Spiritual Exploration in Mystical Tzfat

The spirituality workshops at Livnot open eyes, hearts and minds to the fine fibers of intentions and potentials that construct our realities. The workshops inspire an open space culture; a natural environment for learning and creating a personal experience with Judaism and the Jewish world. The teachers open their pasts like history books, and their minds like libraries. In the working space where student meets teacher, roles are traded and shared.

There is an established trust in the project and the participants that protects the exploration of themes like what it means to be Jewish and what is the point of connecting to Jewish community.  Questions are encouraged, without answers being dictated, and group discussions are key to exploring Jewish culture and values in an open environment.  Topics include, but are not limited to: Nature & Judaism, Relationships & Sexuality, Spiritual Eating, Jewish Spirituality in a Modern Age, Jewish Music, and Kabbalat Shabbat.

Gratitude is among the many topics explored.  What does being in a state of gratitude imply? To be grateful one must first know and feel that there is something special to recognize. To be in this state implies an effort, taking the time to wonder in order to understand and appreciate the quality of the reality of the moment experienced. The moment experienced is fleeting, but a moment named is created outside of time. Naming ties a string between the reality of the moment we perceive and the intelligence, labor, creativity and love that went into the creation of that which we are experiencing through our senses. The Jewish way of wonder is so that we are asked to look for the creation in each moment, of seeing the spiritual investment in the physical phenomena. The individual is empowered through their studies of and appreciation for life, for they learn of their own potential and that of the world through the expression of creation.

The conversations of this variety are not limited to the scheduled time in the program itinerary. The atmosphere of Livnot, created by its teachers, staff and participants invites the most curious topics to be discussed whether over a meal, in the forest, a soup kitchen, or the library. The essence of the Livnot Israel experience is to build a relationship, a bridge, between our Jewish identity and our reality. The workshops, volunteer projects, hikes, and time spent together in Tzfat teach us of the mosaic of Judaism. And how our Jewish soul is likened to a fig tree, ripening one fruit after another throughout a lifetime.

Photo credit: Avi Landman