Dear Pop…

Dear PopYour granddaughter has been nagging me to write about what you taught me, how you directed my growth as a Jew. It has been hard for me to put this into words. But this morning when I could not sleep it came to me. To say that Judaism was a vehicle for social action is too easy. For to you, social action was a vehicle for Jewing. I know that term is unexpected to you. When you walked this earth it was only used in the pejorative. But a teacher of mine since your passing has … [Read more...]

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From Where I Sit – By Reb Bahir

Twitter and tweeting is all the rage nowadays.  I am not sure that I understand it, the mechanics of it.  And I suspect that it might have something to do with our collective A.D.D.  But I thought that I would try it out.  I, of course do not have the technical ability to set one up yet.  I shall have to ask my children to teach me, if indeed, they are not too old.  But in the meantime, I thought this month that I would throw a few out there in this format.So please assume that we are twit … [Read more...]

How to Encounter the Omer, Week 6 – Yesod

YESODThe process of Yesoding is emptying and filling that part of our soul that connects Nefesh (our physical part of the soul) to Ruah (people-interactive part of the soul) and Neshamah (the part of our soul that is our private G link).Eastern religion and philosophy speak of emptying ourselves.  They speak of no-mind.  The usefulness of a cup is in its emptiness, goes the Zen proverb.   Since we Jews are a Middle Eastern religion and philosophy, we too speak of the meaning of emptying.  And … [Read more...]

How to Encounter the Omer, Week 5 – Hod – To be or not to be, what a question!

HodNetzah is all about doing. Hod is all about being. We need to be careful in Hod. Hod is beyond thought, it is beyond action, it is beyond. Some think that Hod is about “doing nothing.” But doing nothing is still doing. Hod is not about doing nothing, its about being everything and being nothing. Confused, then you have a handle on the Yin Yang of Netzah/Hod. If we dissect Hod into its 7 Omer parts, we just might begin to understand its gentle power.HESED OF HODIf Hesed is lov … [Read more...]

The Kabbalah of Counting: The Mystical Meaning of the Counting of the Omer

The Counting of the Omer originated in a deep, loving relationship to the earth.For us, it has become process of re-creation, re-birth and re-newal of a sacred bond that grounds our hearts to the earth and lifts our souls to the heavens.The 49 day period is counted in days and weeks.The 7 days of each of the 7 weeks constitutes the 49 days.Each week is represented by a specific sacred attribute, called Sefirah from the mystical Tree of Life.Each day within that week is represented by … [Read more...]

How to Encounter the Omer, Week 4 – Netzach (The New Militia)

With all of the talk regarding 2nd amendment rights and the militias on the right, I began to feel, as a political lefty, left out. I spoke with my friend Mary about my conundrum. She responded that I should not feel dismay, this May, because she had created a militia for lefties. It is called, appropriately enough, Left’s American Militia. For short it is L.A.M. I was so pleased to discover that Mary had a little LAM, that I immediately wanted to join. She responded that before I could b … [Read more...]

How to Encounter the Omer, week 3 – Tiferet

TiferetThere is such a beauty in balance, in being balanced. When we look around our world and find things in balance we feel comforted, at ease, all is well and all because of balance. Tiferet symbolizes that comforting balance, that feeling that all is well that all is beautiful. And yet real balance is dynamic, not static like when we take a walk.And yet movement requires us to change our balance. We must unbalance to rebalance with every step.  In Judo we are taught to sweep a … [Read more...]

How to Encounter the Omer, week 2 – Gevurah

I have a sweet friend who I visit every Shabbos. Her name is Joan. We sit together and chat about “Jewish Stuff” and then share the blessings of entering Shabbos. During these 7 weeks of Omer we have been talking about the 7 x 7 Sefirot. Well, I do most of the talking (no surprise there), and she offers her smile and laughter and some interesting notions. Here is installment two of the Counting of the Omer. Last week was Hesed, unconditional love. This week is Gevurah.Gevurah has to do with the … [Read more...]

How to Encounter the Omer

From Where I Sit….OK, Pesah has passed and Shavuot is a few weeks away.  The 49 days in between are called the Omer and it is an ancient Jewish custom to count the Omer, the days until Shavuot.  Originally it was an agricultural activity.  Later it became a time of mystic wonder.Even within the deepest mystic moment there are simple yet deep lessons to be learned and shared and passed on.  Each day of the 49 has stories and lessons to share.  You have lessons and stories to share.Here … [Read more...]


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