October 15, 2021 / 9 Cheshvan, 5782

#3 LECH LECHA
Going Forth With My Body, Myself

Genesis 12:1-17:27

follow your body
to a land you do not know
trust in the journey 

This week’s Torah portion begins with God telling Abraham – Lech lecha – Take yourself to a land that I will show you, a land you do not know. This is the next chapter in Abraham’s continuing journey of following God’s lead and trusting the guidance.

Drawing by Sol Weiss

As I was raking the fields this week in the hot morning sun, the thought crossed my mind: “There’s got to be machines for doing this!” And then I considered what work I was actually doing … tending the earth with care and mindfulness. Bringing my loving attention and whole body to the experience. A kind of Divine machine. A machine created in the image of the divine (betzelem elohim). 

And as I continued raking, I imagined I was brushing the long flowing hair of the living earth. With so much care. And thought of myself as a Shomeret Adamah (a guardian/caretaker/caregiver of the earth).

And I had the thought that, in Spanish, the feminine form of Adam would be Adama (earth). So, as Adam is so named as a being brought forth from the earth, Adamah would be the feminine being brought forth from the earth. And I came to experience myself as tenderly caring for the feminine aspect of the earth. Of earth as a feminine body. And to feel myself as a feminine body created from the earth in the image of the divine.

And then it hit me … the connection with the Shmitah year! The strong draw to immerse myself in the Shmitah year this year that had been so powerful and so clear and, also, somewhat of a curious mystery to me. Now, I understood it this way: Just as the Shmitah year calls upon us to let the land rest this year, to take a break from going through the motions of sowing and reaping as in years past—to make it a priority to nurture the earth is such a way that that when we return to day-to-day farming, it will be with a fresh perspective and refreshed energy—so, too, can I make my divine earth body my highest priority this year.

And, just as in this week’s parshat Abraham hears the call of the Divine to Lech lecha so, too, do I hear the call of my own divine body crying out Lechi lach … which I understand in all of these ways …

Take yourself in your body
Take your body yourself 

Follow your body yourself
Follow your body to yourself
Following my body myself

Follow your body’s lead
Follow your body’s guidance
Follow your body’s wisdom
Follow the wisdom of your body

Let your body lead you
Lead with your body
Be led by your body

Let your body be your priority
Make your body your priority
Your body needs to be your priority

Listen to your body
Your body knows
Your body knows the way
Let your body lead the way
Follow the way of your body

Don’t leave without taking your body
Leave with your body

Experience yourself in your body
Lift up your body
Delight in your body
Trust your body
Trust in your body

Attune to your body’s calling
Attune to what your body needs
Attune to how your body feels
Attune to your body’s guidance

Be guided by your divine body, 
your body that is of the earth,
that is not separate from the earth

And, so, I have decided to take this full year, this Shmitah year, to make caring for my physical body my highest priority, to heed its divine guidance, and to venture forth into lands I do not know.

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