Thursday, April 30, 2015

Much is hidden. Omer Day 27

Text by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen
Photos by Carol Reiman and Rabbi Katy Z. Allen


Some is obvious to us.


Much is hidden.


We may think we see all.


At times we know we don't.


We crane our necks,


But must open our eyes,
our hearts,
our minds,


to what lies beneath


and what lies beyond.


What does it take
for us to see?


Today is Day 27, which is three weeks and six days of the Omer.
Today is Day 27, which is three weeks and six days of the journey from bondage to revelation.

Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as a Nature Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is a co-convener and coordinator of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network.

Carol Reiman is a member of Ma'yan Tikvah in Wayland and Temple B'nai Brith in Somerville. She also dances between cataloging library materials and caring for cats.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

On the Journey to Transformation - Omer Day 26

by Rabbi Robin Damsky

How can I write of grief? The sun is shining and green things are poking out through the earth. While this season from Pesah to Shavuot highlights the road from bondage to revelation, we must remember that while the start is enslavement, the journey’s entire intention is for freedom and then revelation. To focus on the bondage would be to miss the point. Certainly we must acknowledge the issues and concerns, as they are our starting point. We must be willing to take that deep, honest look at what is so, at who we are; yet we do this not to despair, but rather to see. It is through this deep look – through acknowledging the bondage – that we transform.


In the last months I have been inspired by the work of MIT’s Otto Scharmer and his colleagues, beginning with reading Otto’s book, Leading From the Emerging Future. What a title! So compelling – at once inspiring and contradictory. How can we lead from something that is not yet here? And yet, isn't that what we do each minute? The choice available to us is that we can lead from past predisposition or from the heart. The heart knows oneness – Echad. It is through the opening of our hearts that we sense the future that is unfolding, the future that is inclusive, that is whole. It is this future that our hearts call us to design: to green the earth with food and tree, to expand sustainable energy sources, to use wisely, to nourish and care for everyone in the whole. The absence of these are all expressions of bondage.


To maintain that we have no choice in the future is to succumb to enslavement. This is the antithesis of the Passover story, the narrative that frames not just this time of the year, but our entire entity as a people. We are to reach for freedom and all that it encompasses in spite of what may seem like insurmountable obstacles. Through seeing ourselves as one we recognize that it is through coming together that the healing we seek will be accomplished.

Sit quietly. Breathe into your heart. Feel our interconnectedness. And begin.

© Rabbi Robin Damsky

Robin Damsky is the rabbi of West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest, Illinois. In her spare time she cultivates her organic, edible permaculture property to feed, to educate and to bring people together.

More on Otto Scharmer and his work can be found at http://www.ottoscharmer.com



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Speaking Out - Omer Day 25

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen

Which side do we see?
Which way do we turn?
What do we do?


Photo by Lisa B. Kaye


When we see something that bothers or hurts or angers us, 
do we complain 
or do we speak out?

When we see something that heartens and touches us, 
do we tell a friend 
or do we tell those involved?


Photo by Lisa B. Kaye

Speaking out about the good and about the bad - 
both have their challenges.
Others might not agree. 
Others might have a different experience of the situation. 
Someone could lash out at us, 
or accuse us of privilege. 
Or other unpleasant responses.

So many are the ways to be enslaved and held back by fear,
by anxiety,
by fright,
by terror,
by dread
of stepping forward,
of speaking,
of acting,
of responding
from our hearts,
from the truth we hold within.


Photo by Katy Z. Allen
So many ways to see and to respond.



Today is Day 25, which is three weeks and four days of the Omer.
Today is Day 25, which is three weeks and four days of the journey from bondage to revelation.

Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as a Nature Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is a co-convener and coordinator of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network.

Lisa Baye Kaye is an amateur cell phone photographer and poet by passion and a healthcare and educational consultant by trade. She has lived all over the USA and currently resides in MetrowestMA. In her words, “I believe that nature is a great healer and we must protect this sacred Earth that invites us to be part of its system.”


Monday, April 27, 2015

The Burnt Egg - Omer Day 24

by Maggid David Arfa

Shemot 2: 23-24 …and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.  And God heard their groaning, and God remembered God’s covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

I raise the burnt egg of the seder plate.  Inside a cry lies dormant; a cry that contains all cries.  The Rabbis teach us not to avoid this cry.  Further, they say, trust, feel, open, speak; know that these cries will not lead to annihilation, but to regeneration and redemption.

Yet, this wisdom is so hard to trust.  Have we not been trained since childhood to avoid pain, to avoid tears?  I have. All year our family ate a steady diet of American hope and optimism, wonders and miracles, in the form of Wonder Bread and Miracle Whip mayonnaise.  Our childhood seder was no different, under guidance from the house of Reb Maxwell, we had no burnt egg at all.  Instead, we had a pre-peeled, gleaming and tasty hard-boiled egg on our seder plate, laden with birth and spring joy.

It wasn’t until I was a college student studying in a Jerusalem Yeshiva that I saw a grown man cry.  It was Tisha B’Av and the heat of the summer was intense.  We first ate hard-boiled egg dipped into ashes, and then we sat on the ground and began prayers that included mournfully chanted lamentations.   These laments of the persecuted and starving community in ancient Jerusalem were accompanied by unabashed groans, shouts and tears.

I couldn’t breathe, I was overwhelmed.  I was sitting inside the day of the burnt egg.  A day of many tragedies including the destruction of both ancient temples, the destruction of the city Betar, many medieval anti-semitic persecutions and even the Shoah, the Holocaust, are all folded into Tisha B’Av.

The burnt egg of Pesach is deepened by Tisha B’av.  Tisha B’Av invites us to understand that no matter how much we do, hunger, hatred, greed, murder and malice will continue throughout the world.  No matter how much we organize, the atmosphere will continue to heat.  No matter how much we protest, species will stop being; the ending of birth; the death to all that could have been.  Burnt eggs all.  Can we sit still long enough and allow ourselves to grock this immense, on-going pain?  Can we feel the sadness as it fills us?  To hear the Earth cry?  To weep with the Holy One?

This is so hard.  Inner voices from childhood, from past generations, caution against crying.  They warn of the attack that comes with vulnerability, they fear annihilation and the WAIL transforms into enemy.  The burnt egg transforms into searing flame, burning all who come near.  All the while, we become hypervigilant; choosing to live inside a lookout tower, dedicating ourselves to plugging leaks, plastering over, preventing disturbance.  Or perhaps, we just skip merrily towards utopic redemption; forever choosing Disney’s ‘happily ever after’, over the pain and realism of Kafka.

The Rabbis offer us a helping hand, a contradiction to the path of avoidance and numbness.  They know, from Shemot 2 found above, that redemption is activated by crying out; our very tears and groans are able to wake up this world; wake up ourselves.  Rabbi Kalonymous Kalman Shapiro, the Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto, taught from experience that avoiding the pain of our lives and the pain of the world, while seeming smart, only brings a numbness and silence that threatens both our very being and the Source of Life which animates the world.  His teachings, from that ‘Time of Wrath’, testify that through our painful depths we also connect with the pain of the world and the Source of Life itself.

In the ritualized poetry of Tisha B’Av, the Mashiach is born only on the afternoon of Tisha B’Av after lamentations. In the words of the Safed Kabbalist Moshe Cordovero, with breaking, comes hope.  Our Rabbis know that if we skip lamentations, we are in trouble.  If we succumb and silently accept the misery and pain of our life without complaint, be it the slavery in Egypt or living blithely through mass extinctions, poisonous products and heating climate, then we are surely lost.  Lost in numbing distractions, cynical, powerless anger or the constant busyness and distraction that is America.

So the burnt egg is kept on the seder plate.  Allowing us to connect ancient temple sacrifice with the temple that is our body; the temple that is our earth; and the temple that is our home.   Containing every ash laden egg, midnight lament, unpatched wall and heart-felt cry that is uttered.  Reminding us to trust, feel, open and speak.


And our story begins.  Guiding us, encouraging us to not sidestep, sugar-coat or harden our hearts with indifference; to not turn away from places of pain and catastrophe.  Spin the seder wheel and we also have Karpas, green leafy hopeful Karpas, the real spring joy.  We are blessed with visions of new growth, of actual escape from Egypt, of sustaining Manna, formed with the regenerative powers that are continually flowing through our world.  Trusting this inherent wisdom is waiting inside our story of wholeness, waiting to be retold, refreshed and relived.  We step inside the spiral again this year, knowing that redemption is not a ‘once and for all time’ event.  After all, we are only human.

Maggid David Arfa (Mah-geed; Storyteller) is dedicated to Judaism’s storytelling heritage and ancient environmental wisdom. He has produced two storytelling CDs, "The Birth of Love: Tales for the Days of Awe" and the Parents' Choice award-winning collection of light-hearted stories, "The Life and Times of Herschel of Ostropol: The Greatest Prankster Ever To Live." His full-length storytelling performance, "The Jar of Tears: A Memorial for the Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto" won the Charles Hildebrandt Holocaust Studies Award in honor of its artistic excellence, depth of vision and technical mastery. David lives in the Berkshire foothills of Shelburne Falls and serves as the Director of Education for Congregation Beth Israel in North Adams.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Love, Grief, Silence, and Revelation - Omer Day 23

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen

I am praying in the woods...

Ahavah rabbah....With abundant love you have loved us, Adonai, our G!d..

As I say these words, I look up and see a fallen tree held up in the crotch of a branch of another tree, and I see a hug, I see love.

And then I notice another hug in the woods...
and another.

I come home and find Orion magazine in my mail box and am drawn immediately to an article entitled "Big Love: The Emotional Life of Elephants" by Carl Safina, who says:
When someone says you can't attribute human emotions to animals, they forget the key leveling detail: humans are animals. 
Safina later quotes Joyce Poole, from her book Coming of Age with Elephants, who writes about elephants' response to death:
"It is their silence that is most unsettling. The only sound is the slow blowing of air out of their trunks as they investigate their dead companion. It's as if even the birds have stopped singing." [Scientist] Vicki [Fishlock] has seen it herself; she says it is "heartstoppingly sad." 
It takes love to grieve.

A midrash teaches that when G!d gave the Torah, the birds stopped singing, the sea did not roar, and no creature spoke. The entire world was silent.

The silence of grief.

Grief requires love.

Revelation happens in silence.

In today's world, and the state of today's planet, where are we on the journey of grief? Can we be silent enough to experience revelation?

We are on the journey from bondage to revelation. We are not yet silent.

Today is Day 23, which is three weeks and two days of the Omer.
Today is Day 23, which is three weeks and two days of the journey from bondage to revelation.

Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as a Nature Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is a co-convener and coordinator of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network.



Saturday, April 25, 2015

Reality and Trust - Omer Day 22

Words by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen
Photo by Lisa B. Kaye

What is reality?

Can we trust our eyes?
Can we trust our minds?
Can we trust our hearts?




Reality takes many forms.

What does it mean to trust?
What does it mean not to trust?

Bondage includes a lack of trust in our vision, our minds, and our hearts.
Finding trust is part of finding freedom.

Experiencing revelation requires trust. 
And faith.

Where are we on our journey toward trust?

Today is Day 22, which is three weeks and one day of the Omer.
Today is Day 22, which is three weeks and one day of the journey from bondage to revelation.

Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as a Nature Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is a co-convener and coordinator of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network.


Lisa Baye Kaye is an amateur cell phone photographer and poet by passion and a healthcare and educational consultant by trade. She has lived all over the USA and currently resides in MetrowestMA. In her words, “I believe that nature is a great healer and we must protect this sacred Earth that invites us to be part of its system.”

Friday, April 24, 2015

Planting the Seeds - Omer Day 21


by Emily Jaeger

Rosh Hashanah 2011 and I’m on a plane to Paraguay with 35 other new Peace Corps volunteers. As we nose down for the landing, all you can see are endless green fields separated by thin strips of red road. It seems like an Eden—our trainers tell us that most plants you just need to put a twig in the ground and it will sprout roots.

Everything can grow here and nothing can grow here. Local farmers have abandoned animal traction and hoeing for tractors and field burning. As PC volunteers, we both ask the big questions: how do we help reverse erosion and teach subsistence farmers to farm sustainability, while ignoring the big, “too political” problems: that Monsanto and foreign soy farmers are pushing out small farmers by any means necessary, polluting water sources and poisoning bees with spray-on pesticides.
 
In the same day, I pass a large field by the entrance to the community: newly burnt, the 100 year old mango tree in twisted pieces on the ground, cut for parts. Then I go to the church, a small yellow room in the village center. Meet with ten farmers: corn/bean/yucca growers, keepers of bees hidden in backyard forests. We talk about cover crops for five weeks. Map out field rotations and learn basic soil nutrients with a variety pack of cookies. At the end of five weeks, farmers get enough seeds to plant a seed plot. The first harvest will produce enough cover-crop seeds to plant in the field the next year.

How do you measure success? During the two years that I served in Paraguay, I saw tent villages on the streets of major Paraguayan cities, the new homes of those kicked off their land by Monsanto lawsuits. Walked by neighbors burning the earth for the next cash crop that would inevitably fail from drought or never bring in the promised high-returns. Ten farmers took the seeds from my course and only two planted them the first year. I moved onto gardening projects with women’s groups. A month before I left Paraguay, the Benitez family called me over to visit. The plants are coming up! The seeds earned eighteen months earlier, planted for seed, and harvested, were now sprouting in between rows of corn. Planted perfectly, ready to trap in moisture and shelter the soil from harsh weather. Ready to replenish the soil with the nitrogen beads in their roots and compost from their leaves. 

Today is Day 21, which is three weeks of the Omer.
Today is Day 21, which is three weeks of the journey from bondage to redemption.

Emily Jaeger is a returned Peace Corps volunteer and backyard organic farmer who dreams in four languages. Currently studying in the MFA program at UMASS Boston, she is co-editor and co-founder of the Window Cat Press, a zine for young, emerging artists. A Lambda Literary fellow, her poem "Mercenary" was nominated for the Pushcart Award and her work has been published Arc, Broad!, Broadsided, Cecile's Writers, The Jewish Journal, and Zeek. For more info, please visit her website


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Learning from the Maya - Can We? Omer Day 20

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen
 
There is currently a wonderful exhibit at the Museum of Science in Boston: Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed.
 
There is much we could learn from the Maya.

We could learn to feed ourselves through locally grown food.
 
 
We could learn that out of suffering and shadows can come rebirth and renewal.



We could learn that all that is beyond our comprehension can bring us life-giving rain in due time, but also superstorms that bring devastation and disaster in their wake.



We could learn that if we want too much, if we insist on building too many "glorious buildings," we can, in the process, bring about our own demise.




The Maya built huge cities and had a vibrant civilization. Their cities and the civilization are in ruins.

Photo from www.mexconnect.com


There is much we could learn from the Maya.

Today is Day 20, which is two weeks and six days of the Omer.
Today is Day 21, which is two weeks and six days of the journey from bondage to revelation.

Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as a Nature Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is a co-convener and coordinator of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Through Affliction to a More Sustainable Life - Omer Day 19

by Andy Oram


Weighed nearly to the ground by bricks, grasping for wisps of straw that were stranded by other desperate slaves, frenzied by rumors that another killing of babies will be ordered--that is one form of oppression.  We can well identify with it today as real wages fall, social supports that used to fill the gap get undercut, and chances to climb out of the pit vanish.

But simultaneous with the oppression of blows and poverty, I must struggle with the oppression of finery. I remember the fine melons, the leeks, the onions. I nearly taste the succulent meat on my tongue. But I must learn the austere life, one in harmony with the Supreme Being who provides me with life.

What I do no realize is that my exile is temporary. My people's future takes us to a land laden with luscious grapes. But not until I am stripped of jewels and adornments. I must become plain again.

Like the Israelites among the Egyptians, modern people have to relearn our construction techniques, our wasteful food consumption, and our relationship to Nature. Otherwise, climate change and environmental degradation will continue leading to the bizarre diseases and harmful unbalances among species that we have seen over the past few decades, a modern series of plagues that never lift.

Living now in the unfathomably wealthy middle class suburbs of the United States, provided with all manner of beeping distractions on which I can write this essay and entertain myself in so many ways, I have to put myself in a radically new mental space to spend even seven days thinking of slavery and deprivation, or forty-nine days in contemplation of my good luck. Only by doing so can I receive the revelation of my relationship to the universe.

What sort of affliction will lead me to revelation? The discipline places heavy demands on me. It is hard to switch to a smaller car, to wait in the dark for a bus, to put on an extra sweater in winter and drench my face regularly so I can do without air conditioning in the summer. But Pesach has made me ready for a life in harmony with the world I live in.

Today is Day 19, which is two weeks and five days of the Omer.
Today is Day 19, which is two weeks and five days of the journey from bondage to revelation.

Andy Oram is a writer and editor at O'Reilly Media, a leading media outlet in the computer field. He is also an activist in the Jewish Climate Action Network as well as other progressive political organizations, and a member of Temple Shir Tikvah of Winchester, Mass. Some of his writings can be found at http://praxagora.com/andyo/fiction.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Last Leaves - Omer Day 18

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen

Autumn...


leaves turning, 
woods aglow with color...

leaves falling,
covering the ground,
branches bare for the winter...


a familiar sight,
a quantity known.

But now, in spring, 
I find leaves,
freshly fallen,
in my yard.


I know their source,
the sapling beeches,
holding their leaves through the winter...


but come spring, 
fall they must,
for only thus can new growth begin.


Today is Day 18, which is two weeks and four days of the Omer.
Today is Day 18, which is two weeks and four days of the journey from bondage to revelation.

Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as a Nature Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is a co-convener and coordinator of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network.

Monday, April 20, 2015

What Does Freedom Mean to You? Omer Day 17

The following is a Passover project of the North Shore University Hospital Chaplaincy Department, in Manhasset, New York. It was coordinated by Rabbi Daniel Coleman. A larger format version of it can be found here.

 
Today is the seventeenth day, which is two weeks and three days of the Omer.
Today is the seventeenth day, which is two weeks and three days of the journey from bondage to redemption.

Rabbi Daniel Coleman serves as chaplain at North Shore University Hospital and is on the board of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains.Rabbi Daniel Coleman was awarded “Chaplain of the Year” by North Shore hospital - flagship of the nation's second largest secular health system - recognizing him for bringing comfort to thousands of patients and their families and helping them harness Judaism’s healing tradition and wisdom. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Dream and Its Interpretation - Omer Day 16

A. D. Gordon, translated by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen

A. D. Gordon (1856-1922) was an early Zionist and pioneer in the Land of Israel. His words, written 100 years ago in totally different circumstances, resonate today when we read them through the lenses of climate change and environmental degradation. 

We dreamed, you and I, 
my brother and my sister, 
interpreter it has none, 
an ancient dream it is, 
as the days when we went forth from exile, 
but you forgot it or did not elucidate it for yourselves,
and I did not recount it to you. 
Grand is the dream, 
vast like the void of the universe, 
and we long for it with our souls, 
but I will not remind you of it this time, 
except for a small fragment/excerpt.

Now, please hear, my brother, 
please hear my dream, my sister, 
and remember that you also dreamed as I did. 

In my dream--and here it is, 
I arrive at the land. 
And the land is neglected and desolate
and is in the hands of foreigners, 
and the destruction darkens the light of her face 
and destroys her spirit, 
and an alien government corrupts her. 
Distant from me and strange to me 
is the land of my ancestors,
and I, too, am distant from her and a stranger to her. 
The single connection that ties me to her, 
and the lone memory that reminds me 
that she is my mother and I am her son, 
is--because my soul is also desolate 
like her, 
for it, too, fell into the hands of foreigners,
to destruct it and destroy it. 
I feel the destruction and I ponder the ruins
with all my soul
and with every ounce of my being, 
and a divine voice goes forth from the ruins and declares, 
“Mortal! Consider these ruins, 
and consider them once again, 
turn not a blind eye to them. 
And you shall know and gain insight 
to what you already understand, 
that the destruction is the destruction of your soul, 
and the destroyer is the destroyer in your life, 
in the midst of which you lived in foreign lands 
and which clung to you until this time. 
Remember this, 
for your redemption requires this! 
And as you continue to ponder and to dig deeper, 
you shall see that from below the ruins
an orphan cinder still whispers, 
saved by hiding from the spirit of that life,
and the spirit of the land breathes upon it 
to bring it to life.
And when it totally abandoned that life, 
which others created,
when you left their land and arrived here 
to create a new life for yourself, your life--
then cinder smoldered and lived,
glowed and brought forth its flame, 
and you returned and lived,
and your people and your land returned and lived.

Today is Day 16, which is two weeks and two days of the Omer.
Today is Day 16, which is two weeks and two days of the journey from bondage to revelation.

Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as a Nature Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is a co-convener and coordinator of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

In the Ice - Omer Day 15

Photos by Lisa B. Kaye
Text by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen

What do we see in ice?


The incredible beauty of Creation?



Ice dams and water damage?



Delicate tapestry?



Remnants of the bondage of winter?


A reflection of our self or the world?



Hope for new beginnings?



The intersection of solid and liquid, of secure and fluid?

The uncertainty of all?



What do you see in ice?

Today is the fifteenth day, which is two weeks and one day of the Omer.
Today is the fifteenth day, which is two weeks and one day of the journey from bondage to revelation.

Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as a Nature Chaplain and the Facilitator of One Earth Collaborative, a program of Open Spirit. She is the founder and rabbi of Ma'yan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope, which holds services outdoors all year long. She is a co-convener and coordinator of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network.


Lisa Baye Kaye is an amateur cell phone photographer and poet by passion and a healthcare and educational consultant by trade. She has lived all over the USA and currently resides in Metrowest, MA. In her words, “I believe that nature is a great healer and we must protect this sacred Earth that invites us to be part of its system.”

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Vision of a World - Omer Day 14

Malchut of Gevurah
by Judith Felsen

Today we know a vision of a world enhanced by conscious rigor
is a potential outcome of restraint embodied in commitment to Your will
as we begin to act to shift the fate of earth from futures of destruction to its Eden.
We recognize today in this sefirot’s light an image of a planet
with apparent history of each human’s lower nature
once concealed and now revealed.
The scars of our desires now become the guides exposed
to offer pathways of correction, our teshuvah, in cooperation with Your will.
Correction is within us and apparent in our daily life
as we create new structures  which do manifest our values changed
as centuries of darkened habits of the other side are altered.
We can restore Your kingdom here as we meld into one with You.
There is no separation of our will from Yours in this world redeemed.
Your light, all emanations of reality flow through divine sefirot and abide in us.
We catalyze Your essence and rebuild Your majesty.
As Your schliach we protect and heal our planet.
We are mighty farmers of Your light, all workers of Your earthly kingdom.
We come today to till our fields with consciousness, now fueled by our atonement,
to sow our crops as You advise with discipline and willingness,
to yield Your blessings once revealed, then concealed and now revealed again.
Creation through divine restriction, malchut of gevurah
is empowerment and emanation of Your will
as with divine restraint we restore balance,
heal our earth and harvest holiness in crops of life.

Today is the fourteenth day, which is two weeks of the Omer.
Today is the fourteenth day, which is two weeks of the journey from bondage to revelation.

Copyright 2015  Judith E. Felsen, Ph. D. Used by permission.


Judith Felsen holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, certificates in hypnotherapy, NLP, Eriksonian Hypnosis, and Sacred Plant Medicine. She is a dancer of sacred circle dance, an AMC kitchen crew, trail information volunteer, trail adopter, and daily student of Torah and Judaism. She is enrolled in Rabbinical Seminary International. She has studied Buddhism, A Course in Miracles, and other mystical traditions. She is a hiker, walker, runner, and lives in the White Mountains with her husband and two large dogs. Her life centers around her Jewish studies and daily application.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Have We the Wisdom? Omer Day 13

Yesod of Gevurah
by Judith Felsen

As our sages have at times advised, have we the wisdom now to listen
and to respond to all compelling signs that less is more?
Are  we able now to triumph in recognizing indicators
all of which tell when to stop?
The time for our cessation of past idols is upon us
as well as clear direction for destruction of our golden calves.
Embodiment of care of Elohim may signify to “just say no”
in preparation for corrective local plans.
Are we ready to embrace the light of spheres above
assimilating Your transmission of a path to health?
Chesed, gevurah, netzach and hod all do contain  
the energy  to build a renewed world through our restraint.
Our discipline, Your strength, withholding and divine constraint
directs us in the farming of new life.
Today’s sefirot guide us with a mighty focus
as we “just say no” to that which brings destruction,
and recast earth’s riches and our assets to all
that saves our world and brings forth life.

Today is the thirteenth day, which is one week and six days of the Omer.
Today is the thirteenth day, which is one week and six days of the journey from bondage to revelation.

Copyright 2015  Judith E. Felsen, Ph. D. Used by permission.


Judith Felsen holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, certificates in hypnotherapy, NLP, Eriksonian Hypnosis, and Sacred Plant Medicine. She is a dancer of sacred circle dance, an AMC kitchen crew, trail information volunteer, trail adopter, and daily student of Torah and Judaism. She is enrolled in Rabbinical Seminary International. She has studied Buddhism, A Course in Miracles, and other mystical traditions. She is a hiker, walker, runner, and lives in the White Mountains with her husband and two large dogs. Her life centers around her Jewish studies and daily application.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Is it Too Late? Omer Day 12

Hod of Gevurah
by Judith Felsen

Is it too late to beg forgiveness of a world
seen only through the eyes of our desires,
heard only through our ears awaiting affirmation
of our deals and continuous demands?
Is it too late to mend our sight as we adjust
from our myopia to corrected long term vision?
Is it too late to make repairs to reconstruct
our damage to Your tattered footstool
scarred by our constant battering?
Is it too late for You to hear our humbled cries
and yearning in our delayed efforts to return
Your world to You?
We pray with muddied hands washed in polluted waters
as we bend our knees in tending poisoned soils.
We chant with voices damaged an atmosphere
consumed by our debris.
This is our midnight.
We  live today in  pyramids we built
in deals conspired with our own oppressors.
And yet we seek to quickly leave mitzrayim of our making,
undeserving of redemption’s path and barely willing
to assume Your yoke.
With humbleness and new restraint we follow You
on paths unknown into a desert we both crave and fear.
With sadness and our own regret we slowly see the imprint
of our lower selves upon Your world, as we now ask, 
“Is it too late for yet another chance,
as we transform the makings of our golden calf into a dwelling place
that is Your home?”

Today is the twelfth day, which is one week and five days of the Omer.
Today is the twelfth day, which is one week and five days of the journey from bondage to revelation.

Copyright 2015  Judith E. Felsen, Ph. D. Used by permission.


Judith Felsen holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, certificates in hypnotherapy, NLP, Eriksonian Hypnosis, and Sacred Plant Medicine. She is a dancer of sacred circle dance, an AMC kitchen crew, trail information volunteer, trail adopter, and daily student of Torah and Judaism. She is enrolled in Rabbinical Seminary International. She has studied Buddhism, A Course in Miracles, and other mystical traditions. She is a hiker, walker, runner, and lives in the White Mountains with her husband and two large dogs. Her life centers around her Jewish studies and daily application.