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Rabbi Eva's November Letter

11/05/2019 09:36:07 AM

Nov5

Dear Shul Family and Friends,

I have just returned from a once-in-a-lifetime illuminating experience in Northern India. My senses are arrested in a heightened state informed by the swirling impressions of colors, sounds, forms, tastes and movement. I wonder how I will transition and integrate all I have absorbed in these few days to enlighten my awareness and understanding of humanity and Mother Earth?

As many of you know, India is a land of complexity.  The extremes in every dimension are palpable. India has made a lasting impression unlike anywhere else I have traveled. I am particularly in awe at how the people I encountered can remain so gentle, living their dharma in joy when, according to our Western standards, so many appear to have so little.

Not a day went by that I wasn’t grateful for the opportunity to be on this adventure. My gratitude expanded into expressions of what I left at home: a beautiful family, a privileged life and of course, our wonderful Shul of New York community.

It is with this sentiment of gratitude that I enter the Jewish month of Cheshvan and the secular month of November. As the daylight contracts (remember daylight savings ends this Sunday) and the final leaves hang on to the glistening trees, I reflect on all the interior work we did during the High Holidays. I begin to root down to begin the next phase of my 5780 journey. This is the time to cultivate the fertile soil for planting the seeds of what we hope to manifest in the coming year.

Join me in committing a few moments each day to envision your personal seed:  your hopes, desires and aspirations. What ingredients do you need to enrich your soil so that your seeds will sprout into reality in the coming year? Perhaps you need to add a little more compassion or gratitude or perseverance or discipline. As you tend to your interior garden, notice how sprinkling your intentions with more lovingkindness, courage and trust can fortify your soil. You may want to keep a journal to write your observations. Any surprises? Does this practice make you feel closer to God? To family, friends, strangers?

As we shift into the approaching holiday season, it is easy to get derailed from our intentions by the flurry of consumerism. Check in with yourself and practice tshuvah, returning to your seeds of intention.

May your soil be filled with nutrients to help your seeds sprout in wondrous ways.
May you be blessed with whatever you need and desire to manifest and harvest your dreams. May you enter this season with an open heart filled with gratitude for the gifts that have been bestowed upon you.

I look forward to seeing many of you at services this month. Our Shabbat service on November 22 will be our 4th annual Shabbat of Gratitude potluck where we will share in the blessings of friendship, song, prayer and delicious foods.
 
With loving blessings of gratitude,
Rabbi Eva
 
PS:  There are still a few spaces in the Wise Aging and Mussar programs which commence this month.

Contact me for more information:  rabbieva@theshulofnewyork.org.

Sun, November 17 2019 19 Cheshvan 5780