It has been said that Yom Kippur is a day like Purim implying that Purim is higher. How could that be? Purim is a rabbinical holiday and Yom Kippur comes from the Torah. How can Purim even be compared to the holiness of Yom Kippur?
Everyone knows that Yom Kippur is one of holiest days of the year. Even Jews who are not so observant or connected to Judaism will often observe Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is a day of affliction. We fast. We do not wash. We chant the Thirteen Attributes of Divine Compassion. We are in synagogue most of the day. Continue Reading
Welcome the month of Tevet. Beginning sunset on December 29th and 30th.
According to kabbalah, every month offers unique spiritual opportunities and blessings. Just as there are fluctuations in the weather, so there are changes in the spiritual energies available. Those who are attuned to these energies are aware of these changes and know how to use this knowledge for their personal growth and success.
Kabbalah divides the calendar months between Jacob and Esau. Tevet is one of the three months that belong to the other side, that of Esau. In Jewish history, Tevet has been a time of great trial to the Jewish people. As the darkest and often the coldest month of the year, Tevet brings challenges that force us to tap into our inner resources and become stronger as individuals and as a people.
Unlike the expansiveness of Kislev, the previous month, when we take steps to go forward to realize our dreams and visions, in Tevet, we uproot the remaining negative forces that keep us from realizing them. During the month of Tevet, there is a natural tendency to restrict oneself, to be prudent and focused. This is an optimal month to establish and strengthen a routine this month that truly supports your well being.Continue Reading
Before I wrote “The Secret Legacy of Biblical Women: Revealing the Divine Feminine,” I secretly blamed women for creating the chaos in the world. I learned that Eve, the first women, seduced Adam to eat the forbidden fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and brought evil and death into the world. Sarah sent Ishmael and Hagar away and created the conflict in the Middle East between Arabs and Jews. There are too many biblical stories for me to recount all the damage that Biblical women caused. I did not want to identify with Biblical women as they had been presented to me.
Yet, after my extensive research into the Zohar, midrashim, along with my meditations on Biblical women, and the actual writing of “The Secret Legacy of Biblical Women”, my whole understanding of the role of women was transformed. I now saw clearly that it was the independent and courageous choices of Biblical women that actually protected and strengthened all that was good and precious in the world. Biblical women changed the world forever and should be praised.
In last week’s Torah portion, we read of Rebecca deceiving her husband to secure the blessing for her son Jacob. Rebecca had received a prophecy when her twins were in her womb that she kept secret until she took the necessary steps to secure the blessing for Jacob. Questions as to why she kept it as secret, why it was necessary for her to deceive Isaac and why Isaac wanted to bless Esau rather than Jacob are explored in my books. In my newest book “Biblical Women Who Changed the World” I even expound on Rebecca’s prophecy and its importance in understanding world events today, particularly the fate of America.
We begin the Jewish new year with the first book Genesis and the reading of Bereshith, ” In the Beginning”. This Torah portion reveals how our world was created, who we really are, our life purpose, and how we can create joy and meaning in our lives today. So much to learn in this chapter. My previous book New Age Judaism reveals many of these deeper Kabbalistic teachings.Continue Reading
This Tuesday night, and Wednesday is Yom Kippur the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. The Torah says, ” On the tenth day of the month ( Tishre) it is a day of atonement, a holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves.” ( Lev.23) And the Torah tells us that on Yom Kippur, ” You shall be purified from all your sins.” ( Lev 6:30) This purification is the awesome gift of the day.
On the external, outside, level, Yom Kippur is a day of affliction, not eating, not washing, confessing all the sins, feeling sad, and remorseful for all the mistakes we have made individually and collectively. There is much pain and suffering on micro and macro levels in the world today that if we are not mindful and do not understand the essence of the Yom Kippur, we could be easily disheartened on this day.Continue Reading
The king gave his trusted servant a beautiful vessel to safeguard for an unknown period of time with a request that the vessel be returned to the king at a future time. Over time, the servant became careless and the vessel broke. Unable to fix it on his own, the servant ran to various people to repair the vessel so he would be able to return it whole as he had received it.
He went to the king’s top advisors who informed them they do not know how to repair the vessel. There is no recourse for him but to tell the king. The man felt too ashamed to inform the king of his carelessness. It then occurred to him that he could go to the manufacturer of vessels and explain his plight to him. He could prepare another vessel just like the one he has been given. This man also informed him that he had to go directly to the king. He could make another vessel resembling the vessel he had been given but the king would surely know the difference.Continue Reading