One of this week’s Parshiot, Behar, relates that G-d spoke to Moshe
(Moses) on Mount Sinai, saying that for six years you may plant your fields, but the seventh year is a Sabbath for the land. Why does the Torah specify that G-d is speaking on “Mount Sinai?”
The answer is because the Sabbatical year is one mitzvah which proves that only G-d could be the Author who gave the Torah on Mount Sinai, because it is there that He promises that the year before the Sabbatical will provide enough crops for the next three years (25:20-21). No human being would ever write this law because it would be disproved within six years. The fact that G-d chose to display his control using this commandment also teaches us a lesson about our accomplishments. If G-d chooses to give us more (crops, money or otherwise), He can do so by having us win the lottery where it’s obvious that He intervened, or he can make our companies and crops suddenly produce better where we can be tempted to take the credit for the increase. It’s up to us to see the bigger picture, and recognize the value of G-d’s commitment to those that appreciate Him.
Among many things, Parshat Emor lays down instructions for the Kohanim
(Priests) to remain holy. Instructions include not coming in contact with dead bodies, and growing their beards and hair (21:1-5). Recanati points out an interesting difference between the instructions for the Kohamin to remain “holy”, and those of the Levites to be “pure”. What is the difference, and why?
Recanati goes on to explain that being pure is simply a result of avoiding anything unclean, while being holy is an active quality of setting yourself apart. The Levites had to shave their hair, while the Kohanim grew it because ridding yourself of impurity requires shedding the past, while being holy requires working on yourself for the future. As a people charged with the task of being holy, we need to be both pure AND holy, and learn to merge the past with our future.
Did you know that the airline safety announcements were taken from one of this week’s Parshiot, Acharei Mot? When the Torah says that the Kohen Gadol (high priest) worked for forgiveness of himself, his family and of the nation as a whole (16:17), one should wonder why he couldn’t just work on forgiveness for everyone, which would clearly also include himself and his family. Read the rest of this entry »
You know how you do something and afterwards you wonder why you’ve never done it before? I had an experience like that on Sunday evening. I went to a Sound Meditation otherwise known as a Gong Bath and absolutely loved it.
I wasn’t sure what to expect because it was the first time so the first thing I did was collect a few friends to go with me and being Sunday evening, the first thing we did was pop into the nearest coffee shop for a coffee. In retrospect, that was a mistake. The sound meditation session was an hour and a half long. It’s hard enough for me to sit still for any length of time, but a large cup of coffee before a meditation was really not sensible. Read the rest of this entry »
This is going to be a rant and I know that’s not in the spirit of this website. There is something that I see every day around me and it really is getting to me. I quite simply do not understand why people say 1 thing but do another.
The unfortunate thing about this and you will know what I mean, when someone says something to you, it’s in your favour, but then when they do something, it goes against you.
Why is that?
It’s happening at home, at work, with family, with friends, just about everywhere and in every instance.
Now I am the first person to say “sleep on it” because it will always be better in the morning and I really believe that but right now, seems like tomorrow morning just brings a fresh set of disappointments that people have not done what they said (or promised) they would.
The way I look at it, when people don’t do what they said they would, it is equal to a lie and that lie hurts just like a blatant lie would.
So how do you deal with a lie that other people don’t see as a lie – they would just think that they’ve not doing and that it’s surely not a big deal? I’m not going to tell you how to deal with it, but I will tell you how I deal with it and that’s to have a back -up plan in place if possible. I understand that’s a little difficult because how do you plan for every eventuality? I don’t believe that you need a plan for everything you just need to develop a few fail-safe strategies such as:
- 1. Making sure you have a little bit of spare time so that if someone doesn’t do something by the time they said they would, you’ve got some time to fix it.
- 2. If you are relying on someone to do something that you cannot, do yourself a favour and find out how to do it
- 3. Check that the other person really can do what they’re saying they will do. Sometimes they don’t know what to do or maybe don’t have the time and they can’t or won’t admit it.
You get the picture.
What isn’t clear at this point is how you do with the disappointment, the stress, the angst, the frustration, the irritation and all the other emotions that you feel when you’ve been lied to. All I can say to you is find a way that brings sense into the space you find yourself in.
Rabbi Abba (the scribe of the Zohar) once sat at the gateway of the Town of Lud, where he saw a traveler sit down on a pile of rocks at the edge of a mountain overlooking a cliff. The man was exhausted for his journey and immediately fell asleep. R. Abba watched this innocuous scene for a bit until to his dismay he watched as a deadly snake slithered out of the rocks making its way towards to the sleeping man.[R. Abba, who for some reason was immobilized and transfixed by this unfolding drama,] suddenly watched as a new turn of events happened. A giant lizard jumped out between the rocks and killed the serpent. R. Abba continued watching and saw that the man stood up and was perplexed to see a beheaded snake lying in front of him. He quickly gathered his possessions and rose to continue his journey. At that instant the pile of rocks he was sitting on collapsed and fell into the ravine below. The man was about to wander off when R. Abba ran after him and recounted everything he had witnessed. R. Abba asked the man, “My friend to what do you attribute all these miracles that just transpired?”
The traveler at first did not want to be bothered but felt the sincerity of R. Abba’s question and confided in him. ”1) Throughout my life I have never let a person harm me, and where I did not pacify him; 2) Never have I gone to sleep without forgiving someone for hurting me in any way; 3) Anyone who would hurt me would I endeavor, with all my heart, to resolve whatever animosity was between us; 4) And lastly, I would go out of my way to perform acts of kindness for the person involved in the misunderstanding.” When R. Abba heard this he burst into tears. This person’s actions were greater than Joseph, for Joseph had to deal with his brothers, who he was certainly going to forgive, while this man forgives anyone and everyone who has harmed him.
Since Gaea’s went live in May 2008, this website has undergone a few changes in terms of design and structure. The content is regularly reviewed and I watch the pages that you visit with interest.
Over the years, Gaea’s readers’ stats have increased exponentially starting with an average of 10 readers per day. This average now sits at 1,620 per day. During it’s first 8 months during 2008, Gaea’s had 56,096 hits while so far this year (9 months), the site has had 3,432,721 hits as of right now.
Many people just browse, others write comments on the posts or send in FAQ’s while other readers mail me with questions or suggestions or sometimes just to chat. One thing that I have been asked for many times is where you can buy some of the products I blog about. My answer is easy when it’s about books, dvd’s etc because there’s a handy link to Amazon, but when it’s a little more specific like my preferred starter pack for crystals, it’s harder to reply.
So, please watch as I add products to Gaea’s to make it easier for you to read and then buy online. I will only add products that I am happy with. I will also be starting my own range of “Made with You in mind” products – I’m having such fun working out the ideas behind each product.
The changes will be made live, so if something goes funny or looks odd, it won’t be for long.
Let me know what you think.
I was recently reminded of the value of friends. I thought I would start this post off with a catchy definition of what a friend is but there are hundreds on Google which actually reinforces what I wanted to say so I elected to use a simple definition from the Oxford Dictionary: “a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations”.
If I could edit the definition above I would add after the word relations “….. with whom one forms a relationship of trust, advice and support.” Read the rest of this entry »
|FESTIVALS AND SPECIAL DATES||2011(5771-5772)||2012(5772-5773)|
|TU B’SHEVAT||Thu Jan 20th/15 Shevat||Wed Feb 8th/15 Shevat|
|PURIM||Sun Mar 20th/14 Adarll||Thu Mar 8th/14 Adarl|
|PESACH 1st DAY||Tue April 19th/15 Nisan||Sat Apr 7tCh/15 Nisan|
|PESACH 7th DAY||Apr 25th/21 Nisan||Fri Apr 13th/21 Nisan|
|YOM HASHOAH||Sun May 1st/27 Nisan||Thu Apr 19th/27 Nisan|
|YOM HAZIKARON||Mon May 9th/5 Iyar||Wed Apr 25th/3 Iyar|
|YOM HA’ATZMA’UT||Tue May 10th/6 Iyar||Thu Apr 26th/4 Iyar|
|LAG BA’OMER||Sun May 22nd/18 Iyar||Thu May 10th/18 Iyar|
|SHAVUOT||Wed Jun 8th/6 Sivan||Sun May 27th/6 Sivan|
|TISHA B’AV||Tue Aug 9th/9 Av||Sun July 29th/10 Av|
|ROSH HASHANAH||Thu Sept 29th/1 Tishri||Mon Sept 17th/1 Tishri|
|EREV YOM KIPPUR||Fri Oct 7th/9 Tishri||Tue Sept 25th/9 Tishri|
|YOM KIPPUR||Sat Oct 8th/10 Tishri||Wed Sept 26th/10 Tishri|
|SUKKOT||Thu Oct 13th/15 Tishri||Mon Oct 1st/15 Tishri|
|SHMINI ATZERET/SIMCHAT TORAH||Thu Oct 20th/22 Tishri||Mon Oct 8th/22 Tishri|
|HANUCAH||Wed Dec 21st/25 Kislev||Sun Dec 9th/25 Kislev|