Bubbe Wisdom Blog

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

Enlightenment Now


…The story of human progress is truly heroic. It is glorious. It is uplifting. It is even, I daresay spiritual….

…We are born into a pitiless universe, facing steep odds against life-enabling order…We are made from crooked timber, vulnerable to illusions, self-centeredness, and at time astounding stupidity.

Yet human nature has also been blessed with resources that open a space for a kind of reception. We are endowed with the power to combine ideas recursively, to have thought about our thoughts…We are deepened with the capacity for sympathy-for pity, imagination, compassion, commiseration….

…We live longer, suffer less, learn more, get smarter, and enjoy more small pleasures and rich experiences….We will never have a perfect world…but there is no limit to the betterments we can attain…

And the story belongs not to any tribe but to all of humanity-to any sentient creature with the power to reason and the urge to persist in its being. For it requires only the convictions that life is better than death, health is better than sickness, abundance is better than want, freedom is better than coercion, happiness is better than suffering, and knowledge is better than superstition and ignorance.

Steven Pinker Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress.

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

The Spiritual Path On Counting The Omer

My Kabbalah- detail

My Kabbalah- detail

In the days of the Temple, Passover marked the ripening of barley by offering a special measure called an omer. The forty-nine day omer count begins on the second day of Passover in preparation to receive the Torah on Shavuot.

Jewish mystics use seven of the ten divine attributes to contemplate the count in terms of our personal and moral growth. There are books and web sites to help you follow along to this outline: Counting the Omer with Rabbi Yael Levy
Counting the Omer by Day
1.Chesed of Chesed: generosity vs. lack of boundaries
2.Gevruah of Chesed: strength that enables generosity
3.Tiferet of Chesed: compassion of generosity
4.Netzach of Chesed: perseverance in generous
5.Hod of Chesed: sincerity of generosity
6.Yesod of Chesed: connecting to the task of being generous
7.Malchut of Chesed: accepting and including generosity
8.Chesed of Gevurah: kindness in strength
9.Gevurah of Gevurah: strength vs. rigidity
10.Tiferet of Gevurah: balance and mercy with strength
11.Netzach of Gevurah: persistence with strength
12.Hod of Gevurah: surrender as an expression of strength
13.Yesod of Gevurah: focused intention applied with strength
14.Malchut of Gevurah: receptivity as an expression of strength
15-21.Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Tiferet: compassion
22-28.Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied Netzah: perseverance
29-35.Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Hod: surrender
36-42.Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Yesod: intention and connection
43-49. Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Malchut: receptivity and nurturance

Ritualwell, a project of Kolot: The Center for Jewish Women’s and Gender Studies of RRC and Ma’yan, the Jewish Women’s Project offer feminist resources and rituals to count the omer: The Kolot Egalitarian Omer Calendar and An Omer Calendar of Biblical Women By Rabbi Jill Hammer which offers this female version of the daily omer prayer:

Beruchah at yah, eloheinu ruach haolam, asher kidshatnu bemitzvoteha vetzivatnu al sefirat ha’omer.

Blessed are You, God, Ruler/Spirit of the Universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to count the Omer.

May we move out from our narrow constrictions to a more authentic life.

Friday, March 30th, 2018

Today’s Seder Plate


Many years ago we altered our seder plate to use red beets to represent the blood on the door posts (as opposed to a lamb shank) and orange slices for equality, not to mention the addition water cup of Miriam next to the wine of Elijah.

Those of us old enough remember when we added a fourth matzah for the Soviet Jews who were not free to practice Judaism, olives for peace in the Middle East and an empty picture frame to symbolize China’s suppression of Tibet including its ban on pictures the Dalai Lama.

In addition to all of those, this year’s plate will be that much bigger and fuller with these important additions:

Potato peelings to commemorate Jews who starved during the Holocaust.

Roasted potatoes as a symbol of solidarity with refugees unable to maintain sustainable diets as they flee.

Artichokes as the symbol for interfaith families.

Fair Trade Chocolate or Cocoa Beans as a symbol of forced labor.

The Banana to represent the victims of the Syrian refugee crisis who see these as a luxury in their native, war-torn country.

A Pinecone housing the precious pine nut that is impossible to extract without great effort, representing mass incarceration and the difficult work it will take to repair this injustice.

Cashews to honor our troops stationed in the desert who request salted cashews as the best source of sustenance and hydration in this challenging environment.

A whole Tomato representing workers who deserve to be paid a living wage.

Chag Sameach

Monday, March 19th, 2018

Ending The Search


In this very moment lies an invitation to the Silence that reveals itself when you simply stop.
Perhaps your mind is asking, “Stop what?”
Just stop. Stop asking.
Stop trying.
Stop pretending.
Stop believing your stories of whom you are or where you have to go.
Stop thinking you know something don’t know something.
There is no “how”; “how” is more mind activity.
Silence needs no “how.” It simply IS.
You simply ARE.
If you want to discover what you truly are, just stop-even an instant long enough.
What is here when you simply stop?

Do not be too hard on yourself. All of your attempts to shame, degrade, renounce, reject, or beat upper ego into submission only serve to strengthen your belief in its separate existence, which is actually an illusion. You might as well allow yourself into your heart. Love is the greater dissolver of separation. Yet from the Heart that accepts all and sees with both clarity and love, you are invited to question the questioner; double the doubter; look for the seer.

Come into the sense of Now, quietly present to your innermost Self.
Invite your attention deep inside, beyond the concepts covering your naked, open awareness.
Bypass all remembered definitions of your self, even for a moment, and come inside your Heart….
Turn your attention toward your innermost silent Source; feel its Presence. Let yourself return again and again to this felt sense.

Until we have fully embraced our humanity with out relinquishing our divinity,
we have not yet come Home.
Love is the invitation beyond separation.

While you sense the extraordinary in each moment and each form as it is, including your own, there is no need to be seen to be extraordinary. Dwelling in the ordinary, you can appreciate the natural unfolding of life, moments, thoughts, feelings, body sensations, spontaneous actions, whatever appears and disappears….Dwelling in the ordinary means laughing when something is funny, crying when something is sad, enjoying the taste of food when you eat, feeling compassion in the face of pain or suffering, accepting what comes and accepting what goes, with love infusing it all.

Ending The Search by Dorothy Hunt, pgs. 23; 55; 85; 167; 240

Monday, March 12th, 2018

The Call From Deep Within


There is something larger than self, that we either mangle or make significant. Dante

According to James Hollis these are the stages of our common developmental journey:

1. One is called to the next stage, to a task.
2. The task that each of us is to address is different, the summons to individual personhood.
3. Such tasks pull us out of our comfort zones.
4. In these moments, we risk inflation, as much as intimidation.
5. We are summoned forth redeeming values that has been lost or repudiated through the adaptations of the society. These must be revisited, integrated, lived, in order to bring healing to the earth or trigger the next stage in our personal development toward wholeness.
6. Flight from this restorative task, as well as the honest experience of exile, will bring retribution, neurosis, repressed power and energy.
7. The pathology that arises from any flight from the task is necessary to get out attention.
8. Suffering is the requisite for consciousness and recovery.
9. Homecoming is the goal, but not a geographic home out there or a comforting theology or psychology but a healed relationship with self integrating all parts of the soul and its journey to allow spontaneous generosity in every circumstance.

Failure to incorporate these challenges, tasks, losses into our lives means we have not yet accepted the full package life brings to us. Everything given to us is lost and redeemed by us through more conscious affirmations and actions of values that we continually uphold and serve.

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

A Little Ray of MoonLight


This week we witnessed a spectacular celestial event: the alignment of Super, Blue and Eclipse Moon. Star gazers call it the Full Moon of Unity where the power of the individual joins the power to the people to brings us together as one heart, one voice, and one action.

I felt the moon’s power to bring us together listening to Joseph Kennedy’s response to the #notmypresident State of the Union. Read it, pass it on, feel the rays of moonlight that are among us.

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Moral Obligations To Strangers- Unite The Families


Our immigration laws are a nightmare. The 800,000 Dreamers are one group but there are many more residents in our country who are not being at all included in the current discussion. Two cases in point:

Democracy Now has been following the case of Ravi Ragbir, an over two decade undocumented immigrant with US citizen wife and children. The story is both heart wrenching and revolting, certainly because of his treatment, but more so because there is no conceivable path to legalization and citizenship within our current system. That situation has lead to his current condition, Ravi being arbitrarily removed from his home and family- taken into detention.

José Ángel N., who was here in Pittsburgh recently reading from his book, Illegal, tells the story of living an American dream characterized by constraint, deception, and humiliation. It is poignant and personal, well told and easily felt, a precarious situation at best, as he ponders his life as an illegal with a citizen wife and child.

Both men are two of the 11.3 million US immigrant residents who have no path to citizenship. A Shunda! Here are 7 Ways You Can Help Undocumented Immigrants Right Now.

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Five Secrets to Lasting Love


The following Languages of Love are our means of communicating and demonstrating our love. Most of us can easily rank one or two of these above the others both to give and receive our love. Which mean the most to you? Which are you going to try to improve?

1. Words of affirmation
Words have meaning. If this is your language hearing I love you and other verbal compliments are what you value the most. On the other side, negative or insulting comments cut deep and won’t be easily forgiven.

2. Quality time
Giving the ones you love your undivided attention and more quality time is what matters on this one. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful to loved ones who value this form of love.

3. Receiving gifts
Don’t mistake tangible gifts for materialism, but as a way to feel cared for, appreciated and loved. People who thrive on this do not deal well with and absence of everyday gestures let alone forgotten or ignored special occasions.

4. Acts of Service
Anything you can do to ease another’s burdens is always appreciated. Lending a hand, taking helpful action without being asked speak a meaningful and thoughtful love. If you’re not willing to show your appreciation by doing a loved one a favor, you’re saying you don’t value them.

5. Physical touch
Nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch. Everyday physical connections, hugging, handholding, pats on the back or any type of re-affirming physical contact is feels great not just physically but also emotionally. A favorite of mine is group hugs.

Learn more here.

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

The Whole Program Of Creation Is To Bring Us Back Into Contact With God


Why am I here?
Because you want to be.
What? This life? This suffering? This distance from the REAL?
Yes. Because within you is the eternal program of repair. Do not ever forget that left to your own devices, left to your natural inclinations, your body desires to heal, your mind desires to heal, and your spirit desires to heal. To be broken is the only way to understand wholeness. To be separate is the only way to return to the One. Your whole life is about repair and return. Whether you sit in meditation facing a wall or pray in the sanctuary to God, your soul already knows that all brokenness leads to home, that “brokenness” and “home” arise together, like sun and sky, like river and water. All of creation was made for this purpose. Everything else is commentary on the search for the eternal.

Jason Shulman;The Instruction Manual For Receiving God;Page 29

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

Gateway To A Spiritual Path

everyday-life suzuki-

THE TWELVE GATEWAYS according to Dan Millman














Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018








Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

Notes of Appreciation


Hi Louise,
The tallit just came. Oh my goodness! It is so beautiful and so Jonah! Rick and I are thrilled. Actually, we are more than thrilled—we are so moved by your work. Thank you so much. The denim tote is adorable.
Thanks, Bobbi


Dear Louise,
I received my original SilkDenim Bag on Friday and I have already used it twice. I love the bag and the creativity that went into its formation. Thank you so much.! And please know I will think of you every time I use my tote.

These potholders awesome! Wonderful craftsmanship and they are great to use. Amazing design to slide your hand in the pocket. A funky way to stylishly recycle. Even my husband liked them! Can’t wait to purchase more. They would make great gifts! Kisber

This quilt is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made! I enjoy reading under it, watching TV under it and sleeping under it. It’s visually interesting and has garnered many positive comments from family and friends. The quality is great and the comfort it offers is incomparable. I want another one! James

Thank you! We received your quilt and table runner today. Both are beautiful! The colors are a surprise, since each is different from the sample shown on Etsy. We love the way they turned out! They match our dining room and bedroom even better than we hoped. March

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