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Embracing the Bet

Koby Gruenwald (z"l)As my family and I move from our first High Holiday season without our son Koby,(z”l) into our second, I am keenly aware of the energy that is manifesting around us.

Over the past five years, the High Holidays have been an experience of incredible vulnerability, and intimacy with life and death.

2015 (the Jewish year 5776)  I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

2016 (5777)- Koby was six months into his glioblastoma diagnosis.

2017 (5778)-  The Utanetokef Unetane-Tokef prayer, a liturgical poem which projects who will live and who will die in the year ahead, made me shudder with fear about what would be next for our Koby. How much more time would we have? What do we get to hope for?

2018 (5779)- We were still reeling and in the depths of grief from Koby’s passing earlier that year.

And now, in 2019, there is an excited energy about us.

I am immersed in my new role at Kabbalah Experience. Kabbalah Experience is in a place of expansion and transformation. Our family is moving to a new home. We are moving forward, not moving on. This is the year of beginnings.

And it came to me, that our first year without Koby was the year of the Hebrew letter Alef, the only silent letter among the Hebrew letters. It was the year of Alef א , a year of mystical silence. Of a silent hum. Of settling down. Of finding a new ‘normal.’ Of quiet and regrouping.

This new year, 5780 will reflect the letter Bet.

Breishit- בְּרֵאשִׁית- For (new) beginnings

Bracha- בְּרָכָה – For blessing

Bayit- בַּיִת- For a new home

Binah- בִּינָה- For new understanding

In our Space class, we explore the energy flow from Keter, the crown, to Malchut, manifestation. We are always at the beginning and end of this process. We are always in the thick of it. The energy flows left and right, up and down, leaving us seeking a space in the middle, where we find balance and equanimity. It ties us to will, pleasure and faith.

In the sefirah of Binah, we are drawn to understanding—a contained vessel that flows from the infinite possibilities held in Chochmah, wisdom. In Binah, we become impregnated with metaphor, what is the story that shapes our experience? At the same time, Binah lives in the vertical expression of will, as it relates to the Infinite. Will exists in the intellectual triad (of chochma, binah, and da’at), where an idea is being fleshed out, and taking shape. Our moving forward takes a shape of a story, of new beginnings in this new year. We choose, and we also understand that this choosing, comes from a source that is above us.

Through my head, heart and actions. I find I am energized by this energy in motion. And I feel blessed to be embraced and to embrace this year of our family’s Bet.

How will we manifest Bet in the year to come? I only know a few first steps at this moment—a new professional role, a new home, a community of expansive connections. These all offer incredible blessings and beginnings.  Understanding will emerge.

I bless you with my Bracha-ברכה  for you and your loved ones in this new year to enter new beginnings with awe, joy, curiosity, awareness, and wonder.

With gratitude,

Melanie

5 Comments

Robyn Loup · October 8, 2019 at 9:12 am

A very personal narrative that has inspired me and so many others on Yom Kippur.. thank you

Marty Morris · October 8, 2019 at 9:29 am

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God. Aeschylus

Pamela Mayeda · October 8, 2019 at 9:43 am

Beautiful; Heartfelt; Thank you for sharing.

Hanna Shaner · October 8, 2019 at 10:01 am

Beautifully written, your strength and courage and wisdom is an inspiration.

Cherie Karo Schwartz · October 8, 2019 at 10:17 am

Your open heart beams through this posting, with deep sharing and teaching. May your year be one of Blessing, Breathing into new experience and Bountiful peace.

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