By Dr. Terry Segal | tsegal@atljewishtimes.com

Rosh Chodesh Tishrei begins on Rosh Hashanah, as always. There’s no blessing for this new month, but G-d blesses it on the last Shabbat of Elul.

Even though it’s the seventh month, Tishrei is considered the head of the year. It begins the continuous holidays of Rosh Hashanah, when we examine; Yom Kippur, when we atone; Sukkot, when we draw protection from above; and Simchat Torah, when we connect to joy.

It’s a time of new beginnings. Adam, the first man, was created on the first day of Tishrei.

Dr. Terry Segal

Dr. Terry Segal

We tackle Tishrei’s challenges through the Zodiac sign Libra, Hebrew letter lamed, tribe Ephraim, sense touch, and controlling organ gallbladder. The task is to shift our egos aside, reach up to connect to G-d’s wisdom, pull it down through our minds, anchor it to our hearts, and send it flowing to our feet in action, moving through the world differently from the previous year.

The gates to higher dimensions open, and we have the chance to create our lives for blessing and abundance. The more we have, the more we have to give. The Book of Formation maps out the structure of the universe in 22 frequencies that coordinate to 22 letters of the aleph bet. Two letters each month align with a planet and Zodiac sign.

Tishrei’s planet is Venus, associated with beauty, love and forgiveness. The phrase “love thy neighbor” is highlighted.

Libra, an air sign, is represented by the scales of justice, on which we are judged during the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur for the year’s good and bad decisions. Moznayim (scales) contains the word oznayim, or ears. We hear through the three arcs of the ear, with the inner third giving us balance. The ears are the funnels inward to binah, or the light within.

We hear three distinct sounds of the shofar. There are three columns of energy: a left column that receives, a right that shares, and a center that balances what we receive and share. We strive to achieve equilibrium and balance ourselves in the new year.

Librans are confronted with decision-making, as we all are. The battle ensues between the pure, authentic self and the personality, or the ego-driven self. Librans, ruled by Venus, enjoy beauty in all forms and take pride in their homes, but the challenge is to integrate the earthly material world with divine essence.

The positive aspects of Libra are being level-headed, practical, diplomatic, logical, charming and engaging. Negative aspects include retreat from situations, unpredictable actions, shallowness and indecisiveness.

The letter lamed, which means to learn or understand, is the only one that rises above the line. We take our cues from it as we rise above lower-level behaviors. We must stretch ourselves to join with HaShem. The letter is traced from the top down into the ground as Tishrei links summer to winter and things go underground. It is then traced upward in spring, when it blossoms at the top during the month of Nisan.

The tribe is Ephraim, son of Joseph. Ephraim means “procreation” and suggests the union of male and female energies that give birth to new souls. The sense of touch, especially of the fingertips, is the connecting point, joining one to another and offering balance.

The ruling organ is the gallbladder. In Western medicine its function is to store and excrete bile. In Eastern practice, the gallbladder governs the quality and length of sleep and controls judgment and decision-making ability.

But it doesn’t act alone. The liver is responsible for planning. The heart oversees mental processes. The small intestine makes decisions clear, so the gallbladder can bring courage and ability to choose appropriate actions. All of these must function harmoniously to achieve balance, but it’s the integration of HaShem’s presence that deepens our wisdom and understanding.

Meditation Focus: As you move through these holy days, identify thoughts and actions that have led you astray or estranged you from G-d. Distinguish each negative thought or action, illuminate it with G-d’s wisdom, choose a new positive action, and transform darkness into light.