Archives for April 2013

Torah Reflections April 21 – 27, 2013

Emor

Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23

We Are What we Celebrate

In our weekly Torah reading we find the list of holidays to be celebrated by the Israelites on a yearly basis. This annual cycle of celebrations sets a beautiful frame for a life punctuated by spiritual encounters. Torah calls them “Moadei YHVH — appointed-times of the Eternal.” [Lev. 23:2] Throughout the year we have appointments with God, meetings with Spirit. And each appointment is set with a different spiritual theme; a theme that is meant to support the deepening of the varying facets of our inner personal work. In the spring, Passover calls us to free ourselves from our habituated life. Then, for seven weeks, the Counting of the Omer invites us to purify ourselves and subdue our egos. On the fiftieth day we re-enact the moment of Revelation, place ourselves back at Sinai and receive the Torah all over again. We seek, that day, to drop beyond the self and know the still small voice of the One that is our voice. The summer months are spent in preparation for the High Holy Days; a time to forgive and a time to make amends, a time to clean house and heal both within and without. Yom Kippur itself is a death rehearsal where we let go of our physical self. Sukkot, which immediately follows in the fall, is a time to harvest the energies of the High Holy Days and place ourselves again in the cycle of life, immersed in nature, and celebrating the Divine in the abundance of all Its earthly manifestations. Then winter comes, and all goes dormant until next Passover. [Read more…]

Torah Reflections – April 7 – 13, 2013

Tazria – Metzora

Leviticus 12:1- 15:33

The Energy Body We Are
              
This week’s Torah portion is, admittedly, a challenge to our modern sensibilities. This portion talks about tzara’at, a skin affliction most translators define as leprosy; although no one knows what it was exactly. Given that skin disease is generally not a favorite topic of conversation, one way to bypass it is to extract from the text the more mystical teachings, and avoid dealing with scaly skin afflictions, and other colorful details. This time, for a change, we find at the literal level of the narrative, a fascinating passage that brings to light a broader understanding of the context and the aim of the biblical text.

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