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Who made the pie?

Ellen Gittelsohn

Nov 30, 2023

Who made the pie?

The task of making delicious and gluten-free pies for Thanksgiving makes me happy and excited. Multi-opinionated family members telling me that the pie is delicious creates even more joy. Telling the one gluten-free person that all three of my pies are gluten-free, with proud anticipation, brings disappointment as I notice her quietly nodding her head and taking a bite of a molasses cookie brought by another relative.

Iggeres HaRamban - The Ramban's Letter
(Written to his elder son, Nachman, with the instruction to read it weekly.)
is the letter Alex read us at our last meeting. 

Since then I have read the letter a few times. Strong language such as slave and master really is making me think about what it means to truely serve Hashem (the mysterious presence of spirit). The language is archaic and perhaps patriarchal when it mentions the Kingship of Hashem. 

I'm struck by the line: "In all your actions, words and thoughts, always regard yourself as standing before Hashem, with His Shechinah above you, for His glory fills the whole world. Speak with fear and awe, as a slave standing before his master. Act with restraint in front of everyone. When someone calls you, don't answer loudly, but gently and softly, as one who stands before his master."

Shechinah is the feminine presence of Hashem.

Strong language even language that is disturbing because it's part of our patriarchal history, helps me remember to be humble enough to listen to our history, that is non-linearly part of our present, and to pay attention to what I perceive as now. If I create something that people like, it's because when I am feeling creative, I am opening myself up to serving/channeling Hashem. If I get upset that the one gluten-free person at the gathering did not eat the gf pie(s), I have caught myself idol worshipping. Maybe this is a time to "Act with restraint in front of everyone." Pause what a pleasure that someone doesn't like my pie without even tasting. I just know that if I'm patient, there will be another opportunity to make a pie or a sauce that brings joy. Compliments will be accepted with humility. 

Thank you Alex for sharing this letter that also began a discussion of what it means to depart from your comfort zone.

Janet said she felt inspired enough to overcome her fear and speak to former Governor Douglas about an important issue.  She also read us her poem recently submitted to the Poetry Society of Vermont and (I think) will be published in the literary journal The Mountain Troubadour. 

Annette left her "Vermont cacoon" to begin a new life taking care of her granddaughter in Washington D.C. and discovering what it's like to be part of a communal household.

Danny seemed disappointed about not starting something new that involves change or travel (correct me if I have this wrong). Joni responded that it may be important to allow yourself to fully realize what it is you want right now. Perhaps, she said, it's the right time for a vacation rather than a life change. 

Paul and I were not excited about a trip to Vietnam last year. Mysteriously, something changed. We don't know why. The mystery of Hashem is guided by (as Abraham Hicks says) our emotion. Vietnam in January 2023 -- meh. Vietnam 2024 - yes! Paul stumbled (while on Facebook) on a Vietnamese cave discovery that opened us up to the wonder of Vietnam. 

Be patient and humble before the mystery of life's many paths.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 18. 

We closed with the following words: presence, fellowship, gratitude, abundance, plenty, transformation, comfort zones and yes. 

Maybe someone can remind me why we spoke about Eye of the Beholder (The Twilight Zone, 1959)

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