The Taos Jewish Center is dedicated to fostering a positive Jewish identity by providing programs and services that enrich the lives of the people it serves in Northern New Mexico. The Center is open to all who wish to explore and participate in these experiences that reflect and incorporate Jewish ethics, culture and observances.
 
     

 

THIS Sunday!
April 19 at 11:00 AM  

Member Appreciation Brunch:
Schmears and Schmooze

Please RSVP!

Member Brunch: Schmears and Schmooze

The Member Brunch offers TJC members the opportunity to connect with fellow members and enjoy the benefits of membership. Please come for a delicious bagels and lox brunch, and the delightful camaraderie of dear friends in our community. Special Guest Dr. Marina Rabinowitz will speak about the Jewish Federation of NM survey results for Taos County.

There is no fee for this event. If you are not currently a member, or have put off your renewal for 5775, you may complete a Membership Pledge form at the brunch.
We look forward to the pleasure of your company, your membership and your participation.  


Counting the Omer:

A Practice of Preparing and
Polishing the Heart

 

                                     

By Hannah Salander. Join Hannah on April 18 for Contemplative Torah Study at the TJC

Between the second night of Pesach and Shavuot many Jews engage in the practice of counting the Omer;   a 7 week meditation on divine aspects, or faces of God. These aspects are described in the lower 7 Sephirot of the Tree of Life, Chesed-lovingkindness, Gevurah-strength, Tiferet-beauty,  Netzach- endurance, Hod-splendor, Yesod-foundation, and Malchut-wholeness. Each day a different quality of these manifestations is explored, like the many cuts of a fine jewel, revealing the rainbow that is the Holy One, who’s qualities we aim to embody. Like polishing this fine jewel, how the spark of the Holy lives uniquely inside each of us, we turn these qualities over in a contemplative manner to make them shine more beautifully through us.

The practice of counting the Omer originates in Biblical times as an agrarian ritual of taking an Omer, a bundle of barley into the Temple as an offering to God in gratitude for the fruits of harvest, and blessing a continued good growing season. Another offering was taken 49 days later when the wheat was ready to be cut. Eventually this practice became more spiritually oriented, and a way to ready the heart for receiving the revelation of Torah at Sinai, which we celebrate on Shavuot 49 days after we begin the counting.

There are many wonderful books on this practice including Counting the Omer: A Kabbalistic Meditation Guide, by Rabbi Min Kantrowitz, Gaon Publishers. I encourage you to explore more about this deep and ancient practice. I will be writing a short weekly piece in the 7 weeks that follow to inspire our journey together through these seven gates.

Gate #2: Gevurah

This week is the week of Gevurah, which may be translated to mean strength and discernment. This is the energy that supports us to take holy pause in any moment so that we might align ourselves with right thought, speech and action. This is the face of appropriate boundaries, conscious choice and the ability to set limits and hold structure. Where Chesed may be more flowing, Gevurah is very upright, collected in the center, steady and clear. Chesed and Gevurah need and balance one another.

What area of your life needs more of this energy of Gevurah? Perhaps this week invite holy pause into your day and notice how this gives you the needed space to discern the right action or words. Is there a healthy and loving boundary that needs to be set or explored? How can structure support and enliven your spiritual life?

 
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Collaborating Jewish Organizations:
The Jewish Federation of New Mexico      Jews in ALL Hues