Shalom Brothers and Sisters!
A contemplation has arisen that I wished to share with all of you, to see if others might have something to add.
Recently, in community, we have been discussing the meaning in Torah of a 'menstruant woman'. Swirling with the thoughts shared has been the idea of an experience in the past of miscarriage, wishing to conceive again, and cherishing life. After the miscarriage, each month when there was not conception, a grief arose as though a death had occurred. And in mind and heart it was realized that when there is not conception, there is death. If nothing else, the egg and sperm die.
It comes to mind that this grief arose each month from a 'cherishing of life', which contrasted with other times in life, when life was not cherished.
In looking up the Hebrew behind 'life', something curious is seen. Life is chay or het yod, but sometimes what we find translated as life is chay nefesh, or sometimes just nefesh. We also have Breath of Life, neshamah chay, or Tree of Life, ets chay.
This gives rise to the thought that life, chay is a verb and not a noun. Life-force perhaps being a better interpretation. This also gives rise to the thought of life-force below and Life-Force above, and keeping our mind on things that are above. But what keeps swirling in mind and heart with all of this is cherishing life, cherishing the life-force. Perhaps, like me, you can see in your own experience the difference that arises within when we are cherishing life-force, in self, in others, and when we are not. In fact this might just be another way to speak of the greatest commandment, the foundation of all commandments:
To love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And to love others as yourself.
To cherish the Life-Force above with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to cherish the life-force below in all things, as your own.
Any additions or corrections to these contemplations will be received with gratitude.
Praise to our Mother, who is the Giver of Life!
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