The Moon of Shvat (January-February)


Come, sit in winter's belly, rock in her primal seas.
For in this time of cold and low light, your soul needs special care.
So call on the name of God, 
One Who watches out for you.


walk with me in this moon of Shvat.

At this time when the world around me sleeps.
When blue of night, white of frost reign.
When creatures lie, curled round in their lairs,
deep in dream.

You beckon me,
to hear the silent coursing of life flowing through winter's veins.
How in the howling gales, the silence of the snow,
are songs You sing.
In this time where some life dies, some rests, some stirs within,
waiting to be born.



You teach me to have courage when all seems a frozen wasteland.
To stand in the face of trials, firmly planted.

To hearken to my soul's voice, You, echoing
as surely, as clearly, as powerfully within me,     
as the music of the winter winds.



HaShomer, my guardian,
help me be like the almond tree.

Who in the pitch of cold, in the seeming endlessness of winter,
imperceptibly moves deeply within herself,
appearing to be between worlds, bearing no signs of life,
yet inside, hidden,
her sap does flow,
her life force breathes, and she thrusts forth,
despite icy rains, sleet, and snow,
which pour over her, saturate her boughs,

and flowers.

Let me be like the almond tree,
first to bloom in the Land.

Who opens her light pink petals,
shimmering translucently,     
in the winter rains,
that life will return
even when all appears barren and lifeless.

Her flowers, signs of fruit to come,
remind me.



That I, like she, hold potential to recreate myself, my life.
That I too, bear within me a kernal filled with wild beauty
that links me to eternity,

in her name Yours is woven.

She whispers, 
the Holy's closely near
watching out 
for the well-being of your soul.

watch over me this moon

Help me move
from darkness to light,
from empty branch to blossom,
from silence to song,
from sleep to awakening,
from seeming emptiness to abundance,
from solitude to Your embrace.

Bless me as I stand, HaShomer.
Root me
in this world.


Photography Credits

First photograph: Alon Kvashny
Second photograph: Kathy Berendt
Third photograph: Vicki Hollander