genesis

In the beginning, the FORCE of CREATION connected the water, the earth and the air. GENESIS

He Lived

Last weeks Old Testament (Torah) portion is the last reading from the book of Genesis called Vayechi (ויחי), which means “he lived.” The title comes from the first verse of the reading, which says, “Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years” (Genesis 47:28). Genesis ends with the death of Jacob, followed shortly by the death of Joseph. Each of us, like Jacob and Joseph, is on our individual journey, which often takes us far from our home, through this life. We can find our salvation, in this journey, through consciousness of our connection with the Divine Force of Creation. Our life ends in eternal peace, like Jacob and Joseph, in a reunion with the Divine Force of Creation. Amen SPIRITUAL (ABRAHAMIC) JUDAISM- ONE PEOPLE WORLD UNITED

jacob wrestle

This weeks Old Testament (Torah) portion reading from the book of Genesis is called “and he sent.” The title comes from the first verse of the reading, which says, “Then Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom” (Genesis 32:3). Jacob prepares to meet Esau as he returns, but first he has a mysterious encounter with an angel in the darkness, who changes Jacobs name to Israel. And so it is, Jacob experienced a strange mystical encounter with the Force that moves through ALL things. He had sent his family, his servants and his possessions across the river ahead of him. But he struggled with the Force of Creation before he could cross the river. This is symbolic of the necessity of each of us to struggle with our existence and the Force of Creation. It is through this struggle that we become conscious of our connection and oneness with the Force of Creation. It is only through the struggle that we can cross the river and find our Promised Land (Inner Peace). The struggle , while it makes us aware of our connection and oneness with Creator, it also makes us grateful for our separateness and each individual little thing that life brings us. And so it is the paradox and beauty of human existence. Jacob wrestled with the angel through the night. He would not let the angel go. Jacob said to the angel, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Genesis 32:26) The struggle with the angel blessed Jacob by changing his consciousness and symbolically his name to Israel. This signifies his changed consciousness through the struggle and his finding his Promised Land (Inner Peace) (Genesis 35:10). As the portion explains, in its symbolism, the Promised Land is not a place but it is a state of consciousness of our Oneness with Creator as well as gratefulness for our brief separateness through our human existence. This consciousness brings us peace. Amen

isaac jacob and esau

This weeks Old Testament (Torah) portion reading is from the book of Genesis. It is named “generations.” It is so named because it begins with the words “Now these are the records of the generations of Isaac” (Genesis 25:19). It tells us the story of the birth of Jacob and Esau and their struggle for the birthright and blessing of their father, Isaac. We also learn about Isaac’s trials and difficulties in the land of Canaan. The portion concludes with Jacob’s deception of Isaac in order to procure the family blessing. Genesis 25:19-28:16 And so it is our friends, in every generation their are struggles in the outer world. There are struggles and conflicts within families, groups, religions and nations. There are also struggles and conflicts between them. Struggle and conflict is part of Creation. All things change in the outer world and change brings conflict and struggle. As a human being you can physically touch things that are within three feet of you in the outer world. However you can affect and change your inner world. Through the consciousness of Abraham (the father of Christians, Muslims and Jews) we realize that ALL of Creation and ALL generations are connected and one through the Divine Force. Our consciousness of the connection and ONENESS with CREATION brings an inner peace in a world of change. Amen. ABRAHAMIC (SPIRITUAL) JUDAISM- ONE PEOPLE WORLD UNITED

genesis

Adam and Eve, in the tradition of Abraham father of Christians, Muslims and Jews, were the first humans. Eve gave birth to Cain. Then she gave birth to his brother Abel. Abel became a shepherd of a flock. Cain cultivated the land. In the course of time, Abel lived in Unity with the Spirit that flows through ALL of Creation and appropriately sacrificed physical comfort to live in Unity. Cain, however, lived in separateness connecting with the physical rather than the Spirit that connects the ALL and did not appropriately sacrifice the physical to live in Unity. Abel, through living harmoniously with the Spirit that connects the ALL lived with Inner Peace. Cain, in his disconnection, was left tormented and angry. Cain was furious and he was downcast because the physical things left him disconnected from the Spirit that connects the ALL. And why are you furious? And why are you downcast? If you do right and live in Unity with the Spirit that connects ALL of Creation, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do right and connect with physical things, rather than the Spirit that connects ALL, loneliness, torment and anger will destroy you. The desire is for you to be One with Creation, but you must master it over your desire for the physical. But Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Genesis 4:1-8 And so you see my friends, the story of Cain and Abel is at the root of all human conflict, loneliness, torment and misery. Amen

genesis

Then the Spirit of Creation formed a man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. Genesis 2:27 And so it is my friend, we are all formed with the Spirit of the Creator as part of our souls. It is breathed into us from Creation. The consciousness of our connection with each other and the Spirit of Creation lies buried in each of our souls and we find it each and every day in each other and the world around us. That consciousness will change the way we spend our days. It will shape our relationships with family friends and strangers. When we reach out to another in connection of our Spirits, we are not only connecting with the other, we are connecting with our own soul and the Spirit that Connects ALL of Existence. Where do we connect with this Spirit. In the love of our children. In the hand of our wife. In the touch of the sun upon our face. In the warmth of a smile from a stranger. In a kind word and a gentle hug. Our true strengths lie in these connections. We ALL want to be a living being. A be-ing of aliveness. For when we are truly alive our heart is conscious of and emulates and is in harmony with the Spirit of Creation. Rabbi David Burstein- Spiritual Guide Shalom, Salam, Inner Peace on this day of rest and ALL days:)

abraham

“as he sat by the opening of his tent in the heat of the day.” Abraham was sitting by the entrance of his tent. The midrash tells us that Abraham’s tent was open on all sides so that he could see visitors coming from any direction (Genesis Rabbah 48:9 411). So you see our friends, Abraham, from whom all Muslims, Christians and Jews are spiritual descendants, saw the Life Spirit in ALL of Creation and that we are part of that Life Spirit. He was able to not only open his tent on all sides to welcome the stranger but also open his mind on all sides to welcome the power and interconnectedness of ALL of Creation and ALL beings. How much can we learn today about our own global consciousness from this openness exemplified by Abraham. In nature, the Spirit of Creation bubbles to the surface all around us in the life force of all creatures. As a shepherd, Abraham knew every nook and cranny, every blade of grass and wadi spring. He was a mystic of the natural world , whose gentle touch could welcome the stranger looking for rest and comfort a sheep lost in the desert. If we can open to seeing the Spirit in the ALL that we come in contact with everyday, the the example of Abraham will come to each of our lives. Look to the natural world as you look into each other’s eyes with compassion searching for connection and ONENESS with the Spirit of Creation and each other. David Burstein- Rabbi/ Spiritual Guide So on this Day of Rest, open you tent to connect with each other and the Life Source of Creation to which we are eternally connected and ONE. Amen

abraham

“I will make you Abraham into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. Genesis 12:2 How is Abraham a blessing? The consciousness of the experience of Abraham, father of Muslims, Christians and Jews, of connection and ONENESS with the FORCE that CONNECTS all of EXISTENCE is a pathway to INNER PEACE, It is because Abraham brought us this consciousness that we know we are not alone. For it was in his acceptance and openness to a consciousness greater than himself that he makes us realize that we are connected. He opens his heart and mind to the possibility far beyond the physical realm. Far beyond worship of objects. That a consciousness of global and universal reach is not only possible it is definite for those willing to be as he was in the wilderness accepting the ONENESS of CREATION. Abraham provides the consciousness of great transcendence. He is not exclusive to one path or one religion because in his shift of consciousness to the FORCE that CONNECTS ALL he transcended any one definition. In his willingness to travel a new path he gives all of us a glimpse of what is possible if we are willing to establish a new consciousness. Where we are conscious of our ONENESS and CONNECTION, then religions see their commonalities instead of their differences. Where the color of skin , the sound of language or country in which we reside only serves as a different view point to learn about and appreciate our true common SPIRIT within each of us and the SPIRIT that connects and is ONE with ALL of Existence. Then we truly will see each other as blessings. On this day of rest, may we consciously connect with the Spirit of the Divine and be grateful for our Blessings- AMEN

abraham

At this time of year, we read about Abraham, the spiritual father of Christians, Muslims and Jews in the Torah (Old Testament) portions. Abraham was very different. He was a man among men. He and his wife Sarah not only discovered the Force that connects and is ONE with ALL of Creation- but made it their life’s mission to teach the world about the connection and ONENESS of the great Spirit- to spread the truth and beauty of its ways to ALL who would hear. Their house was open to ALL. All guests and travelers would be fed and cared for, and would be enlightened as to the true source of the food they had just been graced with (Talmud Sotah 10b). And when others were threatened- even those in Sodom whose disconnection from each other and the great Spirit threatened to destroy them- Abraham dropped all and prayed for their salvation (Genesis 18:20-33). “Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did”. Prophet Muhammad asserted that Abraham is the patriarch of Islam because he “surrendered himself to Allah”. May PEACE be upon you our sisters and brothers:) As-salamu Alaykum:) Shalom Aleichem:)

joseph

Joseph is an important person in the Hebrew Bible and in the Quran, where he connects the story of Abraham (the fathr of Christian, Muslims and Jews), Isaac and Jacob in Canaan to the subsequent story of the liberation of the descendants from slavery in Egypt. Joseph’s father Jacob favored him and gave Joseph a coat of many colors as a gift. As a result, he was envied by his brothers, who saw the special coat as his father liking him the best and an indication that Joseph would assume family leadership. His brothers’ suspicion grew when Joseph told them of his two dreams (Genesis 37:11) in which all the brothers bowed down to him. The narrative tells that his brothers plotted against him when he was 17, and would have killed him had not the eldest brother Reuben interposed. He persuaded them instead to throw Joseph into a pit and secretly planned to rescue him later. However, while Reuben was absent, the others dragged Joseph up and sold him to the merchants for 20 pieces of silver. The brothers then dipped Joseph’s coat in goat blood and showed it to their father, saying that Joseph had been torn apart by wild beasts. The Book of Genesis, then, tells that despite Joseph being sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, he rose to become the most powerful man in Egypt next to Pharaoh. Genesis 37:1-36 So you see my friend, Joseph reached the point of total despair. He was totally alone, abandoned by his family and sold into slavery. Yet through the depths of his despair and depression, he found his faith in the Holy Spirit that connects and is ONE with ALL people, Creation and Creator. Through that faith he rose again through connection and ONENESS with others and Creator and created his own family and prospered and became the link between Abraham and Moses. AMEN