Avinu Malkeinu for This Time

Avinu Malkeinu, open our hearts so that we will see all the things we have been unwilling to see, and grow in humility and compassion. Avinu Malkeinu, remove cynicism from our hearts that we may experience and move through despair and hopeless to be the person You are calling us to be. Avinu Malkeinu, inspire us to be a contribution to efforts to end structural racism, personal racism, and bigotry, including in our Jewish Institutions. Avinu Malkeinu, inspire us to be a contribution to efforts to end structural sexism, personal sexism, and bigotry, including in our Jewish Institutions. Avinu Malkeinu, inspire us to be a contribution to efforts to end structural heterosexism, personal heterosexism, and bigotry, including in our Jewish Institutions. Avinu Malkeinu, inspire us to be a contribution to efforts to end structural ableism, personal ableism, and bigotry, including in our Jewish Institutions. Avinu Malkeinu, inspire us to be a contribution to efforts to end structural ageism, personal ageism, and bigotry, including in our Jewish Institutions. Avinu Malkeinu, inspire us to be a contribution to efforts to end structural anti-Semitism, personal anti-Semitism, and bigotry. Avinu Malkeinu, inspire us to be compassionate to those with whom we disagree. May we see their humanity, even when they fail to see ours. Avinu Malkeinu, move us to own our humanity wherein we live what You have taught us all our lives: we are all Your creations. Avinu Malkeinu, let us not rest comfortably in the words of these prayers, waiting for You to first act on us. We must act on ourselves. Published by Ritual Well: https://www.ritualwell.org/ritual/avinu-malkeinu-time © Sabrina Sojourner 2020

Waiting for Angels, Signs, or Messengers

Breisheet/Genesis Commentary 21.1-34: The Torah portion for Rosh HaShanah in the Reform community is commonly called the Akedah, also known as the biding of Yitz’khak/Isaac. However, in the Islamic tradition, it is Yishmael, not Yitz’khak who is bound at Mount Moriah. Tradition says that God asks Avraham to take his son to Mt. Moriah and offer him as a sacrifice. The next morning, Avraham rises early and with his son and a couple of servants he begins their journey to Moriah. All of us know how the story ends: Avraham raises his hand and an angel calls to Avraham and points to ram that is to be used for the sacrifice. Meaning, Yitz’khak and Avraham are both spared, but differently. Depending upon how you look at it, there are at least four questions: was this a test for Avraham? Did he pass or did he fail? Is it possible that Avraham misheard the request the Eternal made of him? Totally separate and related is, why do we read this story on/for Rosh HaShanah, the birthday of the world? Of course, there are many answers. Not surprisingly, while most people believe that this was a test of Avraham, there is much debate about whether or not he passed the test. Of all the commentaries I’ve come across this is the one that I can live with: The story exemplifies the difference between belief and faith. Avraham had faith that the Eternal our God would not actually allow him to sacrifice his son. Meaning he hoped that God would not make him sacrifice his son, but he wasn’t certain. Why is this one of the stories we read on Rosh HaShanah? Because it is a reminder of the fragility of life, and because Yitz’khak’s life is spared. Nothing in life is guaranteed. When we go around believing we are entitled to this, that, and the other we set ourselves us for disappointment. Worse, we set ourselves up to be less than we can be because everything that happens is about us. This parashah also reinforces the concept that we are to pray as if everything depends on God and act as if everything depends on ourselves. We might pray to God to end all oppression. However, to actually end all oppression is on each of us. Each of us has a role to play in creating the world, the future we want for ourselves, our families, and others. Each of us is required to do our part with faith along the way that the Divine will send angels to appropriately intervene. Yet, we cannot assume that angels will show up, which is why we must do our best to bring our best selves to every situation we encounter because, in truth, we never know when we are the angel, the messenger, the Divine One is sending to save a life. L'Shanah Tovah v'Shabat Shalom!

Torah Scroll Love

I miss each and every Torah scroll I had the pleasure of Leyning Rolling Teaching from Carrying to each congregant to Touch Kiss Touch and kiss Over the course of a month Each month For years. My heart moves my eyes to Tear As I ponder the Torah scrolls Missing Its Humans Who Leyn Roll Teach from Carry them to congregants to Touch Kiss Touch and kiss Over the course of a month Each month For years. (c) Copyright Sabrina Sojourner 2020

How to Properly Count Jews

There is much superstition about counting Jews, largely due to the Torah and the general beliefs of ancient peoples: that census taking was a dangerous proposition. In addition to being the lead to tax adjustments, it could also be a prelude to military conscription for a war. These negative consequences needed to be mitigated with a ransom or other donation to one’s deity. That is why in Sh’mot/Exodus 30:13-16 the Eternal instructs Moshe to collect “expiation money from the Israelites and assign it to the Tent of Meeting.” Everyone 20 years and older is to make a half shekel offering, rich and poor alike. B’mid’bar/Numbers is all about counting and who counts. The book is rife with strife and rebellion from the jealous husband who cannot make himself believe his faithful wife (5.11-31) to the righteous claim of the daughters of Tzelofekhad (26.1-27.11, 36.1-12) with violence in between. Any discussion of counting Jews is bound to be a fraught discussion, especially a counting that seeks to make a distinction without a difference and goes against Jewish teachings. Throughout the Torah and the Talmud there are lots of numbers. One of the most famous numbers is 600,000. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of studying with Rabbi Dena Weiss, Hadar’s Rosh Beit Midrash, and she introduced me to commentaries by Rabbi Me’or Einayim on Parashiyot Vayeitzei and Shelach. In the former, R. Einayim seeks to have us understand contradictions in Genesis 28. In verse 11, it says (Ya’akov) took from the stones of the place, while verse 17 says he took the stone. This is the Genesis narrative in which Ya’akov is running away and he comes a [certain] place and decides to sleep there. The rabbis imagine that Ya’akov took (12) the stones and placed them around his head and laid down to sleep. Rashi explains that the stones started arguing with one another to be the one upon which Ya’akov would rest his head. They ceased competing and decided to become one so that the “Tzaddik” (Ya’akov) will rest on all of them. R. Einayim says, "For, in truth, since Wisdom is drawn down from above, from the supernal source, the world of unity, and is extended to the world of separation from which emerge the roots of the souls of Israel… this is why there were twelve stones, because Wisdom is apportioned (separated out) to each tribe according to its root, as it is known that our Rabbis said that there were twelve stones corresponding to the tribes of Israel. But at their root they are one stone, as has been explained, and each one is drawn to the wisdom from the world of division." R. Einayim uses Rashi’s midrash to create a collective place in Judaism for all of us. In his commentary on Shelach, Rabbi explains that there are 600,000 letters in the Torah (yes, that’s almost double the actual number) and that these 600,000 letters correspond with the same number of Jewish soul-roots now split among the roughly 15 million Jews currently on the planet. He goes on to say that: “…every person of Israel has a letter in the Torah. And the Torah and the Holy Blessed One are one. And that part of God that is inside a person is literally that letter from which comes the root of (one’s) soul… if one letter from the Sefer Torah is missing it is not complete…” R. Einayim reminds us that this concept of unity caused the rabbis to say that anyone who destroys one soul from Israel is like one who destroys an entire world. The opposite is also true. One who sustains one soul from Israel, it is as if they have sustained an entire world. (Both of these concepts have been expanded to speak about all human life.) R. Einayim deepens this connection by referencing the morning liturgy in which we say toward the beginning of the service, “I hereby accept upon myself the positive mitzvah of ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself [Leviticus 19.18].’” He concludes, “Because everything is one complete Unity just as the Torah is only called the Torah when all of the letters are joined together,” so Judaism is incomplete if one of us is missing. I’m sure many of you recognize that 600,000 is the same number used to describe the eiruv rav – the mixed multitude of “men” who left Egypt. Some biblical commentators blame the “eiruv rav” for the complaining and disobedience that occur throughout the Torah. In other words, they categorize some percentage as not being Israelites and never fully becoming part of the kahal, the community. Though several commentators go down fascinating routes to make their point, there is no textual support for that interpretation. The Torah makes it quite clear that we were all at Sinai. Regardless of what or who we were before revelation, after revelation we were all the Eternal’s people. I deeply appreciate R. Einayim’s teaching that each and every one of us Jews is needed to have a vibrant Judaism. It’s not a matter of age. It’s not a matter of gender. It’s not about the color of one’s skin. It’s not about disability. It’s not about how learned we are. Others may want to place stumbling blocks in our paths or erect other barriers to contain Judaism. Yet, Judaism by its nature is not limited because the Eternal is infinite. By seeking to block, diminish, contain, or constrain another’s Torah, one is blocking, diminishing, containing, and constraining a part of themselves and the sparks of the Eternal. I was fascinated by Ira M. Sheskin and Arnold Dashersky’s excerpt from their chapter for the upcoming American Jewish Yearbook 2019, which they also edited. While it is not unusual to read an essay or an article in which the writers are completely blind to their biases, I could not believe that they were defending the very data that prompted the report, “Counting the Inconsistencies: An Analysis of American Jewish Population Studies with a Focus on Jews of Color” which stated that “at least 12-15%” of American Jews are Jews of Color and critiqued previous population studies for data collection that kept the JOC population at 6%. Sheskin and Dashersky claim that the data in the above report is faulty and creates an overcount. They conclude: "[T]he percentage of Jews of Color is almost certainly closer to 6% nationally than to ‘at least 12%–15%;’ and this percentage has not increased significantly since 1990, although it is likely to do so in the future. Thus, responsible planning by the American Jewish community demands recognition that not all Jews are of Eastern Europe and Ashkenazi origin; and future research on American Jews needs to be sensitive to discerning Jews of Color." Ari Y. Kelman’s critique of Sheskin and Dashersky explains why the data they reassert is not useful: "[I]nconsistencies are only the half of it; we could only find inconsistencies where there were questions about race and ethnicity. Further analysis revealed that only 41% of Jewish community studies (36 of 89) conducted since the year 2000 even included any questions about race and ethnicity in the first place (all of the studies, reports, survey instruments, and data are available on the Berman Jewish DataBank)." I cannot read into the hearts of Sheskin and Dashersky and why they felt the need to assert the dominance of Ashkenazim in American Judaism by means of numerically containing and minimizing Jews of Indigenous, African American, Chinese American, Ethiopian, Puerto Rican, Arab, Indian, Caribbean, Peruvian, African, Yemenite, Mizrahi, Sephardi, Persian, and Mixed Heritage. Some of us are Jews by Choice. Many of us have a long, unbroken lineage. We are the neighbors to be loved as you love yourself. (To learn about the origin of the term Jews of Color, click here.) We are not a newly invented inconvenience, for we have always been part of the Jewish people and there is no Judaism without us. We know who we are and that we belong. Furthermore, those who contest our belonging say much more about themselves than about our spiritual right to be safely welcomed into Jewish spaces, without hassle or harassment. This is especially important, now, as our Asian sisters and brothers are experiencing harassment by White America, because of our president’s insistence on calling COVID19 the “China Virus.” Our Black and African American brothers and sisters are in deep pain as more and more Black women and men are harassed and murdered by police. Latinx and Indigenous Jews receive the same unwanted police suspicion. Any one of us who “looks Muslim” can be harassed, if not murdered, for that resemblance. People of Color and all Jews are not safe by any measure in a White Supremacist system. Jews of Color especially need our spiritual communities to be a refuge from the madness of White Supremacy, including reviewing curricula for diversity of Jewish experiences and Jewish thought. As easily as anti-Semitism in the Jewish culture is discussed, so ought racism and White Supremacy be discussed, as well as the pain it causes all parts of our communities. There is no eliminating anti-Semitism without erasing all manifestations racism. White-skinned and White-identified Jews also need to examine their relationship to White Supremacy in particular and Whiteness broadly, including White privilege with a focus on how to use it to dismantle White Supremacy. It is good for all of us to understand the push by our White-skinned Jewish American ancestors for Jews to be seen as White. I invite you into this conversation realizing that it may be difficult. You do not have to do it alone. There are many reasons to know how many of us there are. So, if we want to count us Jews, we must do it with integrity to make sure we are counting each and every one of us as we are: a diverse and highly varied people who have many gifts for each other and the world. © Sabrina Sojourner 2020

Counting Omer 5780, Day 49:

Malkhut shebeMalkhut Foundation, Establishment, Essential; the Cosmological and Mystical Foundation upon which the Divine One created the universe within Foundation, Establishment, Essential; the Cosmological and Mystical Foundation upon which the Divine One created the universe. Quality: Living and Leading with Radical Oneness As I conclude this year’s Omer Journey, I know I’m in deeper relation with my personal Torah and its intersection with the Torah that glues us together as a people. Both continue to grow in relevance within me and strengthen my sense of connectedness to Life. Both continue to reveal to me the means of being with Life on Life's terms. The dance of the seven sephirot Khesed, G’vurah, Tiferet, Netzakh, Hod, Y’sod, and Malkhut that focus us during the Counting of the Omer are around us all the time every day, many times of day. This is the dance I willing dance wherever Life finds me. These radical qualities are everywhere, including inside brokenness, suffering, pain, loss, death… As I see it, this is the essence of living and leading with Radical Oneness. The Divine One is without beginning and without end and the circle runs through me and around me to each and every one, and each and every thing! Tonight, begins the last day of Omer and we are finishing our preparations to receive Torah. How are you relating to your sense of self? How are you relating to your personal Torah? Whether you read one or all of these postings, what has your experience opened? Closed? Drawn closer? Pushed away? What is the Torah you anticipate; seek to open within you and in the world? Rest well! See you on the The Holy One's Mountain - Sinai! Khorev! Prepare your senses! Prepare your senses! Blessings,

Counting Omer 5780, Day 48

Y’sod ShebeMalkhut Foundation, establishment, setting the foundation, fundamental; foundation upon with The Divine One created the universe within Foundation, Establishment, Essential; the Cosmological and Mystical Foundation upon which the Divine One created the universe. Quality: Living and leading with expanding mindfulness and comfort with unknowing There are three primary domains of personal knowledge: what we know, what we know we don’t know, and what we don’t know that we don’t know. The last one includes all the knowledge that is known and we do not know. As each of the first two domains grow, so does the third. The more we know, the more we know we do not know, and the more we realize (paraphrasing a song sung by Louis Armstrong) there is more to learn than we can ever know. The universe of unknowing is beyond our grasp – much like the Blessed One, Blessed be the One! Yet, true knowledge is not about information. True knowledge, foundational knowledge, is based on our human experiences; the ones we personally have experienced and the ones we have witnessed or heard first-hand, and the stories, the meaning we make of these experiences. The meaning we create of these experiences is the knowledge that opens or closes our hearts, our minds, our hands, and our motivations. This is the Torah that lives and grows within us. It is our internal guidance system. As we gain more knowledge of the world, we gain insights that may counter our meanings, potentially expand or write-over our meanings. How do you value your Torah? Yes, YOUR Torah! Rabbi Dena Weiss, Beit Rosh of Hadar, teaches in the name of Rabbi Me’or Einayim that each of us has a piece of the Eternal within us that is represented by a letter in the Torah. Since the Torah and the Eternal are One, we are also one with both. As with a Torah scroll if any one letter is missing, the Torah is incomplete. And so it is with us and Judaism. If anyone of us is turned away from Judaism, then Judaism is incomplete. I, again, ask: How do you value your Torah? How do you mind it and mine it? What deciphering are you ready to live; share with others? Are you prepared for the next leg of your journey; to expand and deepen your Torah? To experience Life with eyes open, heart open, mindfulness, and ready to engage in a relationship of unknowing? Here’s the secret: we cannot be prepared AND we can only be ready. True security arises when we know that it can all be gone in an unexpected instant and live as if the next moment and the next day and the year plus matter, because it all does. When we live into the security of insecurity (Radical Freedom), we create room for the unexpected whether good and or less than pleasant. We know it is all part of Life. We trust the journey of living and leading with expanding mindfulness and comfort with unknowing. The consummation is two days away: how are you feeling about the transformation that will unfold? Excited? Terrified? Bored? Blessings! Sabrina © Sabrina Sojourner 2020

Counting Omer 5780, Day 47

Hod ShebeMalkhut Exquisite Beauty, Splendor, Glory, Vigor, Magnificence, and Pomp within Foundation, Establishment, Essential; the Cosmological and Mystical Foundation upon which the Divine One created the universe. Quality: Living and Leading with Appreciation Take no one and no thing (intentional separation) for granted. Voice appreciation. It takes no extra time to say “thank you” to every one for every thing that is done to aid you on your way. If you know them, let them know they are appreciated every day. If they are an essential worker at your coffee or lunch or after workspace, notice them. Say hello by name and thank them. When appropriate, tip them well. If you are on the phone or at an establishment note the name of the person serving you. Treat them like a valued contribution to your life because they are. Thank them by name as they help you check out, check in, determine the status of an order, help you return a package, or they deliver packages to upi; hand you groceries, coffee or snacks, or copies; or solve or guide you to solving one or more problems… Take NO ONE for granted. Taking someone for granted depletes the giver and kills joy, incentive, and/or love. It also diminishes you. Do you notice what your beloved does for you on a regular basis? Do you still say thank you with deep appreciation every time? Meaning, as if your life depends on it? Because it does! What are you noticing about what it takes to run your household? What are you negotiating with your partner so that you can both be successful? If you are in a double unemployed household, how are you being present to each other and your own fears or anxieties? What are you doing to take care of each of you and the two of you? How are you handling your dissatisfaction these days? How are you handling your satisfaction these days? Are you sharing the burdens or demanding to be the center? Are you celebrating small victories and gratitude and blessing? How are handling your vulnerabilities? Are you hiding your stress, depression, anxieties behind a little more drinking, eating, exercising, sleeping… Kindnesses, such as thank yous, picking up or ordering favorite items, giving unsolicited compliments, notes of affection left where they will be found, and so much more are what fuel relationships. Additionally, giving makes us more available to the people for whom we care and ourselves – unless we are giving because we believe it’s our only values. Spoiler alert: it’s not your only value. Hint: It's not!! All of this is about being willing to be our true selves and continue to grow as we gain more life experience and knowledge. Living and leading with appreciation will transform your transactions with people near and far and it will transform you. So, what will it take for you to be the thoughtful caring being you seek to be?! That you are called to be? Tonight, we camp in the plateau at the base of the mountain. How are you readying yourself for revelation? Blessings! Sabrina © Sabrina Sojourner 2020

Counting Omer 5780, Day 46

Netzakh ShebeMalkhut Eternity, Forever, Splendor, Perpetuity, Endurance, Long-Lasting, and Spiritual Victory within Shekhinah, Majesty, Sovereignty, Exaltedness, Humility; Union of Opposites; Holding Paradox. Quality: Living and Leading with Dignity and Esteem I have permission to share this story: A few years ago, a friend dated a man with whom she had a lot in common, including that they genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. It was a quick friendship that promised to develop into more, and she went with it. She was excited and happy. They had only been dating for a couple of months when he unexpectedly displayed a level of cruelty that stunned her. She had taken a break from their day to work on a few items, then spontaneously decided to take herself out for dinner and invite him to join her. He showed up later than expected. Still, she was happy to see him. Within minutes after he arrived, he got annoyed about something she did not understand and called her outside her name. When she repeated what he said to her, he tried to defend it. She told him to stop and ordered him to leave. As he left, he turned back and repeated the insult. A few days later, he apologized, and she accepted his apology. She was also clear that, for the sake of the people they had in common, she would be genuinely polite and civil, but he ought not to expect more from her. He also asked her forgiveness and she said no. Him: It’s Yom Kippur, you have to forgive! She: No, I do not. I hold no malice toward. However, you refuse to understand or take any responsibility for the impact of your behavior. So, I don’t forgive you. Several weeks later, he was surprised when she refused to have a casual meal with him. To his credit, he asked that she explain. She explained that his surprise confirms that he still had not been listening or taking her seriously. There was no reason for her to be more than polite until he was ready to listen. So, he listened without interruption – which was hard for him. It was hard for him to hear the full emotional impact of his cruelty. He confessed that he ‘had no idea’ the impact his actions had on her – despite her previous attempts to communicate the devastation. When I asked my friend, what allowed her not to get stuck in the trauma of what happened between them, she laughed. “After the incident, I was still in shock when a young girl (who was celebrating her birthday) at the next table asked me if I was okay. Instantly, I realized I was and laughed. I said yes, I was okay. My waiter showed up and said there were six people who wanted to buy me drinks; seven if I included him. Of course, I wanted to know why. He said he couldn’t speak for the others, but it was the first time he saw a woman standing up to a jerk; sending him away instead of leaving. ‘You were here, having a good time until he came and started calling you names. He’s an idiot!’ I was blown away. “All of that made it easy to remember my commitment to who I am, now; not the abused child or the abused bride or abused girlfriend of long ago. Not the neglected life partner or anything other than me, now. I cannot be committed to the story and its emotional horror; that perpetuates the old traumas. In focusing on what I needed in the moment I demanded that he leave instead of me leaving, because it was my dinner with me to which he was an ungrateful invited guest who, intentionally or not, tried to strip me of my dignity. My residual insecurities could have led me to believe what he said, but that didn’t occur to me. It didn’t even occur to me! I knew it was all about him, and my healing was about me. The next day, I mourned. In between contact with him, I was fine. Amazingly fine.” Once we realize that our insecurities are the lies we tell ourselves to keep us from being the person we want to be, we can live with them because we know they are not true. They are old insecurities speaking. We can put our hand on our heart and pat ourselves because we are now okay. The stronger our sense of connectedness to The Divine One, ourselves, our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers – Life, the stronger our antidote to those who want to take us down intentionally or unintentionally. In this way, we are owning our holiness. We are living and leading with dignity and esteem. We are overwhelmed and pulled by the Mountain. We move forward as a community. Blessings! Sabrina © Sabrina Sojourner 2020

Counting Omer 5780, Day 43:

The Seventh Week of Counting Omer we examine our relationship to the nature of Malkhut (מלכות), the 10th Sephirah on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life; the one that sits with us and within us. Like some of the other Sephirah, Malkhut is an opportunity to hold the paradox Exaltedness AND Humility. Unlike other definitions of humility, Malkhut requires us to hold our sovereignty and the sovereignty of others. When we treat one another as the Priest, Priestess, and Kohanimot, we are being. We change ourselves and the world. Other meanings include: Shekhinah, majesty, sovereignty; union of opposites. Malkhut is also a state of being that is both constant and everchanging – the ultimate paradox, and the Source of our humanity. Khesed ShebeMalkhut Lovingkindness, Grace, Compassion, Benevolence, and Loyalty within Shekhinah, Majesty, Sovereignty, Exaltedness, Humility; Union of Opposites; Holding Paradox. Quality: Leading and living with lovingkindness and compassion How would your life transform if you practiced leading from any chair (no title or specific role required) and did so for the sake of something larger than yourself? How would that transform your relationships with your families? Communities? Partnerships? Board member participation (regardless of entity)? Civic, religious, or public participation? How would your life be transformed if you treated you with the love, lovingkindness, compassion, and patience you keeping waiting for others to give you?! Leading and living with lovingkindness and compassion Go ahead! Feel - as in acknowledge – the fear, anxiety, joy, wonder… that may be swirling around you as you read. We are not empty cups, though we may of moments of feeling depleted. That often happens when we give more than we ought to for the wrong reasons, or are so busy giving, we don’t take what is offered. Feel the grace, peace, gratitude, and holiness that being in relationship to you and what is important to you brings. Feel the anticipation of moving closer to the Holy Mountain and its promise of transformation! The Holy Mountain is on the horizon!! If you can put your hand out, you can pretend to touch it!! Blessings! Sabrina © Sabrina Sojourner 2020

Counting Omer 5780, Day 42

Malkhut ShebeYesod Shekhinah, Majesty, Sovereignty, Exaltedness, Humility; Union of Opposites; Paradox within Foundation, Establishment, Elemental; the cosmological and mystical Foundation upon which the Divine One Created the Universe. Quality: The Holy Spark within you The Divine One, blessed be The One, is Holy and brought us out of Mitzrayim/Egypt to be our God and for us to be the Eternal’s holy people; Priests, Priestesses, and Kohanimot. The Holy One, blessed is The One, established God's Mish'kan/Santuary within us because the Eternal sought to see God's reflection within us so that God's soul would not reject us. Each of us is holy. The Divine expectation is that we are to: • Take care of ourselves so that we can tend to another, others, and creation. • Love ourselves compassionately so that we can love and be compassionate with our families of blood and choice, our neighbors, our co-workers, our communities, the circles of people who make our lives possible… with the generous and open heart with which we love ourselves. • Respect the holiness within us and cultivate our spiritual life so that we can tend to the holiness all around us and grow into the person the Eternal needs us to be in this world in this moment. We are not expected to be perfect because no one is perfect. Yet, we are expected to perform Tikkun Olam (Repair of the World). We can strive to be the best we can, especially in tough situations. We can nurture the holy spark within ourselves and another. We can extend courtesies without the expectation of reward. We can delight in, and express gratitude for, another’s courtesies toward us. We can appreciate the mirror another presents of a part of ourselves with which we are uncomfortable. This is an opportunity to heal. We can be with the varied ways that Life shows and use all we know to heal ourselves. When we cherish and honor the holy spark within us, we are illuminating hidden sparks and calling them into this world to aid healing, to bring wholeness. We are ordinary and extraordinary. We are the children of the Holy Blessed One, blessed be The One. We have now counted Six Weeks of Omer. Can you feel the mountain calling you? Blessings! Sabrina © Sabrina Sojourner 2020

Counting Omer 5780, Day 41:

Yesod ShebeYesod Foundation, Establishment, Elemental; the cosmological and mystical Foundation upon which the Divine One created the Universe within Foundation, Establishment, Elemental; the cosmological and mystical Foundation upon which the Divine One created the Universe. Quality: Healing secrets Where within your foundation have you buried your deepest secrets? You’re shame(s)? What is the secret of another you hold and wish you didn't? Some of us must hold secrets for ethical reasons. Still, we can find ourselves tortured by what we know and whom we believe also needs to know. Yet, to violate the ethics of our profession hurts us and our profession. That being so, how can it help the person or persons "we believe" need to know?! There is no general answer to this conundrum. We must truly weigh all factors before choosing to act in accordance to the ethics we agreed to uphold. Regardless of your role within your secret, if you cannot forgive yourself, it may be difficult to raise it and to lay it on the Altar of Love of the Divine One for healing. You may need help to bring the secret into your view, your light; allowing your soul to own it so that you may experience grace and healing. Heal your secrets and heal families. Be assured, there are plenty of responsible people willing to accompany you on your journey. When you are ready and willing to look beyond the abyss of shame to see your true self in the mirror of Life, you’ll become more available to yourself and to all that matters to you. Most importantly, you will strengthen your foundation. You will experience new growth. You will cease feeling alienated from yourself, what truly matters to you, and Oneness. Heal your secrets and heal families. Heal yourself and heal worlds. Blessings! Sabrina © Sabrina Sojourner 2020

Counting Omer 5780, Day 39:

Netzakh ShebeYesod
Eternity, Forever, Splendor, Perpetuity, Endurance, Long-Lasting, and Spiritual Victory within Foundation, Establishment, Essential; the Cosmological and Mystical Foundation upon which the Divine One created the universe. Quality: Radical Freedom A Bedtime Sh’ma for Modern Times Sovereign of all that is known and unknown, Holder and Keeper of my heart and soul, I thank You for the day that has passed. I especially thank You for the way in which You provided emissaries in human form and from the natural world that provided me with beauty, kindness, mindfulness, and blessing. I thank You for the moments that caught my breath: The unexpected smells and aromas that gave momentary pleasure. How light, color and shadow presented a moment of exquisite beauty. For smiling eyes and courtesies that created warmth. Being of unexpected service to another. The sweetness experienced in person and afar with someone who loves me, and so much more. Your blessings are boundless, and I am grateful for each that fell my way today. Sovereign of all that is known and unknown, Holder and Keeper of my heart and soul, I ask Your forgiveness as I know I was far from perfect today. I lost patience. I forgot courtesies. I was thoughtless in my remarks to another. I gossiped. I lied; it does not matter that it was for a good cause. I let my ego get in the way of doing what was correct. I let my ego prevent me from being gracious. It does not matter which of these acts were intentional. It does not matter which of these acts were unintentional. It does not matter if the person or persons involved were aware of and or hurt my actions. It does not matter that there were no consequences – today – for any of these actions. It only matters that I was not the light in the world You need and want me to be. Let no harm come to those I wronged; and please be merciful toward me. Sovereign of all that is known and unknown, Holder and Keeper of my heart and soul, Thank You for creating me to be a vessel through which Your Light and Presence may be
known. I ask You to forgive those who harmed me today, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Due to unexamined attitudes and assumptions, they may not be aware that their good intentions landed as insults; some very hurtful, all disappointing. They may not be aware of the root of their feelings that caused their actions. Do not allow their jealousy or fear of me to bring them harm. Please, let no one suffer consequences on my behalf or for my benefit. Please, guide them with Your mercy to the path of strength and right action as You guide
me. Sovereign of all that is known and unknown, Holder and Keeper of my heart and soul, I ask that You provide guardians for my windows and doors so that no harm will come to me through this night. I ask that Your angels guide my soul to You and that it be Your will, my Eternal Friend, that they guide me safely home to see Your morning light on this beautiful planet one more time. True and Enduring are You, my Creator. There is none other like You, El Shaddai. You are Boundless, and I am so specific as to be only one of Your uncountable creations. Still, I humbly announce Your Greatness and Steadfastness, for You trust me despite my misdeeds and missteps and missed marks. Holy Sovereign, known by many names, I stand as a witness to Your Glory and the brilliance through which it manifests, daily. I proclaim You and praise You with every breath and declare: שְׁמַע ׀ יִשְׂרָאֵל, יְיָ ׀ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ, יְיָ ׀ אֶחָד! בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד. Sh’ma Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai ekhad! Barukh Shem kvod malkhuto l’olam va-ed. Listen, wrestler with the Divine! The One is our One, The One, Is One! Blessed be The Name’s Glorious Sovereignty forever and ever. שׁמע ׀ ישראל, יהוה אלהינו, שכינה אחת! Sh’ma Israel, Adonai eloheinu, Sh’khinah ehat! Listen Israel, The Eternal One is our God, The Sh’khinah is One! Blessings! Sabrina © Sabrina Sojourner 2020

SLS

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