10 Days of Awe

Posted by on Sep 22, 2020 in All Posts, Days of Awe | 0 comments

10 Days of Awe

More on the Ten Days of Awe.

Read the following and allow it to reconnect you to the empowerment of where we belong. Let us continue to focus on WHOM we stand before.

לֹֽא יִהְיֶֽה־לְךָ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים עַל־פָּנ You will allow no things to come between you and my Face

Read that again…..NO THINGS…NADA…NOTHING….NOPE! So, look around and just peruse the stuff you have around you. What do you see? Anything there that you just can’t bear to part with? Mmmmmmmm….could be a problem you know if that’s the case. If your eyes paused over something, look at it a bit harder … a bit longer …. and let your mind entertain reasons just why that ‘thing‘ is so important to you. Now examine those reasons. Do those ‘reasons’ really matter?

 

Our purpose here on earth – from our creation to our taking away – is to walk in the LIGHT of our Bridegroom-King. This is where we are to settle and enjoy His presence s that His Light shines in all areas of our life. Are we allowing these ‘things’ block the wonderful Light of his Face? Do those things make shadows so that the fullness is blocked out?

 

When those things cause the shadows to eclipse the Light of our life, then we tend to slumber and fall into darkness. We begin holding on too tightly to those things and letting go of what really matters. We slip into the shadowy sphere of curses and death.

So again, I ask you …. look FULL into the face of those things. Seriously, is there any thing, person, or relationship that you have tagged with more importance than spending time with the Holy One? Have you allowed them to become distractions and raised them to the status of idol? Maybe that thought never crossed your mind – but anything that comes between you and Him…..is an idol. And you are in sin.

This is the time to take an accounting of what you have allowed to come between you and Him. Disperse the shadows and come into the full and glorious sunlight of his Countenance! These are the Days of Awe!

Elul – Day 34

Posted by on Sep 22, 2020 in All Posts, Elul | 0 comments

Elul – Day 34

RETURNING TO PURE ESSENCE

In our earlier exploration of the meaning of teshuvah (see Elul 18), we defined teshuvah as having two levels—repentance and return:

Repentance means regretting a wrongful action, resolving not to repeat it, asking forgiveness, making amends.

Return means coming back to one’s soul, one’s Divine essence, to one’s source in G-d.

The first level—which is what we should have been working on during the month of Elul—is only the means to achieve the second, which is our focus now, during the Ten Days of Teshuvah.

During these special days, we should be working to return to the quintessential self that we really are. Teshuvah (which literally means “return”) implies that there is a part of us that is always healthy and good and pure, as we say in the morning prayer, “The soul that You gave me is pure…” And no matter what damage had been done to us in life—to our sense of self, to our personal dignity—no matter what damage we ourselves have done, we can always return to the soul that remains undamaged, intact, pure.

The great 16th century Kabbalist Rabbi Moshe Cordevero of Safed, better known as Ramak, suggests that the best way to return to our pure essence is to isolate ourselves for a period of time each day during the Ten Days of Teshuvah in order to meditate on the Ten Sefirot, which he calls the “Gates of Teshuvah.”  In this way it is possible to enter a different “gate” each day, thereby connecting the soul with its root in a given sefirah, each of which serves as a channel for Divine energy into creation and, of course into the soul.

Ask yourself:

How much do you want to connect with the purest, holiest part of yourself?  Are you willing to invest the effort and the time to make this possible?

Exercise for the day:

Meditate today on the sefirah of (“endurance”). In doing so, assess your level of endurance and your ambition. Is it being used for the proper things?

Excerpt from 60 Days: A Spiritual Guide to the High Holidays, by Simon Jacobson. ©Copyright The Meaningful Life Center, 2014. All rights reserved.

Elul Day 33

Posted by on Sep 21, 2020 in All Posts, Days of Awe | 0 comments

Elul Day 33

REBUILDING THE KINGDOM

Today begins the countdown to Yom Kippur.  Today is the third day of the Ten Days of Teshuvah, which will culminate on this most awesome of days. This is possibly the most intense time in the Hebrew calendar when each individual is granted the power of a group of ten.

We are vested with this power because in these ten days, having crowned God as our King, we now undertake the task of rebuilding His kingdom—both in the spiritual realm “above” and in our world “below”—known in the language of the esoteric as Binyan HaMalchut.

Malchut (“kingship”) refers to the tenth of the Ten Sefirot, the ten spheres or channels of Divine energy with which G-d created the world and which flow through every aspect of reality including our own souls.  This means that to rebuild malchut we must rebuild ourselves—our own nobility, our own dignity, that very aspect of ourselves which was created in the image of G-d. By building our own malchut, we help rebuild G-d’s malchut in the universe.

We know our malchut is in need of rebuilding when we feel afraid and insecure, because our personal sense of security and insecurity in life depends on it.

When children are raised in dysfunctional homes where their dignity is trampled upon, their malchut is eroded. They can grow up to be adults with great minds and great hearts, but they are insecure adults who lack the courage for the suspension of self that is necessary to truly grow, because they feel they must fight for whatever scrap of dignity they can grab.

So the rebuilding of malchut in effect means the building of dignity, majesty, and security in a world that’s very insecure. And we are given special power during these ten days to do it. It is not as hard as we might imagine because to build it all we need do is access the place in ourselves that was never wounded in the first place—the place of our Divine soul.

Ask yourself: Do you generally feel secure or insecure in life? Are you someone whose malchut has been eroded by life experiences?

Exercise for the day:

– Describe the part of yourself that was never wounded—your Divine soul. – Do something Divine today, something that makes you proud and  builds your malchut, your dignity.

 

 

10 Days of Awe

Posted by on Sep 21, 2020 in All Posts, Days of Awe | 1 comment

10 Days of Awe

It has begun. The Ten Days of Awe are now upon us.

So what does that mean to you and me? Well, it could mean nothing – and then again, if you allow it, it can rejuvenate and reform your life!

The Great Day of JUDGMENT, also called Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is fast approaching. The books will be closed and we will be left wondering what is to come. But we can know what will be IF we focus on our transformation during these next ten days. Let’s try to reconnect with those ten prophetic empowerment given at Mt. Sinai.

Let’s focus on the first day and see what Exodus 20 has to say:

אָֽנֹכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר הֹוצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִֽים

I am YHVH, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage]


So here is our challenge if we choose to accept it:

  • Do we truly know the ONE before whom we stand?
  • Are we truly following His Thoughts, His Heart, and His Plan for the Restoration of the Kingdom here on earth?

He is YHVH – the Eternal One.

  • He is the One Who formed the Heavens and the Earth
  • He has a plan to bring order and meaning and fullness to our world, in our time.
  • He is the One Who held Adam close and breathed the breath of life into him.
  • He is the One Who has will embrace us as well, and empower us to do what we were designed and created to be and do.
  • He is the One Who Blessed the Seventh Day and made it Holy
  • He is the One Who Established the Garden of Eden as the first home for all mankind
  • And HE is the One Who will return each and every one of us to that nurturing, cleansing, perfect environment…in His Time.

So today, ask yourself … do YOU know HIM? Do your know His true nature? Do you understand the depth and richness of His true name? Do you truly understand the compassion and love and mercy that resides within Him? Do you know His power?

If not, spend time in His word to get to know Him. Then, you will flow in and out of  life in His compassionate rhythm, experiencing His unconditional love in all it’s glory!

 

Elul – Day 32

Posted by on Sep 20, 2020 in All Posts, Elul | 0 comments

Elul – Day 32

Tishrei 2, Second Day of Rosh Hashana
 
THE DAY OF CORONATION

The idea of Rosh Hashana as the day when we “coronate” God as the King of the Universe, may be one of the strangest and hardest to accept for those of us raised in modern, democratic societies. To us kings are corrupt despots at worst, and characters out of fairy tales at best.

Yet this idea is essential to the observance of Rosh Hashana, because in the language of Judaism a king is a metaphor for absolute authority. On Rosh Hashana we accept upon ourselves God as the one and only absolute authority who rules over every aspect of our lives, and we submit to His judgment, which we believe will be merciful because our King is also our Father.

When we accept God’s absolute authority over us, we do not annihilate our own individuality. On the contrary, we only empower it. When we acknowledge G-d as our King, we simultaneously recognize the nobility in ourselves—the dignity and majesty of having been created in the Divine image.

This idea fills us with unbridled joy and points up the paradox of Rosh Hashana, because Rosh Hashana is a day when we stand before the Supreme King and tremulously accept the “burden of His sovereignty,” but it is also a festival, which we celebrate amid much feasting and rejoicing.

Such is the nature of a coronation: it is an event that combines trepidation and joy, awe and celebration. For true kingship, as opposed to mere rulership, derives from the willful submission of a people to their sovereign. So the coronation of a king includes a display of reverence and awe on the part of the people, conveying their submission to the king, as well as the joy which affirms that their submission is something they whole-heartedly desire.

The joy and celebration of Rosh Hashana is called v’gilu b’roadah, “celebration wrapped in trembling.”

When we stand before the king, we feel such joy that we want to dance, but we cannot, in respect of the king. So the joy must be packaged in a more appropriate expression. Only after we leave the palace (on Sukkot) can we begin celebrating with unbridled expression.

 

Elul – Day 31

Posted by on Sep 19, 2020 in All Posts, Days of Awe, Elul | 0 comments

Elul – Day 31

Tishrei 2, Second Day of Rosh Hashana
 
THE DAY OF CORONATION
 
The idea of Rosh Hashana as the day when we “coronate” G-d as the King of the Universe, may be one of the strangest and hardest to accept for those of us raised in modern, democratic societies. To us kings are corrupt despots at worst, and characters out of fairy tales at best.

Yet this idea is essential to the observance of Rosh Hashana, because in the language of Judaism a king is a metaphor for absolute authority. On Rosh Hashana we accept upon ourselves G-d as the one and only absolute authority who rules over every aspect of our lives, and we submit to His judgment, which we believe will be merciful because our King is also our Father.

When we accept G-d’s absolute authority over us, we do not annihilate our own individuality. On the contrary, we only empower it. When we acknowledge G-d as our King, we simultaneously recognize the nobility in ourselves—the dignity and majesty of having been created in the Divine image.

This idea fills us with unbridled joy and points up the paradox of Rosh Hashana, because Rosh Hashana is a day when we stand before the Supreme King and tremulously accept the “burden of His sovereignty,” but it is also a festival, which we celebrate amid much feasting and rejoicing.

Such is the nature of a coronation: it is an event that combines trepidation and joy, awe and celebration. For true kingship, as opposed to mere rulership, derives from the willful submission of a people to their sovereign. So the coronation of a king includes a display of reverence and awe on the part of the people, conveying their submission to the king, as well as the joy which affirms that their submission is something they whole-heartedly desire.

The joy and celebration of Rosh Hashana is called v’gilu b’roadah, “celebration wrapped in trembling.”

When we stand before the king, we feel such joy that we want to dance, but we cannot in respect of the king. So the joy must be packaged in a more appropriate expression. Only after we leave the palace (on Sukkot) can we begin celebrating with unbridled expression.

This is a time to get real, seriously – get real!  Real with yourself. If this is the year that Moshiach returns….on THIS Yom Teruah, will you be ready? Will you find your name in the Book of Life … or will the Holy One close the book…..

If that book is closed will you know why you’re name is not among those listed? Good question – for each of us.

Ponder on that as the next ten days – called the days of Awe – swirl around us.

Elul – Day 30

Posted by on Sep 18, 2020 in All Posts, Elul | 0 comments

Elul – Day 30

THE KING IS ON THE THRONE!

The King of Kings has approached his throne and is about to take his seat.  The time of Elul, of preparation, has come to an end. We no longer can run out to the field and walk casually to and fro among the daises and wildflowers with our Father. We must now approach the throne room and be admitted in, bowing and bending as we go. Will we have the scepter raised as it was raised for Esther? Are we ready to don the white garments of a bride?

The ledgers lay on the table close to the throne…it is almost time for the King to open them and compare our past actions and deeds and evaluate where we are on the scales. He will ponder over those ledgers, frowning, grimacing, maybe even a slight smile on his face. But He will inevitably come to that point on the ledger where you know He will look up from the books and stare straight into you eyes. They will cloud over with emotion, with compassion, with love and without a word He will look into your soul. You know it, it is coming. What will you do? What will you say?

Nerves begin to twitch, tears begin to well up in your eyes and you ask yourself a million questions. Why couldn’t I have been a better person, why did I have to snap at my wife, why did I have to cut short the conversation of my 5 year old? Did it really make a difference that I didn’t say I was sorry to someone that hurt me – they’re not talking to me anyway…and on and on and on.

As you slowly lift your eyes, you see the pain in your Father’s face, the pain of knowing that your pain is also real, it is palpable.  Both of you look into each others eyes and you feel, you hear, you sense what the other one is thinking, what each is saying from their hearts. And you hang your head, for you know that there are so many things that seemed so important and you just knew you were right, and now, in the face of Almighty, are not really so important now. There are so many things you would do differently. Maybe you could have a second chance, you ask softly?

And the Master pauses, and sighs deeply, and you are overwhelmed with relief and gratitude – there are 10 more days that He has given to mankind to make it right! Ten More Days!  Ten more days, not to get it ‘perfect‘ … but just to be a much as you can be!!

Think about that  …. ten more days!

Tonight begins the first day of the DAYS OF AWE

THE DAY OF REMEMBERING

When we usher in Yom Teruah, just before sunset tonight, we light candles and we say a blessing:

“Blessed Are You, O G-d, King of the Universe, who sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to light the flame of the day of remembering.”

One of the themes of Yom Teruah is that is a ‘day of remembering’. A day in which the Holy One reviews our ledgers and connects with us in a way not possible throughout the rest of the year. He is a God of order. He sent us here with a job to accomplish – have we done that?

Have we realized our Master’s plan in our lives?

As the sun goes down, the shofar will be blown – it is blown to awaken us from our slumber! We need to be reminded of why we are here, that each of us play an important part in tikkun haloam – the repair of the world to come. It is about restoration.

So as we take a deep breath and exhale into the shofar – petition the King to inscribe you in the Book of Life – not for our sake – for we fail at every turn, but for HIS! For His Glory to be shown here on earth!  We have been given the opportunity to help rebuild the kingdom here on earth and we have ten days in which to do it before the books are closed.

Awaken oh man, oh woman, AWAKEN and begin to repair!

blow

 

Elul – Day 29

Posted by on Sep 17, 2020 in All Posts, Elul | 0 comments

Elul – Day 29

HOW DO YOU LOVE?

In the world we live in today, there are various ways to love something. For instance – just take a few minutes to listen to a conversation between two people and you’ll hear some say they love their dog, or their iphone or their house or whatever… “LOVE” is expressed or shown in so many different ways – in fact there is a ‘way’ for each person. But there really are all kinds of different definitions for ‘love’. Think about the love between an engaged couple, or a boyfriend and girlfriend … compared to the love between a parent and a child. Different kinds of love – but to call it ‘love’ – there must be something similar – don’t you think?

What about the ‘love’ the Creator expresses for you? How different is that compared to the ‘love’ we experience? If we dig a bit deeper, we can find that Yehovah’s compassion, His love is never ending, it is unconditional. In our world…we don’t find much of that do we? Most of us have never given … nor received … unconditional love. What does that mean? Well, unconditional means that no matter what you will have compassion (love) for that person – no matter what. But how do we walk out that unconditional love? That’s the million dollar question and you will get a variety of answers depending on who you talk to. Most of us are full of ‘words’ but come up short on the action part.

Consider Moses when the Holy One became so angry with the Israelite people that He was ready to wipe them out and start over. Does that sound like unconditional love? Maybe not, but if we look at this from a different perspective we can see a bit more depth in this story. Maybe this was a test for Moses. Maybe. Moses was sick of the people, he was tired of their whining and complaining and when Yahovah turned the tables on him and was willing to give him what he wanted, what did Moses do? Oh my – he hit the ground! He fell to his face and begged the Holy One to not wipe them out – to take him instead! What kind of love is this? Moses was shown to himself that he truly had come to love, deeply love this rag-tag multitude. Yep, you heard that right – Moses was shown who he was – to himself!

The compassion that Moses had in his heart for this rag-tag group of people spared them with the Holy One and in the process showed Moses his own heart. Through this process, this test, Moses realized that his compassion, his love, was more like the Holy One’s then he would ever have imagined!

We are called to be a ‘body of people,’ to be a community and to walk together, yet very few groups have been able to accomplish that to any degree of unity. Maybe it will never happen until Messiah returns, but if we could simply see things with the compassion and love that the Holy One has for us, we would look at others differently as well. If we are called to like our Master, than we are called to set our grievances, our differences, aside and walk together as one body.

It is never to late. For you, for me, for anyone to demonstrate to the Creator of the Universe that we love him with the love that He wants us to share.  We are so close to when the King will sit upon his throne to begin judgment, we have no time to waste in forgiving others and WALKING out that love with compassion, with love.  If we are ever to be forgiven by our Father in heaven, we are told we must forgive, be passionate, and to love each other.  Then He will be compassionate with us.

Are you simply willing to cling to your idea of ‘right and wrong’ no matter what? In the scope of eternity, consider if it’s really worth it.

Ask yourself:  Think about how you have interacted with others – do you separate yourself from others in the body because of real or perceived grievances?  Does this mirror how you love God? Do you withhold your walking out love to prove that you have compassion because secretly you have grievances against someone else? Well, if you have NOT walked out that compassion, have NOT met with your brother, have NOT proven your love, than you do not love. Period.

Exercise for the day: Today is the day to set aside your personal bias against someone else. Today is the day begin to repair that relationship, no matter what. Determine what you can do, no matter the consequences, and reach out and repair the relationship so that the body can be restored to the kingdom!

THIS IS FOR YOU! **Do it today!**

tikkum

Elul – Day 28

Posted by on Sep 16, 2020 in All Posts, Elul | 0 comments

Elul – Day 28

COMPASSION – WHAT IS IT?

Many talk about having or not having compassionempathy…but when it comes down to the rubber meets the road – what exactly does it mean? How do we show compassion?

In the purest sense of the word, compassion is simply stepping out of your own box, removing the boundaries that you have set for yourself to keep your heart intact. You could actually switch out the word compassion…and use the word love.

When we can look at another and put aside our feelings, our emotions, our hurts and love another … simply because they are a child of the Most High God, that is when the greatest compassion takes place, the highest form of love.

Matthew 22:36-40

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

 

If we think about it, one can not say they love God  and not love their neighbor! If you say you love God and you do not reach out with compassion, with love, then your love of God needs to be examined.  In order to prove your love for God, people need to see the compassion, the love OF God come through you to them. Simply saying you ‘forgive’ someone and not walking that out, is a lie and that lie will be found out the next time you have to be in the same room together. We either take those first two commandments and learn how to live IN them, or we need to simply quit playing the game.

If we can not do the 2nd, then we are not doing the first.

Ask yourself: As we enter towards the day when the King is about ready to open the books, consider the last year and ponder on your actions, thoughts and words. Did you act or speak to your neighbor, to your friend, to the guy down the street with the LOVE OF GOD? Was there a traumatic situation that took place this year that could have been handled more godly? Or did you simply do a knee-jerk reaction and walk away?

Exercise for the day:  Take to heart one specific act or word that you could have handled with more of God’s love. Determine to take steps to retrace those steps and repair that which was broken. Stepping out in faith will free you to step forward.


forgive

Elul – Day 27

Posted by on Sep 15, 2020 in All Posts, Elul | 0 comments

Elul – Day 27

COMPASSION – Do you have it?

Part of the preparatory work of Elul is to examine how compassionate we are in the things we do, say and act upon. This is the month when the Holy One’s compassion freely flows, even though it flows all the time, this is the month of the living waters that flow freely. But to be refreshed, to be renewed, to be overwhelmed with his compassion we must reach up from where we are in this world into the next to bring it into our lives.

The secret of Ani l’dodi, “I am for my beloved” is all about taking initiative. I must first show that >I< am for my beloved, it is I who must take the first step. It is the same with our relationships here on earth – we must take the first step in showing compassion – never waiting for the ‘other’ person. We must take the initiative.

But does that man that you just look the other way and ignore insults, offenses, and crimes? Of course not! Compassion never contradicts the element of justice. There are still consequences for actions and those consequences always follow. So what is compassion then? First, it is simply being sensitive to another person. Why? Because each of us, no matter what we look like on the outside, has a part of the Divine inside of us. We are made in His image. He has compassion on each of us, how can we do any less?

 

Ask yourself:  How difficult is it for you to be compassionate to someone else? Do you see holiness or coarseness in others? Why? Exercise for the day:

– Reach out to someone you know that you are not able to see the Holy One’s aspects within, and be compassionate. See with His eyes.