TEXTURES IN TIME – NOAH

by SMPD Community Services Officer Edward Burns

Synopsis of this week’s Torah reading

In this parashah, the newly created world is flooded by much too much water. It clears away earlier negative patterns. After this massive destruction, Elokim makes a covenant (brit) with Noah, his family, and generations who follow to never ever again destroy life on land by flood.  The deal is sealed through the rainbow vision. Noah and his family start over again. Noah has many descendants who collectively build a Tower of Babel – a structure no one can understand.  Eighteen generations later, Avraham is born. (Adapted from Meta-Parashas 5755 by Rabbi David Wolfe-Blank)

MEDITATION FOR THIS PORTION

G’VURAH IN HESED – CONTRACTION EXPANSION

Consider Hesed and the placement of G’vurah within feminine and masculine models of the Etz Hayyim. Kabbalists teach that each S’firah has all the other S’firot within them, has all the other S’firot within them ad infinitum.

G’VURAH IN HESED IN NOAH

In this week’s Torah portion, cataclysmic rain falls on the newly formed Earth. The prior structure of creation is destroyed and allowed to be re-formed. Noah and his family are the seeds that procreate to initiate a new world.  This cataclysmic rainfall is an aspect of G’vurah. Rain is an aspect of Hesed.

G’VURAH in HESEDIN THE LOCAL COSMOS

A STORM

G’VURAH in HESED – The image above was taking during the storm in Santa Monica this week. Rain fell in a deluge, lightening flashed brilliantly, and thunder boomed making Earth shake.  

Hesed, like water, is free of any form of its own. It’s nature is to expand widely.  Geshem – “rain” in Hebrew, is an aspect of Hesed. Gashmiyut – “physicality” in Hebrew, shares a root with geshem. Language, in this way, brings into awareness that geshem is key to physicality and life as we know it. Science confirms this. It seeks the potential for liquid water to exist when searching for life beyond Earth. Living things know this too, one only need pay attention to life in the desert to witness the great strides living beings make to receive water and the privilege of life that goes with it. The much needed rainfall is an aspect of Hesed. It is life giving grace manifest.

G’vurah in Hesed creates containment, form, and direction. Earth’s gravitational field is an aspect of G’vurah directing rain to Earth’s surface. The lightening, too, is an aspect of G’vurah. Bolts of lightening disrupt the local heavens for an instant creating compelling new and distinct waves of light and sound.

OCEAN WAVES

are another example of G’vurah in Hesed.  They manifest largely as a result of the moon’s gravitational field inviting water to draw close to her. Moon’s gravitational pull provides form (G’vurah)  that manifests as waves of water.

RAINBOW COVENANT

The rainbow pictured is a nod to the rainbow covenant Elokim – the aspect of The Unity in charge of nature – made with Noah and all his ancestors. This includes all of us today.

The wave is an example G’vurah in Hesed. The rainbow pictured is a nod to the rainbow covenant made with Noah and all his ancestors. This includes all of us today.

META-THEMES IN THE LOCAL COSMOS

This is the first full week in the 5782 Torah cycle. It is a first chance to fully rest into a work week followed by Shabbat following almost a month of festivals, transformative and joyous. An old familiar pattern is renewed – six days available for work followed by rest and re-lease on Shabbat.

We get back to doing our part co-creating and co-evolving the world we live in. After a lengthy holiday period going back to work or school can seem overwhelming. Being flooded with obligations threatens to drown out our hard-earned spiritual vantage point. Doing dishes, diapering a baby, washing the car, completing a report, doing taxes, etcetera can leave little room for the reflective and collective energy needed for visioning and planning personal growth,  world peace, addressing climate change, the Covid pandemic – and the unmet spiritual needs that manifest as a result, with spiritual and conscious evolution. (Adapted from Meta-Parashas 5755 by Rabbi David Wolfe-Blank)

SYMBOLS, LETTERS, MARK MOVEMENT

ABOUT THIS PRACTICE

Sefer Yetzirah offers three letter designated for any particular day. One letter for the season, one letter for the month, and one letter for the day. They are, at it were, three primordial wheels spinning, each with a unique speed and orientation. We will be referencing these markers to explore their meaning throughout the year, with G!D’s help. O look forward to exploring these symbols weekly here. Here are links to images to illustrate this sacred movement : Cycles in Time1, Cycles in Time2. Each letter is a unique and potent spiritual element.

MEDITATION FOR THIS PERIOD

The new moon of Ram Heshvan arrived this week, on day 5 (Wed eve to Thursday eve). The ruling letter of the month, from Sefer Yetzirah, transitions from lamed ל  (Tishray) to nun  נ (Ram Heshvan).

The letter Aleph א continues to guide this autumn time frame – pointing to unity and balance. Bring it on!

Each of the seven days of the week are rules by one of the double letters: בגד כפר”ת. Day one (Saturday after Shabbat till Sunday eve) is ruled by bet ב.

HODESH TOV, A GOOD MONTH

SHABBAT SHALOM

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