Thursday, January 21, 2016

Tu BiShvat 5776 - Cup 2, Fruit 2, Step 2

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen
This is the second in a series of four posts for Tu BiShvat.

From Assiyah we move to Yetzirah. We add a touch of red to the white wine or juice in our cup, and we move toward spring. We eat fruits with a soft outer portion and a hard inner core. We take a second step for the planet.

Yetzirah represents formation, the growth and development of potential into new reality. We eat fruits with pits that are inedible, but that are also the source of new plants and new growth. The edible part represents our better self. The inner hardness is the resting place of both our less-than-perfect selves and our dark emotions such as fear, despair, anger, grief, and more, which hold the potential for personal growth and transformation.

While Yetzirah acknowledges our inner painful realities, it also declares our ability to transform the hardness in our hearts and souls into compassion, determination, love, faith, and courage and so much more. Yetirah represents the urgent, deep, systemic transformation that climate change demands of us, of our communities, and of our world.

Rabbi Katy Allen is a board certified chaplain and serves as an Eco-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 the co-founder and President pro-tem of the Boston-based Jewish Climate Action Network, and a hospice chaplain. She received her ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion in 2005. 

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