April 21, 2011

A Rabbi's Blessing

Rabbi Shoshanah Devorah lives and tends her garden of Souls
in Mendocino County.
She is a white haired beauty who has always been exquisitely kind to me.
Twice now, at critical junctures in my life,
once after Margaret's death,
and again in December 2010,
she has lent me her ear,
her counsel,
her heart and goodness.

She has held my face in her hands
and wished me grace,
wished for me God's face shining on mine,
and the presence of peace.

She has wished for me God's face shining on mine.

Such a wish is what someone tells their child,
their dearest loved one.
Such a wish is only spoken from one soul to the other.
From one who has yearned for, maybe even felt
God's face shining on theirs.

This wish she gave to me.

Today I received another Blessing from this kind woman:

Dear Mary,
Seems to me your "being Jewish" ceremony is coming up in just two weeks now, so I want to wish you a big Mazal Tov! May the occasion be even grander/deeper/higher than you can imagine, and may your Jewish life continue to reward you, and those you touch, deeply in the years to come.
I am present with you energetically as you affirm who you are,

B'shalom oovracha
Bruchah HaBa'ah
In Peace and Blessing and Welcome,

May the occasion be even grander/deeper/higher than I can imagine.

And I realize that I am coming into a sacred moment of my life.

I will share my deepest love of God with others.

April 16, 2011

Why I Love Judaism

Cause I can see the waxing moon growing nearly full with a plane's pink contrail against an azure blue sky and know that in two days we will celebrate this particular full moon with the Festival of Unleavened Bread, Passover. A Celebration of Freedom from Slavery, coming out of Egypt, out of our Narrows, coming into Freedom, New Life.

My Rabbi, Gershon Winkler, teaches that this Coming Out of Our Narrows should ideally occur certainly yearly with Passover's Remembrance, but daily, daily renewing our commitment to Freedom, Aliveness, Acceptance and Love. Come out of our constriction of mind, narrowness of thought, hatred and pettiness.

Weekly Shabbat creates a time of Renewal, Time of Rest and Honoring The One who Created us and Our World. Lighting candles to hallow the passage of Night into Day, acknowledging Time the Creation of the fact of Time. Honoring the tiniest particle of what God, Sovereign of The Universe, has given to us. Creator of the fruit of the vine, our bread, our working bodies, our Souls. Healer of all flesh. Giver of All. A Creator who asks us to act as Loving, Discerning Co-Creators, who gives us some simple rules, to keep us Human.

I Love Judaism because weekly, in Temple, my body turns into a receptacle of Love, a puddle of Joy and Bliss. I am with a Body of People who unite to Love God, who wish to be with other Jews to Sing, Praise, Rejoice, Grieve and Pray Together for the benefit of ALL. Who wish Peace Peace and Goodness to ALL; despite centuries of suffering extreme hate extreme cruelty extreme torture and extreme killing. We wish Peace, Kindness and Goodness for ALL. Still.

Cause this Body of People, Yisrael, are community community community and if needed would care for me, do care for me, love me and each other. Who hallow each presence with friendship and respect. Because this Body of People, Yisrael, watches the Moon; celebrates the New Moon; celebrates Festivals on the Full Moon. Who Love Words, hold Sacred a Text The Torah which has survived survived which is discussed, picked apart, thought deeply about, cherished. Who take nothing for granted. Whose ancestors' lives have been examined in detail, story by story, word for word, even letter for letter and they have been found to be fearless, brave, generous, loving, merciful, forgiving; also vengeful, lacking, all too human. But foremost these Ancient Souls believed in Themselves and in Their One God Creator of The Universe. Their stories provide hope and guidance for living our own lacking, wanting, all too human lives.

Because my People, Yisrael, have rituals which cause me to purposefully stop, consider Good in my life and Good in others. My People sing out praise for Our Creator. Praise. Joy. The collective, ritual acknowledgement of our Oneness, God's Existence and Oneness, Graciousness, Goodness, Mercy and Kindness. We are asked to personally interact with God by being an example of Adonai' Light when we interact with others. I love to be reminded, ritually, purposefully, so that I may consciously, and collectively with all Jews, display my love of God.

I love Judaism because it is Rich and Deep and Loving and Sparks every fiber of my being. I am proud to become a Jew, to enter into an Ancient Family to whom I have always belonged. To honor that part of my family who have suffered mightily for just being who they are, for the Love of Adonai.