The Hebrew Letter "Lamed,"

bound to the month of Tishrei,
seventh month of the Jewish year, early-fall.


Harvest time has arrived.

The fields have done their work.
The time of reaping has begun.

You enter a new season.
Light and darkness hanging
in equal measure.

Just as wheat is gleaned,
gathered and bound in hales,
so you do the same now with your past year of life.

The book of life and death lies opens to your page.
Your Master is assessing your crops,
reviewing the content of your scales.

This, the anniversary of your Creation,
you, the shimmering hope of your Shaper,
bent a bit from work of living,
are urged now,
to repair,

to recall your deeper destiny,
to dig through your layers,
cleanse and free
your spirit.

Tishrei* time  
when the flood waters of Noah receded,
when we no longer served Egyptian masters,
when we walked to dry ground
setting out
towards the Promised Land.

Each year you return,
to this juncture of Beginning.
Once again, choosing your path.

While your Creator prays,
you struggle to respond, 
re-find, restore yourself.

That you might better claim
your birthright.

Notes:
*from the Akkadian meaning 'Beginning"

Punctuating this task,
stands maznayim, the scales,
sky-sign of this moon
.

In Egypt, Maat, queen of justice, greeter of those who've died,
placed the heart, symbol of conscience, in one pan,
a feather of truth in the other.
How they tipped, determined the fate of that soul.

In these days too weighing takes place.
And you are called to tilt the scales,
towards
Life.

To choose compassion and generosity.

The scales tucked in the night-sky,
whisper,
"
Grasp this opportunity.
Live closer to how you were truly intended to live."

Notes:
*See A Dictionary of Symbols

So you call upon
your gallbladder, part of the body linked with this moon,
HaMarah, for aid.

"A wise and prudent judge,
the gallbladder rules over the body's kingdom
with careful decision-making,
and impeccable judgement."

"Moderating impulsive and reckless behavior"
she urges you to realign.

From the core of your body
,
she strengthens you 
as you move into the work now required.

Notes:
*The gall bladder aids digestion, distributes energy,touches our emotional, spiritual systems.

Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine and Nursing
*Chinese Medicine: Chinese Medicine for Maximum Immunity


So, fortified,
you greet the
Lamed,
Hebrew letter linked with this moon.


While in Elul, the yud, the smallest letter summoned you to act with humility,
Tishrei balances her 
with the tallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

Reminding you 
that we
travel through this world
carrying two words in each of our pockets.


In one lies the slip of paper, "I am dust and ashes," you are but a small moment of Creation.
In the other the words, "I am crafted in the image of God,"
you are a unique soul, never again to be repeated.

The Lamed calls you to take your place in the universe.

Poised in the center of the alphabet, she stands,
"a tower soaring in air,"* 
reaching upwards, her tip, contains the yud of God's name.
As do we.

Notes:
*"A tower soaring in air" Chagigah 15b
*The only letter that ascends above the "upper bound" Zohar 3:246b

Her numerical value,
thirty
.

Thirty days make a "full" month, one complete cycle of the moon.

Our first command when standing as a nation at the cusp of liberation was
to mark our months by the moons.

So we begin our year thusly 
as we stand in freedom.

Notes:
* Exodus 12: 1-2: "This month shall be for you the first month..." thus derives our practice of setting up our calendar's start based on the moon, the new moon heralding it's beginning. It was taught that Moses received instructions on inter-calculating the moons.

Embedded in
the lamed's name

lies the teaching*
Lev Meivin Daat, "the heart understands Wisdom."

Lamed, the very last letter scribed in Torah,
joins the first letter scribed in Torah, Beit,
forming the Hebrew word, Lev, heart.
The key to existence.

Use your heart,
which like the lamed's place in the alphabet
lies in the center of your being,
to find your way.

Notes:
*
Message, an acrostic
*Lomed/et means "to learn" ( the same letters of Lamed's root)
*Zohar: VaYikra 147: the yud's three parts, one pointing upwards, one down, the middle uniting both.
* Humility: Eruvin 13b "Whoever humbles themselves, God raises."

Now the sense of this moon rises
zug, to mate, join in partnership.

You are called now
to join hands with your Partner
Who awaits you.

To join hands with your possibilities.

From this place you enter 
the house of this moon,
tashmish, coition.
moving beyond words, 
to realms beyond knowing, 
to transcendence, wholeness.

Notes:
*Some speak that physical union, orgasm, lifts to the spiritual, utter surrender
to another plane of our dimensions.

In so doing you become,
like the tribe of this moon,
Ephraim,
f
ruitful.

Just as the bull embroidered on Ephraim's black flag,
stands, symbol of strength, vitality and Creation,
so too these blessings lie in store for us, as promise,
as we move through the tasks and holy days of Tishrei.

For Ephraim was linked to Rapheal, angel of healing.
And his gift we ultimately experience
as we cleanse, reach at-one-ment,
build, and know
joy.

Hearty one, Ephraim accompanies us through the passageways of this moon.

For he, joins the youngest of the 12 brothers, Benjamin,
along with his brother, Manasseh,
on the West side of the Mishcan.*
Where "storehouses of snow and hail, cold and heat" stand.
Only these young ones were strong enough to withstand these forces,*

able to protect Israel against the elements.

Linked with Beginnings,
he rises now as our escort and champion.


Notes:
*Parah, the Hebrew root of Ephraim's name, means "Fruitfulness"
*Through Ephraim and Manasseh we bless our sons each Shabbas.
Born in Egypt, from powerful union of Joseph and Asenath, daughter of Poti-phera, the priest of On, Ephraim grew up with rank and luxury.
Adopted by Jacob,Ephraim, the younger, was mentioned first.
*Link with the West and the Shechina: Zevachim 118b
* Genesis 48: 1-20: Joseph and son's at Jacob's deathbed, where Jacob adopts Ephraim and Manessah as his own sons.30:9
*Ephraim's lineage and his father's interpretation of his name: Genesis 41:50-52
*Midrash Rabbah Numbers 2:10: The place of the West round the Mishcan and the brothers who stood there, and well as the link with Raphael.
*Maimonides comments about the strength of these three tribes ability to withstand the weather.
*Par, means bull.

So we walk
fortified,
through the lessons
and the holy days of this moon,

Rosh HaShannah, Tashlic, Shabbat Shuvah,
Kol Nidre, Yom Kippur, Neilah,
Sukkot, HoShannah Rabbah, Shemini Atzeret,
Simchat Torah.

Accompanied
by the angel of this moon,
Tzuriel.

"In this time of turning
when your being opens flower-like
showing her innermost velvety heart.

In this time of turning
when you travel through the world
having shed your shells, husks,
now soft, pink and vulnerable.

In this time of moving
out into the wilds in fragile abode,
and dwelling there awhile.

In this time of dancing,
celebration,
new Beginnings.

I am here solidly with you,
through it all.

A place of mooring
as your soul
opens
and goes
to its deepest places.

Feel me beneath your feet,
as you embark
on your epic spirit-journey.

I am your Rock.

When you need to,
hold on fast to me.
For I am here for you.

Notes:
* Sefer Yetzirah translated by Aryeh Kaplan
*Drashed Tzur: Rock

Weavings

Each turning of the year,
spring and fall,
we see
how life can narrow and
enslave us.

And each spring and fall,
we struggle
to be free.

Through moving into humility,
cleansing, then standing upright, 
we remember our calling,
reclaim our power,
to better take up our task once more.
To re-align with
our destiny.

Thus to our side rises
the power of the Bull, the delicate sway of the scales,
the wisdom of our gallbladder,
the anchoring of our Angel,
and the fruits we come to harvest.

All walk beside us
as we move
with open heart, open soul,
hands extended,
down the walkways of spirit,
entering at last, booths,
decked with bounty
gleaned from the soil.

We embrace with full heart each step,
each movement,
back
to our true selves,
back to our deep
Source.


Words with lamed, musings

Lev: Heart                                         Lavan: White                          Lavana: Moon
Lehavah: Flame                                Lechem: Bread                       Leidah: Birth
Luach: Calendar                               Leilah: Night                          Lapid: Torch
Lashon: Tongue, language               
Lulav: Woven stalks of myrtle, willow, and palm shaken with the etrog during the Jewish Holy day of Sukkot       

When the moon tucks into night, we delve deeply into heart and soul, traveling inwards.
The darkness invites us to regions unseen,
to guard our tongue,
cleanse, renew our soul.
As the moon grows we dress in white, and rekindle our inner flame.

First breaking bread, celebrating, then into the fast we go,
moving away from earthly ways.
For twenty-four hours we live in another sphere.
Returning, re-birthed, lulav in hand,
restored, filled with joy.

Lachatz: Pressed                              Lomed: To Learn, study             Lakach: To take

Tishrei calls us
to ride the tide of the changing light,
and shift energies,
mirroring that which ripples through the deep currents of the earth,
our hidden inner possibilities desiring
to emerge.

We step out of lives pressed with all that must be done,
that we might see differently for a time, abide in spirit-time.

We re-learn that which we know.
Review our lives, life, the universe,
making room for our souls
to emerge, open, shine,
as they have the capacity to.

And we live in this place this moon,
moving through its many rooms
of sacred times, rituals, and teachings.

Leah: Matriarch                                   Lavan: Leah's father           Lebanon
Lag B'Omer: Jewish spring holy day  Lachosh: Whisper               Lot: Abraham's nephew
Levi: Tribe of Israel                            Lo: No                                Levad: Alone
L'olam: Eternally, forever
Leviathan: Large Fish supposedly which will feed all at the end of days
Lamed-Vavniks: 36 righteous individuals whose good acts keep the Universe alive

We hold within, Leah,
whom they say could see glimpses of the next world,
her weak eyes enabling her to see different dimensions.
While Laban-parts of ourselves
try to out-smart, manipulate
that which we don't want to see.

This moon is the reckoning time.

The beckoning time.
Where we're called to turn.

Time of saying 'no' to forces within
that destroy, steal away our life-force, over-ride our soul,
and to leave these behind, just as Lot left Sodom.

And as journey we keep out eyes open for lamed-vavniks,
who may wander across our path, showing us another way.

This time requires fortitude, strength, and honesty.
Where we like Levi, delve into Divine Service.

This time whispers to us of our very final days, 
when we shall sit to the feast of the Leviathan.

Soul time, repair time, time of restoration.