What a special day! The day was infused with meaning and spirituality that only a place like Jerusalem could inspire.
We started the day with a tour of the Old City. It is truly a unique vibe. You can feel the density of the spirituality increase as you come closer to the Kotel (the wall). We took beautiful pictures overlooking the wall and then heard a lecturer at Aish Hatorah. If I were graduating high school, I could not think of a more incredible way to spend a gap year in Israel than studying Torah and G-d’s word, overlooking the heart and soul of Judaism.
Rav Gav, a Rabbi with a genuinely unique delivery, both bearing a deep message and entertainingly witty, spoke about the beauty of Shabbat. In effect, it is a set weekly occurrence where our soul can get supercharged by re-enacting the seventh day of creation, resting and, in that state, interacting with G-d on a more intimate level.
We then learned all about the power of prayer from Ruchi Koval. Prayer as an opener to dialoguing with G-d, communicating and creating closeness and praying for help and guidance when things are challenging, expressing thanks for what we receive and being in awe of it all. For me, I am in awe of the open channel that exists from the throes of this physical dimension, allowing one to transcend materiality, somehow sensing and connecting with the ultimate energetic super-power that is G-d.
How befitting that following that lecture, Momentum had brought prayer books to gift to all the participants. We broke out into city groups and each had our gift-giving ceremony.
We decided to add a little twist to it. My family comes from a long line of Kohanim (priests). A family tree exists (I personally never got a chance to see it, but my grandfather did) dating back to the second temple. My ancestors served in the Beit Hamikdash. Just the thought of it gives me goosebumps every time.
So with that inherited spiritual energy, I was privileged to have the opportunity to bless each of our women as they came up to receive their siddur. Each woman received both the Birkat Kohanim blessing and a special personal blessing customized to the needs of her soul. It was a moving, beauty-filled and anchoring experience for all of us, with of course many tears, which seems in retrospect, to be a part of today’s theme of the day.
When it came to receiving my prayer book, the women all went in a circle and put their hands on my head. I had never been blessed by women before. The moment was spontaneous, unanimous, and touched me to the core of my soul. At that moment, I understood the power of women, of sisterhood and of what we, as a collective group, have the potential to accomplish in the world.
Robin and I feel blessed. Truly blessed. To be here in our homeland, co-leading an incredible group of eight women who never cease to touch us and surprise us, as we watch their bonding, evolution and openness to growth, expand.
Montreal, QC, Canada