25 Kislev 5777
Judaism teaches that when you kill a person, you are killing an entire world: all that would have come from that person can no longer unfold. Let alone any possible offspring and what would have come from them, the now deceased person's ideas, kindnesses, and all in all impact they would have had on the world is no longer. In science, we can understand this through what we call "the butterfly effect:" (even) small actions can have large effects.
From the Jewish teaching about how we might end a world, we can extrapolate its corollary: when you save a person - and I'd add when you help with healing and connection with someone, even on an individual level- your impact does not simply remain at the level of that one individual, but extends to an entire world. For we do not, as individuals, exist in a vacuum, but each one of us is regularly impacting the lives of others- from our closest family members and close friends, to the people we engage with as we go about "living our lives," driving, walking, or biking down the street, and even to the extent of the projects we pursue and the places where we put our time and financial resources.
To that end, Zmanim has helped close to 300 adults & children connect to their souls, the earth, the Source of All, Judaism, and each other in ways that simply weren't happening in the short 2 years before we began.
And we are not yet in a stable financial situation. Truth be told, we haven't asked for much support in this way yet, and we weren't even ready with fiscal sponsorship until just last December.
But that has changed.
Shortly we will be sending out more information about structured ways to help cultivate Zmanim. Stay tuned! And in the meantime...
You can help ensure that such opportunities as have been created so far continue through your fully tax-deductible contribution this calendar year.
Does your employer offer matching gifts? Does a family member's employer offer matching gifts? Many companies do this. Check here, or ask your employer, and your friends and family members about their employers. Pool resources to have an even greater impact by helping them help you change the world, and save the world- one person at a time, by changing real people's lives for the better.
If you haven't checked out our website recently, it is becoming a better "teller of our story" with more photos and better descriptions of our offerings and what we are trying to do.
Here's a brief look at where we are creating connections:
- Massei Zmanim after-school program touching children K-6. Just this past week we helped 4 families be able to light Hanukkah candles on their own, and having partnered with Jewish Family Services to decorate bags for Hanukkah, spent about 3 hours delivering and visiting these bags to to home-/ nursing home-bound/ low-income Jewish individuals in our community. And this was during our "week-off" from the program!
- Sacred Hebrew Chanting on Wednesday morning (We learn and practice a powerful spiritual tool for helping us navigate life.)
- Women's New Moon Celebration Monthly, at the new moon (We ground ourselves in the rhythm of the turning of the planets, we open our hearts through song, reflection, and community, and we orient ourselves to the unique qualities of this new moon cycle.)
- Soulful Shabbat the first Friday evening of the month (A new, adult-oriented opportunity to feel ancient wisdom rise up from the depths of your soul, feel joy, expansiveness, & light-heartedness, and to sing the song that you didn't know your heart sings).
- Kabbalah & Jewish Spirituality 4-session weekly class to explore more deeply the nature of existence, as well as gain practical pointers towards continual experience of the Divine in one’s daily life. Participants consider parallels between these Kabbalistic ideas and those of other traditions such as Buddhism. If you've ever wondered, "is there any real spiritual depth in the Jewish tradition?" these are the kind of classes we offer.
- Fire & Stars gathering on the 3rd Saturdays of the month during the darker part of the year (Oct-Feb) to sink into Shabbat together before transitioning with our ancient end-of-Shabbat rituals (havdalah) into the rest of the week through star-gazing and stories and songs around a fire.
So don't wait. Make your tax-deductible contribution now. Increase the light of Hanukkah, and watch the butterfly flap its wings out here in West Sonoma County. And know that you are changing the world by helping people - in very concrete ways - live more in alignment with who they want to be and to connect to their potential for wholeness and healing. What amazing worlds will be created from the amazing individuals here? The future is unfolding, and we want you to be part of the worlds that can be born.
Blessings, and an early "Hodesh tov!/ Have a good new month (moon cycle)!" May this new moon of Tevet (starting Thurs. night) bring real "goodness" ("tov"- related to month's name "Tevet") as we move from the darkest time of our planets' turning, towards light. Amen.
~ Rabbi Daria
PS You can make your fully tax-deductible contribution here!