Tu Bi Shevat South African Style

We were in Cape Town, South Africa, my husband's country of birth. Sandwiched between the eerily flat-topped Table Mountain and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans is the beautiful Cape Peninsula with more species of flora and fauna than the entire continent of Europe. Architecturally stunning homes overlook the seething seas, lush vineyards ascend the mountains. On each visit I stand agape within Kirstenbosch Gardens which guard the remaining species of trees that go back to primordial times, a vision of the Garden of Eden.

Torah Study in Four Dimensions

One particularly helpful method of Torah study and teaching is the Four Worlds, Arba'AH Olamos model. This approach has four synergistic dimensions of exploration for Jewish text, so we can expand the meaning of a text for ourselves and experience its relevance to our lives. 

Dimension One: World of Assiyah (tachlis, basics, action)

Key question to explore: What is the actual text?

Tu Bi Shevat Seder: One page, simple, fruitful and deep

Tu Bishevat is the Jewish festival of the fruit trees. A time to marvel at the miracle of the many types of fruits, to consider their metaphorical possibilities, and to focus on tikkun olam for nature and for our own natures.

Configuring Grief in Spiritual Terms

by Rabbi Anne Brener

This is an excerpt from Rabbi Brener's chapter in Seeking & Soaring: Jewish Approaches to Spiritual Direction, a Reclaiming Judaism Press volume created in honor of Rabbi Shohama Wiener in order to reveal the leading teachers, methods and value of the emerging profession of mashpia - Jewish spiritual director.

So many people come to spiritual direction after a loss. Very often their sense of God has been shattered. They may feel betrayed or abandoned by the God that may have been their bedrock in the past.