The Mystery of Being Jewish #1

I almost didn’t make it to service on Shabbat because of the crazy rain and excessive flooding around this area, but due to a tiny miracle… it kind of stopped raining so hard and I made it, even though I was late. I’m glad I went because part of their summer services is giving a little lesson in between. They talked about Broadway musicals that have the Jewish undertone to the music due to the Jewish musicians/writers themselves. They played a little bit of the musical tune then what the tune was based off of in Yiddish. I was sitting there–practically in awe–because my favorites of favorites are actually songs based up on Jewish/Yiddish tunes. I haven’t studied that far in about music yet. But I have known for a while….that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to my love and recognition for the Jewish world. Wow. All I can say is wow.

With having said that, Friday’s service lesson actually inspired what book I was going to read next (instead of what I originally picked out). So, over the next few weeks, I’m going to be dropping some writing here from: The Mystery of Being Jewish. After the first chapter today, it lists 19 famous influential Jewish people. After I read a few of the chapters about the book, then I’ll talk about whatever comes to mind, so I’m going to treat and share it like one of my studies/personal lessons.

To get started… Tonight I read the first chapter which is titled “The Mystery of Being Jewish.” What a chapter to start with because I nearly want to type/comment on everything.

Sigmund Freud once said “Only to my Jewish nature did I owe the two qualities which had become indispensable to me on my hard road.” (1) Free to question all things & (2) Standing his ground in the face of all opposition.

“It is something inside the individual that makes him a Jew. Something infinitesimally small yet immeasurably large.” – said Franz Rosenzweig.

“We Jews are a community based on memory.” – Martin Buber. Memory meaning giving you shoulders to stand on that helps you see beyond your own personal view.

“They know that the key to life is learning and that the word lechayim ‘to life’ sometimes make their voices thicken with a strange unfathomable emotions. Jews look upon each newborn as a human filled with promise. In the Jewish way of thinking, no one comes into this world filled with sin. It seems only right to be more concerned with what happens in this world than the next. … they should help make this world a better place.”

Obviously, these are some of the things I have learned earlier on in my journey, but it’s always nice to be reminded. It’s always nice to be reminded of how things were before becoming Jewish… like my heart’s thoughts aligning with Judaism and the feelings I had after finding it out. And how I still want to burst into flames (good flames, if there’s…such a thing) and allow my soul to cry all at the same time.

The last paragraph…. ‘key to life is learning’… I have never wanted to stop learning. I remember freaking out when I stopped going to school, because it was like, how am I going to learn next? I was a very, very, very serious nerd. Still am, actually. When I fell in love with something I was learning, I would go beyond the normal, and go on that endless find of researching about the subject… that kept me busy for a while. Still happens often, actually. Learning is one of my inspirations….and probably the reason why I am interested in nearly almost everything. But back to the point.

I literally just said a Jew’s work is never done (on my other blog). We have to be the ones to learn, do the research, work, and teach. We should always question everything, and end on why, just so we can do more. For every question answered comes another. Learning about everything: how to do the things you do better, learning about the world around you, the future, the past, learning about what’s in your soul. It all enriches your soul…. so you can be better and being better (and happy) you can help others to do the same… then the world gets better because, well, patterns. But… not everyone has learned this secret concept.

“To life” — as I’ve been looking back in some of my old writings, I have found that “life” and “love” has often come up. In a lot of my paintings (especially the ones at my 3rd home) I have “life/love” on them. That was even before I became Jewish. It was already there, embedded deep within my soul. It has always been about living life to its fullest potential and loving as much as possible.

I may get flack for this one…but thank goodness in the Jewish way of thinking… because I have never believed in sin the way it is portrayed. How in the world can someone born from literal stardust carry so much negativity on their shoulders when they don’t even know a thing because–all that point–they just purely exist. They are a clean slate… until memory comes along, until G-d sets out their destiny when they are learning who they are… I also don’t believe in the whole concept of hell, even. I believe that once someone is done here, their souls go to one of the planets (why do you think they’re discovering life up there now?), and which planet? It depends on how much work the soul needs. Once the work is done, they are born into another body, and placed back on this earth to live out their karmic duties. Hence, my thoughts per the reasoning of reincarnation. If your soul gets recycled enough, you will begin to remember other times of being here. I have actually always believed I was one of the souls lost in the Holocaust. I don’t know who or where or what age or anything, but it is the way I see how my soul was Jewish but I was born into a gentile family. Apparently, due to finding out what I’m finding out and experiencing what I’ve experienced, it was a part of my own karmic journey to learn what I did to become who I am now: Ahava.

Being Jewish, talking about being Jewish, reading about it, and my moments of how I keep finding out about how I’ve always loved the Jewish world…. it really truly does set my soul on fire. In a good way. Like, so much. So very much.

Enough writing for today. My hands are going to fall off. Until the next chapter.

Love Always,
Karen Maeby (Ahava)

Jewish Mysticism Continued

[Lunch break.]

Just when I thought things couldn’t get crazier, they do. I have discovered Kabbalah.com, and thus begins my journey into a whole other world….

Remember a long, long, long time ago when I wrote about feeling trapped–felt like a slave to my own life–back in March or April, only to realize that, well, that’s what Passover is all about? Escaping from that… then my feelings towards thinking the new year should start in the fall, and our Jewish new year does?

Well.

Right now, it appears, I’m on that same kind of mood trap along with the Jewish calendar of feelings….. It is apparently the perfect month to go searching deep within the soul for ‘light through the darkness’ — the same abundance of feelings that I’ve felt the last few days, maybe weeks. Uhhhh. Can I have a drink? It’s getting a little too spooky here how things are finally aligning and making sense to me… that I’m one step closer… and I’m regaining conscious of my soul, just like I was deeply connected to back when I was in school, but lost for many years until I started my journey to becoming Jewish. This is absolutely insane.

Posted yesterday on Kabbalah.com, an entry titled “Transforming Darkness into Light(oh, for goodness sakes, when my soul felt it really strongly)–and I quote–

“The portion of Balak is about, on the surface, negativity, but in the greater picture it is about the protection from this negativity and the power to even transform it. It always is sent to us from the Creator during the time of Cancer, when our ruling celestial body is the moon. The moon is a rock that is totally absent of Light; it does not give, only receives. It is in this way we can come to see how our two villainous characters are a lot like the moon. However, the moon is able to shine when a transformation occurs. There is hope for every trace of darkness to turn into Light.”

“The month of Cancer gives us the power of sensitivity and nurturing so that we can make this vital transformation. A transformation that benefits the world, others, but, as always, benefits ourselves the most. For when we bless, we are blessed. It is the very reason we came to this world, to emerge from our cocoons having done our holy work of transforming darkness into Light.”

From an entry titled “Seeing Only The Light” I quote this:

“And what the kabbalists teach is that to be able to see Light where others see darkness, to be able to reveal Light where others experience darkness, is really the entire purpose we are in this world; the entire purpose our soul was put into this physical body was so that we can, throughout life, find those places that are dark, that have concealed Light within them, and reveal them as Light.”

Another one, “Having a Vision of Our Soul’s Purpose” quoted:

“The answer the kabbalists give is not just about that story, but more importantly, about our lives. Every single one of us comes into this world to accomplish certain things, and to influence a certain number of people. Maybe it is just our family, maybe it is our group of friends, or maybe it is even more expanded than that, but each one of us has a job in this world specifically for which our soul came, a task that cannot be accomplished by any other person. How do we come to see the vision of what that task, the purpose of our soul, is? How do we know if we are going in the right direction?”

“One of the ways to really know if something is our purpose is to think about whatever we feel it is, and ask ourselves if it is overwhelming. If it seems like something we do not have all the abilities to do, then we are probably right that it is our purpose. But if we look at it and say, “This is why I am here. Sure, it will take me some time, but I will do it,” then we are not seeing the total vision of the purpose of our soul. It is a vision we truly want to have, and one that we can draw in during this month of Cancer. We want to be able to live every single day of our lives with the knowledge, at least, that we are going in the direction of fulfilling our soul’s purpose in this world, a purpose that is unique only to ourselves. And having a vision of that purpose, if we ask for it, is a gift we can receive in the month of Cancer.”

Thoughts: the crab has been my spirit animal forever (horoscope: cancer), and there must be something very special about July. I want to embrace that, and all the feelings. I feel something happening here. Dear Universe… you know what to do.

Love Always,
Karen Maeby (Ahava)

Jewish Mysticism (the beginning of)

Oy vey. So this weekend has been the absolute weirdest. I think I have physically and emotionally felt every single mood and emotion you can even begin to channel. It also didn’t help having all of this rain because it actually crawls into my bones/muscles and I hurt so badly. And, I must be some sort of stressed because I am wanting to eat everything in sight!!! Anyway, I felt force of the dark side creeping up through my light, for sure, but here’s how I actually took care of business paying attention to the fact that I’m trying to keep changing my life for the better since becoming Jewish…(bear with me until I get there at the end… it’s a process…..)

The weirdness started a couple weeks ago from all of the weird dreams I keep having. Energy was drained on the 4th of July and continued into Friday where I misread a sign that completely threw my day off. That evening, I went to Shabbat service and my soul was cleansed a bit. Then on Saturday—after having moved everything to the CH—I was setting up in the green room. I touched the TV that’s sitting on top of the fridge and got shocked so badly you could actually see a spark. A LARGE, colorful one. Unfortunately, I had yet to unplug the fridge/tv and replug everything into our power strip. As I was doing that, sparks also flew, so I ended up having someone else do that for me. Being shocked left me in a weird mood. I finished my work early, so I went home, and just felt completely drained (again). 

Sunday morning I woke up from having a dream that someone in my family died but then became some other object that suddenly shrinks into something else, almost close to nothingness. Like a horror movie or something. From a show I never, ever watch. Like ever. I just hope this isn’t a sign, because the person I dreamt about barely keeps anyone close and may really be completely alone at this point where people may not find out if something happens….before it gets to that point of, well, that piece of my dream that could be placed into a horror film.  

There’s this new metaphysical shop that opened up near the CH, so I went in there, and picked up some of that energy. I must’ve picked up enough good “light” energy because I’ve been in a mood to accomplish a lot of things and not be sucked into what has drug me to the carpet. Oh, and, one more thing… I lit some candles and one of them backfired and burnt me. I have no Earthly idea what has happened or is happening. … well, up until I read an email from an astrologist/metaphysical shop that I follow in Fort Myers. 

July 7th started the Mercury retrograde and it will last until July 31st. Wonderful. Here’s some notes that came from the email: 

Dont’s
Make important decisions
Sign contracts
Buy a car
Begin a new relationship
Take anything personally at this time

Do’s
Take your time reading paperwork/contracts
Reflect on your past choices
Have back-up plans for travel
Repair your car
Re-color your hair
Review your financial situation
Give yourself and your space a good clearing
Release an unhealthy habit  

What You Can Expect
Miscommunication – people may be misinterpreting what you say and you may misinterpret other people’s words and intentions
Electronics are going haywire – computers, clocks, telephones, etc.
Batteries dying
Angry behavior
Mistakes
Getting lost, tardiness
Increased number of accidents
People from your past may make come back into your life

Yeah, so how fun is that? Welcome to the chaos that is July. But it looks like my plans—after the SOAs are over on the 21st—will be in full alignment with everything under the “Do’s”… I like it when my plans work out. Or, I’m on the right page with the Universe…..Unless: July chaos. 

So…while being on the subject of seriously studying my soul—like I’ve been doing the past couple weeks—I thought about Jewish Mysticism. Out of all those books I ordered, I got The Jewish Mystical Tradition, and I’m starting to flip through the chapters. Not seriously reading because I am trying not to start anything while working a show (new rule for myself), but this is going to be my next “class” even though I’ll be teaching myself, basically. 

I looked online to find that astrology/zodiac actually plays heavy roles in Judaism (Kabbalah). Found out that mazal means planet/star and a more specific word for star is khokhav. “The time, day and date when a person is born has an important influence on his destiny.” I’ve always said that, and the name that you are given defines you. 

I feel like all these weird things that have been happening, and the closer to talking about the soul that I get and feel… maybe I should be heading in the direction of researching Kabbalah… in retrospect of my entire life interest of astrology. You know, I often feel that I was a fortune teller in the 1920s. Every time I dream about it—I see myself in the full outfit—mood rings, stones, candles galore, often dreaming by the glass ball, and so in tune with my intuition and pick up energy every where (if my chakras are cleared). I don’t know, but maybe there’s signs all over the place… and it’s finally time for me to pick up that. What if I become a Jewish fortune teller? Or Jewish Mystical person / philosopher… it goes all along with the writing, creativity and the like. It all goes hand in hand. I think. 

True story: my great-great grandma (I think it is 2-greats) read my grandma’s fortune through coffee grounds. Told her she’d have lots of keys/rooms, and she ended up with a restaurant and an apartment building in the 1950s. So, telling fortunes is in my family, I wish I knew more about this but I don’t.

I think it’d be really helpful to gain enough spirit-intuition to help solve unsolved mysteries. The dead need to be put to rest, they need someone on their side, so does their family who’s still waiting for answers. I think it would be putting that kind of work to good use doing something like that…. and I think it does help that I am almost always right when I’m watching a true crime show on TV and I pick out the murderer right away.

“Mysticism is the quest for the ultimate meaning of life.” 

Ahava is out to change the world. If the many doors—the ones that’s settled—just won’t open, she’ll just make a new door. If an opportunity isn’t there—she’ll make one. Onnnne way or another… or a thousand ways through a thousand different doors and windows and the sky is the limit….

Stay tuned for more… as I channel my very inner-inner soul and all. 

Love Always, 
Karen Maeby (Ahava)  

I’m such a book nerd!

So, I’m apparently returning to my teen years where I get lost in book after book after book after book. That’s okay, right? Better to be a lit addict than anything else. I have definitely found out that reading and exploring word is such a huge thing in Judaism. That’s why I love it so much.

I did a thing today. I ordered more books. Yes, yes; I just bought 10 books while out of town but I ordered like 400 more. Okay. Maybe not that many, but….quite a few. I accidentally found thriftbooks.com and then I was a goner. That’s what happened. Oops. And, to top it all off…. I did get the cheaper of each book, but I wanted to smell that old book smell and see if there’s any writing in the books. Do you guys ever do that? I like a nice and clean book just like the next person, but there’s something about having markings from the previous owner.

I bought 5 more of Leslea Newman’s books (yes, for goodness sakes, I will never stop talking about her). One of them is really, really important: her Write From the Heart book. Since I love her style and I write almost like her in some forms, I know reading that will give me some inspiration.

I went ahead and got Goodbye Columbus, because I couldn’t wait. A Jewish history book, Joys of Yiddish, In the Catskills (OMG… MRS MAISEL!), The Modern Jewish Girls Guide to Guilt, Best Contemp Jewish Writing & The Woman Who Lost Her Names. The last book is Twice Blessed, which was discussed at CBI’s Pride Shabbat last year.

My entire library is going to consist of nothing but Jewish books one day and I will be quite okay with that. I’ve also decided that even though I’ll be writing about just about anything because I am the president of a writer’s group that does film / theatre scripts, poetry, monologues, etc. I definitely want to cover my insane love for becoming / being a Jewish soul / my journey / everything to do with Judaism. I had someone to reply to me on Instagram last week where I reached out and said I wanted to be one of those who brings Jewishness into film and books for the world to see and I’m a future convert. A few of them said – GO AND DO THE THINGS + they are 100% behind me. Yay, hashtag support from strangers!

I gotta start walking the walk. Or running the walk way.

PS – Super duper excited and up so very late hyper-like because I have 10 scripts in my hand for the SOAs. I am doing the same thing as last year: organizing the whole shebang (props/stage). I can’t wait.