Friday, 28 November 2008

Friendship, Noah and The Flood, Toldot

28th November 2008; 1 Kislev 5769

Dear all

In this recessionary time, people need each other more than ever.

Many people are contemplating suicide as a way out of their predicament. Some have already taken this step. Their families may never understand.

Please please share your problems with your friends and family. Take your spouse for a walk and tell them there is a problem. If you need money, tell your family and friends. If you need to talk, then just talk. If you've told your local school that you can't afford the fees and then go and buy an expensive pair of jeans or go on holiday, please keep your problems to yourself!

And to the friends. Keep all your friends' confidences. If someone tells you something that you think they shouldn't know, say "I didn't know."

One of the reasons for sharing is so that you can get help to step out of your vicious circle of worry and see things from a different angle.

Especially at this depressing and recessionary time, our friends and families are truly going to need us. As a healer, I find myself in the firing line and I am happy that I know how to protect myself, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I have made myself available to visit the dying in hospitals and to go to funerals when the relatives aren't nearby. I am also available in my capacity as a healer to do treatments or simply to talk. If you don't know me personally and wish to pay for my services, we can negotiate something.

To everyone who is reading this, tell all your friends and family that you are available for them, 24 hours a day. If they are drunk and need a lift home from a party, you are available. If they can't sleep and need someone to talk to a 3am in the morning you are there. And please remember that what people tell you is in confidence, never to be told to anyone, even if someone tells you something that you think they shouldn't know, say "I didn't know that."

In the time of Noah, there was heavy rain. It caused a flood. Rabbi Mirvis, our Kabbalah Rabbi, compared this last week in a class, with The Flood. The Flood can be compared with the huge surge in share prices and property values, ie the huge surge over the past few years in invisible paperless internet money.

And now as the flood subsides, there will be pain. We need to find our values and we need to get away from the instant gratification we get by borrowing, borrowing.

Rabbi Mirvis said: "The shrinkage is the process of coming back to reality. There is a way out, a takanah, a solution. The person must take himself out of his situation. We are coresponsible for each other. ... The flood is subsiding, but there are still sharks. ... The problem is shame. People are ashamed to even speak to their spouse. ... Why did Noah land his Ark at the top of a mountain? So that he could see the big picture. Why was he brought an olive branch? Because although the olive is bitter it can be processed into olive oil and can make fire. ... Water is a symbol of wisdom, knowledge, intuition. Fire is a symbol of understanding, practical, logic. ... Leaving the Ark requires courage and the winningness to want to change. There is no change in the Ark."

My dear friends. If you are suffering. If you have problems. Please let your closest family and friends know.

And don't be ashamed to tell your spouse and children that there will be no new clothes for a while or no holidays. They will understand. And where-ever you live, there is nothing like a holiday at home.

Interestingly the Parashah of the week is Toldot. In Genesis, Chapter 25 vs 28, we see the following: “Now Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison; and Rebekah loved Jacob.” The word “because” has importance for me. It means that Isaac loved Esau because of something Esau did for him, but Rebekah simply loved Jacob. One of the most difficult things one can do in this life is to love someone simply for being who they are, ie to love unconditionally. Not for any particular reason.

When I pray I always ask for unconditional loving, understanding, happiness and health. And this is what I pray for all of us today.

Shabbat Shalom.

with love