Rosh Chodesh Sivan is set to begin Thursday, May 25. This is the month in which the wheat harvest is celebrated in the land of Israel. We also observe Shavuot, which commemorates the anniversary of the day that Hashem gave us the Torah at Mount Sinai.
Each year, we prepare ourselves spiritually to receive the Torah. From the second night of Passover, we count the Omer for seven weeks until Shavuot. The holiday, which this year falls from May 30 to June 1, is marked by festive meals, all-night Torah study, dairy food and the reading of the Book of Ruth.
The task this month is to bring Hashem into our everyday lives. We are at the middle ground, on the Earth plane. Above us hovers the sanctity of G-d, while below us is the low-level vibration of impurity. We must keep walking above the impurity by being mindful of our thoughts, actions and deeds.
But that’s not enough. We must also reach up through the divine layers to bring the essence of G-d-like qualities down into this realm. Study is one way to achieve that goal.
Sivan’s Hebrew letter is zayin; zodiac sign, Gemini; tribe, Zevulun; sense, walking; and controlling limb, left foot.
Zayin looks like a crown. This holds the energy in place at the top of the head, much like the mortarboard at graduation.
The sign of Gemini, represented by twins, presents an ongoing struggle between the head and heart. We all have Gemini traits somewhere in our chart. Those born under this sign are generally intellectuals, great communicators and enthusiastic people who have talent but are also changeable, often referred to as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
When out of balance, they let their hearts lead them into changing directions often, toward the next shiny thing. They excel in careers that offer constant change and opportunities to communicate but get bored easily and don’t do well with repetitive tasks.
President Donald Trump is a Gemini, as are Johnny Depp, Prince William, Angelina Jolie and Courteney Cox. Gemini is all about the flip-flop. See how that shows up in your life.
Zevulun, from the west coast of Israel, was made up of seafarers and merchants. They dealt with the contrasts of spiritual quests and of material possessions in the physical realm.
The sense of walking, highlighted this month, is reminiscent of the pilgrimage of our people. This time of Gemini may have some of us walking a path that is unexpected to mainstream thinking. Look for this in your life to see whether you are the one walking or are one of the observers, surprised by someone else’s path.
The controlling limb is the left foot. The left side is considered the feminine side of the body’s circuit board. Head and heart, right and left, seek balance. Decisions made with either the head or the heart are misaligned. The left foot reminds us to bring in the spiritual, nurturing and emotional aspects of the story and integrate them with the facts and figures of the mental realm.
We’re challenged to bring Hashem into our mundane world. This is a perfect time to combine head and heart in study. It doesn’t have to involve lofty, esoteric goals.
Maybe you’d like to take a Jewish cooking class, learn to make challah, start lighting Shabbat candles or take a class in conversational Hebrew. Hebrew calligraphy might interest you, or a tea-and-Torah Jewish women’s study group. Perhaps you’d like to know more about Jewish art or learn about the lives of your favorite Jewish comedians.
Meditation focus: Quiet yourself and connect with the aspects of Judaism that touch your heart. Choose a track of learning. Decide whether you’d like to focus on a year of study of a particular subject or to learn something new each month that’s connected to Judaism.
Think about how enriched your life will be by next year’s Shavuot. Put the dates of your study on your calendar, or the summer breezes will blow them right away.