|Posted on January 22, 2018 at 7:30 PM|
Today is the first day of the month of Shevat on the Jewish calendar. Each new month starts with the new moon and an astrological sign. So on the Jewish calendar, today is the first day of the month of Aquarius. By the full moon, we have a special holiday that honors trees - and especially fruit trees.
It's actually the birthday of the tree and the ancient rabbis in Israel would say that this is the day when the sap rises in the tree. The Baal Shem Tov, founder of Chassidism, created a "seder" for this holiday, where the participants eat 15 types of fruit! So it's become a custom to eat the fruits of Israel, "If at all possible, the fruits should include the seven species for which the Land of Israel is praised: wheat, barely, figs, pomegranates, grapes, olives and date-honey." http://www.aish.com/jl/hol/hm/48969601.html?s=fb I usually bring as many of those as possible to my class in S. Cruz for the month of Shevat.
I love trees, they are so majestic and awe-inspiring, especially the redwoods that we have here in SCruz. I can be in a redwood forest and brought directly into a place of reverence, silence and holiness. Those trees are my favorite. (I definitely need to get myself to them on a regular basis! Write that down on your self-care to-do list, Allison!)
This month's class in SCruz will delve more deeply into the Tree of Life in preparation for the counting of the Omer in the Spring. I get psychological when I teach this and try to incorporate my understanding of the Tree with the idea of the Inner Child/Tiferet in the heart center. Our connection to Keter/Divine Will, Pleasure & Desire is the way I see that Inner Child being taken care of so that our hearts can open.
Yes, in Jewish thought, Desire is actually a good thing to connect to. So what is the deepest desire of your soul? This is the deepest Desire that your Creator had in creating you! Let's all start this secular new year enjoying sharing the fruits of the trees of our own lives. That is my prayer for you and for me!