A River of Forgiveness




Transcript: There is something holy about standing in water. There was a river in the Garden of Eden. And our teachings tell us that when it left the Garden, it split into four. And when that river flowed out into the world, it was so that we would always be connected to the Garden of Eden. To our origin story. To the place of our creation as humans. Our God, our creator knew that we would need that connection. That we would need that reminder that we were connected back to our holy place. That we would always be wanted there. That we would always have a place in our hearts to call home. And that we would need that in order to not lose track of ourselves and our own goodness when we made mistakes.

There is a teaching in our history about Adam laying down in one of those four rivers to atone for his mistake of eating from the tree of knowledge. He simply sat down in the river to ask for forgiveness and to grant it to himself. This immersion in holy water was a ritual that he needed to go through before he could venture out into the world and try again.

The Jewish word for sin is “chet” which has its origins in archery. It means to miss the mark cause our concept of wrongdoing as Jewish people is not rooted in our value or judgement about our humanness. Our ancestors and the universe teach us that we have inherent value and goodness just because we’re human. That’s it. And that when we make mistakes it is simply because of that humanity that we miss the mark sometimes. And we don’t need to cover it up or hide it. We get to create a ritual to go out into the open, connect to ourselves, to our origin story, to our creator and simply sit with what we have done in the flow of the water. And then we get to figure out a course of action that will make a repair. And sometimes repairing something that was broken creates something even more beautiful and stronger than what we started with.

The sound that you hear is the sound of a creek, so let us go in and walk together. Ponder and weigh ourselves. Think about where we missed the mark this year and how we can repair and make more beauty. How we can forgive ourselves and be gentle as we let the water flow around us and remind us of how much we are connected and loved by the universe.

Thank you for stepping into abundance with me.

Rosa Blumenfeld is a writer, educator and water follower/mikveh guide who lives on Massachusett land in Boston, MA, USA. She is Native/Indigenous but raised with Colombian and Jewish identities on top of her Muisca identity. Originally from Mosqueam territory in Vancouver, BC, Canada, she is heeding the call from her ancestors that water is the key to doing her work of coming home to her Native/Indigenous communities, lands, heart, spirit, teachings, and ways of living. Water points the way home and helps her notice her connection to the universe, divinity, and connection. She can frequently be found walking through a creek, river, waterfall or ocean with her dog Penelope.

Thank you to Rise Up, the Nathan Cummings Foundation and Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah for their generous support of Reset.

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