Friday, January 25, 2013

The Talent of Taste 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 TASTE is the eleventh, the month of Shvat (January-February). 

 Of all the talents, the talent of taste is the one that we use to determine what will integrate well into our daily lives. There is tremendous pleasure in using this talent. On a physical level we are able to sense which tastes and delicate spices have been used in seasoning. A person with this talent has an intuitive sense of how to choose and what is the appropriate amount to take in. In this way, we balance pleasure with with an intuitive sense of what will bring higher understanding and good results as we experience and taste life. This particular talent reflects a G-d given ability to choose only what will integrate well with our lives and our bodies. 

 The 15th of the month of Shvat marks the new year of the trees in Israel. At this time, the trees, which are bare and fruitless, begin their new cycle of growth. The sap begins to move up into the trees, beginning the process of bringing life force from the roots up into the trees, until. The tree symbolizes all of us, connecting us to our roots with faith, and taking in what nurtures us until we bring good fruits and deeds into the world. The talent of this month teaches us how to connect with our Source, to recognize and integrate the gifts of life, and to take in only what will enable us to be personally productive and fruitful in the world. 

When we are sensitized and understand that we have this unique talent, we choose carefully and we feel a sense of balance and gratitude. 

We can be role models to our children by helping them to understand what will be good for them and by guiding them. We can encourage them, show them and guide them to develop their intuitive talent of how to make good choices. This knowledge of what to pick up and take in, and what to leave behind is the basis of good taste. 

Tools For Developing The Talent of Taste: 
1. Take the time to sense the quality of what is being offered to us. 
2. Develop the ability to almost sense whether this will be beneficial for us before deciding whether to take it in. 
3. Learn to get satisfaction from what is good for us and what is just the right amount to nourish, and not more.


The Kabalah of the Talent of Taste: 

The month of Shvat includes the New Year (Rosh Hashana) of the Trees on the 15th of Shvat. This holiday affects the laws of the ages of trees and has legal relevance. We celebrate by eating fruits, especially the 7 fruits of the Holy land, which are wheat, barley, grapes, dates, grapes, olives, figs and pomegranates. It is a holiday full of spiritual as well as physical meaning. Recognizing G-dliness in the food that we eat gives true pleasure. We bless and thank G-d for all the spiritual nourishment that enriches the physical food that we eat. 

The tribe of this month is Asher. Asher was blessed with rich land that would grow olive trees that would give give delicious and plentiful olives and olive oil.

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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