Passover Inspiration on Wellsprings of Wisdom

 

Passover Seder Plate, JHD

As Passover approaches, be sure to check out these Wellsprings Pathways (posts) that relate to themes of the season:

Splitting the Sea With Wind looks at the Biblical account of the Exodus and invites us to explore the nature of miracles.

MIriam’s Well explores a famous legend related to the Exodus, of MIriam’s miraculous desert well. After you read it, you can enjoy a Guided Meditation on the theme of Miriam’s well and finding your inner resources, and consider having a Cup of Miriam at your Seder.

I will be one of the leaders for an online creative gathering about Miriam, Saturday night (ET), March 20. Sign up here.  

 

And also related to the Seder, explore this pathway about the Bitter and the Sweet of the Garden for your Passover table. Learn about different customs and interpretations of the Passover bitter and sweet symbols, and how to make them from locally grown foods.

At Passover, we read the Biblical Song of Songs. Learn more about this book of Biblical love poetry, with new chants by Rabbi Shefa Gold.

Enjoy a video of Passover in the Desert, a new-old way to celebrate Passover with an outing with Wilderness Torah, an organization devoted to discovering Jewish spirituality in the outdoors. And journey with Rabbi Barry Leff to explore Israel’s Negev Desert, Finding God in the Wilderness like our ancestors.

Speaking of the outdoors, here are a couple of pathways that focus on the spring itself:Kibbutz Flowers by Daphna Rosenberg

Passover celebrates freedom and the rebirth of spring. Experience a bit of springtime in Israel with this Gallery of the Mediterranean Sea in Israel in Spring by Daphna Rosenberg.

Finally, for a fresh perspective on the organic cycle of the Jewish Year, The Reason for the Season, by Rabbi David Zaslow, shares the story of his trip to Brazil with Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and a consideration of when the “Festival of Spring” should be celebrated in the Southern Hemisphere.

Wishing you a joyful and liberating Passover season!

 

Here is my slideshow of nature photos, in the spirit of the Songs of Songs to welcome spring!

 

 

Passover Inspiration on Wellsprings of Wisdom

Passover Inspiration on Wellsprings of Wisdom

 

Passover Seder Plate, JHD

As Passover approaches, be sure to check out these Wellsprings Pathways (posts) that relate to themes of the season:

Splitting the Sea With Wind looks at the Biblical account of the Exodus and invites us to explore the nature of miracles.

MIriam’s Well explores a famous legend related to the Exodus, of MIriam’s miraculous desert well. After you read it, you can enjoy a Guided Meditation on the theme of Miriam’s well and finding your inner resources, and consider having a Cup of Miriam at your Seder.

And also related to the Seder, explore this pathway about the Bitter and the Sweet of the Garden for your Passover table. Learn about different customs and interpretations of the Passover bitter and sweet symbols, and how to make them from locally grown foods.

Enjoy a video of Passover in the Desert, a new-old way to celebrate Passover with an outing with Wilderness Torah, an organization devoted to discovering Jewish spirituality in the outdoors. And journey with Rabbi Barry Leff to explore Israel’s Negev Desert, Finding God in the Wilderness like our ancestors.

Speaking of the outdoors, here are a couple of pathways that focus on the spring itself:Kibbutz Flowers by Daphna Rosenberg

Passover celebrates freedom and the rebirth of spring. Experience a bit of springtime in Israel with this Gallery of the Mediterranean Sea in Israel in Spring by Daphna Rosenberg.

Finally, for a fresh perspective on the organic cycle of the Jewish Year, The Reason for the Season, by Rabbi David Zaslow, shares the story of his trip to Brazil with Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and a consideration of when the “Festival of Spring” should be celebrated in the Southern Hemisphere.

Wishing you a joyful and liberating Passover season!

Passover in the Desert

Passover in the Desert

It’s only a fewNegev Desert, Rabbi Barry Leff weeks until Passover, and I’ve added a video on the “Passover in the Dessert” encampment with the Wilderness Torah organization to the Gateway of Wilderness. Thanks to Rabbi Zelig Golden, founder of the organization, for sharing it. The annual multi-generational camping program takes place in Panamint Valley, near Death Valley, Southeast California.

Two more posts in honor of Passover!

Two more posts in honor of Passover!

Before I finish preparing for Passover, here are two more Pathway posts to enhance your Passover experience, or throughout the season: some delicious ideas about symbolic Passover foods from the earth in the Gateway of Gardens, and a Happy Passover flowersnew Guided Meditation on Miriam’s Well in the Gateway of Wilderness (Miriam’s well and Miriam’s cup are already the subject of a couple of posts in the Gateway of Water Underground). For your convenience, you can find all Passover-related posts collected here.

If you are counting the Omer (a spiritual practice of counting the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot), you might enhance that with a look at Counting the Omer of your life, in the Gateway of Seasons.

If you can’t take a Passover retreat, take a break this week and explore Wellsprings of Wisdom!

Bitter and Sweet of the Garden at Passover

Bitter and Sweet of the Garden at Passover

Passover, the Festival of Spring and Freedom, is a holiday associated with food. Matzah, of course, the flat unleavened bread (I recommend whole wheat), to remind us of the unleavened bread that our ancestors baked in their haste to leave slavery in ancient Egypt, with no time for the dough to rise. The other tastes of Passover have their own associations, bitter and sweet. Eating these symbolic and seasonal natural foods helps to literally internalize the Seder’s message of freedom.

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Proud to Partner on The Shmita Project (a Sabbatical for the Earth)

Spring at New York Botanical Gardens, Julie Danan

At this time of year, many Jews are “counting the Omer,” literally counting the days and weeks each night for the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot, the holiday of the giving of the Torah. In mystical tradition, this is a time to work on our personal qualities and refine our character. (Check out this online series with meditations, learning and activities for the Omer: Planting Our Souls: Meditations and Practices Through the Omer.)

Sevens are important in Jewish lore. We have the seventh day of the week: Shabbat, the day of rest, holiness, and joy. We have the aforementioned seven week Omer time for personal growth each spring. (You might even like to use a Wellsprings of Wisdom path to review your life’s journey in seven year increments.)

And then every seven years we have another special event: the Shmita, a Sabbatical year of rest for the land and restoration for people. In ancient times, and to some degree in modern Israel, the land was allowed to rest and replenish, and in addition debts were forgiven. But over the centuries, the spirit of this revolutionary idea has faded somewhat.

The next Shmita year starts this Rosh Hashanah, fall of 2021! Jewish environmental and social activists are rediscovering and renewing the potential of this ancient observance. Wellsprings of Wisdom is proud to be a partner of the Shmita Project. Take a look at their site: https://shmitaproject.org/  to learn about the potential of this ancient way of honoring the earth and restoring society, and while you are there, look into the Shmita prizes, that will be awarded for creative endeavors on the theme of the Shmita.

Welcome to the Wellsprings Redesign – New Things Coming

  Shalom, everyone! I haven’t posted since Passover. . . has anything happened?Seriously, over the past few months, as we have all–the whole human world–been dealing with the many challenges of the COVID Pandemic, Wellsprings of Wisdom has been going...
Some Meditations for a Stressful Time

Some Meditations for a Stressful Time

I’m posting this a few days before Passover, in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Let me take this moment to send blessings of health and safety to each and every one of you! As a rabbi, I’ve been busy getting my synagogue online and supporting my community, but I wanted to share some resources with all my Wellsprings readers, too! Here are some Wellsprings of Wisdom Posts that may be helpful right now: Some calming guided meditations: A simple Breathing Meditation AND also a more involved but every effectve: Calming Ocean Breath And here is a recent post from my @Wellsprings account on Instagram, describing two more breathing meditations that are proving very helpful to me: Simple and Spiritual Breathing Meditations
Finally, as you celebrate Passover, enjoy these Wellsprings of Wisdom posts with Inspiration from Nature for Passover. As you can see, this entire site has a brand new look, thanks to talented web designer Sean Leber-Fennessy. (Still working on a few of the technicalities but really excited about it!) I hope that this virtual retreat center will be an oasis of calm away from the news and social media, and God willing I hope to add to it for your benefit. Be well and may this Passover bring hope and redemption to our world! Featured Image: Daffodil Hill at the New York Botanical Garden, Julie Danan

 

The Moon, Jewish Time, and Renewal

The Moon, Jewish Time, and Renewal

הַחֹ֧דֶשׁ הַזֶּ֛ה לָכֶ֖ם רֹ֣אשׁ חֳדָשִׁ֑ים רִאשׁ֥וֹן הוּא֙ לָכֶ֔ם לְחָדְשֵׁ֖י הַשָּׁנָֽה׃

This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months; it shall be the first of the months of the year for you.

Exodus 12:1 (more…)