Archive for the ‘Celtic Calendar’ Category

Rectified Binah & My Sephardic Connection

October 28, 2006

I dreamt.

I was in a cafeteria line (seder) gathering up a meal (shulchan oruch). There was a cauldron [1] of beef [2] and noodles [3]. I tried to dip with the cauldron’s ladle [4] to get a portion of mostly noodles for myself. I tried to get mostly noodles (since I like noodles) and just a little bit of meat (since I’m not a big meat-eater).

Everytime I attempted to do it, nearly all of the noodles would fall off the ladle spoon and alot of meat would somehow manage to work itself up onto the ladle spoon. I would dump the spoon and retry again. This would happen each time I tried, so that I each time I ended up with mostly meat and very few or no noodles on the ladle spoon. That meat had kavanah! by golly!

The people behind me in the line were getting impatient. Ok, fine! I dumped the next ladle full of meat onto my thin paper [5] plate. It looks like I’m going to have to eat meat.

Next, I came to the soda fountain. I filled my large styrofoam cup up with ice, then with cola. As I started to put my cup of sodapop onto my cafeteria tray, all of the cola in my cup disappeared. The ice [6] remained. Only the cola vanished. I filled my cup up again with sodapop. Again, the cola disappeared. Ok, fine! I’ll drink water.

I filled up my cup with water. The water didn’t disappear. I moved on down the line and found a seat at a table in the cafeteria.

I woke up.


[1] The cauldron symbolizes the Divine Feminine principle, the power of transformation and the “place” where Divine Knowledge and Inspiration (Hashra’ah) are brewed. See Samhain as the Scholars’ Festival for women.

[2] Ashkenazi custom (Vilna Gaon) prohibits roasted meat at a seder, but Sephardi custom does not necessarily prohibit it. This detail of my dream suggests that I may also have some Sephardic ancestry (through my paternal Native American ancestry perhaps, or even through my maternal Jewish-British family line, the Grunwalds, since I’ve only assumed the entire Grunwald clan to be Ashkenazi because they came from England). It could also mean that my bashert has some Sephardic ancestry as well.

[3] Noodles are usually found in kugel dishes over pesach and shabbat. Also, lokshen (noodles) is a Yiddish term, where Yiddish is an Ashkenazic phenomenon. Consequently, given the “pot roasting meat” over “noodles”, the dream is deliberately pointing out a Sephardic connection to me (see fn. 2).

[4] A ladle is likened to a Torah scholar. Sanhedrin 52b, perek dalet mitot. (see fn. 1 above)

[5] Samhain (sundown October 31 – November 1) marks the time when the veil between worlds is the thinnest.

[6] See Zohar #301. “If water is poured on them (the ice, like in my dream), the ice absorbs it. By the waters turning into ice, they have become a vessel to receive additional waters.” In my dream, the ice remained as a vessel upon which water was accepted, but the sodapop was rejected and disappeared. Consequently, this detail of the dream speaks to the purity of my “ice vessel” to accept only pure water (of Atzilutic Torah and shefa) and to discern correctly (as ice “originates” from Binah). In other words, the dream is confirming that the Binah acting within my dreams is rectified Binah.

Celebrating The Sacred Feminine

October 28, 2006

Samhain, the holy day of the Ancestors, is observed from sundown October 31 through November 1. Samhain honors the dark Divine Feminine, the “dark half” of the year, marks the onset of winter, and is the Celtic New Year.

As a time when one cycle ends and a new one begins, Celtic tradition teaches that the veil separating the manifest world from the supernal realms is particularly thin and open during Samhain. In consequence to the “break” in the flow of time, Samhain is an opportunity for profound mystical transformation. Like Lag B’Omer, mystical bonfires have a role in the observance of Samhain.

The word Samhain derives from the Proto-Celtic word samani, which means “assembly” (cognate to Sanskrit sámana). [1] The Hebrew equivalent to Samhain is the word כינוס from the root כנס meaning “assembling”, “gathering” and “bringing together”. This root is found in Tehilim 147:2

“The L-rd rebuilds Jerusalem; She gathers in the exiles of Israel.”

:בונה ירושלם יהוה; נדחי ישראל יכנס

The first word in this pasuk is “boneh” בונה from the same root as Binah, a feminine sefirah of the “dark” left emanantion. Literally, the first part of this pasuk reads like a command “build Jerusalem Hashem!” The Divine She is She who commands it be done.

Thus, the secret of Samhain, a holy day of proto-Celtic origin, is mystically connected to the commands to rebuild Jerusalem and to ingather the exiles. Moreover, these commands are directly related to the “dark” Divine Feminine principle, which indeed, Samhain celebrates.

Also, given the bonfire connection to both Lag B’Omer and Samhain, and where Lag B’Omer is called the “Scholars’ Festival” (pertaining to men), I hereby dedicate Samhain to be the “Scholars’ Festival” (pertaining to women).


[1] W. Stokes in KZ 40:245 (1907), see here