Simchat Torah, Hoshana Raba and Checking of Shadow - Vital Transformation

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Simchat Torah, Hoshana Raba and Checking of Shadow

October 3, 2023

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Episode Description:

To follow along with this study: https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/513771?lang=bi

Exploring the Depths of Simchat Torah, Hoshana Raba, and the Checking of Shadow with Rabbi Eliyahu Jian

In a profound exploration of Jewish traditions, Rabbi Eliyahu Jian sheds light on the significance of Simchat Torah, Hoshana Raba, and the unique practice of checking one’s shadow, offering a deeper understanding and inviting us to question the “why” behind our observances.

The Call for Deeper Understanding

Rabbi Jian opens with a compelling call to move beyond mere tradition and to seek the deeper meanings behind our spiritual practices. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the “why” behind actions, rather than just performing rituals out of habit or tradition. This understanding is crucial for imparting a lasting spiritual legacy to our children, ensuring that Jewish teachings are not just rote practices but living, breathing aspects of their lives.

The Significance of Sukkot and Simchat Torah

Delving into the rituals of Sukkot and Simchat Torah, Rabbi Jian emphasizes the importance of knowing why we perform certain actions, such as pouring water during Sukkot or dancing with the Torah scrolls during Simchat Torah. He explains that these rituals are not just symbolic but are deeply rooted in Kabbalistic teachings that impart specific spiritual energies and blessings.

The Practice of Checking the Shadow on Hoshana Raba

One of the most intriguing practices Rabbi Jian discusses is checking one’s shadow on the night of Hoshana Raba. This lesser-known ritual, derived from the teachings of the Arizal, involves staying awake all night in prayer and study, followed by a moment where individuals check their shadows to receive insights into the coming year. Rabbi Jian encourages participation in this practice, highlighting its significance in opening doors that have been closed and inviting divine assistance for the year ahead.

A Call to Revolutionize Jewish Education

Rabbi Jian’s message is not just about individual practices but also a broader call to revolutionize Jewish education. He urges parents and educators to embrace and teach the deeper meanings of Jewish rituals and to ensure that children understand the spiritual significance behind their actions. This approach, he argues, will create a more profound and lasting connection to Jewish spirituality and heritage.

Conclusion: Embracing the Depths of Our Traditions

Through Rabbi Eliyahu Jian’s teachings on Simchat Torah, Hoshana Raba, and the Checking of Shadow, we are invited to delve deeper into our spiritual practices, to understand their roots, and to impart these teachings to the next generation. By moving beyond the surface and exploring the “why” behind our rituals, we can ensure that our traditions remain alive and vibrant, guiding us and future generations on our spiritual journeys.

About Rabbi Eliyahu Jian

Rabbi Eliyahu Jian, known for his insightful teachings that blend Kabbalistic wisdom with practical guidance for spiritual growth, encourages a deeper exploration of Jewish traditions. His teachings provide a roadmap for understanding and connecting with the divine, enriching our spiritual lives and the lives of those around us.

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