Guided Visualization For Seder for Seder or Shabbat Shirah
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Guided Visualization For Seder for Seder or Shabbat Shirah
By Laura Vidmar and Rabbi Goldie Milgram Allow your eyes to close. Inhale and exhale. Listen to the sound of your breath. Do you not hear the distant sound of an ancient sea? Listen to your breath from that part of your heart that remembers being there at the time of the Exodus from Mitzrayim. Inhale and exhale and hear the moving of the waters echoing in your innermost ear as you inhale and exhale. Keeping your eyes closed, look up as if you were looking at the top of the pillar of cloud that is guiding us out of Egypt. Observe the form and color of the cloud and feel the hope and promise that this pillar of cloud represents. Feel its pull on your soul drawing you toward freedom. Now allow your eyes to slowly slide down the length of the cloud, down and down, until your eyes reach the horizon. Notice the mass of people moving with you. Feel yourself moving toward the Sea in that ocean of Israelites. Are you leading children by the hand? Or are you a child yourself, moving quickly to keep up with the big people. Wondering that there is no work to be done today. No bricks to be made, no taskmasters with whips. Listen! In the distance you can hear the dim clatter of spears and shields, horses’ hooves and the rumble of chariot wheels. The whinny of a horse, a muffled command barked by one of the charioteers or Egyptian Captains. The rumbling of the chariots. Pharaoh’s great army is coming behind us. We are approaching the sea. Inhale the tangy salty, watery smell of the sea. Feel the sand sift through your toes in your sandals. Listen! Perhaps you can hear the bleating of sheep. And the children saying “Mommy, Daddy, where are we going?” “What will happen to us?” The familiar, the known, is behind. The sea lies ahead, and the wheels of Pharaoh’s chariots are rumbling - coming closer. The wind is picking up. A strong wind from the East. A persistent, steady, seemingly purposeful wind. A wind that could change everything. Your hair is flying and there are white caps on the sea. And then - Look!! Moshe is holding out his hands - - MY God - the sea is beginning to split. It is a miracle! The sea has parted and there is a path on dry land before us. There is a huge, quivering wall of water on the left and a wall of water on the right. What is in your heart at this moment? Will you rush into the sea with a trusting heart, running toward freedom, praising God ...OR.... do you hang back - afraid of the unknown, afraid the walls of water will close and drown you - afraid of being caught - afraid of change. (Pause) This is not an illusion. Both choosing and being propelled by the crowd. Almost numb with fear, curiosity, hope, and awe you are moving forward into the sea. Even the children and animals fall eerily silent as you walk between the towering walls of water. You can see the intense blue green of the sea on either side. Perhaps a dolphin cavorts along side you in the wall of water. What do you see in the wall of water? Light filters through the waters and casts dancing blue shadows on everyone. Now we’re half-way across. The wall of water on the left and right stretch as far as you can see in front and as far as you can see behind. Incredible ! We are walking on dry land in the midst of the sea. What an exhilarating moment - she-he-khe-yanu, to be alive at this time to experience this . Even if we drown or Pharaoh’s army overtakes us - dayenu. This would have been enough. The chariots sound different now - their wheels scraping and groaning against the sea floor. You are beginning to hear the suggestion of a melody (pause...if you happen to have an instrument begin playing a version of mikha mokha off-key and grating...) beckoning in the distance as you move toward the opposite shore. Could it be animals? No, voices? Singing? Despite exhaustion, growing elation lightens our footsteps. (Modulate...move onto key if using instrument, or else humming could work) Your heartbeat quickens. The pace of everyone increases, surges.....soon you are running, flying.......... eager to reach the opposite side. A woman is singing.......you join her.....(burst into full melody with instrument, do not break the sacred trance....allow everyone to experience the fullness of their vision.) (After a while ask people to notice their breath, to place their vision into their sacred memory chest and return to active awareness.) [How does this work and why? Guided visualization actually is reported not to work with about 10% of people, some of us are simply hard wired for different forms of spirituality. I mention this so those who have this difference won't wear themselves out trying. For those who can benefit from guided visualization it is a very powerful spiritual tool. Several major medical research centers have discovered that it can even be a tool for active healing (called psycho-neuro-immunology), although this meditation is primarily designed for shifting consciousness. Be sure to read slowly, with feeling and honor all the pauses fully, they are very important elements...like rests between the notes of a score.] Copyright 2003 Rabbi Goldie Milgram
"Passover" By Yehuda Amichai
My father was a god and did not know it. He gave me
The Ten Commandments neither in thunder nor in furry; neither in fire nor in cloud
But rather in gentleness and love. And he added caresses and kind words
and he added “I beg You,” and “please.”
And he sang “keep” and “remember” the Shabbat
In a single melody and he pleaded and
1. God, have You forgotten me?
I have forgotten how to breathe.
The air here is tight around me
Each day presses in and tomorrow feels impossibly far away
I long to feel Your wide, wide love
To feel hard earth beneath my cracked feet, shade on my bent back, cool mist on my sun-scorched skin
I long to hear sweet words
For respite from the sting that forces...
We Won't Get Fooled Again: Helping Teens Identify Pharaoh
A boy is tricked into being part of a game with other boys only to find out that he is the target of mockery and abuse. A girl is happy to be included as a "friend" at a lunch table until she finds it was only a ploy to get back at another girl. A boy is "hit on" as part of a practical joke. A girl is lured into an unwelcomed physical...
Had G-d upheld us throughout 2,000 years of Dispersion,
But not preserved our hope for return...
Had G-d preserved our hope for return,
But not sent us leaders to make the dream a reality...
Had G-d sent us leaders to make the dream a reality,
But not given us success in the UN vote in 1947...
Had G-d given us success in the UN vote in 1947,
But not defeated our...
Water is refreshing, cleansing, and clear, so it’s easy to understand why so many cultures and religions use water for symbolic purification. We will wash our hands twice during our seder: now, with no blessing, to get us ready for the rituals to come; and then again later, we’ll wash again with a blessing, preparing us for the meal, which Judaism thinks of as a ritual in itself. (The Jewish obsession with food is...
The seder opens with kiddush (the sanctification over wine). This is certainly unremarkable after all, kiddush is the opening act of every shabbat and holiday meal. But kiddush – a ritual .sanctification of time – has an intimate and unique connection to Pesach’s central theme: freedom. How so?
As Israel was about to be released from slavery, God instituted a new calendar: “This month shall (mark for you...
Every year at the end of the Seder we say "Next Year in Jerusalem!"
But that can't mean physically. It would get overcrowded. Some of us do not have the means to get there. Some of us are too old or young or sick to travel.
No. Not physically. Mentally. We need to open our minds and hearts to a level where we can accept who we are as people on every level. These traditions we have were around for...
We are free, but we remember when we were slaves. We are whole, but we bring to mind those who are broken. The middle matzah is broken, but it is the larger part which is hidden. Because the future will be greater than the past, and tomorrow’s Passover nobler than yesterday’s exodus. The prospects for the dreamed future are overwhelming to the point of making us mute. So it is in silence, without blessing, that we...
The seder plate holds the main symbols of a traditional Passover seder-- the shank bone, egg, karpas, charoset, and maror. The Kabbalists of the Middle Ages added hazeret, another kind of bitter lettuce. And in recent years feminists have added an orange on the seder plate to symbolize women's leadership roles and full empowerment in Jewish life.
The artichoke however is a new development. What is an artichoke?...
The Fifth Question: What can we do to help alleviate poverty?
There are numerous charities which aim to get donations to end poverty. It is important to make food and money to these various charities to help others. We must remember that we were once "strangers in the land of Egypt" (Exodus 23:9). This quote appears numerous times in the Torah and explains to us to have sympathy for others because we were once...
(1) How big of a problem is this?
According to the U.S. department of state, there are over 12 million slaves around the world.
(2) What is being done about the problem?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services assists victims of trafficking in the United States by funding service programs and through public information campaigns.
(3) Why isn't more being done?
More Clips from Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner
(We celebrate the successful ingathering of Ethiopian Jews in the State of Israel for which they prayed and waited for so many years. We shall not forget their oppression and the modern miracle of their redemption even as they are rapidly becoming mainstream Israelis. We also want to preserve their heritage of values and liturgy.)
Do not separate me, O Lord, from the chosen
From the joy, from the...