What I’ve Learned…
Perhaps the most important thing that I learned on my journey to becoming a rabbi – to becoming a Jewish spiritual teacher and leader – is this:
The Hebrew word ‘yud heh vav hey’ – the word we pronounce as ‘Adonai’ – the most sacred word in our tradition – that word does not mean ‘God’.
God is not a Jewish word
A more useful English translation of the word ‘yud heh vav hey’ – 'Adonai' – is Beingness or Is-ness.
Perhaps it's helpful to speak of ‘aliveness’ or 'The Life Force that Animates all Being’
You don’t make your heart beat – the Life Force in you does that
You don’t make your kidneys function – the Life Force in you does that.
And in my understanding, the Jewish spiritual path is an invitation to become attuned to, to become aware of, conscious of this Life Force .
And when I speak of the Jewish path what I mean is the Jewish way of being and doing in the world – and walking the path means engaging with powerful and transformative spiritual practices –powerful spiritual technology – that we are invited to participate in and experience both in community and as individuals – the path leads us towards awakening, integration and enlightenment; it leads us towards personal and collective healing; and ultimately towards an awareness of the Oneness that is the ground of all Being.
and it’s not that the Jewish path is better than any other spiritual or religious path – but rather it is our path – and the world needs our path – just as it needs the Christian path, the Buddhist path and the Islamic path and all the other paths that serve life.
In my experience, the decision to follow the Jewish path has helped me to cultivate: the qualities of compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, honesty, humility, kindness, joy and love – it has helped me in my search for meaning and purpose, my sense of the sacredness of life, my sense of being in connection with all of life, my desire for development and transformation.
Please join us on the path...
Rabbi Danny Newman
Danny read Jewish Studies at Oxford University, trained in psychotherapy and worked as a corporate lawyer in the City prior to receiving his semicha (rabbinic ordination) at Leo Baeck College.