Weekly Parsha

Nov. 4, 2019

When we make big changes in our lives, it helps if we can make a gradual adjustment. Major life events, unfortunately, are not gradual. They come about from crisis, trauma, catastrophe or the turning points of life such as marriage, the birth of a child or the death of a loved one. In a life-defining moment, everything seems to change.

 

In this parsha we are given the good advice to make changes gradually and to try, if possible, not to overhaul our lives all at once. Slow the process down and try to make it transitional rather than abrupt. Take time to accommodate the changes and allow yourself to grow from the situation.

Yoga

Start your new exercise program with easy seated poses

Seated waist turn

Sit sideways in a chair on the right side.

Inhale.

Turn right, exhale, hands to chair back.

Inhale, turn back to start

Sit sideways in a chair on the left side.

Inhale.

Now, turn left, exhale, hands to chair back.

Inhale, turn back to start

Great easy stretching pose.

 

Oct. 28, 2019

Noah did not encourage others to better behavior or implore them to change their ways. Noah knew better, but he was silent. He did nothing extra. He certainly did not live up to his potential. He did no teaching about moral behavior or about God. He did not beg God for mercy, to save the lives of the people. He remained silent.

Do we do just enough so that there are no complaints? Do we pride ourselves that, compared to the rest of the population, we are pretty good?

We need to live up to God’s declaration after creation: the world was very good. Strive for “very good.” Good enough is the bare minimum. When we are very good we are achieving a high degree of performance, we are extremely proficient, we are exceeding the levels we thought possible. We realize the potential that God has given us.

Yoga–Cobbler position

The cobbler puts together, makes and fixes shoes following the designer’s plans and instructions.

Noah followed God’s instructions and made the Ark.

The cobbler yoga position is restful and comfortable.

 

Sit on your mat, legs out.

You may want to sit on the edge of a folded blanket.

Bring your feet towards your pelvis.

Soles of the feet together.

Knees down but do not force.

Hold your feet with your hands.

To release, stretch out legs, one at a time.

Great for relaxing stomach.

Oct. 24, 2019

Lessons of Bereishis

“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field.”

Adam and Eve had everything they needed for a beautiful life in the Garden of Eden. “And God said: ‘Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed—to you it shall be for food; and to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creeps upon the earth…every green herb is for food.”

Only one thing was unavailable to them. “…but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it; for in the day that you eat it you shall surely die.”

 

Yoga—Basic seated pose

You have everything you need to practice yoga.

Take responsibility for your yoga practice and make it “yours” by adapting the poses to suit your body.

Be grateful for all that you have.

Make the freewill decision to be the best you that you can be.

 

Sit on the yoga mat.

You may want to sit on the edge of a folded blanket.

Cross your legs, like you did in camp as a kid.

Try to get your knees close to the ground.

Do not force or strain.

Our hands are on our knees with palms up.

We are receptive to our yoga practice just as we are receptive to Torah learning.

Eyes closed and breathe deeply through the nose.

Recross your legs with the other leg closer to your body.

Relax, close your eyes, inhale and exhale through the nose.

This pose is good for stress reduction.

It is a calming pose. The pose helps us develop patience.

Oct. 22, 2019

In shul on the festival of Simchas Torah, this parsha is read and then the Torah is rolled forward to the first parsha.

Vezos HaBerachah is a bracha, a blessing for the twelve tribes. “And this is the blessing of Moses, the Man of God.” This is the first time in all of Torah that Moses is called the Man of God. Moses blesses the Children of Israel according to the tribes, just as Jacob blessed each of his sons. Moses gives a blessing that applies to their characteristics and history, and this is what Jacob did when he blessed his sons on his deathbed. Each son and each tribe has a different blessing dependent upon their individual middos. This is the circular pattern of Torah. The entire Torah circles and repeats. Jacob blessing his sons is repeated in Moses blessing the Children of Israel, his children.

The parsha ends with, “Never again has there arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom Hashem had known face to face.”

Yoga

We end as we began in basic seated pose.

Oct. 11, 2019

Haazinu is a flowing song. The whole parsha is a song. It is the past, present and future and back and forth. Everything is one big circle and everything is united. The beginning of the parsha, “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and may the earth hear the words of my mouth. May my teaching drop like rain, may my utterance flow like the dew; like storm winds upon vegetation...”

 

Take these words and go back to Bereishis, and let’s see the very first posik: “In the beginning of God’s creating the heavens and the earth—when the earth was astonishingly empty, with darkness upon the surface of the deep, and the Divine Presence hovered upon the surface of the waters—Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters...” Firmament usually refers to atmosphere and it is separating the upper waters (clouds, rain) from the lower waters (oceans or dew). The winds may be the firmament. “God called the dry land Earth…Let the earth sprout vegetation…”

Yoga

We begin our yoga practice with the basic seated pose and we end each session with the basic seated pose.

The Circle of Life

Elton John You Tube - Enjoy