To Eat To Pray and To Love

To Eat To Pray and To Love

A Jewish Woman's Guide to Living Mindfully

If you are a woman, then you may have once baked a loaf of bread, offered a single prayer and loved another, like no one else ever has,

But did you know that to eat, to pray and to love, are a great deal more than random, transcendent   opportunities? 

The three mitzvot of the Jewish woman; to sanctify the produce of our homes, to sanctify time and to sanctify our sexuality, are the keys that unlock the mystery of living mindfully. 

The souls' deep-rooted yearning to live an inspired life is satisfied in the fulfillment of the mitzvot of the Jewish woman.

 What Is A Mitzvah?

 Remember when you first went off to college?  After all the extra hours Mom had worked to bring you to this day, she was proud and a little sad. She seemed to be victorious and a bit melancholy as she gave you instructions; call home, stay mindful, and keep in touch.  Be happy.  Make a difference. Call home, remember your roots - call home.

 A mitzvah is a call home.

 With the creation of man, G-d gave the human being endless opportunities, and a phone card.  Sure, we call when we need money, but we can also check in all the time, stay connected, stay true to our roots and keep close

to our Maker.  Stay mindful while the world is losing its head. Even change the world, one divine deed at a time.

 The Torah offers the Jewish woman opportunities that cater to her unique needs and sensitivities.  Clothed in physical experiences, these spiritually infused acts become a link between a woman and her Creator.  Mind and body, heart and soul, calibrate in a transcendent experience of a fuller life and a happier you.

 To Eat

 The Mitzvah of sanctifying ones produce finds expression in preparing the Shabbat bread loaves.  The raw materials used by Sara, the archetype Jewish woman, became a source of new dynamic energy through the act of separating a portion of the completed dough, with blessing and meditation. Our sages relate that the blessing in Sara's dough permeated her tent from one Shabbat, to the next.  In Temple times, a portion of the loaves was separated and sanctified to the Temple priests.

Today, when every Jewish home replaces the Holy Temple, we separate and bless a portion of the produce of our own homes, the Shabbat bread dough, and consecrate the experience of food, home and creativity.

 To Pray

 Flames have become a symbol for offering up a prayer.  In times of joy and in moments of need and even anguish, the world lights a candle and we sense that G-d is watching, listening.

 The soul of man is the candle of G-d.  These words uttered by our Sages some two thousand years ago, resonate most powerfully with the lighting of the Shabbat candles, before sundown, on Friday evening. 

The workweek has come to its end.  Life on the fast track has played itself out to its very last jarring note, and now, the Shabbat lights offer transformation.  The opportunity to make holy that which, just moments ago, was mundane.

To sanctify time itself.

Across the world Jewish women wave their hands over the flames, and whisper a hushed prayer; blessing time and the uniqueness of Shabbat.  Praying for all their hearts desires, for loved ones and for humankind.

It is in those precious moments of deliberate, yet transcendent, reflection that prayer lets loose from its earthly abode and soars, taking us ever higher on the journey of self-discovery and ever deeper into a life of soul awareness and inner peace.

 To Love

Intimacy in Judaism is a sacred and wondrous thing.  The physical union of husband and wife is the fusion of vibrant yet diverse divine matter in a single soul experience.

The ebb and flow of a woman's organic rhythm, dictates the pattern of a couple's sexuality.  The onset of the feminine cycle determines a time of physical distance for husband and wife, while promoting creative opportunities for non-physical communication.

 A couple blissfully reclaims their physical intimacy in a state of sanctity, achieved after a woman prepares herself for and immerses, in a Mikvah.

The Mivkah, is either a natural body of water such as an ocean or a river, or a man-made pool constructed in accordance with specifications deeply rooted in mystical Kabbalistic sources, the secrets passed from generation to generation.  The Mikvah envelops a woman in a womb of life-sustaining waters, allowing her to experience a metaphysical rebirth with each immersion into this eternal pool of life.

The experience of intimacy, becomes a gift - love consecrated and sustained, in this mitzvah of Mikvah.

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