Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day 43: Chesed b'Malchut


We enter this evening the last week of the Omer counting, week seven, Malchut - Sovereignty, Leadership, Kingship, Queenship. We welcome Maggid David Arfa, storyteller and teacher of storytelling, environmental educator, and teacher of Jewish experience with the Earth. Reclaiming the role of maggid has led David to leading outdoor services at the High Ledges, as well as telling stories and sharing environmental teachings from Jewish tradition. You can read about all that Maggid David does on his website

David found the enterprise of writing a week of Omer reflections a stimulating challenge, and shared these reflections on his process:

I find I am an unlikely candidate to be sharing sefirot reflections about the Omer. I’m what you might describe as a Trans-Kabbalistic mystic. I love the mythic imagery found within the history of the Kabbalah, and yet find that inner points and sacred sparks; Tikkun Olam and Tikkun HaNefesh; TzimTzum and the breaking of vessels provide plenty of inspiration for me. Up until now, I have largely ignored the sefirot- these 10 abstract principles- gateways to associative universes- describing the journey of Oneness to Word to the diversity of World. These 49 days are perhaps the most elaborate, the most arcane portrait of the sefirot we still retain in contemporary Jewish life. Sefirot within sefirot. What the heck might this mean?

You’ll find my posts are filled with personal stories, often outdoor experiences, found after reflecting on the sefirot. For the most part, I have not tried to imagine sefirot within sefirot...it just makes my head spin too much. I invite you to share your stories as well as questions and comments with our community conversation.

Shalom,David Arfa, Maggid, david@maggiddavid.net

So, let us travel this last week of our journey to Sinai with David's stories, experiences, and reflections, and then we will all gather, one week from this evening, again at the mountaintop, at the wheat harvest, at the joyous moment of receiving Torah once again. Thank you for walking beside us on this journey. May you find the last pieces of this year's puzzle falling into place in your soul, and may you feel ready and open and able to receive anew our most sacred of texts.

Rabbi Katy Allen

Chesed B'Malchut
by Maggid David Arfa

Have you ever been camping without a tent? Sleeping outside and then it begins to rain? I have. I was among the oldest and biggest trees of the world, traveling around the Pacific Northwest, studying the ancient forests with my school companions. It was a warm night; I pulled out my sleeping bag without my tent and slept under a friendly tree named Doug, Douglas Fir.

I awoke in the middle of the night. My companions were shrieking, running through pouring rain to our bus, pulling out tents and frantically trying to set them up. I was alarmed, concerned, I had no tent either,... but then I realized I was dry and the entire patch of land around me was dry. I was close enough to my Fir tree that I was spared the raindrops - they were received by the treetop and gently brought downward via branch and trunk. Rivers of awe, gratitude and joy flowed through me as I realized that I was the beneficiary of such grace and protection. Chesed b’Malchut.

Reflection/Action: Take a moment and imagine a time when you felt buoyed by the world? Have you ever picked fresh blueberries by the bearpaw full? Have you ever filtered water from a stream and drank it to quench your thirst? Have you ever had your cares lightened by a warm breeze? Have you ever experienced the miracle of rain that comes after a dry spell? What’s your story? Would you share here with all of us?

1 comment:

  1. Standing on beach shore and looking at a relatively still ocean, I am always mesmerized. The combination of clear stillness and gentle tide pulls me in; I want to be completely/emotionally immersed/embraced, taken into something larger than myself. Sometimes I am a bit frightened of this feeling, but it is also one of awe and being somewhat other, merged, liminal. I come away with something else--a buoying of spirit. Perhaps hearing a lullaby...


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