I was privledged to sing at Ester's Bat Mitzvah in Nahariyah on Wednesday night. 14th of Sivan...also my little Sara Malka's Birthday! The main thing that stays with me is that there are all these hidden communities of special, holy Jewish women all over Eretz Yisrael. I felt so blessed to be a part of their simcha! In addition to the joy of singing to G-d from my heart, we also did some guided imagery together that expanded our minds and hearts. We took a journey to the rebuilt Jerusalem (soon in our days!), and while the girls made jewelry in the garden, the mother's and I did an inner journey, each imagining her daughter blossoming and flourishing, blessing her, and then feeling Hashem loving us as we love them. We did Hafrashat Challah, and then prayed for the redemption of the captured Israel soldiers, and of the whole world. We passed out a little "miriam's drum" to every one there, and did a big, three part rhythm that awakened the heavens, while singing the Miriam song. It went on and on, rising with power and joy. No one wanted to stop. Friends, I think the geula is on its way!!!!!!! Good Shabbos!
PS Check out my first Rebbetzin's blog...Chana Bracha is the highest! rebbetzinchanabracha.blogspot.com, www.berotbatayin.org
A beautiful inspiration came down during my Chi Kung class this week at Elima, the alternative medicine school here in my beautiful country Yishuv. I learned that in the same way we can move and direct the flow of our energy through Chi Kung exercises (standing, breathing, and moving the arms and body to activate meridians and the power of the imagination to the Chi's movement), so can we move our spiritual and physical energy through our voice. At the end of the class, we sang "Hodu L'Hashem Ci Tov", and directed the vowels sounds of the song to their corresponding physical center in the body. The "Oh" of Hodu corresponds to the sephirah of "Tiferet" according to the Kabbalah of the Arizal, and that connects to the area of the heart. The "OO" of Hodu corresponds to the Sephirah of "Yesod", which in turn corresponds to the lower area of the body, the sexual organs and the pelvis. By singing these sounds with awareness, we can move the energy of the body in the same way that we do when practicing the simple Chi Kung exercise called "the flowing", which sets in motion the flow between the lower Dan Tian (a few inches below the navel) and the middle Dan Tian (in the area of the heart). It is a basic principle that the mind and the Chi are connected. Also the Baal Shem Tov said, "Where your thoughts are, there you are." Adding the spiritual vibration of our holy voices praising our Creator, "Praise to G-d because He is good, His kindness is forever", takes this nature flow in harmony with G-d creation, and sends it higher and higher, making each of us a worthy vessel for connecting heaven and earth. The potential for directing the voice and its healing vibrations is endless, and this revealation is the Torah of the Moshiach. It is said that the Moshiach will reveal the hidden melody of the Torah, hidden within the Taamay ha Mikrah, the special melody used to sing the Torah. This melody is the highest level of Torah. By revealing the melody hidden within the Torah, each of us can receive the special healing that we need. The ten kinds of melody release and open 10 kinds of joy, the lack of which is the true source of all illness. Just the movement of those two sounds within us, from the most basic part of us in Yesod, to our Hearts in Tiferet, allow our prayers, thoughts and bodies to become more vital and fertile. May it be Your will, that you send us a total healing, so that we can once again receive the Torah...the holy Torah of Moshiach, soon in our days, AMEN!
Through singing we access and activate the power of imagination, which connects the brain and higher part of our soul, with the body and the lower aspects of our souls. Every wisdom in the world has its own niggun (melody), which is actually the root source of that wisdom. Even heresy has its own melody, from where it is drawn. The holy melody of the true tzaddik can lift up lost souls, even those that have fallen into seemingly unredeemable places of disconnection and disharmony.
Today at Tzafnat, the midrasha in Tzfat where I have been giving a weekly class for the past 8 years, we sang "Peaceful Waters", my version of Psalm 23, for the healing of Rivka bat Yael, a precious four-year-old who fell from her rooftop while climbing up with her father to watch the Independence Day fireworks a few weeks ago. We are praying and hoping for her miraculous recovery.
One of the girls mentioned that singing is a remedy for fear. I remember when this song, Peaceful Waters, came down, when sudden fear gripped me as I walked home late on a dark night. I felt how my imagination starting to run on its own, dragging me towards fears that were so absurd as to be funny. I started to sing this song, and immediately was filled with security and a feeling of joy. By singing, we activate the power of the imagination. By wanting closeness with our Creator, we activate this imagination from the highest level, bringing us to a place of clarity and purity. Mount Amana from the Song of Songs is like Emuna (faith), the high place to which we are drawn when our song is born in longing for connection with G-d.
When we close our eyes, (atzom in Hebrew), we connect to our inner strength (otzma in Hebrew), which connects us to our souls, our true essence (etzem in Hebrew). All of these Hebrew words have the same root. By close our eyes, we make space for the harmony of infinite interconnection, connecting to the truth of Knesset Yisrael, the soul of Israel, and the essential oneness of all of Hashem's creation. This is in contrast to our vision, which can lead us towards the delusion that there is anything separate from G-d (heresy). The word for eye (ayin) in Hebrew, represents the number 70, the Jewish symbol for multiplicity. (There are 70 original language, nations, ways of viewing the Torah). Our hearing, on the other hand, allows for us to reveal the oneness in multiplicity, and to remember that all of Israel is one interconnected soul. Hashem, save us from the illusion of separateness!
Singing brings joy because the 10 kinds of melody are sourced in ten kinds of joy. Joy is like fire, warming, transforming, mesmerizing. Anger is also like fire, warming (burning), transforming (destroying), mesmerizing (controlling). We can transform our anger into joy through singing, through tapping in to the roots of this fire and lifting it up to the highest place of joyful connection and unification. When I sing, I reveal the oneness in multiplicity. Joy and sorrow, body and soul, fire and water, all find space and expression in the vastness of song, which draws together lost pieces of who I am, and lost sparks of holiness, and brings them as an offering to G-d. On the highest level it can bring down prophecy.
We sang "Ana Hashem", by the Piesetzner Rebbe. "Please G-d, accept my longing to praise You as if it were the songs of the prophets, and my the wild beating of my heart be a sweet to you as the songs of the Levites in the Temple." In days of old, someone who was sick or in emotional or spiritual pain would visit the local prophet or prophetess. He or she would look into the soul of the one needing healing and tell her the root of her problem, prescribing the proper soul medicine for her recovery. Connecting to this knowledge (prophecy) was facilitated through song. We can see what a fallen place we have come to! Today the prophets have been replaced by doctors, who easily fall into the trap of seeing themselves as mini-g-ds (may the compassionate one have mercy!), and the patients hope to be fixed by the external actions of medicines without looking to their soul for the root of the problem. In the coming times, the hospitals will be replaced by "Batay Nigun" (healing song-houses), and prophet will perscribe the song that can heal each and every soul.
The Levites in the temple worked together with the Cohen (Priest) to heal the broken souls of Am Yisrael. Someone who had sinned would bring his sacrifice. The Cohen would look within and see what had happened to this soul to cause it harm. He would signal the Levites to play a song to break his heart. He would watch closely, to make sure that the proper amount was given, and not too much. Just before the person was broken beyond repair, he would signal a change, and their song would become one of joy. The person bringing the sacrifice would also be filled with joy, true joy. The joy of healing and recovery. The joy of repentance and redemption. The joy of brokenness and wholeness, the unification of opposites into a shifting kaleidoscope of revelation of Hashem's Oneness.
Based on teachings from Rebbe Nachman, Rabbi Avraham Sutton, and the book "Kosher Niggun, Kosher Musician" by Gai-Tzvi Mintz, and the Rabbanit Yehudis Golshevsky.