Sunday, November 27, 2011

Precious Stones

 by Devora Gila Berkowitz

Parshat Vayeitzei

Yaakov goes to sleep with twelve stones around his head and wakes up with one.

The Midrash tells us that the stones quarrelled for the honored position as Yaakov's pillow.  The result? G-d unifies them. With this stone, Yaakov annoints a pillar to be a "House of G-d". (Bereshit 28:22)

Chassidut teaches that each of us is like a unique, multi-faceted precious stone.

But when we forget the beautiful gem that we are, we feel broken down into smaller, weaker parts: fear, despair, frustration, competition, anger....

The lesson here is to remember, or "re-member" who we are: a whole, unified creation that goes beyond the fragmented parts, infused with the image of the Creator.

How do we usually describe ourselves? "I am ... and .... and ....." Today, why not try being conscious awareness that I just am?

1 comment:

  1. We are commanded by Hashem to Remember. It is a Mitzvah to remember. Left to our own devices, we would have forgotten. Forgotten we were once slaves in Egypt, forgotten Who took us out of Egypt and how, forgotten our actions that caused us our own suffering, forgotten who the enemy who causes us to forget is, forgetting to keep the Sabbath holy.

    But what reference point do we have other than being instructed to do so when our memories sometimes fail us, or due to trauma, memory that once was of Divinity and Love has become distorted or wiped from recollection? It would seem that many of us face this actuality in this generation. There are many reasons and causes, some of it is generational *forgetting* and some of us have had this instilled as part of our learning lessons of life itself.

    First we needed to forget, then we need to identify what it is we need to remember, then find a Way - the Derech to see it, know it and ultimately Re-Member it.

    Re-membering is basically putting the pieces together. Bits and shards that were broken at some point in our lives. Sometimes we re-member through a word, at times we re-collect via a deep stirring in our soul from a song, a smell, a place or a state of hitbonenut or deep meditation. Whichever way we are re-Minded, it is our job then to put the pieces literally together. Piece by piece, shard by shard. We are the vessels that hold the sparks of holiness. We are here to become as magnificent as we were created to be.

    This is the healing. If to summarize, when we do, we will remember ourselves whole again. There are 613 pathways to re-create ourselves whole. It is in this re-membering, we re-turn to Hashem through our hearts, minds and souls. And our Shalom becomes a reality.

    Written upon request by Devora Gila Berkowitz
    Zilpah Bat Sara
    Negev Desert, Eretz Yisrael