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Pre-Messianic (Geuladik!) Marriage Training in Boro Park

Original watercolor of my own chuppa

Dedicated to my husband, R’ Ari Taback, for being the world’s greatest pre-messianic husband (well, for me).  And its usually not in ways we expect.  (Well, never.)

One day I will interview him for all the men that desire to hear about pre-messianic marriage from a man’s perspective.

 

Malchus Retreat, Nov 30 – Dec 1, Pomona

Reflections

As the first snow of the season fell around Tzivia Chaya’s house on Tamarack Lane in in Pamona, Monsey, we sat ensconced in the warmth of a womb of becoming.

The women who carved the time out to travel from the surrounds of New York City were both curious and courageous.  Curious to see what is possible when we seek to bring light to vessel, and courageous to expand into a “new” Torah paradigm, to identify where they personally found themselves on the map of feminine potential, and to share their breakthroughs with others traveling a similar journey. 

It is impossible to fully describe the terrain we traveled in our twenty-two hour immersive dive into the secrets of the feminine in the scope of this blog.   Though one thing is clear:  we are joining forces, all of us, to redeem the lost princess, the beloved feminine child, Hashem’s only daughter and the King’s “seventh child”.  (See my talk at the AMEN group HERE for more on this). 

The lost princess is sometimes called the Torah (Shmot Rabba Parashas Teruma) and sometimes called Shabbos (see the Lecha Dodi prayer).  Shechina and Malchus are both apt names too (perhaps preferred by the mystically inclined).  As Jewish + Women, our femininity is the mashal for “the lost princess” and our Jewishness is our mandate to free her.  That means that as women, we are both representing her as well as actively involved in her redemption. Thus, our story of growth runs completely parallel to the approach of the messianic era.  For this reason, Rashi asserts that “women are close to Geula”  and chazal state prophetically, “in the merit of the righteous women in that generation (of moshaich) we will be redeemed”.

What was so special about the retreat was our quest to rise together as Jewish women into our fullest potential.  Since the feminine archetype is compared to the moon, a moon aglow represents the pinnacle of feminine spiritual achievement.  However, the glow of the moon will be so great (Isiah 30:26), perfectly reflecting all the light of the sun without losing even a drop, that it will indeed emit light like a sun.  When that happens, the night itself will become no more.  Hence, the complete recovery of the moons’ diminishment will herald in another era – one that our sages describe, in the same passage there, as being filled with da’as of Hashem as water fills the sea. 

That means, if you are adding this all up with me, that rising as Jewish women is synonymous with coming into our full consciousness.  Indeed, when the dark side of the moons is illuminated through sheer proximity to its own reflected light, it becomes dark no more.

Because nexus is designed to heal ourselves… and because nexus is the meeting point between light and vessel… we did this in real time.  The incredible group, through the supportive culture we had all co-created, was able to identify the transformations they were seeking that would shift them in a deep place inside, from where they could continue to navigate their lives in the real world aligned more with their essence.  Each of us were able to isolate the area or dark spot in our beings where we were operating out of unwittingly and then illuminate it with the light of Torah.  Though the love between us was palpable, the day was actually permeated with the quality of truth.  When we are in truth, we automatically iron out the creases and repair our internal frays.  If we were to keep applying this principle of bringing light to our darkness continually… we would continue to expand in consciousness and heal into the wholeness of what Hashem created us to be.  This was the melody of the day and the Torah we shared kept us thinking big and feeling supported by Hashem Himself in our quest to come closer to Him.

Of course, each woman’s growth was precious and personal.   If you want to get a feeling for the sorts of subconscious blocks that other women broke through, you can read Rochel’s poetic notes where she noted them in stunning simplicity, called “Malchus affirmations”, HERE (read to the end).  You will still be able to pick out a new tune that is starting to play through all of our hearts.

~

I wasn’t sure what to call the retreat when I invited you to it.  Looking back, its name is clear.  It was the Malchus retreat.  Malchus is the esoteric quality associated with the moon, and though the moon is said to “have nothing of her own” (she is merely the transmitter of the sun’s light), ironically, her qualities are many.  Some things we have wondered as women though we may not have given voice to are:  how do we rise and remain humble?  How do we shine and not evoke the jealousy of others?  How do we find and connect to our own light and not need to be pumped up from the outside?  What is motivating us?  How do we trust ourselves through-out our journey of ascent when we are so prone to self-doubt? What can we look forward to at the end, as it says in Aishes Chayil (Mishlei) “she who laughs on the last day”?  Indeed, the moon will share one crown with the sun as she initially intuited she would (Arizal, sha’ar mi’ut halevana).  But this will not be an expression of ego as it may have been originally.  These and others are the lessons of Malchus.  As you can infer, Malchus is so internal that it aligns with everything our teachers always taught us about tznius (modesty) and coming into our inner essence. And yet, paradoxically, Malchus is also the essence of leadership. 

Of course. 

~

What I discovered is that meeting live in person, as wonderful as that is, requires the lining up of so many logistics.  Food, lodging, transportation, and baby-sitting.  The great news is that the teachings from the retreat were all extracted from the first series  at the Nexus school, Rise into your Feminine through Chava, and you can connect with them and the entire Nexus community by joining (HERE), learn in your own place and at your own pace, and fit it into your life. 

The next cohort of Chava, is starting on Dec 22nd 2019.  It is your chanuka present!  Join HERE.  Join with a chavrusa for the chavrusa special.

To connect to the community email me at info@thenexus.org

The School is moving on!  Feb 12th 2020 BeH with the Imahos so stay tuned.  Chava is prerequisite.

If you need help to pay tuition because you are in Klei Kodesh or you require financial assistance for other reasons, you can apply for a Torah discount.

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“Happy Birthday!”

This greeting that comes from the sweetest place in our hearts when we extend birthday salutations to a loved one… I asked myself last week when I was on the receiving end of these kindnessess… what does it actually mean?

My husband said pithily, when I asked him; “it means, thank you for existing.”

Yes, a birthday is a day that we reflect on just that – existing.

Of course, being on this planet is nothing of our own doing and is most simply a supreme expression of G-d’s love.

Why then the birthday wishes?

~

My teacher, Miriam Millhauser Castle taught me that the gap between expectations and reality is what we define as disappointment (in other words, when a ho-hum reality doesn’t match the impossibly high standards of our expectations).  

I sometimes wonder if birthdays aren’t a breeding ground for this sort of disappointment.

The truth is sometimes, (well, pretty much, always) surprising.

~

The truth is that the only one to celebrate a birthday in the Torah was Paroah.

“ויהי ביום השלישי יום הלדת של פרעה…” (Breishis 40:20)

No-where else is it mentioned as such.

The Torah always lays the foundations of psychologically healthy practices and rituals and this makes me wonder about the birthday one.

Not to say that birthdays are bad and we should do anything different. (read to the end)

Generally, our job is to shower and lavish those around us with as much love, appreciation, validation and adoration as we can muster.

That doesn’t mean, from the view from the inside , i.e. our personal way of handling ourselves, that we should become people that are needy of those things.

There-in lies the irony – we give the very thing to others that we personally try to inhibit for ourselves as sources of our intrinsic  worth.

~

I think the essence of the birthday question that I am raising is a question about giving.

Rav Dessler, in his classic Kutrus HaChessed; tells us that only one who feels full and satiated can be a giver. [Put in modern jargon; people who are not suffering from the mentality of lack and scarcity can be givers.] Of course, were our emuna and faith in Hashem complete we would always feel full and satisfied; regardless of how others may perceive our circumstances.

פותח את ידיך ומשביעה לכל חי רצון – “You open Your Hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing”

נער הייתי גם זקנתי ולא ראיתי צדיק נעזב – “When I was both young and old I have never seen a righteous man abandoned by G-d and his children begging for bread”

~

Rav Dessler, in that same essay about loving-kindness, tells us than giving is what creates love, and not love that brings forth giving as we would want to believe.

Therefore, satisfaction with one’s life, feeling totally and already full and living your life as a giver are one and the same concept.

~

To simplify: Giving equals Joy.

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Let’s compare that with the birthday concept.

“It’s my party I can cry if I want to.”

Why are people allowed to cry at their birthday parties??

Because they are designated as the recipients of everyone else’s giving!

Everyone else is happy – they are giving to the birthday girl or boy.

They have no expectations.

But the birthday girl or boy?

Of course they want to cry!

~

The Jewish concept of a birthday is far deeper.  It is a day when one’s “Mazal” – spiritual essence and vitality – is strong.   

Not surprisingly, it is also a day of prayer – as the anniversary of the day their soul came into the world in order to fulfill its unique mission.

These two concepts together make it an auspicious time to give blessings and indeed you should seek out the brochos of those on their birthday.

But the best part of this is – giving brochos also turns the birthday into a day of giving!

There is no more a need to cry.

~

Let us give….

…nachas to our creator who magnanimously created us.

….brochos to those who fill our lives with joy and meaning.

And more importantly… our expectations a break.

Let us know that we are already totally complete and full – and any birthday wish or present that comes our way simply adds to a state of internal satiation.

Let the locus of control remains where it is supposed to be – within – and may we not be dependent on that which comes from with-out.  May all birthday celebrations only enhance an intact self-esteem and healthy psyche unfettered by unrealistic expectations.

And when the gifts and wishes come, how great it is, to be so blessed.

~ ~ ~