Shirata for Jewish Prayer & Song
Sha'alu sh'lom Yerushalayim - Pray for the peace of Jerusaelm.
Number 6 - 22 Shevat 5765 - January 31, 2005
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Growth as a Metaphor

Last week we celebrated Tu Bishvat, the "holiday festival" of the trees. In the Jewish legally system, Tu (the fifteenth) of Shevat marks the "fiscal" year for tithing the fruit of the tree. In the annual cycle, Tu Bishvat represents the moment when the rains of Winter call for the growth and blossoming of Spring.

In the 1990s the concept of "the inner child" was popular, especially in the New Age culture (Julia Cameron's The Artists Way is but one example). The inner child represented the innocent, creative, direct, unharmed aspect of the personality that became hidden, frightened and concealed in adult life. Growth, in this context, is a process that included negativity: the repression of the "here" and "now" of direct experience. Part of the mission of spiritual life was to discover the inner child, set it free, and incorporate its creativity, joy and simplicity in the life of the adult.

Usually, however, growth is considered a positive process, (even in New Age culture where the term "spiritual growth" the common). In this context, growth is a maturing, a fulfilling of yet-unrealized potential, a bringing-to-be of hidden promises. Growth is coming-to-be, a realization, a manifestation of that which wants to be actual.

In Jewish culture, the Messiah is described as a shoot of the house of David (Isaiah 11), "shoot" being a metaphor of continuity and growth. The first verse of Kaddish, in the Sephardic and Hassidic versions, includes the expression "veyatzmach purkaney" "and he will bring salvation" where the Aramaic word "veyatzmach" means in Hebrew "and He will grow..."

The tzaddik, the righteous person, is compared to the Palm tree for its ability to blossom in Psalm 92, the Psalm of Shabbat: [in a world of Shabbat] "That tzaddik [will] blossom as a palm tree." On the one hand growth, the development of self creates deeper and deeper roots which help the tree to stand on its own and withstand the struggle with the elements. On the other hand, blossoming, the opening up to what Is, faces up to the sun, accepting the flow of the elements and their prayer.

May we be rooted in the growth of Shechina, opening up to the love of the Supreme Lover.

Refu'ah Shelima Prayers for Pirkko

Our friend Pirkko has been diagnosed with cancer. May we able to assist her throughout her treatment period. We pray for her full and fast recovery.

Tikkun Haklali Preparation Practice

The following file contains a first draft of the Hebrew, transliteration and translation of the first five Psalms of the Tikkun Haklali.

Song of Song Class

Our next meeting is Wednesday, 23 of Shevat, 5765, February 2, 2005. It's been so long. We're so excited to be learning again together after a rather long break. We'll resume our study of Malbim's commentary to Song of Songs.

The following file contains our translation, Malbim commentary and creative verse commentary on Song of Songs 1:1-2:9. The file size is about 450Kb.


Ronnie Serr
1725 S. Genesee Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90019
323 939 1669

It's around Venice and Fairfax -- 3 blocks East of Fairfax, Between 18th Street and Airdrome

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