Refinement for my Higher Purpose
Making positive changes in life, through self-help books, yoga, meditation, and therapy is a multibillion-dollar industry. New age stuff? Not really. This kind of teaching and philosophy has been found in the Torah for 3,300 years. The Torah and its various events teach us about our human behavior. This time of year in the Jewish calendar, we go through a period called Sfirat Haomer. Sfira in Hebrew shares the same root word as: to tell, to count, and a Sapir- a translucent shining crystal stone. We count seven weeks, starting the day after Passover until the next major holiday, Shavuot (meaning “weeks”). Shavuot is the holiday when the Jewish nation received the most precious gift – The Torah. After our exodus from Egypt, we had to work on our character step-by-step for 49 days. It is an intense period of refining various dimensions of our souls/selves. We break from our limitations and learn to control our emotions based on the eternal truths of the Torah.
There are seven fundamental emotions: love, restraint, compassion, ambition, humility, bonding and leadership. Each of them is subdivided into seven corresponding emotions. We examine the way we’re able to express love in our lives: to ourselves, to another, making room for others, accepting others, feeling venerable, expressing love, avoiding love, loving only when it’s comfortable, loving only people we know, and being able to love even a stranger. It’s finding a perfect balance in giving and receiving love. And this is just one aspect of the emotions mentioned above! For seven weeks we tap into a different energy of each emotion, learning how to manifest it fully in our lives. Each week, we cultivate each of these emotions, interrelating them, (7 X 7= 49) blending with the other emotional attributes until we achieve spiritual growth and maturity.
Only after such period of self-refinement, the Jewish nation went from being slaves to breaking free from their limitations, working on their personal freedom, to becoming worthy of receiving the ultimate gift. The Torah is a guidebook that teaches us the laws on how to love our fellow man as ourselves as well as how to live our best life in synergy, connecting to the divine, to our higher purpose. This period, we’re reminded to improve our inner self daily so we can shine as a sapphire.
Naomi Young is an educator of Jewish studies. She’s also a published writer and an artist. Her new art exhibit “PORTALS” will be during August-September at the Canyon Theatre Guild You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and see her art website www.naomiyoung.com.
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