17 October 2016 – Astro-Weather: Brilliant Venus stands out low in the southwest during evening twilight. The planet is above the horizon a half-hour after sunset & sets as twilight comes to a close. Venus is the brightest object in the evening sky after the Moon. Although you’ll be hard-pressed to see any background stars against the twilight, the inner world officially passes from the constellation Libra into Scorpius today
Vega is the brightest star high in the west these evenings. Less high in the southwest is Altair, not quite as bright. Just upper right of Altair, by a finger-width at arm’s length, is distant orange Tarazed. Straight down from Tarazed runs the stick-figure backbone of the constellation Aquila, the Eagle
“The Master said, “A true teacher is one who, keeping the past alive, is also able to understand the present.” ~ Confucius, Analects 2.11
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1091 – The London Tornado, the earliest reported tornado. The wooden London Bridge was demolished, & the church of St. Mary-le-Bow as well as other churches in the area, were demolished, as were over 600 (mostly wooden) houses. For all the damage inflicted, the tornado claimed 2 victims
1604 – Kepler’s Supernova: German astronomer Johannes Kepler observes a supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus
1771 – Premiere in Milan of the opera Ascanio in Alba, composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, age 15
1829 – 1st murder attempt on Kasper Hauser
1849 – Deathday of Frédéric Chopin, Polish pianist & composer
1887 – Deathday of Gustav Kirchhoff, a German physicist who contributed to the fundamental understanding of electrical circuits, spectroscopy, & the emission of black-body radiation by heated objects.
1888 – Thomas Edison files a patent for the Optical Phonograph (the first movie)
1956 – The first commercial nuclear power station is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in Sellafield,in Cumbria, England
1961 – Over 400 Algerian protesters are massacred by the Paris police at the instigation of former Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon, then chief of the Prefecture of Police
1965 –New York World’s Fair closes after a two-year run. More than 51 million people had attended the event
1989 – The 6.9 Mw Loma Prieta earthquake shakes the San Francisco Bay Area &the Central Coast. 63 people were killed
MY POD (Poem Of the Day)
~I come to shout the wisdom of air…
I come with a sycamore seed in my mouth…
I come to the great inland sea to sow my tree…
& you are there to meet me…
“When you sit in the Sukkah, ‘the shade of faithfulness,’ the Shechina spreads Her wings over you…”
The harvest season is upon us once again…The Jewish New Year has begun, Sweet with the seal of At-One-ment…& now, the ancient celebration of Sukkot comes,
to bring community together for a unique opportunity to experience an amazing blend of Honoring the Ancestors, Giving Thanks, & opening to receive prosperity’s blessings…
Please join us in spirit as we: Share food, Tell stories, Create Autumn Art, Invite in the Matriarchs of the Torah, & many other loving ancestors, & perform the ancient ritual of waving the Lulav, for blessings of abundance…
The Festival of Sukkot is quite a drastic transition, from one of the most solemn holidays in our year- Yom Kipper, to one of the most joyous. This festival is sometimes referred to as the ‘Season of our Rejoicing’. Sukkot began last night, & lasts for seven days.
The word “Sukkot” means “booths,” & refers to the temporary dwellings that we build to celebrate this holiday. The name of the holiday is frequently translated as “The Feast of Tabernacles,” & Like Passover & Shavu’ot, Sukkot has a dual significance: Historical & Agricultural.
The holiday commemorates the forty-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Sukkot is also a harvest festival, & is sometimes referred to as the ‘Festival of Ingathering’.
This is harvest time, so we decorate the sukkah with the bounty of autumn, dried squash & corn, pumpkin & gourds, all the vegetables that make you think of Halloween & Thanksgiving. Building & decorating a sukkah is a fun, family project, much like decorating the Christmas tree.
Another observance related to Sukkot involves what are known as The Four Species, etrog (a citrus fruit, representing the heart), a palm branch (in Hebrew, lulav, representing the spine of the upright human being), two willow branches (arava, representing our eyes) & three myrtle branches (hadas, representing our lips & tongue). We take these four plants & use them to “rejoice.” The six branches are bound together & referred to collectively as the lulav. The etrog is held separately. With these four species in hand, one recites a blessing & waves the species in all six directions (east, south, west, north, up & down, symbolizing the fact that the Divine is everywhere).
Ushpizot is an Aramaic word meaning guests. According to Jewish tradition, each night of Sukkot, a different set of guests is invited to rejoice with us in the Sukkah. While the custom of inviting Ushpizin, seven biblical male leaders, has been widely celebrated, there are also medieval sources that suggest inviting the seven female prophetesses: Sarah (Genesis 16,21), Miriam (Exodus 2:1-9; 15:20-21), Deborah (Judges 4-5), Hannah (I Samuel 25), Huldah (II Kings 22:10-20), and Esther (Book of Esther).
So come join us in spirit, with thoughts of peace in the Middle East & everywhere, & be part of this experiential celebration…What great leaders, proud Matriarchs or daring Daddies would you like to invite into the sukkah…? Let this ancient tradition made new, empower you…
Blessings & Peace