Meditations for the month of Elul - to assist the process of Teshuvah

Shabbat, September 3 2016 - Rosh Chodesh Elul Aleph

Teshuvah is not only about other people. It starts with actions of self destruction first. What decisions did you make that in hind sight come from your lack of self love. When we truly look at ourselves sometimes it is hard to love ourselves. Push through that self doubt and hate. Love yourself by changing that decision that keeps you in the circle of self doubt and self hate.

Break the cycle by SEEING only the GOOD within yourself today and every day. Add this admonition to your morning list to say after Modeh/Modah Ani:

Today i will love myself and forgive any errors in judgment i make today.

Sunday, September 4 2016

Today is the Second Day of Rosh Chodesh Elul. Elul is called Chodesh Hacheshbon, "a month of accounting." It is also considered the month of preparation for the new spiritual year that begins with Rosh Hashanah. The two themes of Elul—accounting and preparation—are interdependent; because how we account for the past is how we prepare for the future.

In Elul (the word in Aramaic means "searching") we examine the mistakes of the past year in order not to repeat them. In particular, this means taking an honest look at what is trapping us and preventing us from truly moving forward.

Record (written or digital recording) the answers to the question: Can i fundamentally change myself to become a different person? A person who is truly different from who i am today? Do i want to become that person that is truly different and improved from who i am right now?

Monday, September 5 2016 - Elul Bet

Is there one person that you love dearly but have not had time to show your appreciation of having them in your life? Find a way to show that appreciation today. Make a phone call or send some flowers maybe just an email to say I love you and apologize for being out of touch.

Is there an action that needs to be healed between you, that when healed through Teshuvah your love will grow to a greater level? Meditate on healing that action today, even if you just add it to your list of follow ups to do today.

In the Parasha of Lech Lecha HaShem tells Abraham to leave his land, his birthplace, and the home of his parents—three descriptions of his present location—and then, when it comes to the destination, He only tells him to go "to a land," without naming it or even hinting at where it is.

Many of the commentators teach that this is a 3 step process to leave our old patterns behind. Land is a metaphor for old pattern, birthplace is a metaphor for our original mental justification for this old pattern, and home of our parents is the metaphor for the deep seated emotional reason why we do this pattern.

Today record one destructive pattern or habit that you want to leave behind. Try to identify the logical justification for doing the pattern and also your emotional need for the pattern. List one step that you can take to help change this pattern.

Tuesday, September 6 2016 - 3rd of Elul

What is the 1 thing that you want to have happen in your life this coming year? A lover? A new job? A good friend? An improved relationship? A Baby? Make a list of 3-5 things. Today, using your imagination, zone in on visualizing the first item on the list happening!

How do you feel? Wonderful? Happy? Serene? Content? Fulfilled?

Remember that feeling a few times today. Have the certainty that that item will manifest in your life from the spiritual work you are doing this month of Elul and Tishrai. Remember that feeling again! No matter what happens today remember that feeling and use the knowledge that it will happen to protect against any down feelings during the day!

Now don't forget those other items on the list. Add them to the to do list for tomorrow

Another understanding we are taught about the three locations that Abraham is told to leave are 1) Your land is the influence of your society that is so deep that you are not even aware of how it influences you; 2) Your parents' home is another level of inherent attitudes you have absorbed from your parents and teachers. You may be aware of these or not. and 3) Your birthplace represents your innate selfishness and self love.

Select one significant event from the past week. Identify how each of these 3 places influenced your reactions and decisions about the event. Record your answer for later review.

Wednesday, September 7 2016 - 4th of Elul

It is usually very difficult to be able to "see" ourselves. Today ask a close friend the following questions- "What do you think i should change about myself, and what do you think i can improve about myself?" No matter what they say or how hard it is for you to hear what they say remember to thank them for their honestly. Now ask someone who is an acquaintance only. Evaluate what each says to you.

Freedom is a highly valued spiritual goal in Torah. Breaking free of destructive and harmful patterns and habits is highly valued and is called "leaving Egypt or Mitzrayim." The Hebrew word for Egypt literally means narrow or limited.

Identify 1 or more ways in which you limit or narrow your freedom by accepting the values and utilizing the values from your society, your parents, and your own selfishness. Record these as well.

Thursday, September 8 2016- 5th of Elul

Every blockage you have with someone else is a blockage between you and the Light. As diplomatically as possible, approach some of these people and let them know that if in any way you have hurt or offended them, you are sincerely sorry. Whether or not they accept the apology is irrelevant because it is your willingness to humble yourself that reveals the Light for both you and them.

The Torah teaches that the only true freedom is Torah Study. Many people disagree with this because they experience Torah as a religion that they consider limiting. Do you feel constrained by the values you have learned from Torah? To what extant do these values represent man made or self made values as opposed to Godly values. Can you identify Godly values that will help you leave behind the pattern or habit you have identified earlier this month? Commit to additional Torah Study of this value specifically. Record that commitment.

Friday, September 9 2016- 6th of Elul

Have you seen an improvement in someone else recently? Maybe they lost weight or changed their appearance, or no longer get so angry when someone speaks to them. Take note of one improvement in someone close to you and let them know that you have noticed the change. Don't forget to smile when you compliment them!

Sensitivity is a value that is taught by the Torah. Most people do not think of the Torah as actually teaching sensitivity. Yet that is what Tzedakah or charity is actually teaching us - sensitivity to other people. Blessings over food (before and after) is teaching us to be sensitive to other forms of consciousness even when we do not realize it. In what areas of your life do you need to be more sensitive? Identify them and record them. Perhaps decide to say a blessing over food at least one more time this coming year than you did this past year. Add a little more charity to your actions this year as well. Perhaps identify a cup or glass to be your Tzedakah tool. Put 3 coins in your Tzedakah tool at least once per day with the consciousness to increase your certainty that the item you want to manifest in your life this year will come to be (as recorded earlier in the month). When that Tzedakah tool is full send it to the charity of your choice, Hopefully that is Yeshshem.com.

Shabbat, September 10 2016 - 7th of Elul- Shabbat Shoftim

The Torah teaches that the antidote to being depressed, unhappy, and unfulfilled is none other than Appreciation.

When you are busy looking at the good others have done for you, your attention shifts away from focusing on what you don’t have. And you should know that your natural instinct is to look for the bad, so it is a constant struggle to maintain appreciation.

What are some of the things you are grateful for in your life? Record them to read or hear when you might be falling back from your good intentions for this coming year.

This is the fourth week of the seven weeks of consolation which are read in the Haftarot each Shabbat. Are you sensitive enough to console another person? Go to a hospital and visit someone you do not know who is sick! Or perhaps visit an old age home and ask to visit someone who has no family to visit them! Or smile at someone you do not know who is walking by you on the street, that also is considered consoling someone. Record how the actions made you feel!

Sunday, September 11 2016- 8th of Elul

Think about one person from your past that you hurt and ask the person for forgiveness. If the person is no longer reachable because of distance or having passed on, meditate for their forgiveness. This means visualize the conversation you would have with them if they were standing in front of them. Include both sides of the conversation in your meditation. Some people find it convenient to ask a third person to play act/role the person they are asking forgiveness from. That is ok as well.

During Elul we think of God being more available, in fact he is right outside your front door waiting for you in the Field to walk up to him and ask him for help. What do you want to ask God? Where in your life do you need God's help? Record a letter to God expressing this conversation with God. Ask God for help in the recording.

Some sages teach that the field where God is waiting is a metaphor for all of the mundane tasks of our lives. Choose one mundane task and elevate it to a level of Kedusha (Holiness). You need to think about how you will do that today. Record the method of making Holiness out of the Mundane. An example is to say a Blessing after going to the Bathroom, or eating, or while making small talk with a friend bring in words of Torah! These are only examples. You will do much more powerful things than these. Just think about it. If nothing comes to mind then know that the thoughts are sufficient for this exercise today, try it again another time.

Monday, September 12 2016 - 9th of Elul

During the month of Elul, our sages teach that while God is in the Field it is still up to us to initiate the process between us. What does it mean to initiate the process? At the Yam Suf (Sea of Limitation sometimes called the Red or Reed Sea) the splitting was initiated by 1 man with the certainty that God would provide and so he walked forward to see what would be provided by Hashem. What do you need to do to initiate the flow of love between you and HaShem? Is it prayer? Is it interacting with other people who are in your life as channels between you and HaShem? Do you need to expand your certainty that HaShem will provide for you and yours? How will you initiate your year ahead? How do you want that year to happen in your life? Record the answers to these questions!

Go out of your comfort zone by being extra patient and loving to every person you meet, whether new in your life or a lifetime relationship. When you go out of your comfort zone HaShem, who knows all, interprets that as an initiation of effort and his flow of love starts to develop in your life!

Tuesday, September 13 2016 - 10th of Elul

Repression is a defense mechanism that allows us to forget unwanted episodes in our life until we are ready to process them in a healthy way. Repression is a tool that works both ways - for the positive and for the negative systems. Are you ready to process those events you have repressed? This is a technique that will be outside your comfort zone. Look within yourself and see if you can remember any emotionally charged life events from your past that you are afraid to confront. Record them and also if you are able record how you want to bring them back into your direct consciousness. Do you need to do Teshuvah with them? Do you need outside assistance to bring them to your consciousness? Write to yeshshem@hotmail.com and ask for assistance. This is also considered going outside your comfort zone!

Wednesday, September 14 2016 - 11th of Elul

Think about someone who is presently in your life that you find difficult at this moment. Now look for something good in this person. Call them and tell them about how impressed you are with this good trait within them and thank them for being your teacher. Watch how the difficulty changes. Record what good you see in each person in your life that you had difficulty with in the past. Maybe you can call up that person and do the same thing of thanking them for being your teacher about this wonderful trait they have. What if you can think of a good trait, think about your good traits and how those same traits must be in the other person because they are your mirror.

Don’t answer any criticisms today. Do not try to be right and come out on top. Just quietly note the comments, no matter what people say to you. Not answering back is definitely out of everyone's comfort zone. Record the comments people say to you, and also what you wanted to say back in order to be right but did not.

The Zohar and the Talmud teaches that the central desire of every human being is to get closer to the Creator. This of course can be a very veiled desire. In the metaphorical words of the Torah everyone wants to see God's face! Spend a few minutes today contemplating what it means to see God's face! Record your thoughts on this subject for later review!

Thursday, September 15 2016- 12th of Elul

Practice compassionate listening. Resist interrupting with your opinion. Just maintain eye contact and be there for the speaker.

Think back to 1 experience where you needed to be right. Now relive that experience through meditation, but this time let go of the need to be right. How do you feel? More or less comfortable? Record your thoughts about this issue for later review.

Friday, September 16 2016 - 13th of Elul

Surprise a friend or family member with something he or she loves the most.

Keeping our eye on the destination is the secret to happiness. Once we start to loose sight of the destination we start to fall spiritually. What is your present destination or goal in life? What is your final destination in this lifetime? Record these answers for later review.

Shabbat, September 17 2016- 14th of Elul- Shabbat Kee Tetze

There is a paradox between the transcendent aspect of God and the imminent aspect of God. We can not see God and live, but we can emulate His traits including the transcendent aspect we call Holiness. What does it take to be Holy in your mind? In your life? Reflect on that question and record your answers for later review.

Life is a paradox. If you want to be loved, give love. If you want appreciation, appreciate others. This is the best way to get what you really want. This spiritual truth is best practiced by giving to others first what it is you truly want. Do you know what you truly want? Verbalize it. Now find a way to give it to someone else first.

Sunday, September 18 2016 - 15th of Elul

Sensitivity is today’s motto: Look closely at the people around you – beyond the surface. Ask yourself, “What are they really feeling?”

Let's be sensitive to ourselves. What are you truly feeling right now? Where are you feeling a lack? How do you want your life to change next year for the better? Record your answers.

Monday, September 19 2016- 16th of Elul

Today is the full moon. That means all of the energy of the sun filtered through the Virgo aspect of looking at details is available for you to see yourself. What do you see? What do you feel needs to be changed about yourself? Do you love yourself? In what way can you change yourself to be more lovable. Record what you want to change about yourself for later review.

Meditate today on cleansing the past (and thereby changing the future). Your meditation should start with picturing a specific incident from the past and turning it into a blessing.

Tuesday, September 20 2016- 17th of Elul

Do an act of sharing without making it known that you are the one responsible. Do you want to do something like that again? Why or Why not?

We're told that the great 15th century Kabbalist, the Ari, could read people's faces. And many people, when they would pass him on the street, would cover their faces because they felt that he saw past the mask and they were ashamed.

Ask yourself: If the Ari was walking the earth today, would you want him to see your face? Would you be ashamed, too? To what extent is your face a mask for feelings you want to hide? To what extent does it reveal your inner core of holiness? Happiness? Serenity?

Consider how can you match your outer face to your inner being? Record these thoughts for later review.

Wednesday, September 21 2016 - 18th of Elul

So how do you get unstuck? By sharing and thinking of others. Think how you can help, how can you be more sensitive. Maybe it’s as simple as lending an ear and really listening to someone. When was the last time you listened 100% to someone?

Call a friend and ask them to listen to you! What can you say? What do you want to say?

Thursday, September 22 2016 - 19th of Elul

Kabbalists stress the importance of never forgetting a good deed someone has done for you. Recall someone who helped you out in a major way but with whom you no longer speak. Find a way to do something nice for them. If it isn’t possible, then send them loving thoughts.

It is appropriate to learn what Teshuvah truly means. In Hebrew it means Tashuv + letter Hey! Tashuv means to return, while the letter Hey can be a metaphor for HaShem or the physical world. Returning means that you have not made a wrong turn but are returning home to the place you should have never left. Today reflect on the meaning of Teshuvah! Record your thoughts about that place that you want to return to! Is it the home you knew as a child or a new home you plan to build? Perhaps you want to return to your own divine essence! Where will you return?

Friday, September 23 2016 - 20th of Elul

Purify your personal space and your private life today by paying close attention to the people you hang out with and the places you hang out in. You might need to re-evaluate who you let into your life. Also, you might need to evaluate why you have let these people and places into your life and space!

After the sin of the Golden Calf, Moshe did not just return to God. He first took actions of cleansing. First the people involved were removed and punished. Then he reestablished order in the camp and finally he motivated the people to and move towards Teshuvah. We need to learn from Moshe that this process also applies to our own mistakes. Pick one small mistake that you have made. Now plan how you can take similar actions to Moshe. Who are the people and other entities involved? How can you remove them? Do they need to be punished? Have you established order in your life as a consequence of realizing your mistake? How would you do that? What is your sharing reason for doing Teshuvah?

Shabbat, September 24 2016 - 21st of Elul- Shabbat Kee Tavo- Selichot

Do you love yourself? Don’t be afraid to appreciate yourself and the uniqueness that is you. If the Light created you and put all this energy into you, you must be something special. Reflect upon and record areas that you consider yourself unique. Also, record the areas of your life that you consider yourself less than unique. Are there any areas of your life you want to change to become unique?

The Midrash teaches that when Moshe was arguing with God in order to save the Nation after the sin of the Golden Calf he persuaded God to open the Gate of Tears. Our Sages teach that we can damage the body, we can damage the psyche, we can never damage the soul, dirty it perhaps but never damage it. Also, the Sages teach that "tears bathe the soul!" Where in your life, this past year, did you damage your body, your psyche, or dirty your soul that it seems there is no undoing it? Where in your life do you need to Cry in order to bathe your soul? What is blocking you from crying?

Sunday, September 25 2016- 22nd of Elul

Pick one person who hurt you in your childhood and ask yourself if you can find it in your heart to forgive them. I know it is hard to let go of the painful memories, but you are only hurting yourself by keeping a grudge. Perhaps there is one hurt where you can rise to the level of not forgiving that person, but instead asking that person to forgive you for causing them to hurt you. Yes, read that again! Now let us explain!

Kabbalah teaches that the highest level of forgiveness is to realize that the pain you felt was necessary as a cleansing of an negative action you have done or as a wakeup call. The person who, on the physical level was the channel for that pain did not have to be the channel. They allowed themselves to be the channel and therefore they will receive the effect of their negative action. But truly what is the cause of their receiving this negative effect? It is you because you needed to receive this pain. When one realizes this truth one has the need to ask the person who hurt them to forgive them for needing this pain that eventually will lead to their own chaos. You do not have to do this on the physical level because most people do not study Kabbalah yet and would consider this kind of discussion a bit strange. Just visualize the conversation and whisper your apology privately.

Monday, September 26 2016- 23rd of Elul

It is not a happy time when you realize how negatively you act towards yourself and others. But don’t freak out too much. If you do the work of self transformation, your selfish actions will become blessings. The more negativity there was, the larger the positive opening will be. Remember the person who does Teshuvah stands at a higher level than even the Tzadik.

Focus on one area where you are not exactly acting like an angel. Decide now that you are going to change it. Record that plan for later review but start to implement the plan immediately

Kabbalah teaches that the only way to Kosher an earthen vessel is to break it. Of course that seems silly but when we realize that our body is an earthen vessel and most sensitive part of our earthen vessel is our heart which needs to be broken to become kosher again. Today remember when your heart was broken. Was it a step closer to God or do you still remain a broken vessel? Today take a step closer to God by crying for your broken heart and entering the Gate of Tears!

Tuesday, September 27 2016- 24th of Elul

“Maybe someday I won’t be so lonely.” “Maybe someday I’ll feel happiness.” “Maybe someday I’ll be spiritual.” If you’re thinking this way, your someday will never come. Change the litany of crying to TODAY not someday! Today i won't be so lonely, Today i will feel happiness. Today i will walk upon a spiritual path!

The fulfillment you seek is a reality that’s happening right now. You just need to peel back the layers of illusion set in place by your mind. The truth is where you are right now is exactly where you need to be. When you realize that God's plan is happening now and your part of it, you will be able to peel back the layers of illusion.

What are some of the maybes you are rolling around in your mind? Record them for later review!

There are 3 levels of consciousness that are taught in Kabbalah. They are emunah, bitachon, and Vaday. They are words that are not easy to translate. Emunah relates to faith and belief. Bitachon relates to trust and dependence. Vaday relates to certainty and experience. Bring an event from life where you lacked any of these levels as it relates to your expectation of what should have happened and did not. Now use the tool of Teshuvah and relive that event with the new you (the you of today who has one of these levels of consciousness). The idea of this exercise is to remove any essence of doubt from your life.

Wednesday, September 28 2016 - 25th of Elul- Creation of the World

If you’re human, then you get angry with your friends and family. They disappoint you, they don’t get you, or they are simply rude to you. In essence they do not do what you want them to do.

Unfortunately, anger and resentment leads to broken relationships. It is only in retrospect, after they have gone, that you regret letting silly fights separate you.

Pick at least one person in your life with whom you’ve become estranged. Remember what it is you loved about that person and reach out to them, first in your heart and then by phone, letter, or email. Life is too short to let petty arguments keep you from the people who mean the most to you. If you have no way to reach them then visualize them standing or sitting with you and have that conversation that might heal the hurt and broken relationship.

As we approach tomorrow the day the universe was created, or a week from today which is the day Man was created in the Garden of Eden, we know we are less than our ancestors spiritually so how can we know what to do and how do we help ourselves achieve spiritually what our Patriarchs and Matriarchs achieved? Delve into the following metaphor to realize you have the power and strength of the light that they revealed for you to rely upon.

Nine generations ago, the Baal Shem Tov would go to a special place on Rosh Hashanah. He would light a fire in a special way, say a special prayer, and as a result the entire world would be blessed.

In the next generation, his successors knew the location of the special place and they knew how to light the fire but they forgot the prayers. So instead, they would pray, "Whatever the Baal Shem Tov achieved here with the fire, we should achieve."

The next generation knew the location but they forgot the rest. So they just stood in the location and said, "Whatever the Baal Shem Tov achieved here, we should achieve."

Today, we have forgotten even the location. So what do we do? We tell the story... and make the statement- "Whatever the Baal Shem Tov achieved on Rosh Hashanah when he went to that special place and light the fire in that special way, and say a special prayer, we should achieve because God is a merciful God and our forefathers all many hundreds of generations have revealed light to assist us in our spiritual growth. God, we actually do not have to redo their spiritual work. Our job is to move on from where they left off. God, please assist us in this endeavor."

We are asked to do only that which we are capable of. We do not have to be like the giants of the past. We just have to do what is in our power—stand on their shoulders. When we do so we lay claim to everything they achieved plus we add our own small part—and that small part, added to the good deeds of our ancestors, might, no will be, just be enough to tip the scales and bring redemption.

Ask yourself: Do you know what your small part in this world is? Contemplate what you can add to the work of the giants of the past. Record your thoughts for later review.

Thursday, September 29 2016- 26th of Elul

When was the last time you met someone new? Not been introduced to someone but met them because they looked lost or too busy to stop. Perhaps you might ask them the time and in that small way introduce yourself or make a later phone call to introduce yourself and learn about them through the listening skill you practiced earlier in this process. Most of us stop meeting people because we pre-judge strangers by the way they look, talk, act, and smell. Think about that as you decide to meet someone new today. Practice seeing beyond the physical appearance and directly into the soul.

In our prayers before and during the High Holiday we repeatedly ask G-d to forgive us in three different ways:

selach lanu

mechal lanu

kapper lanu

While these Hebrew words are virtually synonymous—all meaning "forgive us"—they have different implications which shed light on the process of seeking forgiveness from G-d as well as from other human beings.

Selach lanu comes from selichah meaning "pardon." To ask for pardon is to say to the one we have injured: "I am sorry for what I did; I sincerely regret having done it, and I will never do it again." According to Jewish law, the appropriate response to this request is for the one we've injured to believe we are sincere and to respond positively. One who refuses to do this is considered a cruel person.

Mechal lanu comes from mechilah, meaning "wiping away." Here, we are asking the one we've injured to wipe away the transgression as if it never happened, and restore the relationship to the former level of warmth and intimacy. For the one who has been injured a positive response to this is naturally difficult. But it is within each person's G-d-given powers to forgive to this extent. Hence, one must, according to Jewish law.

Kapper lanu comes from kapparah, meaning "atonement" (as in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement). When we request from the one we've injured to grant us atonement, we are saying, in effect, "My conscience will not let me live with myself, because of what I did to you and to our relationship. Please forgive me and take away the guilt and hurt that I feel." To respond positively to this is beyond human capacity. It is only G-d who can reach inside our hearts and say, "Be consoled."

Ask yourself: How have you responded when someone has come to you asking forgiveness? Have you forgiven others as completely as you as you want people to forgive you?

Make a list of the people who you have forgiven but now would like to reach the level that is expected of the Godly, the righteous. The level of Kapparah. You expect it from HaShem then first give it to the people on your list. Since it might be considered Chutzpah to do this in public, have this conversation with each of these people on the spiritual plane but verbalize it quietly. I give you Kapparah for the act that you asked me to forgive you for.

Friday, September 30 2016- 27th of Elul - 2nd Day of Creation - Separation of the Waters

Have you ever noticed that the last five minutes of a workout are always the hardest? Or the last minutes of anything we do? There is a dark force at play whose singular mission is to stop us from finishing the job.

As you go through your day, pay attention to the moments you feel like quitting. Push yourself to go a little longer than you think you can.

We recite these Thirteen Attributes of Compassion many times during the High Holidays:

"HaShem, HaShem, Almighty, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in kindness and truth, keeper of kindness for thousands of generations, endurer of iniquity and transgression and sin, and cleanser." (Exodus 34:6-7)

We say this in the Hebrew only in a Minyan or while singing it.

Each one of these words is profoundly mystical and contains enormous Divine energy. The Thirteen Attributes of Compassion are described in the Zohar, the classical work of the Kabbalah, as the "thirteen-petalled rose"—the greatest secret of life, the key how to repair whatever is broken.

Have you ever been broken? Do you feel broken now? Sometime today? Whenever you feel broken say the Thirteen attributes of Compassion.

According to Talmud, HaShem told Moses: "Whenever Israel sins, let them recite this and I will forgive them."

The repetition of G-d's name—HaShem, HaShem—at the beginning indicates that G-d is telling us, "I am the same G-d before you sin as I am after you sin and repent." This is a solemn assurance that the invocation of the Thirteen Attributes of Compassion will never be without effect.

This assurance means that repentance is always possible and that G-d always awaits our return to Him. The implication is also plain that if we emulate G-d's compassionate ways, He will treat us compassionately in return.

Today do an act of compassion. Can not find an act of compassion to do? Invite one of your new friends from a few days ago to a cup of soup! Or help serve in a soup kitchen which is a good place to just listen to a person who needs someone to listen to them.

Shabbat, October 1 2016 - 28th of Elul - 3rd Day of Creation - Revealment of the Earth- Shabbat Nitzavim

In reality, when you hurt another person, you are really hurting yourself.

Think of one person you hurt in your life – someone you were in a romantic relationship with. Feel the pain. In your mind and heart, ask the person to forgive you. If it is possible, and if it feels right, contact that person and apologize for hurting them. This entire process will remove major blockages from all of your current relationships.

Today contemplate Compassion. Compassion is not a contradiction of Justice. It is true that forgiveness is part of compassion, yet it does not mean to look the other way and ignore what someone does to you. Compassion is being sensitive to the needs of the other person soul. Compassion also means extending ourselves past our comfort zone out of love for the other soul.

Compassion can be cultivated. If you are a compassionate person you can be more compassionate to more people.

What does it mean for you to go out of your comfort zone to be compassionate with or to another person? Record that answer. Find someone today to extend your compassion towards. Remember compassion is not feeling sorry for someone.

Sunday, October 2 2016 - 29th of Elul - 4th Day of Creation - Sun and Moon and Stars Created

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. We allow our ego to get in the way of our success. We cling to our own opinions even when they are wrong. Like a boiling egg, we get denser and denser as someone tries to convince us otherwise.

Today, practice releasing your stubbornness, your need to be right. Even when you know you are right, let it go.

Today the moon was asked to "diminish herself." Try to Understand the Midrash on a deeper level today. The Midrash says the moon went to God and asked How can you have 2 Kings? God said you're right; now go and diminish yourself! Ask yourself the following questions. Did God make a mistake (Has V'shalom)? Why can there not be two kings? How can you emulate the diminishment of the moon by the diminishment of your ego? How can you assist the return of the Moon (female) to her initial level so that both male and female together will grow 7 levels?

It is a good morning to annul vows.

Erev Rosh Hashanah - Every Human dies and is reborn with sufficient energy to reach Day 22. The day of Hoshanah Rabbah.

Advice is the biggest vice. Everyone is guilty of giving advice at one time or another. We start to learn spirituality, and the next thing you know we are on our soapboxes, fingers flapping, sermonizing to anyone who says so much as hello to us.

Pay attention today to your addiction of giving advice. Practice listening more and offering your opinions less.

Unconditional Love is a difficult trait to cultivate since our self orientation is so paramount in our essences. What does it mean to love unconditionally? When someone rejects you and you still say I am here for you. Yes, i heard you say no, you don't want my help, but i am here to listen to you anyway if you want. This is Unconditional Love. Are you capable of this? Think of a moment when you were told "go away" and you did. Do you still think you did the right thing? When have you sent someone away? Are you prepared to invite them back into your life? Record your thoughts on these questions for later review

Monday, October 3 2016 - Rosh Hashanah Day 1 - Day of Harsh Judgment - Sixth Day of Creation - Today we have a timetable of exactly what happened hour by hour.

Today we will again recite Avinu Malkeinu - Our Father Our King. Or is it Our Father is our King? Truthfully, what is the difference between our father and our king? Try to contemplate this question each time you say these words during the day. Do you want HaShem to be your Father or your King? The choice is yours!

This is the first Monday of the new year. Your actions will affect every Monday of the year. Do additional Torah study this day.

Tuesday, October 4 2016 - Rosh Hashanah Day 2 - Day of less harsh Judgment - This is the Seventh Day of Creation. This day HaShem completed the work of creation and then He rested.

This is the first Tuesday of the new year. Your actions will affect every Tuesday of the year. Do additional Torah study this day.

Today you will again hear the Shofar. The sounds of the Shofar are a metaphor for blowing up the chaos missiles that are hanging around the universes waiting for permission to blow up in our lives. Today while listening to the Shofar contemplate this gematria relationship. The Shofar is spelled in Hebrew שופר. The first 2 letters have a gematria of 306. Isaac has a gematria of 208 and represents a metaphorical example of our souls after correction. The difference between 306 and 208 is 98. 98 is a number dealing with cleansing as the Sages teach there are 98 curses in the Torah. The last 2 letters spell the word Par which is translated as a bull (a male cow). The gematria of Par is 280 the same gematria as the 5 final letters. 280 is the Hebrew word Coach (gematria 28) times 10. Coach translates as power or strength.

One lesson that is taught from these numerical relationships is to reach complete correction our souls must first cleanse and then they will reach their true power to utilize all 28 times that HaShem has created.

Can you realize other spiritual laws from the Shofar?

Wednesday, October 5 2016- 3rd of Tishrai - Fast of Gedalia

This is the first Wednesday of the new year. Your actions will affect every Wednesday of the year. Do additional Torah study this day.

During the past 2 days we asked HaShem to "Remember us for life, King Who desires life, inscribe us in the Book of Life, for Your sake, O Living G-d." What are you willing to change about yourself or your life so that you are written in the Book of LIfe and not the other one? Record your thoughts on this question for later review

Thursday, October 6 2016 - 4th of Tishrai

This is the first Thursday of the year. All of the actions you do today will impact all of the Thursday days of this year. Are you ready to review your recordings from earlier questions?

You recorded the answer to the following question on August 30.

Can i fundamentally change myself to become a different person? A person who is truly different from who i am today? Do i want to become that person that is truly different and improved from who i am right now?

After reading your recordings what item will you choose to change about yourself today? Why? What do you need to do to change yourself? What habit will you use to replace your bad habit?

Put the balance of your items to be changed away for a later session.

Friday, October 7 2016 - 5th of Tishrai

This is the first Friday of the year. All of the actions you do today will impact all of the Fridays of this year.

We are used to pray for health, livelihood, and long life. Yet in the divine plan these are just tools to use to discover our actual purpose on earth for this lifetime.

Another tool to reveal to yourself your purpose in this lifetime is: Record your five or 10 most pleasurable moments in your life. Do not use the generic pleasure moments like sunsets or beautiful locations. Use the specific scenes of pleasure you have experienced.

Does something reveal itself to you from this list? Don't worry if it does not. We will look at this list later.

Shabbat, October 8 2016 - 6th of Tishrai- Shabbat Vayelekh- Shabbat Shuvah

This is the first Shabbat of the year. All of the actions you do today will impact all of the Shabbats of the year.

Now write or record what would you change about your life if you had a billion dollars in the bank. And i had 6 hours a day of discretionary time. What would i do with that time?

Does anything come to mind from this exercise as to what am i to do with this life?

Sunday, October 9 2016- 7th of Tishrai

This is the first Sunday of the year. All of the actions you do today will impact all of the Sundays of the year.

Compare the 3 lists from the last 3 days. What is the same on all 3? What is different on all 3 lists?

Does anything make itself clear to you from this exercise? Record it, Now review the other items you recorded earlier in this process. Review the North Node information from your chart and the energy verses from your name - both are available on the Yeshshem website.

What do you think you are supposed to do with your life?

Monday, October 10 2016- 8th of Tishrai

Decide what it is you plan to do with your life. Now how will you implement this plan this year. Prepare for Yom Kippur by thinking about each month ahead during the year. Record some goals to happen by the end of each month starting with Tishrai

Tuesday, October 11 2016 - 9th of Tishrai

Erev Yom Kippur - Kol Nidre

This day is best spent eating additional meals which are recorded as additional fasting efforts in the spiritual system. Also, performing Kapporot ritual is beneficial.

Wednesday, October 12 - 10th of Tishrai - Yom Kippur

Review your list and plans for the year. Visualize yourself achieving these goals each month. Visualize how you want your year to flow during the day and culminate it during the Prayer of Ne'ilah.

One metaphor to understand this day is each meal you eat (prayer you say) you are climbing up to cosmic Binah which you will reach at the moment of Neilah. When in Binah which is the cosmic energy store you can receive / take this energy for others and allow them to change their yearly DNA. When you change the year for others you also change it for yourself. What you visualize will manifest especially what you visualize during Neilah - STAY CONCENTRATED ON THE VISUALIZATION FOR THE YEAR. USE EACH MONTH AND ITS ENERGY TO MANIFEST THE YEAR YOU DESIRE. REMEMBER TO INCLUDE THE PROPHECY OF PEACE IN ISRAEL DURING NEILAH.

Sunday, October 23 2016 - 21st of Tishrai - Hoshana Raba

These meditations will be only for Sundays until i have sufficient time to add additional days. The subjects included in these weekly emails are based on the results of our survey. Many wanted the daily emails to continue. i decided to include an energy of Sunday as a beginning of the daily emails as we start these weekly emails. i apologize to those for my lack of time as our resources do not allow is to continue these although we have started a yearly explanation - monthly explanations - and now weekly explanations. Please consider making a donation to this work so that we can improve the speed that the daily emails may return. Thank you for all of you who do support our work. One way to make a difference in this world is to make other people aware of the tools HaShem has provided for us. The Ana Bekoach, The two sets of 72 Names, The Zohar which is available on line for free and other tools. Please forward these emails to friends and explain how they can sign up to receive their own copies.

Hoshanna Raba or “Great Praise” is the seventh day of Sukkot. It is not a holiday but a “festival weekday” - a Moed day. On this day work is permitted; yet it has some of the most elaborate rituals of the Jewish Holidays.

These rituals include saying ancient Hebrew Poetry. They also include the shaking of the 4 species and 7 Hakafot – circles. The poems include saying “Hoshanna - Save” many times. Each Hakafot – poem has its own poem and include requests for 7 types of fertility. Here is an example of a translation of one of the poems:

“Save human and beast, flesh and spirit and soul, sinew and bones and flesh, image of the divine and corporeal matter, this glory that is a fleeting breath. . . Renew the face of the earth, let flowers bloom, let grasses grow, let rivers flow, let dew fall, here is the earth suspended in space, Hoshana – Save Us.”

The circles we make each day of Sukkot and especially the 7 circles on Hoshana Raba represent the circle of water from sky to earth. In addition that circle of water represents the flow of meteorites that are mostly water from the Oort Cloud falling onto the earth through the ozone level - layer into and onto the atmosphere. Ezekiel's vision of a stream of water that bursts from beneath the Temple altar to heal the world is a poetic version of the life-giving water cycle.

Here is a translation of Ezekiel 47:One, five, eight, nine:

"I found that water was issuing from below the platform of the Temple.... It was a stream I could not cross, for the water had swollen into a stream that could not be crossed except by swimming. ... When the waters come into the sea. . . The waters will become wholesome. . . . Everything shall live where ever that stream goes."

Hoshana Raba also begins a new cycle for us: it is the last day of the season of Teshuvah - repentance, the last day when one's fate decreed on Yom Kippurim can be "appealed" before the Heavenly Court. As our new cycle begins – let us connect to the cycle of water – its mystery – the cycle of living which will bring eventually the Mashiach – משיח

Mashiach translates as “the annointed one”. Yet the translation based on the hebrew letters themselves leads us to understand the following:

Mem – translates as “from”

Shin – as a mother letter as taught in the Sefer Yetzirah – Shin represents fire – emotion – passion – desire.

Yood and Chait – the last two letters – in the reverse order they spell the word Chai – which translates as Life or Living.

A full translation is then:

The Mashiach comes “From Desire for Life or From Desire for Living.”

Sunday, October 30 2016 - 28th of Tishrai - Parasha Noach

The King also made a large throne of ivory; he overlaid it with refined gold.

-One Kings 10:18

In Tevet, Shevat, and Adar, the Israelites in the wilderness would cover their houses with cedarwood. In Nissan, Iyar, and Sivan, they would cover their houses with panes of glass. In Tammuz, Av, and Elul, they would cover them with marble, and in Tishri, Cheshvan, they would cover them with ivory.

-Otmar Midrashim: Arachim 6

A Jewish legend tells that the Israelites wandered in the wilderness built different homes in each season of the year. The Israelites, gifted with all kinds of wonderful materials by the divine, would roof each of their temporary homes with a different substance. In Tishri season, Cheshvan, and Kislev, the Israelites covered their houses with ivory.

With ivory? Ivory was used for the throne of King Solomon. In Tishri, when we accept the divine as ruler over the universe - ivory reminds us of the divine throne. Ivory reminds us of the spiritual life of the new year.

Ivory is also a substance from which animals are cruelly and unnecessarily killed. While our ancestors in the desert may have had an abundance of ivory, we must work to keep animals like elephants and walruses safe from ivory hunters last these species become extinct. This too is the message of ivory in Tishri; as we go out to sow the seeds of righteousness in the world. We must preserve all creatures as an inheritance for the generations to come.

In our days we may have forgotten that ivory has value as a roofing material that allows us to see the divine light. Yet we need to realize that this ivory or its substitute for solar energy has great value as a spiritual tool. We can pray for to remind ourselves and bring about a better use for these animals. After all Hashem created these animals for a purpose. It is up to us to realize that purpose and protect these animals while we use that meaning in a useful way. Contemplate this well.

Sunday, November 6 2016 - 5th of Cheshvan - Parasha Lech Lecha

As for Zillah, she bore Tubal-Cain, who forged all implements of copper and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.

-Genesis chapter 4: verse 22

Then God called out to Naamah: "walk across the land and gather the seeds of all the flowers and all the trees. Take two of every kind of living plant and bring them on the arc. They shall not be for your food but they shall be for your garden, to preserve and to keep."

”A prayer for the earth” by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

Nowhere does the Torah tell us the name of Noach's wife yet it tells us of the relationship to Tubal-Cain's Sister. Why? The midrash hints to many aspects. One is the name of the wife of Noach is Naamah. Another is the death of Cain was caused by Tubal-Cain due to his dim vision.

The generation of the flood were doing many negative actions yet the flood was not caused until the sin of theft.

Cheshvan begins the rainy season in the Land of Israel. In ancient days it is referred to as the month of “bul”. The Hebrew word for flood is Mabul which also translates as “from bul”. In modern Hebrew the word for “block” or “lump” is “bul”. Some people think that in ancient Hebrew “bul” means rainy season. If this is true floods come from the rainy season. One meditation for this day relates to the issue of the Name of HaShem is used to bring the flood not the Name of Elohim. This means that the Flood was brought by the energy of Loving Kindness. How can one understand that destruction comes from Love?

Another meditation for today is Why are we not told that the seeds of plants, herbs, and trees was not gathered along with the animals. Of course some of these plants could have been grown from the earth after the flood. Or the midrash spoken of above could have been the cause of the growing of the plants after the end of the flood. Yet remember Noach planted a vineyard. From where did the seeds come?

A third meditation:

In our modern world we have lost many species which means the seeds of some plants have been lost. We also as humans trying to be God of nature make changes to the genes of seeds such as “Genetically Moderated Corn” seeds. As individuals how do we Protect the seeds to our future? Both for seeds of ideas and thoughts as well as seeds of plants and soon animals.

A fourth meditation:

Is cloning the same as or different from genetic modifications?

All the days of Methsulah came to 969 years, then he died.

-Genesis 5:27

"After seven days, the flood came on the earth." -Genesis 6:10

-what is the reason for the seven days? Rav said: this was the mourning for Methuselah, and this teaches that the death of the righteous delay the punishment in the world.

-Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 108B

Sunday, November 13 2016 - 12th of Cheshvan - Parasha Vayera

The 11th Cheshvan, the day Rachel dies, is also the day in which Methuselah dies, and today is one of the seven days of mourning for Methuselah.

-Genesis Rabbah 3:6.

The Bible relates that Methuselah, the ancestor of Noah, lives the longest of any human being -969 years. HaShem esteems Methuselah so much that the flood waits until after Methuselah's death and burial are completed.

A Jewish midrash about Methuselah is that he was the first to learn how to fight demons. By fasting for three days while standing in a river, Methuselah obtains the power to write Hashem's name on his sword. He then uses the sword to smite the demons who afflict humankind. The eldest demon, Agrimus came to Methuselah and asked him to desist killing the demons: in return, Agrimus gives Methuselah the name of every demon. Using the names, Methuselah banishes the demons to the far side of the ocean

-Midrash Avkir."

The darkening autumn is a time of reflection and, for some, of depression or regret. Yet when we learn the names of our personal demons, they no longer have power over us. It is interesting that Methuselah uses a body of water as a place to send the demons. Water, a symbol of the unconscious represents the place we must go at this time of year to discover ourselves.

Another Meditation

Many times we see another human being as the cause of our troubles – pain – and suffering. Kabbalah teaches that these people are messengers from HaShem. A messenger from HaShem is an Angel. Human Beings can not determine if the messenger is an Angel or what human beings call a demon. They are the same thing – a messenger from HaShem.

Determine what or who is the Name of Your Demon or Names of Your Demons. Then send these demons over the oceans which represent Mercy. Know or learn that these demons represent HaShem's Mercy in your life since Kabbalah also teaches that we are the cause of what ever happens to us. Are you ready to arrive at the truth of this revelation? Use this revelation in a meditation to ask forgiveness to these Angelic messengers that HaShem sent you. What do you need to ask them for forgiveness? For calling them demons in your mind instead of appreciating their message to you from the Creator.

Sunday, November 20 2016 - 19th of Cheshvan - Parasha Chayei Sarah

Have you penetrated to the source of the Sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep?

Job 38:1

Our sages taught: it happened that Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Joshua were traveling on a ship. Rabbi Eliezer was sleeping and Rabbi Joshua was awake. But then Rabbi Joshua shuddered and Rabbi Eliezer, waking up with a start, asked, "what happened?" Rabbi Joshua said, "I have seen a great light in the sea." Rabbi Eliezer said: "you may have seen the eyes of the leviathan, for it is written: "his eyelids are like the glimmering of the Dawn."”

Job 41:10

Babylonian Talmud, Baba Batra 70:4B

The story of Noah's flood is a reminder of how mysterious, dangerous, and ubiquitous is the sea. Science teaches that life first moved within the sea, and our origins lie there. It is like another world, a place of strange creatures and vast power. Many Midrash stories, including those in Psalms 104:9 and Job 38:8-11, tell of the commands God issued to the sea so that it would not engulf the earth.

The sea represents the unconscious. In this season - the season of roots, we delve into our collective memory. In the cycle of Torah readings, we read the book of Genesis at this time, the stories of the patriarchs and the matriarchs, stories that, like dreams, reveal our own needs and desires. In Cheshvan, we allow the sea of stories to rise within us. Within this rising is the fire of spirit, lighting our way through the autumn.

In Cheshvan, Noah, Naamah, and their children begin their journey through the sea. We voyage with them, learning what there is to learn amid the mysterious deeps. The truths we find will help us begin a year of discovery.

A Meditation

In Kabbalah the Sea is a metaphor for water which is Chesed – loving kindness. In what respects do you connect to love within and as part of your unconscious.

Another Meditation

In what way does the Sea desire to expand over the Land? In what way do you desire to expand over everything? How can you co-exist with all that you desire to overcome?

Sunday, November 27 2016- 26th of Cheshvan - Parasha Toldot

The Northwind gives birth to rain, thunderous faces, secret words.

-Proverbs 25:23

From the Northwind darkness comes to the world. The wind of the North the divine made but did not finish, and said, "anyone who claims to be a God, come and finish the Northwind, and we will know you have become a God." And from there come the spirits and demons.

-PirKei Rabbi Eliezer 3

The Northwind

As Cheshvan moves to its conclusion, we enter the realm of the Northwind, blowing its chill air into fields and streets. The Northwind is the source of mystery, bringing a secret sin - darkness. From Cheshvan to the ancestors through the messianic future into the space of mystery. What are we meant to do on earth? Why is the circle of life the way it is? Where were we before we were born? What happens when we die? When the Northwind blows, it brings us these questions. Do we strive to answer them or return to our normal winter activities is up to us.

A midrash in Pirkei Rabbi Eliezer tells us that the Northwind is a place of incompletion. The divine left it incomplete to remind anyone with pretensions of God that some things in the world are beyond understanding. The season of late autumn brings with it a sense of awe before the secrets of creation.

Meditation

Darkness is a location where we can reveal Light. Where we can become a co-Creator. What do you want to Create?

Another Meditation

what have you left incomplete? How can you return to make it complete?

Another Meditation

the spiritual direction of north represents judgment. If someone is righteous then judgment is meant to provide positive effects from positive actions. What do you need to do in your life to provide these positive actions in the spiritual direction of north?

Sunday, December 4 2016 - 4th of Kislev - Parasha Vayetze

The month of the rainbow

"I set my bow in the clouds, and it shall serve as a sign of covenant me and the earth. When I bring clouds on the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and every living creature among all flesh, so that the water shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh." -Genesis 9:: 13-15

It is forbidden to look at the rainbow when it is seen in the skies, because this shows disrespect to the Shechina. The colors of the rainbow in the lower world are a reflection of the radiance in the upper world, and not for the eyes of humans. -Zohar I: 72 a

Kislev brings us the mystery of the rainbow. The sign for Kislev is the bow – Keshet in Hebrew, an appropriate sign for a month in the rainy season. In the Torah, the holy one offers the rainbow to Noah as a sign that the world will never again be destroyed by flood. The rainbow - light reflected through water droplets - is a sign of the fire concealed in the moisture of winter and a promise of HaShem's compassion toward human beings.

In the Zohar, the rainbow is a manifestation of the imminence of the divine. The Zohar - somewhat unreasonably – asks us not to look at a rainbow out of respect for the Shechina, whose radiance appears in its colors. The rainbow is a glimpse of sacred mystery. By looking at it we catch a glimpse of the radiance at the root of existence.

Kislev, the month of the bow, is also a month to pursue Gevurah - justice, for equity, like the rainbow is a reflection of the Shechina. Hanukkah, the upcoming holiday, teaches the importance of defending freedom. The bow of Kislev is a reminder to be vigilant against those who seek to harm the world and its inhabitants.

Meditation

In the above paragraphs the word bow and rainbow appear to be used interchangably. The word Keshet has both meanings. The bow is an instrument of war or hunting – both related to judgment. The rainbow has come to represent an essence of Loving Kindness from the Creator. How does this dichotomy represent justice?

Another Meditation

Another explanation for the Zohar's suggestion that we not look at the rainbow is that the rainbow is a sign to HaShem to not destroy the world and a sign to human beings that the world should be destroyed and is not only through HaShem's Mercy. Contemplate this Mercy and how you can manifest this mercy in your life.

Another Meditation

Hanuka is more than just freedom or is it freedom that is just? Look at the word Hanuka. חנוכה has the shoresh of Dedication and Education. It can be translated as “Teach the Concealed Wisdom of HaShem in the physical world”. How can you manifest this essence through out the rest of the year?

Sunday, December 11 2016 - 11th of Kislev - Parasha Vayishlach

Joseph's Second Dream

Joseph dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers, saying, "behold I have had another dream. This time, the sun, moon, and 11 stars were bowing down to me." And when he told it to his father and brothers, his father berated him. ... "Are we to come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow low to you to the ground? " -Genesis 37:9-10 Rabbi Yochanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai: ... “You cannot have a dream without some meaning-less things in it.” Rabbi BerraKia said: a dream, even if part of it comes true, all of it never comes comes true. How do we know this? From Joseph, as it is written: "the sun and the moon ... Were bowing down to me. " -Babylonian Talmud, Berakot 55 a

In Joseph's second dream, the sun, moon, and 11 stars bow down to him, representing his father, mother, and 11 brothers. His father and brothers chastise him for the dream. In one rabbinic tradition, Joseph's father, Jacob, is disturbed not by Joseph's wish for domination but by the dreams inaccuracy -Genesis Rabbah 84:11. Joseph's mother, Rachel, is dead; she can never bow down before Joseph. We may imagine the Joseph dream contains not only premonition but also wish fulfillment. It is only natural he would dream of seeing his mother again and making her proud of him.

Some seeds will sprout and some will not. This is the reality of the physical world. Like Joseph we have dreams and aspirations that come true, and we also have wishes and desires that cannot be fulfilled. Part of the work of Kislev is to sort the wheat from the chaff, the nourishing parts of our dream from the parts that must be left behind. Knowing what can and cannot be helps to root ourselves in reality.

Meditation

The Zohar says every dream has a part that is false. It also says dreams that come in the morning just before the sun rises are not prophetic but are body consciousness dreams – fears and desires. Can you tell what part of the night was Joseph's dream? When you dream – is it prophetic or body consciousness? How do you find out?

Another Meditation

Would you like to transform your dreams which are 1/60th of prophecy Zohar and Talmud to a higher level? Ask a dream question which is a process to focus your prophetic messages as opposed to let your consciousness run free. Do you know the process of how to ask a dream question? If not send me an email at yeshshem@hotmail.com

Another Meditation

There are 10 dreams in the Chumash. 9 of these are in the Book of Beraisheet – Genesis. Ask the question as to why so much of dreams are in the Keter Sefer – Book?

Sunday, December 18 2016 - 18th of Kislev - Parasha Vayeshev

Playing With Leviathan

There is the sea, fast and wide, with its creatures beyond number, living things, small and great. There go the ships, and Leviathan that you made to play with. -Psalms 104:25-26

There are 12 hours in the day, the first three hours, the holy one sits in the garden of eden with the Tzadikim and studies Torah. In the second quarter ---, the holy one sits and judges the whole world, and when the holy one sees the world is guilty, the holy one rises from the throne of judgment and sits on the throne of mercy. In the third quarter of the day, the holy one sits and feeds all the creatures. …. In the fourth quarter of the day, the holy one sits and plays with Leviathan. -Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 3B

In medieval Jewish lore, each season of the year is associated with a particular mythical animal. The winter is the season of Leviathan, the great Sea serpent of the deeps -Otzar Midrash: Hashem Behomah, Yasah Aretz 6. Leviathan, ruler of the sea, represents myth and the unconscious: all that is outside our awareness and outside time. The Zohar teaches us that just as we humans have counterparts in the spiritual world, the Angels do also, so too we have a counterpart in the underworld, Leviathan. An ancient story tells it - Leviathan is the holy one's playmate.

This legend is a reminder to us that we too require play. Our most sacred holidays and rituals are a form of play where we are allowed to dream, imagine, and transform ourselves into Maccabees or Jews leaving Egypt. Play is necessary to our spirits and brings a light even in dark times. As we move through the last days of Kislev toward Hanukkah may we remember to play, to imagine, and to experience wonder.

Meditation

let your imagination run to happy times and places and then imagine all that you have ever wished would have been your life. This is the ultimate play that you will experience in the Garden of Eden. Try not to create a limitation within this meditation. Do this meditation often until this becomes your happy place that you retreat to when your need for joy and happiness is great.

Another Meditation

Now start in your happy place and bring all that joy and fantasy into your current life within your meditation. Soon you will learn to manifest this fantasy as actuality in your current life. Try not to limit your potential since this meditation will become your life yet only if you want it to manifest. Remember you are where you think you are; you are who you think you are; and your life is what you imagine it can be.

Sunday, December 25 2016 - 25th of Kislev - Parasha Miketz

Feast of Double Life

When Jacob came home from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, you are to sleep with me for I have hired you with my son's mandrakes. And he lay with her that night. The divine heard Leah and she conceived and bore him a son. . . she named him Issachar. Genesis 30:16-18

Leah hesitates, then reaches into the bosom of her gown. "My son found mandrakes. Mandrakes are said to lure desire, or cause fecundity.". . . Leah holds out a fistful of white fleshed man shaped roots. Rachel takes one of the mandrankes, flourish it through the air. . . ., Then stirs it into the wine and drinks. "Henceforth we will speak only of our sons. We will share in creation." Norma Rosen, "Rachel and Leah"

According to the commentary known as the Benei Issachar, the matriarch Leah conceives Issachar during Hanukkah. In Genesis, Leah's son Ruben brings her some mandrakees - an aphrodisiac and fertility aid - and her sister, Rachel, wants them because she has never been able to conceive. Leah trades Rachel the mandrakes for a night with Jacob, their husband.

Leah the mother of six sons and one daughter, is intimately linked to Hanukkah. Leah plus all her children equals eight. Furthermore the Hebrew word Leah adds up to 36 in Jewish Gematria – Numerical Values. 36 is the number of Hanukkah candles we light. The Hebrew word for "life," Chai, equals 18; and 36 is double Chai and is also considered the double side or twice life.

This double Chai of Hanukkah could refer to Rachel and Leah, the sisters who battle over their husband, Jacob. In the midrash by Norma Rosen, Leah and Rachel conspire for their life forces together. Each acknowledges the other share in creating the tribes of Israel.

On Hanukkah, as we light the 36 candles we remember Leah-whose name equals double Chai-and Rachel, who helped Leah give life. We ask for “double life”: life for us and life for the world.

Meditation

While Leah connects to Chanuka through her Name Gematria of 25; Leah connects to Life after Mashiach through her Name Gematria of 208 which is the same Gematria of Isaac who is a chariot for the soul after Mashiach. Meditate on the idea of Chanukah as a source of life as well as the double life of life in this world and life in the world that is coming.

Another Meditation

Friday December 30 2016 is the first day of Rosh Chodesh Tevet. Meditate on the correct permutation of היהו.

Another Meditation

Chant each of the 72 Names with their root vowels. Do this as many times in a row that you have time to do. If you have one of the 72 Name Charts from the Yeshshem web site do this with that chart rather than the simple chart you are used to.

If you are interested in receiving one of the Yeshshem Name of 72 charts, send an email requesting this to Yeshshem@hotmail.com.

Sunday, December 13 2015 - Rosh Chodesh Beit Tevet - Parasha Vayegash

In the 10th moon, the month of Tevet.

-Esther 2:16

Judith. . . . Went to the pillar that was at his bed's head, and loosed his sword. . . . She took him by the hair. . ., And said: "strengthen me, oh Lord God, at this hour." She. . . . Cut off his head. . ., Delivered his head - the head of Helfornes - to her maid, and told her to put it into her purse. The two went out of the camp to pray. . . . Judith cried to the watchmen upon the walls: "open the gates for God is with us.". . . And all ran to meet her from the least to the greatest. . . . lighting up lights, they all gathered about. . . . To see her and bless her, and some. . . . Performed a dance in her honor.

-Judith 13:3-16

Woman of fire

Seventh day of Hanukkah - new moon of Tevet

The book of Judith tells that Helfurnace, a general of Nebuchadnezzar, besieges Judith's city, Bethulia. The city elders want to surrender. Judith, a wise, beautiful, and pious widow, promises to save the city. She goes to the enemy camp and convinces Helfurnace that she believes in his victory. Flattered, he plans to seduce her. While he sleeps, she cuts off his head. The enemy fleas, the city is saved, and Judith leads a procession to the Temple. Though this story of Judith is not a Hanukkah story, many medieval menorahs bear Judah's image. Judith is a flaming branch, a symbol of the light chasing away the darkness of winter. When she returns from her brave deed, the people light candles to welcome her. We remember Judith's story at the season of inner fire.

Jews of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia celebrated Rosh Chodesh Tevet as the festival of the daughters, a time to honor Judith and all heroines. Mothers would give their daughter's gifts on that day and pass inheritances to them. Old women and young women would come together to dance. Another tradition was for women to pray for the health of their daughter's. Rosh Chodesh Tevet, the darkest night of winter, is a time to draw the generations together, letting the root of one generation grow into a new cluster of strong branches.

Meditation

We live in a generation where the females are growing and returning to the level of the moon prior to the diminishment of the 4th day of Creation. Weather you are male or female meditate to facilitate this female growth.

Another Meditation

Weather you have children or not go into a meditation that invites the children from your potential and ask them “what do you need to do to further the goals of both your own generation and the generation of your potential children.”

Sunday, December 20 2015 - 7th of Tevet - Parasha Vayichi Yom Echad

Esther was taken. . . . to the royal palace in the 10th month, which is the month of Tevet, in the seventh year of his reign. -Esther 2:16

Why did she enter the king's house in Tevet? Tevet is a season when one body benefits from the warmth of another. -Babylonian Talmud, Megillah 13 a

The door opens for Esther

The Bible mentions Tevet explicitly only once: in the book of Esther. Esther, a Jewish woman who enters the king's harem after winning a royal beauty contest, prepares for months with the other harem residents to become a royal concubine. Into Tevet, she goes to King Ahchasverosh. The king is taken with her and makes her the new Queen. Because of her influence with the King, Esther is later able to save her people, the Jews, from destruction at the hands of the king's advisor, Haman.

There is no explicit divine intervention in the book of Esther. Yet the Talmud, comments that there is a hidden reason for the date of Esther's arrival in the palace: Tevet is a cold month, when everyone appreciates someone warm to cuddle. Timing, the Talmud suggests, is everything. Esther's entry to the palace in Tevet is not a coincidence.

Yet the potential goodness of Esther's new position is not immediately apparent, just as the buds are not yet apparent on the trees. Esther must wait to learn what the outcome of her high position will be. For now, she only enters the door, and as the poet Adrienne Rich writes, "the door itself makes no promises. It is only a door." As we seek out human warmth in Tevet, we wait to know what unexpected doors the winter will open to us.

Meditation

While in your meditative warm and loving location view the coldness of Tevet. What is it you desire? What will counteract that coldness? When you are in lack and feeling cold what is it you desire? How can you produce that in your life?

Monday, December 21 2015 - 8th of Tevet - Parasha Vayichi Yom Sheini

They took Joseph's tunic, slaughtered a kid, and dipped the tunic in the blood. -Genesis 37:31

The holy one said to Yehudah: "you deceived your father with the kid. By your life, Tamar will deceive you with the kid." -Genesis Rabbah 85:10

The goats of Tevet

According to the Sefer Yetzirah the sign of the month of Tevet is the G'di - the "goat." Not long before Tevet, several goats appear in the Torah. Joseph's brothers, guided by Yehudah, dip his coat in the blood of a goat to convince their father, Jacob that Joseph is dead.

Afterward, we meet the goat of Tamar. Tamar is Yehudah's daughter-in-law. After her first husband dies, Judah gives Tamar his second son as a husband, as is the custom. When his second son dies, Judah refuses to give Tamar his third son, Shelah, as he is obligated to do. Tamar conceives a plan. She dresses up as a harlot and seduces Yehudah, who offers her a goat as payment. Judah gives Tamar his staff and seal and ring as a sign he will pay. Tamar becomes pregnant and Yehudah wants her burned as an adulteress. She reveals to him his staff, seal, and ring, proving she is the woman he made pregnant. Ashamed, Yehudah declares her innocent. Like his father, he has been tricked by a goat.

The goats in Tevet teaches us to wait for the end of the story. Tibet offers us the patience to learn from our painful experiences and believe our lives will have a new chapter in this month like the branches of trees, we patiently work our way upward into the sun.

Meditation

The Hebrew word for goat is G'di גדי. G'di means luck or fortune. It also has the meaning of coriander. Meditate on the idea of the month of Tevet is cold while people consider luck to be warm. How do these opposites connect to your life? How do these opposites impact your "space"?

Sunday, December 27 2015 - 14th of Tevet - Parasha Shemot Yom Echad

"I wait for your deliverance, HaShem." -Genesis 49:18

Was Dena not the sister of all the tribes? -Midrash Tanhuma, Beshallach 1

Waiting for deliverance

There is an odd moment during Jacob's final blessing. He pauses between the blessing of Dan and the blessing of Gad and recites: "I wait for your deliverance, HaShem." Bible scholars suggest this phrase is marking the halfway point of the blessing. One traditional explanation for the phrase is that Jacob, while prophesying, sees a disturbing moment in the future and prays to avoid it. -midrash Tanhuma Vayichi 12.

One other possibility is that this brief, staccato sentence is the blessing of Dena, daughter of Jacob. Dena is the one child of Jacob he does not mention during his deathbed speech. She is the forgotten branch on the tree. Yet perhaps Dena's blessing is hidden in Jacob's words. "I wait for your deliverance" is an indication that Dena, too, waits to be blessed.

These words invite us to have patience as we wait for the new growth. They remind us that this moment of winter, whether freezing cold or balmy, contains a unique kind of deliverance, if we can open ourselves to it. Like Dena, we too can seek out the blessings of strength, patience, and courage.

Meditation

Feel the pain of Dena as she waits to be Blessed. She has been raped by her soul mate and then not allowed to marry that soul mate. Then sent to Potiphar's house in Egypt. The purpose of this meditation is to sensitize you to the pain of others.

Monday, December 28 2015 - 15th of Tevet - Parasha Shemot Yom Sheini

Then Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, "every boy that is born you shall throw into the Nile, but let every girl let live." A certain man of the house of Levi went and married the daughter of Levi. The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw how beautiful he was, she hid him for three months. -Exodus 1:22, 2:1

Yocheved - the mother of Moshe stands on the threshold between two worlds: freedom in Canaan - and slavery in Egypt. She looks backward and forward at once. She carries within her the seeds of freedom that the children of Israel brought from Canaan. She also bears the dreadful responsibility of birthing children into slavery. -Penina Adelman, praise her works

Yocheved waiting

At the beginning of Exodus, Yocheved becomes pregnant. She already has two children, - Mirriam and Aaron. This pregnancy is different, though, because Pharaoh plans to kill all male children born to Hebrew women. On this date, according to the Talmud, Yocheved three weeks away from giving birth to her son Moses -Exodus Rabah 1:24.

Yocheved herself is born as her people enter Egypt. Trapped in an oppressive realm and hardened by slave labor, Yocheved waits for the birth of Moses, not knowing whether her child is male and subject to the decree of death or female and safe. As Penina Adelman tells us, Yocheved is caught between her hope of freedom and her knowledge that her child will be subject to the whims of Pharaoh. What these months of waiting are like is hard for us to imagine. When Moses is born, perhaps delivered by his sister, Miriam - both Miriam and Yocheved are midwives according to Jewish legend, Yocheved hides her infant for three months. Once again Yocheved waits, hoping something new will present itself. Into that, we learn from Yocheved how to exist in the present even when we have fears for the future.

Meditation

The error of Adam and Chavah is a lack of patience in not waiting until sundown to eat from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. The error of the builders of the Golden Calf was in not waiting a day. Contemplate how you lack patience in your life since this is a tikune of all of us.

Sunday, January 2 2016 - 21st of Tevet - Parasha Vayera Yom Echad

Again-Leah-conceived and bore a son and declared: "this is because the Divine heard that I was unloved, and has given me this one also." Therefore she named him Shimon. -Genesis 29:33

Joseph then sees Shimon, bound him before their eyes, and said: "this one will stay in prison with me until you bring me the youngest." Why did he bind Shimon? Because it was Shimon who had pushed him into the pit. -Genesis Rabbah 91:6

The birth of Shimon

According to midrash, the 21st of Tevet is the birthday of Shimon, second son of Jacob and Leah. Shimon has a personality that relates to Tevet: he is violent and full of anger. In Genesis 34, he and his brother Levi avenge the rape of their sister, Dena, by massacring a whole village. The midrash suggested that Shimon most desires to kill Joseph out of jealousy, and this is why Joseph later imprisoned Shimon as a hostage. The most tender moment in Shimon's life, according to another midrash Genesis Rabbah 80:11 is when he and he alone sneaks out of Egypt to bury Dena in Canaan.

Shimon reminds us of the violence of winter, when hungry animals seek to kill and eat other creatures. He reminds us of human beings who prey on others out of fear, hatred, and jealousy. . . Yet when we look back to his birth, his mother names him not for hatred, but for the feeling of being hated. Leah, in despair that her husband despises her, pours some of her frustration and fury into her son's name.

Shimon represents the pent-up grief of an oppressed soul. He channels the rage he has inherited into cruel actions. Shimon, who we all carry inside us, reminds us to bear our resentments before they spill out of us.

Meditation

Kabbalah teaches that Shimon represents harsh judgment. As such the Tribe of Shimon did not receive land of its own in Israel but were spread amongst the other Tribes and only the Tribe of Judah was given the responsibilities for the Tribe of Shimon.

In what way are you doing actions of harsh judgment? In what way can you choose to sweeten that judgment? In what way can you stop yourself from acting on your harsh judgments?

Monday, January 3 2016 - 22nd of Tevet - Parasha Vaera Yom Sheini

Joseph died, and all his brothers, and all that generation. But the Israelites were fertile and prolific; they multiplied and increased very greatly, so that the land was filled with them. . . . The king of Egypt said to his people, "look, the Israelite people are much too numerous for us. Let us deal shrewdly with them, so that they may not increase. " -Exodus 1:6-10

The three patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were created to correspond to heaven, earth, and sea, for of them it is written: "I will multiply your seed as the stars in heaven," "I will make your seed as the soil of the earth," and "as the sands by the shore of the Sea." - Otzar midrash Shemot: Pinchas Ben Yair 5

Waiting for the Exodus

In Tevet we learn how once Joseph and his brothers are dead, the Egyptians ceased to be grateful to Joseph or saving them from famine. They turn on the family of Joseph, fearing their prosperity. Within a short time, the wealthy and powerful family has become a clan of slaves. Although weary and helpless, they managed to build families and multiply as they wait for redemption.

How does the battered house of Jacob cling to its identity? We see that the family continued to call their children by Hebrew names even though they lived in Egypt. Like branches in winter, they were able to keep and give of their strength, courage, limits, and boundaries. They remembered their ancestors and stayed connected to them, drawing on their strength, just as branches of a tree draw on the trees roots.

One midrash connects the three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to the three realms of the world, heaven, earth, and sea:

Abraham is blessed with the abundance of stars, Isaacs with the Sabundance of earth, and Jake up with the abundance of the sands by the sea. In this season, we look for the blessings of heaven, earth, and sea, blessings that lies sleeping in the roots beneath our feet and shine in the stars of the winter nights.

Meditation

Contemplate the differences between stars – sea – and earth. Then contemplate why each forefather is Blessed with the connection to each one of these. Why is Abraham connected to stars? Why is Jacob connected to Sea? And Why is Isaac connected to Earth? Here is a hint: Isaac is connected to earth after Mashiach. The children of Jacob needed to cross the sea. And Abraham was an astrologer – perhaps the first astrologer.