Hear O Israel

Later today I need to attend a meeting. This meeting will be challenging, demanding, as well as all the other euphemisms for “darn hard”.

This is a day which requires early morning preparation. I need to be in a good place while being in that meeting. I need to be balanced. I need to be calm. I need to have courage.

This is a day which calls me to begin by lying on my back and to feel my body and listen to my breathing. I become aware of the contact my bones make with the floor. I observe each part from heel to head. I compare my left side with the right side. I don’t judge it. I observe and feel it.

I do a series of gentle movements, which enable me to integrate and connect the parts of my skeleton.

I tap into my training in the Feldenkrais Method of Movement to guide me as I lie down, place my heels on the floor and bend my knees.
I press my left heel down towards the floor and feel that movement through my skeleton reach my knees, my pelvis, through my spine, my neck and reaches my head.

My body slides back and forth gently from heel to head.
I take a break and feel any changes in the contact my body makes with the floor.

I then do the same thing but press with my right heel and feel the movement of my whole skeleton all the way to my head. I do not hold my breath. I feel the breathing in my belly.

I repeat these movements a few times, listening with awareness. I do them slowly, each time observing all the different parts of the skeleton which I feel participating.

I lie still and listen to my body. How does it lie now on the floor? Does it make more contact? Which parts are clearer on the floor?

I slowly roll to my side and through sitting I come to standing. I feel my height. I walk and observe where my head is. I feel how I breathe.

I go to put on my tallit, lay my tefillin and begin to read the Shema prayer. “Hear O Israel, Hashem is G-d, Hashem is One.”

I complete my morning prayers and Hear. I listen to the world.

Today is February 26. It is also the 26th Day of Adar.

I recall that 26 is the Gematria value of the name of י-ה-ו-ה – Hashem.
I also recall the numerological value of G-d according to the Pythagorean system. Here each of the letters of the English alphabet, has the value of 1 -26 (corresponding to their sequential order from A to Z). In this system the name G-O-D also equals 26. (G=7; O= 15; D= 4).

I Hear once again that Hashem is One. I feel the Oneness in my body, my mind and my soul.

I am now ready for my meeting. I feel my full self, my one self, my whole self.

Hear O Israel…

About the Author
David Skolni is a South African immigrant. He came to live in Israel in 1982. He is a special needs teacher and a practitioner in the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education. His current interest is in the connections between body, movement and Judaism.