Dear Friends, chag sameach,
It is a joyous moment for me to open this website to all other seekers of truth. Time to offer a shecheyanu in celebration of the birth of a new community.
Once again, I am being reminded that one of the measures to recognize inner freedom is found in our attitudes, feelings and thoughts toward “the other” – the “external other” – which is not me, as well as the “internal other”, which is within me, but still not recognized fully.
As some know, my profession has been Jewish studies for many years. In the last decade I have started to combine the mystical with the academic levels.
Through my participation in Metivta and other Jewish renewal influences, many questions about contemporary Jewish practices have surfaced: What is uniquely Jewish and what is universal? What is essential and what does not resonate with my experience? What am I passing up to the next generation?
For me, at the present time, it all boils down to the relations between form and content, the vessel and what it holds. In different times the balance between the two shifts. What, then, is needed for the fullness of Jewish experience today?
This website will be centered around several fields of interest.
First, the Kabbalot Shabbat and Holy-Days Circle
This circle currently gathered in Los Angeles, includes Shelley Zellman, Lauren Deutsch, Carol and Barry Morganstern and me. Anyone is welcome to join the mailing list and activities. You will find more information about it in this website.
Second, the search for the meaning of the Hebrew Letters. It started years ago when I was teaching the Biblical Hebrew language in small groups and formal institutions, the latter including Los Angeles’ University of Judaism now known as American Jewish University. In 1999 I was invited to write an article, “Dancing Letters” for Parabola Magazine issue on Numbers & Symbols (Vol. 23:4) Today, I experience the Hebrew Letters as The Primal Forms that contain unrevealed and unexplored wisdom.
The course about The Secrets of the Hebrew Letters starts to open the door to these energetic keys, wonders, symbols, signs and numbers which we nowadays only call letters. In ancient times they were known to the high priests as otot and mof’tim, signs and marvels. In the haggada it says: “Then the Eternal One freed us from Mitzraim by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and awesome power and by otot and mof’tim.” (Devarim 26:8) Did the Eternal One free the Children of Israel by the power of the Hebrew Letters? You will find more information about courses in this website.
Third is new Realms of Explorations. The Hebrew Letters and Celebrations of Shabbat and Holy-Days were followed by more work being published and classes developed on a regular basis. Each is a portal to deeper exploration into divrei Torah, matters of Torah. Examples include “Ahava – A Monotheistic Model of Love” again published in Parabola, spring 2010 issue (Vol. 35:1) on “Love”.
Fourth, I hope to continue to explore the question about which my rabbi, Jonathan Omer-Man, has concerned himself for many years: How to support Jewish practitioners who were trained in different other respectable disciplines in their return to their own root tradition. He certainly opened many new and ancient doors for those of us to reenter our natural home.
Much of maintaining a sense of Hope within us and in the world depends on new understandings in these areas and in the area of our relationship to “the other”.
Your responses and involvement are most welcome.