Shoftim + New Moon of Virgo | Guarding Our Five Senses + Transforming into a New Creation - Vital Transformation

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Shoftim + New Moon of Virgo | Guarding Our Five Senses + Transforming into a New Creation

August 17, 2021

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Episode Description:

In Shoftim, the directive to establish judges and guards is a call for justice and righteousness in the external world. Yet, Rabbi Eliyahu Jian invites us to consider a deeper, internal application of this commandment: the vigilance over our five senses. This period, accentuated by the New Moon of Virgo, presents a unique opportunity for introspection and transformation, urging us to become a new creation by Rosh HaShanah.

Guarding the Gates: The Five Senses as Pathways to the Soul: Our senses — sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell — are the gates through which we perceive the world. Rabbi Jian teaches that just as judges and guards ensure justice within a city, we must oversee the inputs and outputs of our sensory experiences to maintain spiritual purity. Each sense, when guarded wisely, can become a conduit for holiness and connection to the Creator. Conversely, unguarded senses can lead to spiritual impurity and disconnection.

  • Sight: Guarding our eyes from seeing harm or negativity, focusing instead on seeing the good in others and the beauty in the world God created.
  • Hearing: Being selective about what we listen to, ensuring that our ears are attuned to words of Torah, kindness, and truth rather than gossip or slander.
  • Taste: Eating with mindfulness and gratitude, choosing foods that are not only kosher but also nourishing to the body and soul.
  • Touch: Using the sense of touch in ways that are respectful and holy, recognizing the sanctity in our interactions with the world and with others.
  • Smell: Appreciating the fragrances that elevate the soul, such as the scent of Shabbat candles or havdalah spices, which can bring us closer to spiritual awareness.

The New Moon of Virgo: A Time for Transformation: The month of Virgo (Elul) is traditionally a time for self-reflection and repentance as we prepare for Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year. Rabbi Jian highlights the energy of Virgo as one of purification and service, encouraging us to harness this time to scrutinize our actions and intentions. It is a period to ask for the Creator’s assistance in transforming ourselves into a new creation, shedding the layers of the past year and emerging renewed for the year to come.

Becoming a New Creation: This transformation involves more than mere resolution; it requires a profound shift in how we perceive ourselves and our place in the world. By guarding our senses, we refine our internal judges, enabling us to discern more clearly between right and wrong, purity and impurity. This vigilance lays the foundation for genuine change, allowing us to enter Rosh HaShanah not as we were, but as we aspire to be — closer to our true selves and to God.

Conclusion: The teachings of Shoftim, coupled with the energy of the New Moon of Virgo, provide a powerful framework for personal transformation. Rabbi Eliyahu Jian’s insights remind us that by guarding our senses and embracing the opportunity for renewal, we can indeed become a new creation. As we approach Rosh HaShanah, let us commit to this spiritual guardianship, purifying our perceptions and actions, so that we may stand before the Creator renewed, ready to write a new chapter in the Book of Life.

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