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Shabbos Chic Blog

Emunah

My Creator Is An Overflowing Source

An email from Praying With Passion ignited my enthusiasm today,just  after meeting on the web with a group of women talking about  spirituality.

Here is my favorite part of the email:

"Like this underground spring, G-d is a boundless, overflowing source of sustenance for us. Everything we rely upon draws its existence from Him. When we recite the words in the blessings, we trace our sustenance back to its Source and acknowledge that there would be nothing if G-d did not provide it."

There were several women in the group today who chose not to acknowledge the Creator of the Universe as the source of their spiritual experiences, or their very lives. I'm SO GLAD to be able to express gratitude to Hashem each day, knowing  who made me, who made this universe, and who knows why. 


Blessings Come in Many Forms

Blessings come in many shapes and forms, but this image captures the gratitude in my heart today.

Sometimes the blessings are so very obvious that we cannot miss the fact the the mighty hand of Hashem is in fact moving us through our lives like chess pieces on a chess board.  We can feel the love and intention.


Tour Midreshet B'erot Bat Ayin in Israel

Click photo for a delightful 5 minute tour of Midreshet B'erot Bay Ayin, an unprecedented holistic center for Jewish women to re-connect with their tribe and with their personal feminine relationship to Torah and to each other.

Good week to listen to this talk on Forgiveness in Marriage

On her blog today, Shuli Kleinman shared the most wonderful, chabura talk by Rabbi Yaakov Zalman Labinsky called Forgiveness in Marriage.

Wow, what a timely topic! I'm pretty sure this is not a coincidence in my life... "The first years of marriage are for healing each others' souls."  Thank you, Shuli for your vigilant sharing of this deep teaching.

And now, a little further from Home Sweet Home in Texas, we have JERUSALEM, the IMAX 3-D movie. Another WOW for sure! I can't wait to see it soon.






Hoshana Rabbah - Pedi Sukkahs For Succos 2013

Today is Hoshana Rabbah, and soon the Succos season will come to an end. I loved a photo posted on Chabad.org and just had to provide my artistic version of it here on Shabbos Chic for you today!

*****************
"Teshuvah repentance does not come to embitter life but to sweeten it."  Rav Kook 
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Shabbat Sukkot

Sending Light To The Nations
on Shabbat Sukkot from London, England

Ushpizin - Succos Guests in My Spiritual Life

In our EmunaHealing class this week, Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum helped us understand that our Succah is representative of the Holy Temple.

We build it and we spend a designated time in it each year in order to remember and connect  with the past and future Temple, right where we live, right now.

And, no matter where we live, we can expect a special guest to visit us each day.  Our spiritual Succos guests are the Patriarchs of our faith, and they are here for us now if we are willing to receive them.

The Aramaic word for "guests" is pronounced Ushpizin, and that is what we call our special Succos guests each year.


Rebbetzin Chana Bracha shared the basic spiritual qualities represented by each of the Patriarchs, and also associated the particular Sephirot to this list I'm quoting from an Aish.com post by Rabbi Joel Padowitz as well:

  • Abraham represents love and kindness [Chessed]
  • Isaac represents restraint and personal strength [Gevurah]
  • Jacob represents beauty and truth [Tiferet]
  • Moses represents eternality and dominance through Torah [Netzach]
  • Aaron represents empathy and receptivity to divine splendor [Hod]
  • Joseph represents holiness and the spiritual foundation [Yesod]
  • David represents the establishment of the kingdom of Heaven on Earth [Malchut]

As an EmunaHealer, Rebbetzin included her understanding of the various parts of the human body represented by each of the Sephirot. 

Her sharing added another tangible, significant layer of understanding and possibility of healing  to the holiday of Succos for me this year.

See Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum's
Kosher Tube 3-part teaching on 
Torah of the Mothers

What is the essence of Rosh Hashana?

Although I was participating in the live Skype session as Dr Yedidah Cohen translated this section of Zohar  explained by Rabbi Yehudah  Lev Ashlag in the Perush HaSulam, it is very helpful to be able to listen to it again and again in her recording  posted as The Shofar: The Sound of Compassion.

"The twelve months of the year are the tikun of the Malchut, from its beginning to its end.

Since it is not completely finished until the Gemar HaTikun (the end of the Tikun) we need each year to come back and rectify it.

And therefore, on each Rosh Hashana we start the tikun of the Malchut again.

So, the word shanah, shin-nun-hey, is a cycle."

Yedidah's English translation of Rabbi Ashlag's explanation brought me around to understanding that the essence of Rosh Hashana is quite the opposite of harsh, critical judgment of my sins.

It is a day to relish the love and attention of my Creator's confident expectation in my process of perfection and the ultimate perfection of the world.

I am an intrinsic part of the cycle. My life and my teshuva are important and welcome; they are necessary and valuable.

I am not pitifully pleading for forgiveness, but acknowledging Hashem as my Beloved and crowning Hashem as King. I am doing my part.

This year I make teshuva with a new, improved attitude.  I am bringing the genuine love of my Beloved that is lavished upon me during this month of Elul to my Temple with me on Rosh Hashana in order to promote Tikun Olam. 

I am participating in the significant beginning of yet another year, yet another cycle in the rectification of the world.

And this year, with an expanded understanding of my own purpose and my relationship with my Beloved, I embrace the compassionate essence of Rosh Hashana  by joyfully participating in all three traditional expressions of  love and compassion:

Teshuva - it's our choice for personal bonding with God

Tefila - it's our job to pray for the tools to serve God

Tzedaka - it's our opportunity to give Charity or Justice

Join Rabbi Yossi Srugo, Rabbi Yakov Garfinkel and Rabbi Chai Amar in an eight-minute video reminder of these traditional Jewish observances of Rosh Hashana called Crowning the King.

Shana Tova & Happy Cycling!

Rabbi Aryeh Nivin's Chaburas This Elul


Participating in Rabbi Aryeh Nivin's Ladies Chabura 5774 is truly a blessing in this season of Elul. His live coaching/teaching by phone brings the essence of my life purpose into sharp focus for at least an hour per week,  infusing it more and more into my everyday life. Participating in the Ladies Chabura connects me with women all over the world, and it also connects me deeply with myself, with my soul.

Rabbi Nivin has a unique and very, very important message that has awakened my own Yeud, my life purpose, which is definitely reflected in my writings on this blog. My Yeud reveals my essence and and satisfies the longing of my neshama, my eternal soul.

"When you have a Yeud moment
it answers the question -
Is this what my life is all about?"


What a deeply satisfying pleasure to be able to say, "YES," and to watch the petals of my growing sense of purpose unfurl into a beautiful, blossoming thing. I am definitely blooming where I am planted in this life now. 

Baruch Hashem!  Here, listen to Rabbi Nivin's brief explanation of  your Yeud, ... "a light that ONLYYOU can bring into the world... The understanding of your life's purpose is like a lantern in the darkness."

By the way, you won't find much on the subject of Yeud on the web. Shuli Kleinman has a blog post on Yeud and Tikun. It is rather deep, and assumes a considerable knowledge of Hebrew concepts.

And you may find a few unfortunate associations with altered states of consciousness and musical groups and political parties, too. But this is not what the concept of Yeud really means.

That is why I connect to Rabbi Aryeh Nivin's authentic life coaching in the substance and potential available to us all when we discover and honor our Yeud in our daily lives.

His years of work with Aish.com and experience in life coaching put him in a unique position to help me, and many other people to find and to fulfill our unique contributions to the world. It's good to have a coach for what truly matters, and what seems so hard to find in life.

OK, I know we don't really get a a diploma, a degree or designation for our genuine spiritual growth. But I have to admit that receiving the certificate pictured below has been a precious reminder that I have made progress and that it's my responsibility to put my progress into practice each day.

It works for me!

Rabbi David Aaron on Emunah - Faith is a state of being

Back in 2005, Rabbi David Aaron of www.Isralight.org recorded several hours of audio teaching he called an Emunah Seminar, and his words are enlivening my studies this Elul 5773. 

Here are are few quotes from his teaching called The State of Being, which describes our faith as who we are, as part of our core essence we can tap into when we are willing to set aside distractions:


"Faith is not a collection of ideas,
faith is a state of being."

"Rav Kook explains that faith is the revelation of the Self, of yourself. It is the basic self-revealing of your inner essence.

It is not something that you achieve, that you accomplish in the sense of adding more information, amassing more knowledge.

It's actually something that you need to release from yourself, in essence."

"Emunah is the basic self-revealing
of the essence of the soul."

Rabbi David Aaron

Contemplating Parashat Kitavo - First Things First

It isn't just the first fruits of the land we contemplate this Shabbos reading Parashat Kitavo... no, it's our first thoughts and actions each day.

Rebbetzin Chana Brach Siegelbaum posts the following on her Women At The Crossroads blog this week:

"Knowing that the holy Torah is eternal; as we learn from the Thirteen Principles of Belief: “This Torah will never be exchanged;”* then, how do we fulfill the mitzvah of Bikurim today when we have neither a worshipping  Kohen, nor a Temple, or an altar?

Even today we can fulfill the mitzvah of Bikurim by dedicating the beginning of every matter to Hashem. The body follows the head."

* Rambam, the Thirteen Principles of Emunah, #9.

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