IN HONOR Of SH’VAT – MOON CYCLE OF AQUARIUS
The solstice has passed, and while days have been getting longer, cold weather and rain tend to persist in Earth’s Northern hemisphere. Sh’vat lands in the heart of winter. Sefer Yetzirah (5:2) gives an orientation; it says that this month, the letter Tzaddik was made sovereign, tied to crown Keter – which directly sources Light from Ayn Sof – The Infinite). Through it, Aquarius (D’li) is formed in space and Sh’vat in time. When our ancestors gazed into the heavens, Aquarius, the water carrier, was seen during this time of year.
WATER IS GRACE (HESED)
Water gives life, and so is precious. We need only look at a desert to understand how essential water is. Since accessing water is critical to survival desert life has cultivated skills in sourcing water during long dry periods.
When scientists seek life on other planets, the first question asked is, does the planet’s climate support water in liquid form. If it does, life as we know it may come forward.
One only needs to look at the ocean’s waves to witness water responding to Moon’s gravitational field. This creates waves in oceans and large bodies. This ebb and flow (ratzo v’shov Ezekiel 1:14) is arguably the first movement on Earth. Life is movement.
Water is responsive and gracious. Uncontrolled, it spreads as far as it can. It meets any container precisely – look at any cup of water.
Water is valuable for cleansing cuts and scrapes and is renowned for its transformational qualities. This is why immersion into a mikvah of Mayim Hayyim (Living Water) is required for initiation into the Jewish community. Mikvah is also a powerful method of setting a new intention or releasing something no longer useful.
Water is conductive; that is, it can transmit electrical current. It is awesome to consider the oceans as a communication vehicle.
Earth is approximately 70% water. The human body too. The fluid in the human body also responds to the laws of attraction. These are “everyday miracles”.
Talmud affirms the significance of water, by comparing water to Torah.
There is no water, except for Torah, all who are thirsty go to water.
אין מים אלא תורה שנאמר (ישעיהו נה, א) הוי כל צמא לכו למיםBaba Kama 82:1
Kabbalah associates life-giving water with Grace (Hesed) and benevolence.
Torah and water are similar in that they are both gracious, spread quickly, and part of a healthy, vital, balanced life. Drink deeply, be nourished, and thrive. Torah is a template that teaches key parameters and life practices to elevate and enhance life. It is that and so much more. (If you are not Jewish or knowledgeable of Torah, substitute the word “dharma” or “path” for Torah for this blog.)
WATER IS PRECIOUS
Clean Water is finite. We can run out of this vital resource. It is too often taken for granted.
What can be done to conserve this precious resource, so there are generations to follow us?
First be aware of water and its flow. Check for leaks diligently. Adjust your faucets if there are leaks. Turn off the faucet when it water not being used and try using a stopper and soaking items in the sink or use a water proof tub and soak dishes in them. Are you a gardener? Get a hose with a shut of valve and pause the watering when moving not watering.
SOIL RETAINS WATER
The more soil available, the more rainwater is retained. One of the best things I ever did was build a garden on a flat rooftop at my home. We reinforced the building below to account for the weight of soil and water and lifted the earth to the garden one bucket at a time.
The food grown there is used to elevate Shabbat festival meals. Partnering with The Creator and sharing homegrown food with community and friends brings joy and the soil on the rooftop retains water that otherwise would have spilled upon the concrete below.
In this way, even those in urban areas can play a role. If you can’t do a roof garden, you can grow plants in pots, get rid of any leaks, and turn the water off when brushing your teeth or when you are not actively using water. Each of us can participate in our own way as much as we are able.
Water is essential for life. When we bring awareness and care for our essential resource, we stack the deck in favor of extending health and life on Earth. Earth needs our help now more than ever. It is easy and rewarding to be part of the solution.