Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yesod, the foundation


It's the time to count the Omer again, a practice I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in through listening to the words of Rabbi Rachel Barenblat over at her blog, The Velveteen Rabbi. This week she talks about yesod, a sephirot which I am actually familiar with from my Wiccan days. Seen overlaid on a body, yesod sits firmly on the genitals. On the Tree of Life it is near, but not at, the roots. It is the foundation.

See the rocks up there? That's how you make a foundation. You put the larger one at the bottom. Ask any kindergartener what happens if you put the smaller block at the bottom, and they will explain that the tower falls down. In order to have any growth that is stable, your foundation must be firm, wide, and ready to bear any load. That is doubly true on a religious and spiritual level, in my opinion.

Rabbi Rachel asks what kind of foundation are we building for ourselves, with our personhood, our family, our neighborhood, our community, our country? Each foundation is separate, and yet inseparable from the others. It's our job to find the ways they connect and ensure that one foundation doesn't crack any of the others.

I'm struggling with foundation building right now. My graduation from seminary is just a few days away, and my ordination as well. My original "chosen family" is splitting up, and Gray and sis and I, with our kids, are moving to a new house a few miles away. Church has been a little on the stressful side as we try to figure out how to handle Vacation Bible School, next year's Sunday School curriculum, our vacant Vice Moderator position, and a few other interesting quirks.

I'm also dealing with a break in my personal foundation: my ankle. It isn't much in the grand scheme of things... I had the removable cast on for 7 weeks and now it's off and though I'm limping, I'm getting around pretty well. Still, it has affected me in a lot of ways. I am physically off balance, and have been for 2 months almost, but beyond that I am also emotionally off balance. The stress of everything on top of the ankle has just been intense and very humbling and belittling. I have felt helpless, and finding ways to claw out of that deep hole has been difficult. I'm lucky that I have family so willing to help and hold onto me in the dark times.

Yesod is also a sephirot of bridge building, and that's something I want to do in my ministry. I see myself as a bridge between the Abrahamic faiths and the pagan and indigenous ones. I am comfortable in both spheres, and feel no strong need to pick one over the other. This has surprised me, because I've been so very pagan for so many years, but I am trying to go with the flow. This is a building of my own foundations, and I see a need to have one that acts as a bridge, a foundation spanning both sides of this religious chasm.

I am humbled... and learning. I hope never to stop.
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