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Alphabet Soup for the Soul


ד/Dalet opens the door to change,

where the plow of desire and seeds of curiosity hit the soil of earth

in the field of dreams, where love can grow.

WORD: ד/Dalet is the seed of curious desire for connection opening doors of change / Drishah

WORD-PLAY: The Hebrew name of the fourth letter, dalet, means ‘door,’ a passageway from one space (and time) to another. The Greek name for its version of the same letter is delta, Δ, a similar sounding symbol of change. The fourth Hebrew letter represents the fourth dimension, the means of measuring change in the universe, time. Speaking of time, the Hebrew word for change, שנה/shinah, shares its root (and spelling) with the Hebrew word for ‘year,’ the cyclical dynamic relationship between sun and earth that enables humanity a means for tracking personal and civilizational change for the better. The Jewish New Year, Rosh HaShanah, approaches, the time to reinvest faith in our capacity (and our responsibility) to foster positive change. And the many motivators of change, from shame to pride, from fear to hope, they're all rooted in that four letter word (in Hebrew and English) אהבה / LOVE, the desire for connection, the godly agent of change in the heart and in the world.

PRACTICE: What can we do to advance the march of growth-ful, intentional change? Here are four tools: Faith and choice, rinse and repeat. FAITH AND CHOICE. Choosing to live as if real change is possible and that we can ferment and shape it. This act of faith puts doorways in walls. RINSE. Greeting each day, and each new year, as a fresh start, rinsed of the habits that have outlived their usefulness with the cool waters of regret, re-vision, and re-commitment. And REPEAT. practice with words and deeds, again and again and again. As it is written, “Speak about them, repeat them, v’shinantam l’vanecha, to build a better future, when you lie down and when you rise, putting them in writing, and posting them on your door’s frames, a reminder to reframe your comings and goings” (Deut. 6:4-9). That’s how one enables love to make the change we desire to be and see in the world.

What words will I choose to say at the closing of the gates of each day? How will I greet those I meet in the morning? What reminders of what we're working for will we inscribe on our doorposts? What changes will we script beside our names in the Book of Life this coming year? These are four of the questions I hear in the four calls of the shofar [ram's horn's] to rise to the challenge of change.

BLESSING: May your inscriptions in the coming weeks and months ahead open doors within and around you, granting access to savored sweetness that drips and sticks like honey and is crisp and juicy as the apple. Shanah Tovah Um'tukah.

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