There’s been lots of questions about what receiving smicha (ordination) as a Kohenet means to me. It’s harder to answer than you’d think. But I do want to talk about this. The most common questions are:
- Do you feel different?
- Now what?
Do I feel different?
Yes. I did from the moment after physically receiving smicha. There was an expansiveness in my chest, around my solar plexus. This sensation lasted for several days. It was very odd, but it really made me realize that something had truly changed from the inside out. It was notably different than what I experienced with the Becoming ordination. That was from the outside in. I’m not sure I could have put those words to it then, but now I can.
My Becoming ordination was my spiritual community stating that I was seen as a spiritual leader and a holder of the community’s heart. Each member of that community, and a few others, publically gave me their blessing as part of the ritual. What changed was my relationship to the community and theirs to me. It was a change from the outside in.
With Kohenet, the experience was so different. The physical act of smicha, laying on of hands, for each individual woman used the words:
While that seems from the outside in, my experience was inside out. Even though a huge part was the connecting of each woman to the other women in our class, it was still inside out. The change was in me. The key line was the final line of the personal smicha for each woman:
And from this moment on, you are a Kohenent.
That’s when something changed inside of me. What that means, I don’t really know yet.
I wish I knew. The smicha ceremony was on Shabbat. Sunday, I flew home. Monday, I slept. Tuesday, I went back to my corporate “day job.” Would I like to give up the day job? Of course, but I haven’t figured out how to earn a solid income without it, yet. Truth is, I do a lot of priestessing there. It’s not what they think they pay me for, but it’s needed and wanted, nonetheless.
Here’s where I’m heading next:
- Return to teaching this year, after a three year break during the Kohenet training.
- Leading a Rosh Hashanah service again this year — and that several Kohanot will be journeying to DC to be a part of it!
- Get more involved, somehow, with the Jewish community — without giving up Becoming. That’s a sacrifice I’m not yet prepared to make.
- Do more with DC Harvest and see where that can take me.
- I’ve had a couple of HUGE breakthroughs as an artist in the last few months, so I’d like to continue with my artwork and see how far I can push myself creatively.
- Continue the Wheel of the Year guides and maybe trying to compile them into a book along with the seasonal haggadot.
- Continue improving my Hebrew!
That’s a pretty big list, considering I have a demanding day job! That list doesn’t even include things like “keep employed” and enjoy my husband’s company, visit with family and friends, providing priestessing ritual/rite of passage services, and everything else.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on all this and any suggestions for what’s next!