By Rabbi David
Shanah tovah um’tukah! From my heart to yours, I send blessings of sweet goodness to you and your loved ones for our New Year 5783 coming soon. I’m so looking forward to our journey of heart, mind and soul.
Each year, TBE embraces a High Holy Day theme, an energy to infuse our journey of repair and renewal, and resonate with the season and our world. For our 2020 “holy at home” holidays, our theme of Chesed (love ❤️) reconnected us however separated we felt during the pandemic’s darkest days.
Last year, we took up Gevurah (strength and healthy boundaries 💪) amidst roller-coaster change both locally and globally.
In mystical kabbalah’s Tree of Life, the next sefirah (energy center) is Tiferet / heart-balance, which will be our theme for the High Holy Days of 5783. If any year especially calls for Tiferet for us personally and as a nation and planet, it’s this one.
The last several years have thrown so much out of whack. Much has changed – the economy, politics, the climate. Many long for what was Before Covid. Much feels unsure and unstable. A new normal might be taking shape, but who knows what that new normal will be or what’s coming next?
Societies reach inflection points of change, and so do each of us people. What worked for us before maybe isn’t quite working – or at least feels different. Our relationships and values, who we see and how we see them, our usual ways of doing things, our habits and priorities, our character and emotions, what we believe in and what we can believe in – so much is changing, sometimes with dizzying speed.
Tiferet is our innate capacity to seek and shift balance. Like a child on a playground seesaw, Tiferet is our ability to feel when things are off, claim our ability to change, and shift smoothy to a new balance point. Tiferet is much more than making do. Tiferet is how we harmonize Chesed (love ❤️) and Gevurah (strength and healthy boundaries 💪), ourselves and the world, head and heart, here and hereafter.
Like a physical center of gravity, Tiferet is our center of being, our core, that part of us (by any name) first to sense imbalance and tethered to the soul space of harmonious unity. Mystics link Tiferet with heart space, with good reason: it’s our “center,” and it pumps to and from every part of us – all our qualities, all our yearnings, all the parts of our sometimes complicated lives.
Implicit in our capacity to re-balance is our ability to change for the better. Tiferet evokes our ability to shift focus, to evolve perspective, to get unstuck, to change behavior, to realign ourselves for maximum meaning, purpose, love and joy. It’s how Tiferet is our spiritual “air traffic control,” our ability to choose and shift.
Especially after the last two years, we need the gifts of Tiferet – the sacred chance to reboot, the capacity to gently re-balance, our ability to get unstuck and change, our heart’s harmony, our power to seek and give forgiveness – and so much more.
That’s why our High Holy Day season will celebrate and channel Tiferet – for ourselves, our loved ones and our world that need us to help restore balance.
May the call of this year’s shofar and the changing season rouse us into this year’s timeless Tiferet journey of balance, beauty and transformation. And may our journey together bless us, our loved ones, our holy community and the whole world with a Shanah Tovah.