Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Tapping into the Soul Prints of Rachel & Leah

Parashat Vayetze
Printable Version

In Parashat Vayetze we learn about Rachel and Leah who overcame the challenge of sharing the same man. Although polygamy was permitted in the Torah, it was never encouraged. A wife in a polygamous family was called a צרה/tzara –‘trouble’ or ‘tragedy.’ Since sisters are naturally each other’s best friend, the Torah prohibited a man from marrying two sisters and thus setting them up against each other. Ya’acov’s marriage to both Rachel and Leah was an exception, because these holy women were destined to make a rectification for all future discord among sisters. By being able to overcome the ultimate challenge of being set up against each other as co-wives, they paved the way for all future sisters to get along.

Rachel & Leah Rectified All Future Discord among Sisters
Through their inner struggle, Rachel and Leah became like one person as Arizal teaches, “The feet of Leah ensconce (is clothed) within the crown of Rachel” (Etz Chayim, Sha’ar 38, Chapter 3). He also explains that Rachel was the revealed world while Leah was the hidden world (Sefer Etz Chaim). True relationships are not automatic, but must survive the struggles and bumps on the way. Like Rachel and Leah, struggle may strengthen our bond. Rachel in her soul-work and spiritual struggle with her sister allowed herself to be changed by her to become the inner (hidden) world as well. Whereas at first Leah was the one who did the inner work of tefilah and tshuva, (crying so hard that her eyelashes fell out), in the end it was Rachel’s heartfelt tears that elicited  Hashem’s promise to return His exiled children to the Land (See Yirmeyahu 31:14-16). Both Rachel and Leah met each other in the middle ground halfway between hidden and revealed. The greater each partner in a relationship is able to change herself towards the other the holier is that relationship. 

Bridging the Schisms in Israel
When we continue the rectification enacted by Rachel and Leah, we will be able to overcome the jealousy among the Jewish people so prevalent today. The foundation of shalom bayit (peace in the home) within the Jewish people as a whole, is reunification of the two main tenants of the bayit of Israel – the children of Rachel with the children of Leah. Each of the different schisms that we experience today can be traced back to the division between the children of Rachel and Leah. This includes the divisions between the Ashkenazim/Sephardim, religious/non-religious, settlers/city-dwellers Chareidi/Dati Leumi, etc.

Tuning Into the Rachel & Leah within Our Own Psyche
We women have the ability to bridge these gaps. Whenever the situation arises, we can do the greatest rectifications by really accepting and respecting our sister deeply even when her way of serving Hashem is so totally unlike ours. It is only schism, friction and contention between the children of Rachel and Leah that prevent the final redemption. The more we get in touch with the different aspects of Rachel and Leah within our own psyche and balance our own personality the more we will be able to truly bridge the different segments of Am Yisrael and bring about the true ahavat chinam  and achdut with Hashem’s Shechinah in our midst!

Bringing Redemption by Overcoming Sisterly Challenges
The spiritual energy created by Rachel and Leah’s true loving bond generated Divine unifications that give us the merit to conquer the Land of Israel and bring redemption. I recall my mother’s wise words, “When you sisters learn to get along, there can be peace in the world.” In our endeavor to bring redemption, we must tap into the energy of Rachel and Leah in order to learn to get along as mothers, daughters, sisters and friends. Connecting to others on the deepest level is most women’s highest aspiration. Redemption takes place in the merit of the righteous women who strive towards perfection in relationship, by overcoming jealousy, indifference, anger, and power-struggle to express true love in relationship on all levels. Below I share with you a poem that expresses the yearning for this kind of sisterly relationship.

Sisterhood Struggles

I always knew I loved you, but not how much I feel.
When I scrub myself with loofa, my heart thinks of you.
When I scrub myself with loofa, my heart thinks of you.
My skin is red from rubbing, awaiting the growth of new.

Since time bygone, we have been each other’s spiritual guide.
Like stitches in a perfect seam, together we were tied.
With sisterly love, we comforted each other when we cried.
Now the seam is ripping but your share of my soul never died.

I miss your gentle sweetness and your soft-spoken voice.
Allowing your caring wisdom to prevail above all the noise.
I long once again to strengthen you, and help you to succeed.
Must we loosen our loving bond just because we disagreed?

Even if my best friend refuses to budge,
I will not harbor resentment nor hold any grudge.
I don’t want my sister to be penalized because of my pain.
Yet I mourn lost opportunities that would make us both gain.

When you are so close for so long, you expect to share.
Therefore, silence and rejection is too much to bear.
Why can’t we work things out and each other truly hear?
So that we once again can become seamlessly near.

I wish we could melt away each and every block
to open all the barriers and our hearts unlock.
I imagine us dancing together in the sun holding hands,
going through the process of clearing up the misunderstands.

With great effort, strength, courage and care,
We may unravel the tangles and mend the tear.
We could grow wiser and learn how to truly respond,
Like Rachel and Leah, struggle may strengthen our bond.

Let us overcome ourselves and our desire to hide!
Let us seek true unity and reconnect every side!
Together we can work out the issues and become highly aware,
With fearless love build the Temple and bring world repair!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Saga of Primordial Jealousy

Parashat Toldot
Printable Version

Jealousy is the core essence of so many of our miseries and woes, both on a personal and cosmic level. From a young age, children compete for their parents’ love and adoration. The seed of anti-Semitism was planted in Esav’s heart when Ya’acov surpassed him. Jealousy is a result of our imperfect world that seemingly doesn’t provide sufficient light for us all. It is a challenge to share if there is not enough to go around. We have to learn that the more we share – both spiritual light translated into honor and love etc. – as well as material goods – the more there will be for everyone including ourselves. In practical terms, we must work on believing that the gifts Hashem granted us are sufficient in order to fulfill our mission in life the very best way. Whatever belongs to others would only impede us. We need to begin with loving ourselves completely and being happy with our portion (Pirkei Avot 4:1).  I truly believe that overcoming jealousy is one of the main repairs we need to make in order bring redemption.

Below is a poem I wrote describing the root of jealousy, highlighting Esav whose jealousy at his younger brother Ya’acov the progenitor of the Jewish people is the centerpiece of Parashat Toldot.  It is my hope that my writing will inspire us to eradicate jealousy from our hearts ones and for all. 

The Saga of Primordial Jealousy
Why can’t every sister and brother
learn to get along with one another?
Being branches growing from the same tree,
they compete for sustenance, light and glee.
Jealousy and envy is the venom of the snake.
Its stinging pain in the heart makes us ache.

Yet from primordial time, we have been out of tune.
Everything began with the complaint of the moon.
She was seeking to take all the power on her own,
asking how two kings could share the same crown?
Reflecting someone else’s light doesn’t seem fair,
until the day when the universe will learn to share.

Jealousy hides her ugly head in the cracks of the darkest cellar.
She lives in a convertible tent, besides being a city dweller.
She adorns herself in heavy robes with chains at her chest,
befriending complaint, hatred, competition and contest.
Boasting is her breakfast and compliments are for dinner.
Always greedy for more, she will never be a winner.  

Jealousy planted her heinous seed in the smooth snakeskin.
The seed grew into a monster who spurred everyone to sin.
Then she consorted with the very first son who felt rejected.
After slaying his brother, could he ever become perfected?
She instigated Yishmael to throw his arrows and rocks.
His missiles sits on the media spewing lies while he mocks.

His nephew Esav did not care how low he might stoop.
He loved gaming, hunting, women and lentil soup.
Without the capacity for taking responsibility and repair,
He lived in the moment indulging in his hedonistic flair.
Life is short, the glitter of pleasure seeking glowed.
The birthright duties was a weighty cumbersome load.

Yet in the end of the day, no one wants to get less.
Would father Yitzchak not want also Esav to bless?
He was to swing on a seesaw, in order to reach the top.
Only when Ya’acov would be down, Esav could rise up. 
No wonder his hatred was ignited against his own twin brother.
His chance to succeed was by harming the favorite of his mother.

Throughout millennia, Esav tried to overcome Ya’acov.
Yet, deeply buried beyond mire and mirth is his spark of love.
At an intimate moment in the wake of Ya’acov’s humble bow,
Esav was ready to open his heart and amical feelings allow.
Yet, that moment was short lived and so was the embrace.
Before long the old, ugly jealousy would surface.

We await the time when jealousy will have played itself out.
When her wrinkly face and gray hair will be buried without doubt.
At that redemptive phase every single sister and brother
will finally get along perfectly with one another.
When sharing becomes more important than the desire to own,
then it will be possible for two greater kings to share one crown.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Herbal Remedies from the Judean Hills

The Book of Bereshit
Parashat Bereshit: Plants Connect Heaven and Earth
Parashat Noach: אֶתְרוֹג – Etrog – Citrus Medica
Parashat Lech Lecha: Chaste Tree Berries
Parashat Vayetze: Thyme - Courage to Cleanse
Parashat Miketz: Calendula - Sunshine Flower

The Book of Shemot
Parashat Shemot: Dandelion - Reviving Your Inner Child
Parashat Va'era: Milk-Thistle – A Thorny Liver Remedy
Parashat Bo: The Strong, Musty Scented Protective Rue
Parashat Beshalach: The Seven Fruits of Israel
Parashat Yitro: Nourishing, Mild, Mucilaginous Mallow
Parashat Mishpatim: Plantain - Accessible, Edible, Effective, Bug-Bite and Skin Healer
Parashat Terumah: Benefitting from Burning Nettle
Parashat Tetzaveh: Myrtle: Fresh, Upright, Evergreen Symbol of Success
Parashat Ki Tisa: The Bitter, Detoxifying, Amalek-Eliminating Myrrh
Parashat Vayakhel-PekudeiThe Spiritual Protective Warming Energy of Cinnamon

The Book of Vayikra
Parashat Vayikra: Chickweed –The Sweet, Gentle, Powerful Star-shaped Healer
Parashat Tzav: עולש – Chicory – Cichorium Intybus
Shabbat Pesach: Was Horehound One of the Bitter Herbs for the Pesach Seder?
Parashat Shemini: Hyssop – The Humble Herb of Freedom
Parashat Tazria-Metzora: Rockrose – A Carefree Evergreen with Spring Petals
Parashat Acharei Mot-KedoshimShepherd’s Purse - Calming, Comforting, Soothing
Parashat Emor: Lamb’s Quarters: G-d-Given Most Nutritious Edible Weed
Parashat Behar: My White Broom Rebirth
Parashat Bechukotai: My Self-planted Mulberry Fairy-Tale Tree

The Book of Bamidbar
Parashat Bamidbar: The Rose – A Symbol of Love
Parashat Naso: English Walnut: The Majestic Loner Tree
Parashat Beha’alotcha: Garlic - A Natural Antibiotic, Stamina Strengthener, Indigestion Causing Plant
Parashat Shlach L’chah: The Hardy, Humble Honeysuckle
Parashat Korach: Feminine, Balancing, Heart Opening Geranium
Parashat Chukat: Refreshing, Sweet, Uplifting Mint
Parashat Balak: Noble, Verdant Bay Leaf Tree
Parashat Pinchas: Capers and a Rebbetzin’s Shabbat Confession
Parashat Matot-Masai: Prickly Burnet: Pot-Shaped, Paradisiac Thorn of Division

The Book of Devarim
Parashat Devarim: Helpful Herbs before Fasting
Parashat Va’etchanan: Lemongrass: Cleansing, Energy Transforming, Mind-Clearing Herb
Parashat Eikev: Purselane: Omega 3 Rich, Welcome Volunteer, Summer Latecomer
Parashat Re’eh: Calamint: Inconspicuous, Sorrow Soothing, Sweet Smelling Herb
Parashat Shoftim: Soothing, Relaxing, Mood-lifting Lavender
Parashat Ki Tetze: Black Seed Sprinkled on Bread since Talmudic Times
Parashat Ki Tavo: Most Bitter, Soul-Inflicting Wormwood
Parashat Nitzavim: The Holy Apple Orchard
Parashat VayelechCastor Oil – The Natural Detoxification Agent
Parashat Ha'azinu: Pure, White Yom Kippur Surprise
Shabbat Sukkot/Parashat V’Zot Ha’Bracha: Basil: Soul Reviving, Gentle Plant of Peace

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Rivka, Our Sister You Will Always Be

Parashat Chayei Sarah

Between Indecision and Instantaneous Faith in an Unknown Fate
Indecision is one of the many plagues of this generation, especially among young women. There are so many choices out there, and so many distractions that it is often hard to tune into what we really want – what the right thing is – what Hashem wants from us. All our hesitations waste precious time and energy that could have been applied in holy action. This week’s parasha can inspire us to learn decisiveness as we are introduced to a girl who knows exactly what she wants from a very young age. Imagine Rivkah a young girl of either three (Rashi, Bereishit 25:20), or fourteen (Da’at Zekenim Ba’alei Tosfot Bereishit 25:20), leaving her family, home and birthplace behind without the slightest hesitation. She had just met Avraham’s servant for the very first time. The next morning, when he must depart urgently, she agrees to follow him to an unknown fate, in order to marry a man she has never met. With a decisive smile she answers, “I’ll go” (Bereishit 24:58). To where? To what? To whom? What gave this young child the ability to pick herself up and leave her parents, just like that out of the blue without any time to even pack her bag? The poem below, written as a dialogue between Rivkah and her family, is an attempt to answer this question. I also composed a melody for the poem which you can listen to here (women only).

Walking in Rivkah’s Footprints
I admire many of my students who are walking in Rivkah’s footsteps leaving everything and everyone behind in order to start a complete new life in the Holy Land. We can count among our students those who left not only their parents but also their children and sometimes grandchildren behind to follow the light. It must be just as hard for a mature woman to say goodbye as it is for a young child. When you have built a life for yourself, succeeded in your career and developed close relationships over the years much faith is needed to heed your calling and actualize your Jewishness fully by living as a Jew in the Promised Land. Women with this kind of spiritual strength truly continue to set Rivkah’s example, paving the way for others to follow suit.

Blessings of Farewell
“Our sister you will always be,
even if you were never really one of us.
We will miss you and feel the greatest loss,
when the mountain separates between us.”

“I have waited all my life for this moment
when I finally can say my goodbyes.
I am fed up with all your greediness,
with your trickery and with all your lies.”

“Our sister please don’t be so cold,
as the mountain separates between us.
It is your time now – we are growing old.
We will miss the kindness of your way.”

“I have waited all my life for this moment
when I will rise with the sun.
I am going to marry a very holy man,
to a home where Hashem will be one.”

“Our sister please remember us
as you take off to meet your soulmate.
May your merit bring us good luck too,
as you rise and grow to become great.”

“I will miss my mother’s sweet caress.
When you wipe away my tear,
I may be alone in this unknown world,
but, still, I really have no fear.”

“Our sister, take your nurse with you
as your faithful comfort and escort.
When you will long for a well-known face,
Devorah will be your true support.”

“I will take Devorah and be on my way.
Please take care of the camels and the sheep.
Bring the pitchers to the well every day.
Remember to water all the trees.”

“Our sister blessings of farewell.
May your heartfelt prayers become true!
May Avraham’s blessing be fulfilled in you
and myriads of children come from you!”

“Our sister you will forever be,
even if you were never really one of us.
We will miss you and feel the greatest loss,
when the mountain separates between us.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Where did All the Female Angels Go?

Parashat Vayera
Printable Version

The Angels in My Life
“You are an angel!” I often exclaim when people show up at the right time in the right place. Today two such ‘angels’ knocked on our door. The first was a new neighbor – that I didn’t know I had – who needed milk for his coffee. It turned out that this newlywed young man had experience in painting houses. When he entered Friday afternoon, Levi, our family home-improver, was about to finish changing the floor tiles in our son’s bedroom. We had been postponing changing our cracked floor tiles for many years, as it just seemed to unmanageable a project to move out all our accumulated stuff from each room. This year we just jumped into the cold water, trusting that somehow we would get through it. After having carried all the exorbitant amount of stuff – mainly Torah books – out of our son’s bedroom, it became clear that the room needed a serious paint job, and if we didn’t do it now we probably wouldn’t do it for at least another ten years, if ever. In order to avoid living one more day with all my son’s stuff in the living room, the painting had to happen ASAP, and it turned out with amazing Divine providence that our new neighbor was available to get the job done right away. The second ‘angel’ was a 10-year-old-son of a different neighbor who asked if he could collect our garden clippings for his goats. Now, my husband had just been pruning various bushes, and I had not managed to hire anyone to pick up after him, so this boy was truly an angel sent to clean up our garden in honor of Shabbat. Do I really mean to say, that these various wonderful people are actual angels? What is an angel anyway? In Hebrew, the wordמַלְאַךְ /malach – ‘angel,’ also means ‘messenger.’ Angels are messengers of G-d, sent into this world to accomplish a particular mission. The word malach is mentioned 67 times in the Tanach. The first instance was the angel that Hashem sent to Hagar to help her return to her mistress, Sarah. Every time I step into my car, I pray to Hashem to send His protective angels to help me arrive and return home safely!

Avraham’s Angelic Visitors
Each angel can only perform one errand (Midrash Bereishit Rabbah 50:2). This is because the identity and essence of each angel is the mission for which it was created. If two angels would carry on the same mission, they would become one angel, while one angel performing two missions would become two angels (Maharal, Bereishit 18:2). This principle is exemplified in the opening of this week’s parasha when Hashem sends Avraham three angels in the form of men:

ספר בראשית פרק יח פסוק א וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו הָשֵׁם בְּאֵלֹנֵי מַמְרֵא וְהוּא ישֵׁב פֶּתַח הָאֹהֶל כְּחֹם הַיּוֹם:
(ב) וַיִּשָּׂא עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה שְׁלשָׁה אֲנָשִׁים נִצָּבִים עָלָיו וַיַּרְא וַיָּרָץ לִקְרָאתָם מִפֶּתַח הָאֹהֶל וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ אָרְצָה:
“Hashem appeared to him in Alonei Mamrei, while he was sitting at the entrance of the tent in the heat of day. He lifted his eyes and behold, three men were standing beside him, he saw and he ran towards them from the entrance of the tent, and he prostrated himself to the ground” (Bereishit 18:1-2).

These ‘men’ visiting Avraham were angels, who each were charged with a particular mission: One to bring the good tidings [of Yitzchak’s birth] to Sarah, one to overturn Sodom, and one to heal Avraham. Raphael, who healed Avraham, went from there to save Lot (Rashi, Bereishit 18:2). If an angel can only perform one mission, how can the same angel both heal Avraham and save Lot? According to Rashi, healing and saving is the same kind of mission (Siftei Chachamim Ibid.). Although many kinds of angels expire as soon as they have completed their mission, the ministering angels, who have multitudes of underlings, continue throughout the ages performing their particular kind of mission. The Talmud explains: “Who were the three ‘men?’ – Michael, Gavriel, and Raphael. Michael came to bring the tidings to Sarah; Raphael [which means ‘healer of G-d’], to heal Avraham; and Gavriel [‘strength of G-d’], to overturn Sodom. But is it not written, “The two angels came to Sodom in the evening” (Bereishit 19:1)? – Michael accompanied him to rescue Lot (Babylonian Talmud, Baba Metzia 86b). Thus, there is a discord between the Talmud and Rashi whether it was Michael or Raphael that went to rescue Lot. Rabbeinu Bachaya explains that the mission of each of the three ministering angels visiting Avraham was according to their particular midah – character. The mission of Michael, the angel of chesed – ‘kindness,’ came to tell Sarah the good news, although according to nature she was unable to conceive; and to save Lot, although he didn’t deserve it. Raphael, the angel of gevurah – ‘severity and judgment’ – came to overturn Sodom, whereas Raphael – whose mission is rachamim – ‘compassion,’ came to heal Avraham. If you have any doubt whether the three ‘men’ visiting Avraham indeed were Michael, Gavriel and Raphael, our Torah verse alludes to this identification as follows: וְהִנֵּה שְׁלשָׁה/v’hine shelosha – ‘behold three’ has the numerical value of 701. This equals the accumulated numerical value of, אלו מיכאל גבריאל ורפאל – These are Michael, Gavriel and Raphael (Ba’al HaTurim Ibid.).

Do Angels Have Free Will?
“He ran towards them from the entrance of the tent.” Why did Avraham run towards the angels rather after them, as we would expect when the men were passing by his tent and Avraham wanted to invite them in. Since angels don’t have a backside, therefore, Avraham would not be able to run after them. Luckily, his tent had four entrances; therefore, it is possible that he ran towards them to the opposite entrance (Toldot Yitzchak). It makes sense to me that angels don’t have a back, since all our unrectified negativity and doubts reside in the back. Because angels do not have free choice, they need no backside as they can only move forward to fulfill their mission. For the same reason angels are depicted with only one straight leg. “Their legs are a straight leg” (Yechezkiel 1:7). They do not need two legs to move forward, since they are created to reach their goal automatically. Being static, they only need one leg as a stand, without even a knee to bend. If angels don’t have a free choice then how could they possible come to sin as was the case with the two angels in our parasha who came to Sodom? They were punished for being arrogant when they exclaimed, “For we are destroying this place” (Bereishit 19:13). Consequently, Gavriel was forced to admit that ultimate power is only in Hashem’s hand as it later states, “Hasten, flee there, for I will not be able to do” (Ibid. 22). This is the angels’ punishment because they said (verse 13): “For we are destroying,” and they attributed the matter to themselves (Rashi Ibid.). According to the Midrash, they were punished and left to wander the world for 138 years. They were permitted to return only at the time of Ya’acov’s dream. This is why the verse first says that the angels were ascending and only afterwards descending (Bereishit 28:12); (Midrash, Bereishit Rabbah 68:12). Since angels do not have a yetzer hara (evil inclination), they cannot sin by deliberately opposing the will of G-d. However, only the Creator is perfect, in contrast to the imperfect creation. Since angels are also creations of G‑d they are imperfect like any other creation even the highest intellectual beings. They too in some way conceal the ultimate reality. Therefore, although an angel cannot sin, it can nevertheless make a mistake or at least present a distortion of the truth (Rabbi Yeshaya Halevi Horowitz, Shnei Luchot HaBrit (Shelah).When an angel is sent on a divine mission, it is meant to fulfill that duty while putting its own identity completely aside. Although the angels who were sent to destroy Sodom did indeed fulfill their mission, they spoke as if they themselves were going to destroy the city. This was a distortion of the truth of their role, due to their imperfections. Thus angels can sin only through mistaking their mission or trying to reach levels of revelation where they do not belong (Rabbi Eibshitz, Ya’arot Devash, vol. 1 lecture 2).

Are there Female Angels?
In the Torah, angels never appear as women. The angels that visited Avraham were all male, and no angel is ever referred to in Scripture as any gender other than the masculine. One of the ten categories of angels are even called אִישִׁים/Ishim – ‘men’ (Rambam, Mishna Torah, Laws of the Foundations of the Torah 2:7). However, we would expect the spiritual world to reflect the male and female creatures of the physical world according to the spiritual rule: “Hashem has made one corresponding to the other” (Kohelet 7:14). In essence, the angels are completely genderless and therefore do not engage in procreation. This is why the Torah was not given to the angels, as its laws such as the prohibition against adultery do not apply to them (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 88b). If the angels are neither male nor female, then why are they depicted as males in the Torah? According to Kabbalah, male and female is relative. The male is essentially the influencer, whereas the female is the receiver. The same being may be considered male in one world and yet female in relation to another higher world (Zohar part two, 4a). Since the angels are sent down into this world to perform a mission of enacting a particular divine influence they are described as males in this world, while they would be female in relationship to Hashem. Even if some may claim that the “two women, with the wind in their wings” described in Zechariah 5:9 are an example of female angels, yet, these women in Zechariah’s prophetic vision are not called angels, but נָשִׁים/nashim –“women.” By contrast, the angel that Zechariah was speaking to is called הַמַּלְאָךְ/hamalach – “the angel.” Similarly, there are those who claim that the angel Laylah in charge of conception and birth is a female angel. Although the name, Laylah, has a female ending and its function is apparently feminine, it is described in the male gender, לַיְלָה שְׁמוֹ/Laylah shemo – “Laylah is his name” (Babylonian Talmud, Nidah 16b). Nevertheless, I was happy to find the mention of female angels in the writings of the Arizal who asserts that also among the angels there are two aspects, male and female. The female angels are the powers of judgment in holiness. These female angels sing praises to Hashem including the Song of the Sea and they are rectifications for the Shechina (Divine Female Indwelling Presence). Whenever we perform a mitzvah below it creates an angel above: “He who fulfills one mitzvah, acquires for himself one angel-advocate…” (Pirkey Avot 4:11). Certain mitzvot create female angels whereas others create male angels (Me’il Hakadosh on Etz Chaim, gate 16). The female angels are part of the entourage of the angel Sandalphon (Arizal, Pri Etz Chaim, Gate of Prayer chapter 7). Sandalphon is considered the soulmate of one of the main awesome angels called Metatron (Sefer Emek HaMelech gate 14 chapter 95). These two angels are possibly the two כְּרוּבִים/Keruvim – ‘Cherubs’ that resided upon the cover of the Ark of the Covenant (Pardes Rimonim gate 23 chapter 11). The angels Metatron and Sandalphon are the twin souls – male and female that unite Heaven and Earth. Thus, we women can be a comforted to know that the feminine is not absent among the heavenly hosts.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Lech Lecha Without Goodbye

Parashat Lech Lecha
Printable Version

Lech Lecha Without Goodbye

Abba, to an unknown world you took a stroll,
you went to yourself – to the essence of your soul.
To your eternal resting place where you dwell,
leaving me alone without kissing me farewell.

Abba, how I long to know how well you fared.
Thinking about the sweet memories we shared.
Even when you left some of your mind behind,
your spirit taught me how to let go and unwind.

From childhood, you were my pillar of strength.
You taught me how the world works at length.
I relied on you. There was nothing you did not know.
How could I accept that one day you would have to go?

Abba, to an unknown world you took a stroll,
you went to yourself – to the essence of your soul.
To your eternal resting place where you dwell,
leaving me alone without kissing me farewell.

The deepest pain in my heart, I confided.
You put your arm around me when I cried.
You were always there for me right by my side.
But who could ever comfort me when you died?

I cried when they brought you to a home.
You continued to sing ‘hevenu shalom.’
You were so present, love shone from your eyes.
I did not realize how swiftly time flies.

We would dance, laugh, sing and play.
You escaped the home but didn’t stray.
You walked the path. You knew the way
to your real home without delay.

Abba, to an unknown world you took a stroll,
you went to yourself – to the essence of your soul.
To your eternal resting place where you dwell,
leaving me alone without kissing me farewell.

They ensured that these escapades would stop.
No more going out, even with mother to shop.
You were like a lion that couldn’t be caged.
Not allowed to come and go made you enraged.

They were breaking your Jewish pride
Your anger would no longer subside.
They kept placing inside of your mug,
one calming, sedating drug after drug.

No one told me, I was kept in the dark.
I was helpless far away from Denmark.
In vain wanting to kidnap and bring you here,
to your great grandchildren that you hold dear.

When they told me that you were deep in sleep.
I could not find rest my grief was too deep.
I wanted to sing for you, pray and hold your hand.
But there were no flight that day from Israel’s land.

They didn’t even give a drop to keep you alive,
Until the daughters from Israel would arrive.
More morphine to take away the pain,
so you would never open your eyes again.

When I finally arrived, it was all over.
All I could do was your face to cover.
How I wanted to be with you when you left your body below,
to accompany you on the last journey that you would go.

Abba, to an unknown world you took a stroll,
you went to yourself – to the essence of your soul.
To your eternal resting place where you dwell,
leaving me alone without kissing me farewell.