Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sivan - Time to Sail the Seven Seas

Chodesh ‪#‎Sivan‬ Tov!

Sivan is the month in which we receive both the ‪#‎Torah‬ and the ‪#‎Ger‬, the righteous convert whose soul makes Claal Yisrael shalem (complete). Ruth the Moabitess, the great-grandmother of King David (whose birthday and yartzeit we commemorate on ‪#‎Shavuot‬) is the archetype of the righteous convert. ‪#‎Zevulon‬, the Tribe associated with the Month of Sivan and the "mazal" (Zodiac sign) of ‪#‎Gemini‬, travels by sea to gather up and bring back home the riches of other lands and peoples, in order to bless his family.


We too must "travel by sea", cross borders and boundaries, cultures and comfort zones, to find those treasures and bring them "home" to our own hearts and souls, to enrich and make whole that which is lacking. 

Sivan/Gemini's Planet is ‪#‎Mercury‬ ("Kochav"), ruler of both written and oral communication - apt indeed for the month Torah was given at Mt. Sinai.
(Pictured: "Zevulon" by Linette Joel)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Harnessing the Spiritual Power of Ramadan

Ramadan always begins on a New Moon / Rosh Chodesh  of the Jewish Calendar (Head of the Month). This year (2016), Ramadan begins on Rosh Chodesh Sivan, as it did in 1951, 1952, 1953, 1984, 1985, and as it will occur in 2017 and 2018 as well.
  
The Islamic calendar is a lunar system, and the annual occurrence of the month of Ramadan runs on an approximate 32 year cycle varying as to which Hebrew month it falls in, throughout the years, decades, centuries. Unlike the Hebrew solar/lunar calendar, the Islamic calendar has no feast or fast that must fall in a certain season (as we do with the Month of Nissan, Chodesh Aviv, which the Torah mandates must start in the Spring). 


The Sons of Ishmael enact great spiritual power during the fast of Ramadan. Their zealous devotion in fasting from sunrise to sunset during the entire month of Ramadan functions to stimulate, trigger and if needs be, to provoke the Jewish people, cousins of the descendants of Ishmael, to desire and even envy the Muslim level of devotion, surrender and commitment, stimulating us as we seek to emulate, and indeed, exceed it. 
The area we need to renew our commitment and passion in is indicated by the month Ramadan falls in each year. Last year (2015), Ramadan fell on Rosh Chodesh Tammuz. During Tammuz years, we look at our patriarch Reuven, to which Tammuz corresponds.  
The tikkun of Reuven had to do with filial duty, and proper care for parents. The Jewish people were being provoked by our Ishmalite cousins to do tshuva this past year in the "Chodesh Tammuz" in the areas in our life, where respect and responsibility to our parents and elders are concerned.  
 Were we successful? How did last year go for us (for you, for me, for us as a community) in terms of "Kavod Av v'Am"?
 This year Ramadan begins on Rosh Chodesh Sivan. Sivan is the month during which we're given the Torah (Shavuot is the Chag which falls on the 5th/6th day of Chodesh Sivan). Sivan is associated with the Tribe of Zevulon, the Planet Mercury ("Cochav") and the function of Mutable Air - Transformative Thought.

Zevulon traveled the Mediterranean in ships, interacting and trading and conversing (Mercury / Gemini) with all the peoples and societies around ancient Israel, in order to bring back riches - both spiritual and material - with which to bless and support his brother-tribe, Issachar (those whose time was given to wisdom-learning, such as the Seasons & Times, and Torah study).

An important aspect of Chodesh Sivan is that of the "Ger", the righteous convert, the soul which enters Claal Yisrael to complete the fullness of our common soul-root.  Ruth the Moabitess is the soul associated with Shavuot, and as she is the archetype / soul root of all righteous converts, she is also the great-grandmother of King David, prototype Messiah and King of the Jews. The story of Ruth, who married Boaz and gave birth to Oved, who was the father of Jesse, the father of David, is read during Shavuot. King David, David the "Sweet Singer of Israel", beloved of the Lord, was born and died on Shavuot. 
The tikkun which Ramadan will trigger for us in 2016 is the test of how we treat the convert, how we relate to the one who desires to draw close for the sake of the blessings of belonging. Those who imagine themselves to be righteous in Torah will be challenged to experience transformative thought in relation to the convert. Indeed, anyone who falls outside our ghetto-mind will come under the category of "other" - and we are challenged as a People to transform our thought towards the "other" until we can see the "other" contains something we ourselves cannot be complete without! Just as the Jewish People were not complete until Ruth came to add her spiritual DNA to the mix, producing MOSHIACH in archetype - King David himself - Ramadan during Sivan years challenge us to SEEK that which is MISSING in our Claal, so that we all might be complete and shalem, whole. 
Just as the Hebrew Calendar and the Jewish Year is the manifestation of Sacred Time, our cousins have been given the Islamic Calendar to know the times and the seasons they are to enact their devotions, which are intended to arouse us to a purer and more passionate response to our own spiritual calling. It is a dance of devotion between root souls - Isaac and Ishmael, both sons of Avraham - and in the end, the time of one is the time of both and the time of both is the time of All.

To contemplate / meditate upon which Hebrew Month Ramadan has fallen in since 1930, I present the following data:

Ramadan in Nissan - 1957, 1958, 1989, 1990, 1991
Ramadan in Iyar - 1954, 1955, 1956, 1986, 1987, 1988, 2019, 2020, 2021
Ramadan in Sivan - 1951, 1952, 1953, 1984, 1985, 2016, 2017, 2018 
Ramadan in Tammuz - 1948, 1949, 1950, 1981, 1982, 1983, 2014, 2015 
Ramadan in Av - 1946, 1947, 1979, 1980, 2011, 2012, 2013 
Ramadan in Elul - 1943, 1944, 1945, 1976, 1977, 1978, 2008, 2009, 2010 
Ramadan in Tishrei (Rosh HaShanah) - 1940, 1941, 1942, 1973, 1974, 1975, 2005, 2006, 2007 
Ramadan in Cheshvan - 1938, 1939, 1970, 1971, 1972, 2003, 2004 
Ramadan in Kislev - 1935, 1936, 1937, 1967, 1967, 1969, 2000, 2001, 2002 
Ramadan in Tevet -  1933, 1934, 1966, 1998, 1999 
Ramadan in Shvat - 1930, 1931, 1932, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1996, 1997 
Ramadan in Adar (I and II) - 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995