https://opensiddur.org/?p=14723A Blessing over Water for Peace, Health, Joy, Prosperity, and Kindness — by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (ca. 2004)2016-11-23 18:51:06A blessing by Reb Zalman for Peace, Health, Joy, Prosperity, and Kindness which he wrote in spray paint on a municipal water tank behind his house in Colorado.Textthe Open Siddur ProjectZalman Schachter-ShalomiZalman Schachter-ShalomiNetanel Miles-YépezAharon N. Varady (transcription)https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/Zalman Schachter-Shalomihttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/Well-being, health, and caregivingTheurgyblessingsברכות brakhotwaterJewish Renewalshehakol21st century C.E.58th century A.M.ColoradoMasaru Emoto
Years ago, my teacher, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, of blessed memory, told me that he had once hiked into the mountains and spray-painted “holy graffiti” on a water reserve tank. He was inspired by the experiments of Dr. Masaru Emoto who claimed that even writing emotionally charged words on a bottle of water changed the structure of the water itself. Words of hate created chaotic structures, and words of love, beautiful patterns. So Reb Zalman took a path into the mountains behind his home in Boulder and hiked up to a large water tank that provided water to the community and spray-painted on it: “Blessings for peace, health, joy, prosperity, and kindness.” Today, a little over a year since his passing, I decided to hike up into the mountains to see if I could find the water tank and see if his holy graffiti still existed. I reached the water tank just after six o’clock in the evening. There was plenty of graffiti on it, but none of it “holy”—at least not on the part of it I could see. I decided to look around the back of it. The ground was wet, so I walked the narrow cement edge around the tank, until finally, I came to the faded black remains of Reb Zalman’s graffiti. After some twenty years, and probably more than one paint over, it was still here! There was no vantage point from which to take a picture of all of it, so I did what I could to capture it in a series of photos.
Blessed are you,
YHVH our elo’ah,
who creates a diverse multitude of creatures,
each shaped with a dependency (ḥesronan, lit. ‘absence’)
through which it is enlivened with the Spirit of Life.
Blessed is the Life of the Worlds.
al kol mah shebara’ta
nefesh kol ḥai
barukh ḥei ha‘olamim
Since I’m nowhere near Colorado I figured that if I could stitch together the images Reb Netanel took, I too could take part in Reb Zalman’s intention and blessing. So I brought them together and had them printed up on a mug to drink from. The stitched together image is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license in case you want to print out this image on your own. (If you wish to buy the one that I made, they’re available here for anyone who wants. All proceeds benefit the Open Siddur Project. Reb Zalman was one of the very first contributors to the Open Siddur Project, a realization of his dream for a Database Davennen.)
My desk with a blessing from Reb Zalman (credit: Aharon Varady, license: CC BY-SA)
If you do drink from this mug, don’t forget to prepare it as a holy vessel by saying the following blessing and immersing it in a mikveh or natural flowing body of water.
Rabbi Dr. Zalman Meshullam Schachter-Shalomi, affectionately known as "Reb Zalman" (28 August 1924 – 3 July 2014) was one of the founders of the Jewish Renewal movement. Born in Żółkiew, Poland (now Ukraine) and raised in Vienna, he was interned in detention camps under the Vichy Regime but managed to flee the Nazi advance, emigrating to the United States in 1941. He was ordained as an Orthodox rabbi in 1947 within the ḤaBaD Hasidic movement while under the leadership of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, and served ḤaBaD communities in Massachusetts and Connecticut. He subsequently earned an M.A. in psychology of religion at Boston University, and a doctorate from the Hebrew Union College. He was initially sent out to speak on college campuses by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, but in the early 1960s, after experimenting with "the sacramental value of lysergic acid", the main ingredient in LSD, leadership within ḤaBaD circles cut ties with him. He continued teaching the Torah of Ḥassidut until the end of his life to creative, free and open-minded Jewish thinkers with humility and kindness and established warm ecumenical ties as well. In September 2009, he became the first contributor of a siddur to the Open Siddur Project database of Jewish liturgy and related work. Reb Zalman supported the Open Siddur Project telling its founder, "this is what I've been looking forward to!" and sharing among many additional works of liturgy, an interview he had with Havurah magazine in the early to mid-1980s detailing his vision of "Database Davenen." The Open Siddur Project is proud to be realizing one of Reb Zalman's long held dreams.
Netanel Miles-Yépez is an artist, religion scholar, and spiritual teacher.Born into a Mexican-American family, in his late teens, Miles-Yépez discovered his family's hidden Jewish roots and began to explore Judaism and other religions seriously. After studying history of religions and comparative religion at Michigan State University, he moved to Boulder, Colorado to study with the innovative Hasidic master and leader in ecumenical dialogue, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal movement. In addition to Schachter-Shalomi, he also studied with various Sufi masters and teachers of Buddhism, and counts Father Thomas Keating, Trappist monk and founder of the Centering Prayer movement, as an important influence. In 2004, he and Schachter-Shalomi co-founded the Sufi-Hasidic, Inayati-Maimuni Order, fusing the Sufi and Hasidic principles of spirituality and practice espoused by Rabbi Avraham Maimuni in 13th-century Egypt with the teachings of the Ba’al Shem Tov and Hazrat Inayat Khan. Currently, he teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.As a writer on religious subjects, he is known for his critically acclaimed commentaries on Hasidic spirituality (written with Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi), A Heart Afire: Stories and Teachings of the Early Hasidic Masters (2009) and A Hidden Light: Stories and Teachings of Early HaBaD and Bratzlav Hasidism (2011). He is also the editor several ecumenical works, including The Common Heart: An Experience of Interreligious Dialogue (2006) and Meditations for InterSpiritual Practice (2011).As an artist, Miles-Yépez is mostly known for his vibrant paintings, influenced by traditional religious imagery and his Mexican-American heritage. His work in general represents a lifelong fascination with religious iconography, myth and symbol, image and archetype, cultural impressions and his own ancestry. Most of his work is concerned with the acculturation and use of traditional symbols and iconic forms in a new multi-cultural paradigm.
Aharon Varady (M.A.J.Ed./JTSA Davidson) is a volunteer transcriber for the Open Siddur Project. If you find any mistakes in his transcriptions, please let him know. Shgiyot mi yavin; Ministarot naqeniשְׁגִיאוֹת מִי־יָבִין; מִנִּסְתָּרוֹת נַקֵּנִי "Who can know all one's flaws? From hidden errors, correct me" (Psalms 19:13). If you'd like to directly support his work, please consider donating via his Patreon account. (Varady also translates prayers and contributes his own original work besides serving as the primary shammes of the Open Siddur Project and its website, opensiddur.org.)
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ויהי נעם אדני אלהינו עלינו ומעשה ידינו כוננה עלינו ומעשה ידינו כוננהו "May the pleasantness of אדֹני our elo’ah be upon us; may our handiwork be established for us — our handiwork, may it be established."–Psalms 90:17
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