Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March 9, 2011: Turning Point?

I don't know about you, but I have been feeling very weird all week. Today (Wednesday Israel time) has been the peak. I had to take a day off from my normal duties so as to face rather than suppress what I'm feeling. Overall, I have a sense that something is ending and something new is being born, but what is being born has not yet materialized, so it's a very unsettling in-between feeling. Also, the weather here (Israel) is crazy: strong winds, quick bouts of rain interspersed with bright rays of sun...oh, and now, hail!

As a yid I know this has to do with Mashiach. It's Adar II, days before Purim, after events have been heating up for months. As Rebbe Nachman says, all beginnings are from Purim. Last Purim I moved back to Israel after 7 years away, when I left abruptly after becoming religious. On a personal level, it's as if my inner clock knows Purim 5771 is a milestone, and is trying to lower the volume on everything that is irrelevant in order to hone in on what's real.

On a global/environmental level, something is churning as well. On Tuesday, millions of anchovies washed up dead on the shores of the marina at Redondo Beach, California (amazing video). According to recent events, mass animal deaths right sometimes precede earthquakes, such as in the case of Chile and New Zealand. On top of that, all week small earthquakes have hit the California and Oregon coast. Is a quake heading to the Pacific Northwest? Former US Geologist Jim Berkland thinks so. (Coincidentally, my family in California, who are not religious, are flying out of the country on Purim for two weeks). Meanwhile, in North Japan a 7.2 earthquake has hit and a tsunami warning has been issued. Seismic activity worldwide can be viewed here.

On the Mayan calendar, today is the first day of a period called the Ninth Wave, the dawn of "universal consciousness", and the most compressed and accelerated phase of the calendar--the "final stretch" before 2012. Denise Le Fay describes the period on the Mayan Calendar that begins today:
March 9, 2011: We officially enter the last, the shortest, and no doubt the most compressed and accelerated phase within the Mayan calendar. Tomorrow humanity and Earth enters the Ninth Wave and quite literally we and reality will never be the same again...To the integrated, no longer polarized mind, tomorrow is another major turning point energetically. To the non-polarized mind and heart, entering the Ninth Wave phase tomorrow is entering the final stretch and seeing the finish line only a short few yards in front of us....the Ninth Wave phase will trigger us individually in exactly the way/ways we most need to correct, adjust, integrate and more fully release or let go of whatever within ourselves. I’ve been living this much more consciously the past few weeks and have paid close attention to the last-minute things I need to let go of so I’m free to BE instead of constantly externalized and focused (either mentally, emotionally, or physically) in old but highly familiar DOINGS. What I’ve realized over the past few weeks is what this transition from the Eighth Wave (which began Jan. 5, 1999) into the Ninth Wave (March 9, 2011) is for us....Pay attention to whatever you too may need to cast-off and permanently let go of so that you can more easily BE.
According to the Mayan calendar, there are nine stages of universal evolution. The sixth began in 3115 BCE, when writing began and Egyptian civilization consolidated. In Jewish history we know this period as parallel to the lifetime of Enoch, a key figure in eschatology. The seventh wave, which brought about global consciousness, began in 1755 BCE, which marks the beginning of the spread of Jewish mysticism according to the Ba'al Shem Tov's prophecy, that Mashiach will arrive when the Besht's teachings (Chassidus, the inner dimension of the Torah and the opening of Kabbalah to all) would spread to all corners of the globe. The Ba'al Shem Tov passed away in 1760, and his teachings began to spread widely and rapidly shortly before his death, by means of his main student, the Maggid of Mezerich. The eighth wave - galactic consciousness -  began on January 5 (17 Tevet), 1999 (around the time when the internet really took off), and the ninth - universal consciousness - begins today.

While at this blog we don't necessarily hold by the Mayan calendar and other end-of-days timelines, we do believe that Mashiach is something that spiritually attuned people everywhere will pick up on in its various stages, something that will be reflected by changes in nature, humanity and space. One important difference is that we firmly believe that Mashiach can come at any moment (even right now!) The phrase be'ita achishena (in it's time I will hasten it) encapsulates the paradox of anticipating the redemption: on the one hand, it has a "time", and it is certain; on the other hand, it can be hastened at any moment, if we rise to the occasion.

What is the significance of March 9, 2011 on the Jewish calendar? Well, for one, today, Adar 3 is the day ion which the Second Temple was completed in Jerusalem in the Jewish year 3412 (349 BCE):
The joyous dedication of the second Holy Temple (Beit HaMikdash) on the site of the 1st Temple in Jerusalem, was celebrated on the 3rd of Adar of the year 3412 from creation (349 BCE), after four years of work. The First Temple, built by King Solomon in 833 BCE, was destroyed by the Babylonians in 423 BCE. At that time, the prophet Jeremiah prophesied: "Thus says the L-rd: After seventy years for Babylon will I visit you... and return you to this place." In 371 the Persian emperor Cyrus permitted the Jews to return to Judah and rebuild the Temple, but the construction was halted the next year when the Samarians persuaded Cyrus to withdraw permission. Achashverosh II (of Purim fame) upheld the moratorium. Only in 353 -- exactly 70 years after the destruction -- did the building of the Temple resume under Darius II. (Chabad)
As important as Purim is, it is Adar 3 that marks the ultimate success of the Mordechai and Esther: the consturction of beis hamikdash. King Achashverosh had enforced a building moratorium (sound familiar?), and only after the Purim saga did the state of the Jews improve under the Persian empire, ultimately leading to their return to Israel under Darius. Adar 3 marks the beginning of the second era in which Beis HaMikdash stood in Jerusalem, emanating spiritual and material blessing to all peoples and all of creation. Maybe this is why the Mayan Calendar sees this date in 5771 as crucial in terms of the beginning of the final era before ultimate transformation.

The inner dimension of mashiach - the upheaval that is going on in each of our souls and lives - everyone knows on a personal basis. The global dimension - earthquakes, animal deaths, bizarre weather - reminds us that something larger is taking place. Ultimately, Hashem is in charge, and everything that happens is for the sake of tefillah and teshuva.

משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה

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