Friday, November 16, 2012

The Kabbalah of SLEEP... 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 SLEEP is the ninth, the month of Kislev (November-December).

Individuals who have this talent in a developed way have a profound sense of tranquility. It is essential for them to be well rested. Sleep  provides them with refreshed mental, emotional and physical energy. Taking even a few minutes to rest and integrate their experiences revitalizes them. Then they can go forward with peace of mind.

Rest, sleep, and dreams have important connections with the inner life of  people with this talent. Before going to sleep, they can consider how to proceed with a specific situation. Often they will wake up with new inisights and solutions.  People with this talent need to be conscious that dreams can give them meaningful understanding about life in general.  

We can be role models to our children by encouraging them to have some quiet time in between activities.  We can teach them that rest times are peaceful and positive.  We can walk or sit quietly with them, teaching them that it’s good to have peaceful times that are not filled with chatter.  When they come home from school, we can greet them with love and warmth.  After some quiet time, we can ask them about their day.

Tools For Developing Your Sense of Sleep:

  1. Rest between activities.
  2. Trust that G-d is taking care of you and therefore you can sleep peacefully.
  3. When you need to make a decision, have the question in mind, and then ‘sleep on it’.
  4. When you’re tired, rest. (Don’t eat or get sidetracked.)


The Kabalah of Sleep:

During the month of Kislev, we read the Torah portions about Joseph and his many  prophetic dreams. His dreams guide him and those around him. The resolution of the events comes through Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, who is the progenitor  of the tribe of this month.

Trust in G-d is the basis of sleep.  When we wake up in the morning, our first words are “Modeh Ani Lifanecha, Melech Chai V’Kayam,  Sheh’hechezarta Be
Nishmati B’Chemlah, Rabah Emunatecha.”  (“I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great.”)  We go to sleep with trust in G-d.  We wake up and place our trust in G-d.  Therefore we have a sense of peace and tranquility.  

When we rest, we take the time to strengthen this trust. Too much sleep is a metaphor for exile.  When we sleep just enough to be rested and refreshed, we wake up with new power to do what we are in the world to do.

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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