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“A job well begun is half done.” – Ancient proverb
This week’s portion of Vayikra is the first chapter in the Book of Leviticus and, as such, it signifies the start of a new journey. The portion itself describes all manner of sacrifices. It is not a coincidence that this Wednesday night also happens to be the New Moon of Aries, a month that includes the holiday of Pesach, in which we work to sacrifice our ego. Being the first of the astrological signs, the initial glimpse of the Aries moon is considered by kabbalists to be the seed level of the twelve months that follow. All of this indicates that this week is providing us with a way to enter into a new beginning.
Have you ever wondered why first impressions seem so important? We put so much effort into being our best on a first date, so much preparation into our first day on a new job, so much time spent on our resolutions at the start of a new year, and all because there is some level of sacrifice that occurs at the beginning of everything. We do not show up on a first date with a list of all the things we expect the other person to do for us, rather we put that aside to listen, care, and discover. Same with a new job. We do not walk in on the first day behaving like we own the place with a list of demands. Instead, we come in humble, appreciative, and seeking to give value. The energy we experience in the beginning is created by our restriction of ego; it is because we give something up—our ideas and expectations. In short, we are open to learn from or about others.
I know many people who sacrifice a little time at the start of each day for prayer, yoga, meditation, or other wonderful ways of elevating consciousness. They find that by beginning their day with positive thoughts, they are more likely to maintain a positive frame of mind throughout the rest of it. When we forgo some time for spiritual things, in the end, we gain so much more. At the Kabbalah Centre, we learn a prayer called the Modeh Ani, which is recited the very instant we open our eyes in the morning, thanking the Creator for granting us another day in which we can live, love, and engage in fulfilling our destiny.
The beginning of anything is its seed. Sure, a seed needs nourishment and the right environment to flourish and reach its greatest potential, but if the seed itself is not healthy, its future, too, will be limited.
The New Moon of Aries this Wednesday evening, March 25th, is the new beginning of the next 365 days. I believe that together, we can infuse the seed with Light—raising for ourselves, the Tree of Life, from which all the world can be nurtured.
Our thoughts, words, and actions this week will go a long way in determining the kind of year we create for ourselves. Let us be mindful not just on Wednesday night, but throughout the week that this is the seed level of our year. Let us give of ourselves. Let us be well begun, so that we may find, at the end of our year’s journey, a job well done.
The more Light we can infuse into the seed, the mightier the tree that shall from it grow.