Shemini and the week of Gevurah

On Shabbat I have taken on the practice of saying no to many things.

I say no to technology and don’t go near a computer. I don’t listen to the radio or watch TV.

I say no to commerce and I don’t go shopping or deal with money.

I say no to extended travel and don’t go anywhere beyond a few mile radius.

I say no to newscasts, business and laundry.

And from all these “No’s” come a “Yes” that is vast and holy.

The boundaries create a sacred vessel in which I can dwell in the calm, expansive presence of Shabbat.

By saying no, I free myself to be.

By saying no, I actually say yes and the refuge I receive is nourishing and full.

This week’s Torah portion, Shemini, as well as this second week of the Omer, Gevurah (Judgment and Strength) asks us to consider the power of restraint and to wonder about boundaries we can create that will free our hearts and minds and nourish our souls.

May this Shabbat bring rest and renewal to all.

Shabbat Shalom

Much Love and Blessing,

Rabbi Yael

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