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Week 1. Chesed (leaving Egypt through the sea)

Sefirot of many colors Apr 15 11

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Overall intention: To view love and those who love you as your teachers; expanding who you are emotionally and growing your capacity to love.  Love comes in many varieties—and we embody the many varieties of love.  We receive many gifts in our life from those we love and from those we might even hate.

Imagine for a moment the scene of leaving Egypt at midnight. The moment arrives. God’s love permeates the moment.  Finally, freedom. Gather your gifts—first life itself—you have survived, you will walk out of this Egyptian concentration camp.  It feels euphoric, chaotic, overwhelming (Chesed).  Then focus sets in. First steps and then next steps. Gather what you need. There is not even time to let the bread fully bake.  There are limits to what you can take with you, to what you can take in (Gevurah). Your oppressors offer gifts. Accepting the gifts is a harmonizing act, integrating the pain and loss and feeling empathy (Tiferet).  Can love win out, will expansiveness be the measure of the day—a day that has no limits. All obstacles have been removed or now can be seen as overcome (Netzach) and there will be a need to let go, to acknowledge that within this euphoria there are those that will not be leaving, nor has an ultimate awareness come to the Egyptians themselves (Hod).  And what is Moses doing at this moment? He is finding the bones of Joseph to keep a promise that was made two centuries before, “take my bones out with you from Egypt”.  The leader ensures that the moment of leaving is with integrity (Yesod). Then the exodus begins. With trumpet and tambourine and a step over the border. Free at last—with love and for love. Love busts us out—it is that power worth waiting for until the last day, the very last moment.

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Day one: Chesed in Chesed

Receiving love is not always easy—it makes us uneasy at times. Underlying this dis-ease is a lack of feeling worthy of the largess of unconditional love.  Similarly, are we able to love with no feeling of reciprocity—to love for its own sake.  On this first full day of freeing from slavery (of the past) how can you love others and yourself unconditionally? Is this a contradiction? Can I love you the way you want and not give up loving myself?

Set aside a time to meditate without any time limit—just sit and allow the emotion of love to permeate your body and mind.  Feel yourself expanding with the meditation. If you want to add words you can say: Love my neighbor—love myself.

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Day two: Gevurah in Chesed

The balance of overflowing love is to be focused and even limiting in our love. This not only impacts the ‘quantity of love’ it also defines the ‘quality of love.’  One often recognizes this aspect of love (Gevurah) with the loss of love.  After loss the question is can I ever love again? Yet we find that love is generative—it can be born again even from the narrow confines of loss.


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The Counting of 50 days from Passover through Shavuot

We are adding our own way of approaching this 50 day count.   Be mindful that this is a practice of living in the present moment; being aware of just today and the possibilities it presents—without being stuck in the past —  living with regret of the past , or being stuck in the future—waiting for “then” and not living now.

Wonderful teachers have gone before to create a scheme of using the (seven lower) Sefirot and intentions for each day of the week representing one of the seven Sefirot.  Each week is an inter-inclusive teaching with the particular Sefirah defining the week. The Sefirah then is the energy of the week—and the specific combination of the overall Sefirah and its connecting Sefirah a particular energy for that day. Please find below a chart with a synopsis of Rabbi Jacobson’s The Spiritual Guide to the Counting of the Omer (1995) and Rabbi Min Kantrowitz’s Counting the Omer: Kabbalistic Meditation Guide (2010). (more…)

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Fifty First Dates

Can we start anew each day, each moment?  Memory is like an anchor in the flow of time.  We remember our ports of call, the people, places, tastes, smells, feelings etc.  Can we really ever start anew?  Can starting anew carry any memory from the past? Starting next week on Read more…