Thank you for joining the retreat followed by our Kabbalat Shabbat last Friday.

It seems that many benefited, and recognized what we are trying to create for ourselves, a Jewish contemplative circle — which will be neither a zen event, nor a social club, but  a place to share our passion for Truth, and our search for the meaning of our life.

We seek a balance of both sincerity and lightness.  In Hebrew we call it “to be with the right kavanah/intention at all times.”  Self-evaluation/prayers and engaging in higher matters become our life directions.
We are trying to find the tools to maintain alignment among what Rabbi Nachman calls the “feelings of the body,” the mind, and the emotions.

Another aim is to start using the Shefa/positive blessed energy that appears in order to actualize our wishes and hopes.
We want to be specific and request them by seeing them in our mind, and using the power of speech.
It is with the power of speech that the Jewish people were asked to witness the Divine on earth.

I wish us all to envision what we really need for ourselves and others around us.  Perhaps we have not yet discovered our full possibilities. Perhaps we have not really started to pray for our kids, our family, our community, our planet.

I am still very defensive or attacking or “in shock” about life.  But life is not a monster.  I need to break from the grasp of these three habitual options, and move to the next one: seeing the change, contributing towards an ascending direction, closer to the miraculous.

The rest is usually negative and serving its grabbing, hypnotic, lower nature.

We wish to see the change, the “shanna” from the word shinui/change.   We finally know what to ask for. We know that gratitude is Number One on the list. May we merit gratitude, the well-being of the body/mind/feelings to carry our life’s aims. Servicing higher aims provides us with what it takes to execute them: courage, hope, love, clarity, vision and attention.
How do I ask for what I really need?

The new year is in the sign of the Letter Gimel (3).  This letter, as some of you know, is about the ability to move things from potentiality to actuality, to materialize (hitgashmut, gashmiyut) what we really need, that which was hidden from us buried under dust, fears, habits, disbelief, etc.  May we learn to use the Gimel energy this year.

Last but not least, I am delighted to announce that there is an interest in our circle to discover/experience the work in the kitchen as holy work. We will work on introducing it into our work together in a planned manner, with more working space in the kitchen, etc.

May all our exchanges about the meaning of Torah, rituals and conscious deeds attract Shefa/Abundance that is noticeable to us.

May we have what it takes to see it and may we be as fruitful as the pomegranates in the photo Joy took in the front garden.


Gilla Nissan