sacred partnership

ב׳׳ה

sacred partnership

If i know that i’m You

and you know that you’re You,

then we can share a moment as Thee,

and create a new reality

together as One —

sacred partnership requires the presence of Three.

look deep

ב׳׳ה

look deep

I might look like I’m nothing.

But I was created for something.

Won’t you please look deep inside me?

Perhaps there you’ll find

a reason to believe

I’m more than the nothing I seem.

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Friends — Our brains are wired to look at Creation and make judgments about the things we see — Are they dangerous or safe? Are they edible? Are they useful for a task we must complete? — and, evolutionarily speaking, it was good to be able to make such decisions quickly and decisively!

But today, in our modern world, we must be mindful of our brain’s impulse to assign value to creatures based on how they look or where we find them. We ought not “judge every book by its cover” but instead offer ourselves the blessing of learning more about those we encounter.

And, perhaps, if we can all learn to see others as more than the simplistic categories into which our brains instinctively assign them, we can find a way past the anger and divisiveness that plagues our country . . .

Perhaps, then, we can teach all those who would use guns, bombs, and cars as weapons of death that the lives of others are too precious to ever justify such actions . . .

Praying Shabbat brings abundant shalom to all Earth’s inhabitants, jen

this great eternal day

ב׳׳ה

this great eternal day

I live for those moments when I truly know You, when my spirit dances to Your Song, the Song being sung by heavenly hosts, as even the tiniest of crickets chirps along. Hearing the Song, I can see the Unity, the Force ebbs and flows but it never goes away, connecting all life, one to another, here inside You, this great eternal day…

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enjoy the day!! jen

Boat of Eternity

ב׳׳ה


Boat of Eternity
I close my eyes and
there I find You —
my Passion, my Spirit, my Song.
You carry me through,
one day to the next,
Boat of Eternity gently slipping along.
Some days there are big waves,
other days rocky shores,
but I’ve learned to just hold fast to You,
for then, come what may,
I can be Dancing,
I can laugh at the wind and the rain,
knowing there’s no love
as unfailing as Your Love,
and after my death,
We’ll still have infinite days.

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shabbat shalom to all, jen

Elevating our hands

ב׳׳ה


A few years ago, as I stood in a Sukkah listening to a Rabbi teach children how to say the blessing and shake the lulav, I was struck by the similarity in pronunciation of the Hebrew verb for “taking” the lulav and the Hebrew verb that I knew in the blessing for “washing” the hands.  But life as the mother of two young boys was busy, and the question about the spellings of those two verbs slipped out of my mind.

This year, as I prepared to teach religious school children about Sukkot, I pulled out the blessings specific to the holiday and reviewed:

Olitzky & Isaacs (1993). How-To Handbook for Jewish Living.


When I read that blessing in Hebrew, the old question came back to me, so I turned to the blessing for washing hands:

Olitzky & Isaacs (1993) How-To Handbook for Jewish Living.


Much to my surprise, there is no difference in the spelling of the Hebrew verb for “taking the lulav” and “washing the hands”!!  Both are spelled:

‎נתילת
netilat

And one need not be fluent in Hebrew to discern that a single spelling of a word is unlikely to mean both “take” and “wash”!!

So, what does “netilat” actually mean???

According to that new dictionary I got at Rosh Hashanah 🤗 the Hebrew is actually an Aramaic conjugation, and it means “elevate.”

We elevate the lulav.

We elevate our hands.

When we elevate the lulav, we take it so that we may shake it in six directions.  
Why?  
To remind us that Gd is everywhere.

When we elevate our hands, we wash them.  
Why?  
To remind us that our hands can have a Holy purpose, can repair this world that we all share.

What if — each time we washed our hands, or when we wash before meals, or even just once each morning — we acknowledged that Gd commanded us to elevate our hands and repair this world?

How might it change how we see:
– our hands?
– ourselves?
– life’s meaning?

I invite you all to try saying a blessing —in any language and at any time that feels comfortable to you— as you wash your hands.   Let’s find out whether this simple act might prompt us to engage in more tikkun olam and bring more meaning into our lives!! 

shavua tov, a good week to all, jen

sacred communion

ב׳׳ה

sacred communion
When I open my soul
and allow my eyes to truly see,
nothing in this world is not You.
The sunrise, the mosquito,
the joy, and the heartache,
all of it leads back to You.
I can embrace without judgment,
I can love without doubting,
in eternal moments of sacred communion,
when You look at You
through eyes that are mine,
and feel my rapture at Your brief reunion.

as galaxies unfurl

ב׳׳ה

as galaxies unfurl
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As day turns into night
and night back into day,
The Mystery is there
if we choose to be aware.
If we open our hearts
to the possibility of The Unity,
we can stand at the edge of infinity
as we watch galaxies unfurl.

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1:23 pm CST (thru eclipse glasses)


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1:36 pm CST (thru eclipse glasses)


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1:58 pm CST (thru eclipse glasses)


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2:21 pm CST (thru eclipse glasses)


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2:27 pm CST (thru eclipse glasses)


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2:28 pm CST (unfiltered total eclipse)


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2:28 pm CST (unfiltered sun returns)


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2:30 pm CST (thru eclipse glasses)


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Friends–  These photos that I took yesterday with my cell phone in Bowling Green, Kentucky, are not meant to inspire you with their accuracy, clarity, or quality.  They are simply my attempt to share with you the experience of waiting and watching the unfolding of a natural phenomenon that was truly awe inspiring!!  

That Science has explained to us the “how” and “why” of eclipses does not, in my mind, make them any less a “religious” experience. Not very often, in this country flooded with light-pollution, am I able to show my sons the Milky Way or a star-filled sky.  But yesterday, we could stand together with a large crowd of mostly strangers and be reminded how very small we are, how dependent we are on the sun, how miraculous it is that moon is the right size and distance from the Earth to completely block the light from the sun, how lucky we are to be alive and able to witness such amazing moments . . . and that we are truly blessed and most surely ought to be grateful!! 

If you ever have a chance to witness a total solar eclipse, I highly recommend it!!  

And may we all find more moments that inspire awe and remind us to express gratitude to The Miraculous Mystery that is always there, hiding within and behind the rational answers provided by science, jen