Blog Tsimtsum

We have 168 hours in each week. How do we want to use them?

In the Jewish calendar, we are in the midst of Elul, the month leading up to Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. This is a time of reflection and personal assessment. It is a time we can ask ourselves the questions- Where are we? Where have we been? Where are we going?

For Kabbalah Experience, this past year has been one of great growth and innovation. We have been able to expand our staff, our class offerings, and are reaching over 120 students on a weekly basis. Our year is off to a terrific start, and it would not be possible without you. Thanks for showing up in all of the ways that you do.

As students become teachers, and teachers become students at Kabbalah Experience, one of my teachers pointed out in our conversation about affecting spiritual energy by setting our intentions “because space exists, there’s more room for creation to occur.”

This reflects the teaching of tsimsum/ “contraction”, the kabbalistic understanding of how creation took place. If God, or a divine being, were everywhere and everything, the rabbis asked… If this divine spirit was infinite, how could the infinite create space for the finite to occur?

And the answer that Isaac Luria presents, is that God/ the Divine Being withdrew into God’s self, in order to create the space for physical creation- the finite- to exist. Withdrawing one’s self, to make space, is the ultimate act of creation.

As human beings, created in the image of Divine, I am left to wonder—
How do we sit in quiet space?
How do we create space for spontaneity?
How do we create space for play and creativity?

Many of us are challenged with the idea of embracing stillness. Busy-ness becomes a social status. A friend might ask, “How are you?” and a typical response is “I am just so busy.” Personally, if I’m not in the midst of a scheduling vortex, I tend to be a little disoriented.

My challenge to each of us, as we wade our way through Elul, and head into the High Holidays, is this: Let’s take a moment to reflect on how we spend our time, and how we might create more space in our day-to-day lives.

Do we create time for personal growth and spiritual connections? Do we have time for meaningful conversations and unscheduled blocks of time? Are our relationships transactional or transformational? Do we take time to notice, and wonder, and engage in the everyday miracles that present themselves? Do we put down our screens long enough to engage in real face-to-face time with friends and family, rather than hiding behind our social media masks?

How will you create the space to bring greater awareness into your life?
How will you spend your 168 hours this week?

Thank you for being on this journey with us.

No matter how you celebrate- I wish you and yours a peaceful, healthy, and mindful New Year.


with gratitude,

1 Comment

diane gimber · September 13, 2019 at 9:49 am

Thank you for your words/thoughts. Creating space by setting intentions is a helpful way for me to undertake some action.

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