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Spirited Dialogue

“Come and hear: The father of Samuel had some money belonging to orphans deposited with him. When he died, Samuel was not there and did not ask his him where the money was kept. People derogatorily called him, ‘The son who consumes the money of orphans’. So he went after Read more…

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Practice in Consciousness

The sound of a door being closed consciously I have been waiting for the ‘right time” to recommend to you an important practice in consciousness that we can all equally and easily participate in: When entering and exiting Kabbalah Experience be mindful of opening and closing the door gently. The Read more…

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New Year: Change & Transformation

The Hebrew word Shanah, as in Rosh Hashanah, is translated as Year (Rosh is Hebrew for Head—hence—the Head of the Year, New Year).  The meaning of Shanah though, as a Hebrew root, is “change”—and the Hebrew letter Shin with which the word begins connotes transformation. Shin in Kabbalstic teachings also reflects our capacity for creativity—a creative solution flows from looking at things differently, a change of perspective engenders new possibilities.

There is a very poignant prayer that has crept back into the High Holiday prayer book—to say before the beginning of Rosh Hashanah. The prayer which comes from the Sephardic tradition is entitled in Hebrew, “Tichleh Shanah ve’ Kelilotehah” –let the year end (pass by) with its curses! With a title like that you might not wonder as much why it lost its popularity and was omitted from the liturgy. (more…)

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Receive and You Shall Give

Do you recognize this man? I was just turning five years old when Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom debuted on television. Marlin Perkins was the host and he quickly became one of my grandfathers.  A question I had, but was embarrassed to ask my parents was: What is Mutual of Omaha? I understood why the show was called Wild Kingdom—those were words I could figure out. But what was a “Mutual of Omaha?”

As a child I was intensely interested in language—where did words come from, how did people come to call this with that name? At age 5, I distinctly remember holding a door open for a woman and as she passed by me and looking in my eyes, said, in a slow and deliberate manner, “Thank you.” It dawned on me. Thank you was not ‘thankyou’—a nonsense sounding phrase that people said—it meant she was thanking me.

This was an early Aha moment for me. I have them daily. How does one develop the capacity for Aha moments? Should one even attempt to analyze Aha moments? Is it like training to be spontaneous?


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Power of Connection

Brewery Creek, a few miles west of Villa Grove, Colorado, is as beautiful as any place on Earth.  A few miles from the continental divide, within sight of eight fourteeners, rushing downstream through meadows of wildflowers and wild animals galore.  So dark at night you understand how the Torah can compare the number of stars to the number of grains of sand on the beach.  It’s hard when you’re there to not see God.  We need not even wax poetic; King David left us a full vocabulary in Psalms to translate what we are seeing and feeling (the heavens tell the glory of God, the earth proclaims his handiwork; the sun comes forth like a bridegroom from his chamber; the mountains skip like rams; I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence does my help come?)  Certainly we recognize the way nature recharges our batteries.

Many Jews may visit, but few practicing Jews live in places like that.  We have a few stories of our people living isolated lives in the country.  Moses lived in the desert to escape and get inspiration — but only for forty days.  Shimon bar Yochai – one of our greatest Rabbis and Kabbalists – lived an isolated life in a cave for twelve years — but nearly went crazy. (more…)

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Constant Connections

By the time you read this blog I will have a new hip. It is made of ceramic. When it comes to hip replacements you could say the hip (ceramic) bone is connected to the earth.  From earth we are created and unto the earth we will return. The body can only go so far until it returns to its source. So too, in our Jewish tradition, the soul goes forth but never leaves its source.

We celebrated another year at Kabbalah Experience with our annual party, this past Sunday at the home of Sally and Tom Stich. It was a perfect setting for celebrating how our KE community continues to grow. Rita and I are so fortunate to be a part of your overflowing warmth and caring and now Eva and Isabel join the KE community.  We bestowed Hebrew names for each in the presence of all.  Isabel’s name in Hebrew is Zahava Pa’amon which translates as Golden Bell and Eva’s Hebrew name is Chava Rimon which translates as Eva Pomegranate. The derivation of these names comes from a description of the High Priest’s vestment worn in his service in the Temple. His outer garment was adorned on its fringe by bells inside pomegranates so that the High Priest could be heard moving to and fro inside the Temple.

Nachmanides (a Kabbalist from the 13th century) comments that the bells were inside of a hollowed out ivory pomegranate. It is a bit difficult to depict in the mind’s eye what either the pomegranate shapes or the bells looked like, at least until a month ago. After 2,000 years a tiny golden bell was discovered in a drainage ditch in Jerusalem.


The lead archeologist on the team could not be definitive but offered that the most likely history of this tiny golden bell was that it was one of the 72 bells on the hem of the High Priest’s robe. How did it get to the drainage ditch? Was the High Priest outside the temple when it fell off or did it fall inside the temple and find its way flushed out into the streets of Jerusalem? (more…)