Sacred Space Marriage

"Solutions for Soulmates"

Archive for the category “Transition”

The Journey of Passover, by Hanna Perlberger

As a kid, I never questioned this whole thing about the matzoh – that when we left Egypt so quickly we didn’t have time for the dough to rise (which is only 18 minutes by the way).  But I wonder about it now.  I’m trying to picture the scene of three million people leaving a country on foot.  No one made leavened bread before they left?   As the call was sounded to leave, everyone was in the process of preparing dough at that moment – and then had to cook it unleavened?   We took the wealth of Egypt with us, we took tambourines, the bones of Joseph.  We dug up the trees that Abraham had planted hundreds of years ago.  How did we have to time to manage that, but not let the dough rise?   Something just doesn’t add up for me.

After asking around, (OK, so I asked just one rabbi who smiled and shrugged), I gave up on getting the answer, because I decided there wasn’t much of a question.  We took what they needed – nothing more and nothing less.  It was simple, really.  We took matzoh, we took gold silver and wood to build the tabernacle, tambourines to celebrate, Joseph’s bones to bury in Israel, etc., because that is what we needed for our spiritual and material mission.

Despite the saying that we should simply let go of our baggage, imagine how you would feel if you arrived at the baggage claim of the airport and your baggage was lost?  You’d be upset – right?  The point is not just to let go of your baggage, but to make sure that you have packed well, that you are taking what you need and not forgetting what’s important.  When we left Egypt, we had baggage, alright, but we had packed well.

Ask yourself – what in your life are you carrying around that you don’t need anymore or that doesn’t fit who you are now?  What are you forgetting or reluctant to take on that does fit you now, or maybe the person you are becoming?   There is only so much room, so much time, and so many resources.  What are you giving the space of your life to?  What are you trading the limited time of your life for?

Another aspect of the hasty departure is the issue of timing.  Our tradition states that we were at the 49th level of spiritual impurity – if we stayed any longer, we would have reached the 50th level, from which we could not have been redeemed.  So, besides taking what we needed for the journey, we could not delay and we could not be indecisive.  The Jews who didn’t want to leave Egypt (the majority of them, incredibly) had died during the plague of darkness.

We aren’t often presented with choices that have fatal consequences like that.  But we often struggle with decisions and get paralyzed and stay in abusive relationships, dead-end jobs, lead unfulfilled lives, etc.  We smell spring in the air – and don’t want to leave the warm cave.  We want to be caterpillars forever.  We hear the urgent whisper inside us – the same voice that tells the blade of grass to grow – and we tune it out.  We may be physically alive but are we spiritually dead?

So the lesson of Passover for me is twofold.  First, I need to know when it’s time to go, time to move on, time to expand my horizons, time to embrace a new reality, and to make peace with uncertainty.  And secondly, I need to know what to take with me on my journey, namely, what set of beliefs and thoughts should I leave behind and what set of beliefs and thoughts will serve me best as I walk out of the narrow confines of Egypt and into my vast unfolding date with holiness?   When our sages say that we should remember the leaving of Egypt every day in our prayers, maybe this is why – so that we can decide every day when to step out of what’s not working for us, how to walk towards holiness and what to take for the trip.

Hanna Perlberger, J.D., B.C.C.

Sacred Space Marriage (Solutions for Soul-mates)


How to Get to Mars – a Rosh Hashanah Metaphor, by Hanna Perlberger

First, click on this link immediately and watch this jaw dropping video.  Then, read the rest of this blog. No cheating.

I saw this video this morning, two days before going into Rosh Hashanah. I watched the rocket go through many changes, metamorphoses. Each time, the rocket uses what it needs to get to that stage of the journey, and then sheds what is no longer useful to it. Each time it gets smaller and more focused.

Once each propellant system was done, it was immediately discarded. If this didn’t happen, if there would have been a malfunction, if it didn’t release its excess baggage at each precise moment, not only would the rocket not have been able to go to the next stage of the journey, the excess weight would probably have sent it crashing back to the earth.

The rocket does what it has to in order to get to its goal, constantly adapting to each phase of its journey. The success of the mission is by no means certain, however. All the scientists can do is design this rocket to get into a trajectory to reach Mars. Once that happens, they wait. And wait. Its journey is no longer controllable by man. It has been positioned for success, but there is no guarantee of outcome.

As the rocket (now a tiny fraction of its size) approaches, new uncertainties arise – will it survive the crash? Will it be able to transmit a signal? Will it work?

The important thing to remember is that nothing on the rocket was extraneous. It was all by design. Our outdated and untrue beliefs about ourselves – and others – may seem out of our control, or certainly not by design. But that isn’t so – at the heart of all of it, it is an intention to protect. Often, coping mechanism or survival skills we take on that serve us in one instance, cause dysfunction in another setting or stage of our lives. If we dig deeply, we can get to the root of the belief or behavior, and understand that its original purpose was really trying to serve, trying to protect. So we can honor and thank that belief, that behavior, for serving us, and then let it go.

As I go into Rosh Hashanah and I think of the choices I want to make that will have me show up in the world differently, I have to look behind me, as well. What am I dragging into this new year that doesn’t work for me, that is weighing me down, that can cause me to crash, that will prevent me from moving ahead on my journey? What resentments or false beliefs about myself am I holding onto, that don’t serve the mission of my life?

Like the rocket to Mars, there are no guarantees. That’s the fate and mystery of life. But, unless we put ourselves in the trajectory of the path we want to go on, unless we equip ourselves for each phase, for sure we will never ever get there.

The rocket had a mission – Mission to Mars. All human beings have a mission. What’s yours?

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