Celebrating The Month Of Sivan, The Art of Receiving
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We welcome the new month of Sivan at sunset on Saturday, May 23rd and Sunday, May 24th.
According to Kabbalistic teachings, each month has a unique energy and spiritual opportunity. The month of Sivan is known to be one of the most beautiful months of the year both physically and spiritually. Not only is nature blossoming this month, we also come alive in Sivan! Sivan is a time of love, intimacy, unity, and creativity more than any other month. This is a reason why more weddings take place during the month of June. Sivan is also considered an auspicious time for gaining clarity about one's life purpose along with the necessary guidance and blessing needed to live it.
The entire month of Sivan is all about receiving. We celebrate the holiday of Shavuos, which is the giving and receiving of the Torah at sunset on Friday, May 29th and 30th. This phenomenal event could only take place during this beautiful month of Sivan. The Divine revelation that took place on Shavuous offered a covenant, an ever-lasting partnership between the Jewish people and the Creator of the Universe. There is a deep Kabbalistic teaching that the same spiritual energy manifest when a holiday occurred in biblical times is available at that time of the month every year. Shavuous is a holiday of receiving a tremendous divine influx of blessing.
What did the Jewish people actually receive in ancient times? There is an ongoing debate about what exactly the people heard and what they experienced that day. Some say the Jewish people fainted upon hearing God's voice and had to be revived ten times, once after the recitation of each of the Ten Commandments. Other commentaries, like those of the Rambam and Rashi, say that the Ten Commandments were given instantaneously but the people could not comprehend them nor bear the intense holiness and power of the transmission. Hearing any part of the Divine voice's first statement of "I am the Lord Your God" shattered any sense of personal self. So the people cried, "We will do and we will hear." From the commentaries, it would appear that the Jewish people then did not have the vessels to be able to receive, absorb, and integrate the awesome divine transmission on Mount Sinai. Do we have stronger vessels today?
What is notable about the Jewish people's experience prior to receiving the Torah that is relevant to people today?
The Jewish people had to leave Egypt, the place of limitation and bondage.
They had to journey for seven weeks to let go, purify, and refine themselves.
They had to be in the desert. According to Jewish mysticism, the desert represents the nullification of the ego that is necessary to receive divine inspiration. The desert is also a place that cannot be claimed by anything or anyone. As the old song goes, "in the desert you forget your own name." There are no artificial boundaries or limits in the desert. The desert is an empty, open space.
They had to be unified. It is said that when the Jewish people received the Torah they were of one heart, so unified that they were likened to one being. In the Torah passage describing Israel's encampment at the foot of Mount Sinai at the time of the new moon of Sivan, the word encamped is written in the singular rather than the plural form. it was unity that enabled the Israelites to receive the Torah.
Similarly, like the ancient Jews, we who want to be connected to truth, to reality, to receive Divine revelation, must let go of our past and all the stories that we tell about ourselves that only reinforce our ego personality and sense of limitations. We have to leave our personal Egypt as best we can. If we are still holding on to deep unresolved feelings from past life experiences, we will not be able to be empty and open like a desert.
Yet, when we increase our awareness of our personal blocks with love and acceptance, we begin to release residual emotional psychic debris and create greater openness within ourselves. We must let go of the tendencies of our ego to create separation and divisiveness that are so prevalent today. If we want to be capable of receiving divine revelation, we have to be able to be in a loving heart.
My teacher Reb Shlomo said something like "I have one heart" when he was questioned how he could travel to Poland, a place of tremendous anti-Semitism. On Polish national television, Reb Shlomo proclaimed that he came to Poland to bring the love and light of Jerusalem and to hug every Polish person who wanted to be hugged, "I can not divide my heart to love some people and hate others. I have one heart and my heart is totally dedicated to love." Many Polish people seeing him on the street actually approached him for such a hug.
What is most limiting to many people is that they try to figure out life with their minds rather than listen to their hearts or souls. When faced with making decisions, they make their lists of the pros and cons of each choice because they do not know how to access or trust their internal guidance. Making lists was what I was taught as a teenager and young adult when I was faced with difficult choices. There is a better approach. Through prayer and meditation, we learn to receive guidance and direction from within. The soul knows exactly what God wants of us and how we are to fulfill the life purpose for which we came into this world. We cannot figure out God or even our lives with our minds.
God is not a projection of our ego mind but a real, living, and loving presence. Even though God may be hidden, God is the infinite TRUE reality Who not only created every human being and everything in creation, but Who continues to guide and support everyone in this life journey during our time on earth and beyond. Because the Creator knows and loves all of creation, the Torah is given as a road map to assist us in receiving the greatest goodness possible. We were not created for suffering, we were not created to be tested, but we were created for love and joy. Kabbalistic teachings remind us that the Divine purpose for creation was to bestow goodness and to be known. We are given free will so we can choose to wake up and choose God in the midst of our human experience, especially in the times of the greatest pain and trial. Love is only meaningful when it is chosen consciously.
The name Israel means "Yashar El, Straight to God." The Jew is entrusted to experience, embody and radiate the direct revelation of God in this physical world. This privilege is not restricted to a person born of a Jewish mother. Any person can choose to come close to God and serve as such a conduit or bridge between the worlds. This is the main reason many souls chose to embody as physical beings. It was an act of love on our part much like it was in an act of love on the part of God to create the world.
This shut down for Covid-19 has offered us an opportunity to become more internal and more in touch with what is really true and essential for us. So much wonderful sharing is taking place on the internet and throughout the world as we come together to help each other through this challenge. This time is a perfect opportunity to let go of what is limiting, what is false, and open up to what is true and what is real. May we emerge out of this time better, more loving and authentic.
In summary, receiving during the holiday and throughout the entire month simply means to give ourselves time to be open and present, free of limiting thoughts and previous conceptions. Ram Dass made famous the slogan "Be Here now." Life is only really happening in the present moment. When we open to be in the present moment, we leave the boundaries of time, and taste the awesomeness and holiness of eternity.
If you are feeling stressed, anxious, worried, depressed, or any other limiting emotion and you want to feel happier and empowered, contact me here or by using the contact information below. I have worked as a spiritual psychotherapist (L.C.S.W) and Jewish meditation teacher for over 30 years, and I can help you release limiting emotional blockages and move into greater soul empowerment and embodiment. Receive a spiritual injection, release limitation, experience a more authentic Divine connection and embody your most beautiful soul. Sessions are available on the platform on your choosing for individuals, couples, and communities.
May we blessed this month to be empty, open, and choose to receive the highest Divine revelation!