Vayetze – “Jacob’s Ladder”

The seventh reading from the book of Genesis is named Vayetze (ויצא), which means “and he went out.” The title comes from the first verse of the reading, which says, “And Jacob went out from Beersheba” (Genesis 28:10 KJV). This portion tells the story of Jacob’s flight from his brother Esau, his vision at Bethel, his employment with his uncle Laban and his marriage to the two sisters, Rachel and Leah. Jacob’s double marriage results in a baby-bearing contest that gives him eleven sons. At the end of the portion, Jacob leaves Laban and returns to the land of Canaan, but not before Laban tries to stop him.

The posting of the weekly Torah portion is brought with multiple intention. However, the first and foremost, is to simply to bring it each week to the table. Whether you inquire or not is up to you. I would not spend so much time on it if I didn’t think it part of exploring tight alignment. Here is a short video to get you started.


Last night, Aldo shared a few of his insights into the practice of mindfulness/awareness practice. I really appreciated his willingness to come to our group and present and guide us. I was particularly impressed with the way Aldo weaved into his presentation the concept of Mapquesting. I thought that , right there, was an example of mindfulness in Action. He obviously took the time to read through some of the posts on choicetimes and did so well enough to pick up the “map” inquiry approach.

He then suggested a map to inquire into – THE DIRECT PATH.

At first, I was slightly offended. I have known Aldo for a long time and we have waxed philosophically on many a matter. And, although Aldo, is one of the kindest souls you may pass by, like most male-male relationships, their is a bit of competition in “arguing” opposing positions, if such things arise. So, right after he mentions the map he Trumps all of our 3 step, 5 step, 8 step maps with The Direct Path? And, to boot, he only goes over it very superficially by saying something like “The Ends are the Same as the Means.” Immediately, I saw the ironic reference to Machiavelli in The Prince, …”The ends justify the means.” Of course, I am trying to be a bit humorous here. I thought Aldo’s presentation was freaking Magical. I wished I had recorded it but I don’t record our zoom sessions. Aldo continued on, even throughout the guided meditation to add texture to our inquiry of the Direct Path Map. Genius. But, I am far from surprised, for my experience of Aldo is that through his gift of “coding” software he has produced miracles that I would never have thought possible, at the time. So, Thank You Adlo. Well done.

As your guide, I decided to do a little “Reecon” on this map called “The Direct Path.” Does this map make all other maps obsolete? So far my conclusion is “No and Yes.” After watching several videos I found this 13 minute discussion on the Direct Path Map. I chose it for several reasons. Notice the person he is talking with. You can’t see her but you can hear her. It is said that we have, or are in the process of entering The Age of Aquarius. What does this mean? Have you ever read the book that came out in the early 80’s called, “The Aquarian Conspiracy.” It is suppose to be a big paradigm shift astrologically.. I am not an expert on it. Nedra may be able to add some context to this.

I believe that THE DIRECT PATH is a map worthy of further inquiry for our group. I would like to hear what you think….


The sixth reading from the book of Genesis is named Toldot (תולדות), which means “generations.” It is so named because the Torah portion begins with the words “Now these are the records of the generations of Isaac” (Genesis 25:19). Toldot tells us the story of the birth of Jacob and Esau and their struggle for the birthright and blessing of their father, Isaac. We also learn about Isaac’s trials and difficulties in the land of Canaan. The portion concludes with Jacob’s deception of Isaac in order to procure the family blessing. Genesis 25:19 – 28:6.

Here is a short video to kick off your inquiry…

“The Five Bodies”

This post is designed to be like a yoga session. It will take 30 minutes of your time.

As your guide, I will attempt to describe “right alignment” and then guide you in discovering and exploring your edge. I am looking forward to hearing some feedback as to how you experienced this.

First, make sure you are wearing comfortable clothing that you can move easily in and you are warm. Lay out your yoga mat. If you use cushions to sit then have them available. Have a blanket for Final Shavassanah.

Play the following song while doing a few yoga poses. Open up the hips with dragon or pigeon. Do a few forward bends and backbends. Stretch neck and connect to breathing. It’s only a short 3 minute stretch here.

Now, establish your sitting position. Take a few minutes to make sure you are set up. Feel the energy rise up in the spine. Pull up through the core slightly. Breath-Relax-Feel-Watch-Allow. Lock into your focused awareness and watch this video. It is 12 minutes long.

When finished take 5 cycles of deep breathing. Inhale for 8 seconds getting full. Hold for 13 seconds, exhale in 8 seconds, hold exhale for 5 seconds and repeat. Switch your legs. Put the one that is in front in back. Then click play on the next video. It is 8 minutes long.

When video finishes set up for final Shivassana and play the audio below.

When video finishes then come back slowly and……

Contemplate the following thoughts:

Do you see a comparison between the 5 koshas in the yogic system and the 5 aspects of the soul described by the Rabbi?

Can you invert the order? Bliss to Physical. Highest level of soul to Nefash.

Chayei Sarah

The fifth reading in the book of Genesis is translated, “Sarah lived.”

Genesis 23:1 – 25:18

The last portion ended with the binding of Isaac. This traumatic event contributed to the death of Sarah. Isaac was spared and Sarah died. Other things occur in the story like Abraham sending out Elazaar to find a wife for Isaac. Abraham purchases land with a cave to bury Sarah. Hagar comes back and has more children with Abraham. Read the section to connect to the story.

I am posting two videos here. One from Shual on this week’s portion and one from our favorite Rabbi talking about the Moshiach. Both videos bring the lesson to the events of the day.