Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rahamim; Compassion

The word that had been resonating in my heart  is RaHaMim; commonly translated as compassion. 
What is RaHaMim?  Most commonly it is translated as Compassion.
There are two players in any compassionate act.  The giver and receiver. 
Let’s consider both modalities.  An optimally compassionate act, is when the giver, gives the receiver what she or he is able to receive fully and completely. No waste.  No miscommunication. No hurt feelings.   It feels so very good and right when it flows that way.
Compassionate Giving calls for tuning into what the receiver really needs -  really listening and tuning into the heart of the one receiving.  It can mean altering the offering to give what is truly called for. This could be different from what a giver may have intended initially.
Compassionate receiving is receiving what is being offered with integrity and kindness.  “I really wanted ice tea, but thanks anyway for this espresso.”  We can choose to receive the tea and focus on what is perfect and wonderful about it.   For example, Tea has Less Caffeine than coffee... and the polka dot glass is so very festive.
Here’s another example.  We have 2 cats, Tesla and Mo. Tesla, aka Tessy is quiet and demure - she tends to keep to herself, Mo is full of vim, vigor and mischief.  He has a mind of his own.  Mo likes to venture outside, unnoticed. 
From time to time I look for Mo in the house, calling “Mo!  Mo-she!” I go outside go outside.  “Mo!  Mo-hammed!” I wait.   Then a gentle nudge. It is Tessy.   I am learning to pause and appreciate Tessy’s loving response; meet her, pet her, and have a moment with precious Tessy.  Even though I know that I still need to figure out where Mo is. 
You just may not want what is being offered. It may not be good. For you. There are skillful means of saying, “no thank you" that lets the person making the offer feel good about the offer.  Perhaps it is possible to suggest and alternative, that you do want.  “I’ll pass on the coke, but that orange juice looks really good, thanks,"

There is a sod; secret within RaHaMim.  the word ReHeM is its root.  ReHem means womb.  Noticeably a feminine attribute.  RaHaMim, in its highest form is compassion in the way a womb is compassionate to the unborn child; pressing against it, holding it, nourishing it.  Expecting no-thing from it, more than its well being.  A little kick and everyone is delighted.  The womb is the model of the ultimate Earthly compassion source. 

13 attributes are chanted often during these holy days.  It is a method of invoking Compassion given over in Torah.  Compassion from the HBO is what we seek.
When we chant Adonai Adonai El RaHuM v’HaNuN*, it is RaHaMim we are invoking, first.

It is significant that the first of the 13 attributes references the  feminine maternal aspect of wombing and nourishing.  
This is what we are asking of the HBO for when we chant the 13 attributes the sages teach - the totality is included in the beginning and the attributes start with RaHaMim.
When a cord is strummed on one guitar, the other responds by resonates the same tone. The resonance is shared. The impact is shared.
It is accepted in classical Kabbalah that heaven and Earth sit as 2 guitars adjacent to one another.  So, strumming a cord on Earth; results in a resonance on high. 

Jews all over the planet, gather in synagogues and pray to live another year. We ask for a good life.  We ask that the Holy Blessed One assess us all from a perspective of compassion.   
The best way to invoke Rahamim on high is practice it on Earth amongst ourselves. This way, we can co-create a compassionate world. 
Let’s start the year by being the compassion we crave.  

May you be woven into the spiral of life and love..

* 13 attributes
Adonai Adonai Eyl Rahum v’Hanun Erekh Apai-yim v’Rav Hesed v’Emet Notzer Hesed Lalafeem Notzer Avon v’Feshah v’Hata-ah v’Nakeh
Three translations (they are different spins on the Hebrew)
> 1) Adonai, Adonai, Eyl gracious and Motherly, Patient for The Long Term, abundant Love and Truth;  Bringing Love to the masses, Carries away crimes,  negligent errors,  mistakes and cleans up after.
> 2)Yod Hey Vav Hey, Yod Hey Vav Hey, Compassion and Tenderness, Patience, Forbearance, Kindness, and Awareness; bringing Love from Age to Age, Lifting Guilt and Mistakes; Making us Free.
> 3)Adonai, Adonai, Eyl of Mercy and Grace, patient, and abundant love, and truth; gives love to the myriads, carries off transgressions, violations, mistakes and cleans up any residue.

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