Yarzheit of Rachel Imeinu

Today is the 11 of Cheshvan, and it is the historical Yahrzteit of Rachel Imeinu (Rachel the Matriarch). I don’t have a new ritual for this year, so forgive the reposting of the one I posted a couple of years ago. This ritual can be used to honor Rachel Imeinu or any ancestor. This is a simple solitary ritual, which can easily be adapted for a group. If you are interested in exploring a ritual specifically developed for a group, see Ceremony for the 11th of Cheshvan by Rabbi Jill Hammer. Photo Credit: New Jewish fruit in Kibbutz Matzuva Copyrights: Max Nathans 2007 Ritual for Remembering Rachel Imeinu Originally posted on 11.05.2005 / 9th of Cheshvan 5766 May the blessings of our mother be carried through to each generation. Needs: 1 Pomegranate 1 Tea Light Small stones to represent specific ancestors Small dish (big enough to hold all items listed above) How to Peel a Pomegranate Take the pomegranate and cut of the crown, being careful to not cut into seeds. Score the rind from crown to base into 6 sections. Place pomegranate in large bowl filled with cold water. The pomegranate should float upright. If you like, spin the pomegranate in the water and focus on it while meditating. Leave the pomegranate in the water for 5-10 minutes. Then peel of the rind and let the seed drop to the bottom. You can then skim the rind off the top and drain the water, leaving just the seeds. Place your tealight in the dish and pour the pomegranate seeds around it. I often use only half of the seeds. Place your stones either along the edge of the dish or inside it against the tealight, whatever works for you. Place the dish on the altar and light your candle. The seeds are for the generations of ancestors, the stones for those you wish to specifically honor. Recite Kaddish and poems or prayers that speak to the spirit of Rachel Imeinu. Here are several...

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Yahrzeit of Miriam

After reading the amazing “ritual fantasy” on Telshemesh.org and some other great writings about Miriam the prophetess. I am compelled to call out the anniversary of her death (10th Nisan). I think tonight I will go home and light some floating candles in water for her. It seems appropriate. “The Israelites came, the whole community, to the wilderness of Tzin, on the first new moon. Miriam died there and was buried there. The community was without water, and they joined against Moses and Aaron.” Numbers 20:1-2 “There were three good shepherds in Israel: Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. Because of them, Israel received three gifts: the manna because of Moses, the well because of Miriam, and the clouds of glory because of Aaron. When Miriam died the well dried up…” Song of Songs Rabbah 4:14 As we say in Becoming, when we honor water in the world, “May you never...

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Kadish

I have been wanting to write a mourner’s kadish that would serve myself and other earth-based magickal Jews. I’ve found it difficult because I wanted to keep the core theology of the traditional, rabbinical Judaic prayer. That one is a prayer for the living. It focuses on praising God. It doesn’t really ever touch on loss or death. When I first discovered this, I found it disturbing. But, if you look at almost all the Jewish rituals surrounding death, they are to support the living. They are to help the living move on with their lives. It seems that it took the loss of Rosemary Kooiman to give me the words. Send me on Send me on with love in your heart Cry tears of joy for the life I have lived Praise the Source of Life for connecting our lives Send me on to the next life Send me on the way I lived Embrace what I was, not the space that I leave Praise the Source of Life for allowing us to love Send me on to the next life Send me on without fear Do not curse or rend your garments Praise the Source of Life for granting us time Send me on to the next life Send me on with praise Sing songs of joy for all Creation Praise the Source of Life giving us life Send me on to the next life Send me on with libations and toasts Drink to your health and drink to life Praise the Source of Life for giving us words to share Send me on to the next life Send me on with stones not flowers Do not add death to death Praise the Source of Life for all creation Send me on to the next life © Carly Lesser – 2006 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike2.5...

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Rosemary Kooiman – In Memoriam

High Priestess Rosemary Kooiman left this world on Sunday, March 5, 2006. May she find her beloved Abe in the next world, and may that world be all she believed. May I be as brave as she was. May I speak my mind as she did. May I continue to learn throughout my life, as she did. May I make new friends to the end. Blessed be. A front page article about Rosemary was posted to WitchVox on March 7, 2006. [tags]rosemary kooiman, yartzheit, community...

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Octavia Butler – In Memoriam

Octavia Butler, author, visionary, and genius, died this past Saturday. Her writing is brilliant and while it will keep her light in the world for generations, she will be sorely missed. A quote from one of my favorite Octavia Bulter novels. “We are born not with purpose, but with potential. Purpose unifies us: it focuses our dreams, guides our plans, strengthens our efforts. Purpose defines us, shapes us, and offers us greatness.” Octavia Butler, Parable of the Talents While her novels are science-fiction there is a profound truth to be found in them. The idea that “God is Change” resonated with me more than I can express. I know that I am not alone in this. If you have not read her work, take the time to do so. Just writing this, I am tearing up. I mourn for this woman I’ve never met, and thank her for sharing her gifts with me. My Favorite Octavia Butler Novels: [tags]yartzheit, octavia...

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Yartzeit Rachel Imeinu

I was reminded that tomorrow is the Yartzeit of Rachel Imeinu – Rachel the Matriarch. I wanted to take the opportunity to repost my ritual for honoring ancestors. It is one that I use both for Rachel Imeinu and when honoring ancestors at Samhain or other rituals. May the blessings of our mother be carried through to each generation. Needs: 1 Pomegranate 1 Tea Light Small stones to represent specific ancestors Small dish (big enough to hold all items listed above) How to Peel a Pomegranate Take the pomegranate and cut of the crown, being careful to not cut into seeds. Score the rind from crown to base into 6 sections. Place pomegranate in large bowl filled with cold water. The pomegranate should float upright. If you like, spin the pomegranate in the water and focus on it while meditating. Leave the pomegranate in the water for 5-10 minutes. Then peel of the rind and let the seed drop to the bottom. You can then skim the rind off the top and drain the water, leaving just the seeds. Place your tealight in the dish and pour the pomegranate seeds around it. I often use only half of the seeds. Place your stones either along the edge of the dish or inside it against the tealight, whatever works for you. Place the dish on the altar and light your candle. The seeds are for the generations of ancestors, the stones for those you wish to specifically honor. When the ritual is over be sure to dispose of the pomegranate seed properly. Burn them in the fire or throw them to the earth. Do not eat them casually. If you choose to dispose of them by ingesting them, it should be a deliberate act by which you share yourself with the...

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