On Creation

On this Shabbat morning, I led meditation at our synagogue. I try to have the meditation draw from the week's parsha: Beresheit this week, the very first one! In the Beginning...

To begin, we changed six of the morning blessings in moving meditation, a practice that I began five years ago. It was fun today to pick out the ones that related to this day and to the parsha.

Baruch atah adonai eloheinu chey ha'olamim....

...hama'avir sheynah me'etnah utnumah me'afapay...the Awakener, Our God, who removes sleep from my eyes and slumber from my eyelids...a must-do for me, especially these days with a teething baby!

...hanoteyn lesechvi vinah lehavchin beyn yom uveyn laylah...the Provident, Our God, who gives the bird of dawn discernment to tell day from night...and then there was day and then there was night, the first day.

...malbish arumim...the Compassionate, Our God, who clothes the naked...always one of my favorites and felt important on this cool morning, the first morning of this autumn when we needed to turn on the heat and be sure to wear warm clothes.

...zokeyf kefufim...the Helping Hand, Our God, who staightens the bent...when we do the motions along with the opening words of the blessings, we start by bending our knees and end by touching the floor, and in the course of our movement we go from bent to straight twice...it feels right to bless that movement.

...oter yisrael betifarah...the Beautiful, Our  God, who crowns Israel with splendor...such splendor and beauty out the windows on another crisp, sparkling fall day where many colored leaves are highlighted by golden light.

...she'asani betzalmo...the Imageless, Our God, who made me in your image...another one straight out the parsha and one whose meaning never ceases to be deeply profound.

We continued from there to a seated meditation where we drew on Shefa Gold's teachings in her book, Torah Journeys, receiving with gratitude the gift of our lives, of our part in creation. (Second spiritual challenge and practice.)