Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Kabbalah of Smell... with Guest Blogger Chana Rachel Schusterman

The Power of Using our G-d Given Talents (and Helping Our Children Recognize Theirs.)

There are twelve months in the Jewish calendar.  The talent of SMELL is the eighth, the month of Cheshvan, (October-November.)

Individuals who have this unique talent are sensitive and intuitive and have an inexplicable knowing beyond logic and reason.  They are deeply attuned to their inner visceral responses. They can "sniff" out a situation and determine what is really going on. For these people, the ability to judge beyond the conscious level through gut feelings is very strong.  They can just "smell it."   Discriminating with this heightened sensitivity awakens a recognition of whether something is bad or good, whether it reeks or is fragrant.  Their sense of smell guides them. This is the way they move through life and the world.

We can be role models to our children by encouraging them to tune in to their inner world and to pay attention to their gut feelings.  It is important to recognize that people with this talent need to check in with themselves and not to be dominated by another people's ways of doing things. As we raise them to have good character traits, we can ask them to sense how they might do things in a better way. Encouraging them to trust their own gut intuitions 
strengthens and guides them in relating to the world. 
Tools For Developing Your Sense of Smell:

1.  Take a deep breath and tune in to your soul intuition.
2.  There is a halacha (a Torah law) that says that “If the smell of food is bad, discard it.”
     The Talmud explains:  “That’s why G-d created the nose above the mouth.  One should
     first smell and then taste.”  If it smells bad then it’s not something to take into your life.
3.  Get into the habit of taking in only what is good for you, not the opposite.
4.  Develop empathy in an intuitive, gut way.  Sense where to care.


The Kabalah of Smell:

The sense of smell is the most spiritual of the senses.  Through smell, it becomes clear how to give real pleasure to the soul.  On the highest level of smell, a person 
can have “Ruach Hakodesh,” which is a hint of prophecy.  

The month of Cheshvan immediately follows the month of Tishrei, which is full of holidays which connect us to G-d.  After each Shabbos, we smell sweet spices in order 
to take the smell of the holy Shabbos with us into the week. Similarly, we take the smell of the holidays of Tishrei and bring it into the year through this month’s talent. 
This ability guides us to retain our spiritual pleasure and connection as we go forward into the new year.

The tribe which corresponds to the month of Cheshvan is Menashe.  The letters of the name Menashe are cognate in Hebrew to the words Nishimah (breath), and Neshamah (soul).  

Chana Rachel Schusterman is a Jewish spiritual counselor and coach. If you would like to contact her, please email me at

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