The Hebrew Letter "Zayin,"
bound to the month of Sivan,
third month of the Jewish year, late-spring
.

The blossoming  now slows,
while deep underground
the earth shifts.

As if readying herself
for a new step in the dance.

 
The soul too moves
as
the house of this moon calls,
karov, to come close.


To near, the deepest parts of our hearts,
and to listen, to what is there.

To draw near, to the deepest part of our souls.

Towards the One,
Who fashioned us.

So
we
halach, walk,
sense of this moon.

We move
through the wilderness
towards the bronze peaks of Sinai,
which catch light each dawn and sunset.
There we watch the earth transform to flames,
reaching towards the heavens.

So too our soul reaches 
upward, inward,
and sings.

Notes:

*Sefer Yetzirah pg. 214-215 Aryeh Kaplan

Now the 
te'omim, twins, sky-signs of this moon,
beckon us,
male and female, linked by birth,


mirroring
Adam, male and female, created as one.
Reminding us of the primeval wholeness
we once knew and
still secretly long for.


And this we briefly touch,
as we move towards the Mountain,
on those roughly trodden paths.

By opening our arms each day,
receiving
the gift,
that awaits us. *

Notes:

*Sefer Yetzirah
*Genesis 1:27: Adam, male and female
*A Dictionary of Symbols
* the gift of Torah

We do so with the 
part of the body of this moon,
regel semol, our left foot,

which calls us
to move now with decisive
action.

To mobilize,
with determination,
intentionality.

To step forward,
purposefully

into the heart,
of the desert.

Notes:
*Gevurah in Jewish mystical thought, one of the sefirot, circles of spiritual energy, is associated with the left side. Gibor is associated with warriors, strength, discipline, power.

And to our side comes
Zevulun, tribe of this moon,

resourceful navigator, able to traverse worlds.

Born from feisty union, his name proclaims intimate eve,*
this sixth and final son of Leah, who's mastered well the waves.

His white flag, embroidered with the symbol of a ship,
for he bears knowledge of how to mine the riches of the seas,
and is there for us
as we steer our passage
through the depths.

At birth we're launched on ocean voyage of life.
Thus the rabbis ruled,
each parent must teach their young
how to swim.*

Standing in the East, Zebulun links arms with his brothers round the Mishcan,
with the Lion of Judah,
with the Reader of the Skies, who understands the secrets of Torah,
together they stand in the place of Spirit, illuminated by Menorah's light.

Zebulun adds the gifts of riches, glimmer of gold,
knowledge of how to glean wealth from all levels.

He stands, sparkling before us,
in the rising sun,
ready to walk.

Notes:
* Zaval from the root of "dwell, lie with", Zibel with the meaning of fertilize.
*Genesis 49:13: "Zevulan shall settle at the shores of the seas; he shall be a haven for ships." Deuteronomy 33: 18-19 "Rejoice O Zevulun on your journeys....for they draw from the riches of the sea."
* BT Kiddushin 29: injunction to teach your son to swim
*
Genesis 30: 20 Where we hear of Zevulun's birth
*Midrash Rabbah Numbers 2:7: ..."his flag was white with a ship embroidered thereon."
*Midrash Rabbah Numbers 2:10: his position round the Mishcan, Tent of Meeting.

Additionally to our aid
comes the the Hebrew letter of this moon,
the zayin,
her name
, meaning 'weapon,'
her form, sinewy but powerful,
she now offers us her protection.

Humble in stance,
head bowed, she knows her place in Creation,
there to serve when needed.

She bears a royal crown,
and stands as both shield and guide,
as we cross the wild places in life.


Her numerical value and order in the aleph-bet,
seven
, speaks of culmination,
of promise shimmering,
waiting for us on mountain peak.

For seven speaks of reaching our destination.

In time.
Six days of labor completes in the seventh day, Shabbas rest.
Six years of working the fields concludes in the seventh year, Shmeitah.*
Six thousand years, they say, will find their end,

in the Great Sabbath.

In physical space.
Seven are the colors in the rainbow and seven species adorn the Land of Israel.*
In ancient times it was said there were seven seas, seven planets,*
seven celestial layers. and seven petals of the rose.*

In symbols.
Seven spiritual guests we invite into our Sukkah,*
seven items join together in the lulav, which we shake in seven directions.*
Seven are the branches of the Menorah and seven, the lower sefirot.*
The Magen David's six directions meet in the center, the seventh.*
Seven were the clouds of glory, and*

seven appears in Torah, seventy-seven times.

In ritual.
We wed with seven circlings, partners intertwining,
seven blessings bind a couple, the celebration lasting for seven days.
Proceeding to burial, we stop, seven times.

In holy days.
Seven days is the spring pilgrimage festival of Pesach and*
seven days in the fall we again moved towards Jerusalem, for Sukkot.
Six months build to the seventh, culminating in the New Year,
Rosh HaShannah,
which starts the Yaamim Noraaim, Days of Awe, which build
to Yom Kippur, time of At-one-ment, which has in its conclusion seven chants of "Adonai Hu Ha-Elohim."
Seven times we circle on Simchat Torah as we conclude our year-long reading of Torah,
and roll back to the beginning once more,
reading of The Beginning.

Seven threads
through the Universe, our bodies, and spans of time,
through intimate relations
, in routes to connecting
with the Holy.


Notes:
*Seven days: Genesis 1:1f
*Shemeitah: the laws of the seventh year, when fields lie fallow a reminder that all belongs to God: Leviticus 25: 3-5
*The three pilgrimage festivals, when all would 'walk' to Jerusalem: Pesach in spring, Shavuot in early summer and Sukkot in the fall.
* Seven: A Dictinary of Symbols
*The seven species are: wheat, barley, grapes,figs, pomegranates, olive oil, and dates: Deut 8:8
*Seven seas: Bava Batra 74b; Seven heavens: Chagigah 12b
*Seven chambers of Paradise: Zohar 1:23b; 41a
*Seven spiritual guests: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David: Zohar 3:103b
*Seven lower Sefirot: Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod, Yesod, Malchut

*Magen David: Shield of David.

*Seven clouds of glory: Midrash Tanhuma, Beshalach 3

*Sevens are woven into Jewish wedding rituals: traditionally a bride circles the groom seven times creating a space of intimacy; seven blessings are recited for seven days of festivities called the Shevah Brachot: Ketubot 7b-8a
*On Simchat Torah there are seven hakafot or circlings with Torah
*Seven hakafot: circlings: Shulchan Oruch, Orach Chayim 669:1

*Lulav: 4 species from the Land of Israel: Etrog, willow, myrtle, palm: 3 myrtle, 2 willow branches, one palm, and one etrog: we hold seven.

And finally joining us in our quest,
comes the
angel of this moon, Paniel,

saying,

"In the small spaces,

that connect the twins,
in the center of the Magen David,
that rises in the spray of the seas, that twists in the heart-cords,
that glimmers in the rainbow and glints in rock on dusty trail,
You can find me.

I, call you now,
to 
pay attention,
heed,
turn to,

the Divine.

Notes:

* Sefer Yetzirah translated by Aryeh Kaplan
*Drashed Paniel: Peh Nun Hey: Panim: Face; Panah: to turn to, heed, pay attention.

Thusly fortified, you walk into the heart
of the holy day of this moon,
Shavuot,

time of nearing, coming close,
time of opening your being,
time of receiving
the love letters,
Torah.

Time of wedding,
of soul.
 


Weavings

So we rise and take up sword decked with crown,
gold gleaned from the casting of our nets,
into the seas of our lives,
with vision of inner unity.

We fasten round our necks a magen david, centering ourselves,
remembering all the threads
of sevens, singing of the
culmination that awaits us at our journey's end,
our angel by our side.

And we stride forward,
with determination,
towards the Mountain,
on ancient now carved pathways,
guiding us,

beckoning us,
Forward.

We move
towards
the sacred.


Words with Zayin, musings

Zabach: Sacrifice, offer                           Zahar:  Shine, brighten
Zuz: Move                                                Zachar: Remember
Zan: Sustain, feed                                    Za'ak: Cry out
Zarach: Shine, Rise(Sun), Glow               Zar'ah: Sow

So many things we learn through living.

How to offer up the experiences of our lives.
How to interpret life's happenings as messages.
How to move away from a course of action that holds harm.
How to remember that which we know.

How to see all the ways we are sustained. Day by day by shining invisible sources around and within us.
And we learn,
when it is time to cry out, and when it is time to be silent.
When it is time to lie fallow, and let time herself revive us.
And when it is time to rise, and Shine.

It it time now,
to dip our hands into seed,
and sow.

 

 

 

 

 

Life is rich and life is turbulent.
Filled with swift changes, strong currents, and unexpected storms.

And there are those days as well,
where the waters lie sparkling and calm,
and the gift of it saturates our hearts with deep gratitude.
For being here. For being graced with the ride.

We bravely sail through it all
never knowing what the day will bring.

Like Jacob, angel-wrestler,
we meet that which awaits us
knowing we shall walk
forth afterwards,
albeit,
differently.



Trekking the desert's hard work.
Food, water, shelter's scarce.

One need dig with one's fingernails at times.
Scratching the earth
to summon these.

The walk to Sinai's fraught,
the walk of life,
inherently
challenging.

But ahead
majestic peaks summon,
bronze pillars rising towards the skies, illuminated with light of sun and moon.
Making you catch your breath
with its glory.

Mysteries and Promises
draw you near,
holding
Radiant gift.*