What Kind Are You?

TuB'ShevatFriday’s a Jewish holiday called Tu B’Shevat. The questions it raises are worth contemplating whenever you think of them. You can google it and find everything from “the Jewish new year for trees/Arbor Day” to “when spring begins in Israel.” The best explanation I’ve ever heard came from a teacher who said, It’s when the sap remembers to begin to rise. How lovely.

There’s ritual gatherings of people to celebrate everything from environmentalism to mysticism. Regardless of the specific words, each gathering centers around plates of fruits and nuts, and the assembled folks think and talk about some of the questions below:

The First Kind: Things like almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, or brazils; oranges, bananas, or coconuts. Things that are hard on the outside. Encased. That have their sweetness concealed. Ways we protect our most intimate selves, and hide in the illusion of safety. Ask yourself when, how, and with whom you are guarded. Whether that helps you or if you should let more of your true self show.

The Second Kind: Think olives, plums, cherries and dates. Apricots and peaches. Things that have a stone in their center. That are sweet and inviting, until…… Ask what parts of yourself you keep open, and when you do not. Where you set your boundaries and why. How you are vulnerable. What you show and what you keep hidden. What would be different if?

The Third Kind: Berries, figs, raisins, and grapes. Things you can eat the whole of. No barriers or pits. Less effort or danger. Ask where you feel completely joyous, open, and good. When you have a level of trust that doesn’t require layers of protection. When you let your fullest self be seen.

Blessing: May your sap remember to rise, and may it bring you into deeper connections with other living things.

Invitation to Kabbalah Glass blog…

Mystical Judaism draws from the idea of a holy spark within each of us. This informs my daily life, my spirituality, my writing, and my art. In a blog starting Oct 9, I’ll share thoughts about what the weekly Torah reading means for living with greater happiness, direction, wisdom, and compassion.

It’ll combine ideas for soul wrestling, suggestions for meditations, and prayers for blessings. I’ll also write about everything from creativity to joy, and all the energies that motivate and elevate us.

I hope the words and images will speak to you. That you’ll let them rumble around your heart and brain, and then listen to whatever they evoke. Like each of us, this is a work in progress. I hope it touches you in some way. You can start here are read in order, to see what 2.5 years of blogging produced, twice round the Torah and ending in spring, 2015 with the counting of the omer, click on the Blog tab above and work your way backwards, or search for specific subjects or readings.

If you’re a FaceBook regular, please accept the upcoming kabbalahglass friend request. If not, please visit kabbalahglass.wordpress.com and subscribe.

Take good care- Helen