somehow we keep living and moving forward. We can come together for moments that feel almost normal, and share times of joy together. We can live in the present, include Koby in our present, and not dwell in the past. Hannah and Micah (and, I am sure, your other grandchildren, too) are grateful for the ways you show up, bring grounding, memories, stories, curiosity and love, whenever we are together.
Yesod reminds us about integrating the opposites of Netzach (perseverance, resilience, ‘overcoming’) and Hod (splendor, letting go, humility). We learn not to hold any of the energies in judgment, but to experience them fully, integrate them, and acknowledge their presence in the messiness of life.
With a strong foundation of Yesod, the house remains standing. The family remains intact. A little weathered by the storms of life, perhaps, but still standing.
Thank you for manifesting the energy of Yesod in my life and awareness.