Hallel-Rosh Chodesh Shevat-First Paragraph
Praise, you who serve God! Praise the Name of God.
Let the Name of God be blessed from now and forever.
From sunrise to sundown, the Name of God is praised.
God is above all the nations. His Glory is beyond the sky.
Who is like God, our Lord, Who lives up high, but drops down to see what happens (to us) in the (lower) heaven and earth?
Who lifts up the lowly from the dust, raises the destitute from the garbage dumps to be seated with leaders, the leaders of their people.
Who Makes a home for the childless woman and joy for the mother of children. Hallelukah!”
One of the Kavanot for Rosh Chodesh Shevat is Transformation:
We focus on the Name of God that is hidden within this verse with a prayer that, this spring, we will merit to transform every aspect of our physical lives into eternal spiritual existence, and that we will merit to experience the eternal joy that is so potent in spiritual existence.
We sing this paragraph of Hallel rejoicing in the opportunity to be transformed into people who can transform themselves, just as “Those who serve God,” the newly freed slaves, were blessed through the process of the Exodus.
Another of the Kavanot for Shevat is Teshuva:
A new year begins in Shevat; Tu Bishvat. It is an opportunity for Teshuva, for waking up. We focus on this Appellation as a prayer that God will empower our Teshuva and help us return to Him, and begin the New Year with blessing and joy.
This week’s portion, Vaeira, is a lesson in Teshuva – See, “Reflections on Free Choice, Part One, and Two.” We use the joy of the coming spring, the expectations of Tu Bishvat, to be filled with Love for God, allowing us to use the month to reconnect and repair our relationship with God, a renewed relationship: “Who lifts up the lowly from the dust, raises the destitute from the garbage dumps to be seated with leaders, the leaders of their people.”
The Third of the Kavanot for Shevat is The Impact of Our Choices: We focus on this Divine Appellation in order to remind ourselves of this great Divine gift, the ability to shed one level of existence for another. We pray that God empower us to use this gift for good so that we can blossom anew with fresh perspectives and new strengths.
“Who Makes a home for the childless woman,” we celebrate how God empowers us, gives us the greatest gift of life in Free Choice. We sing over this gift, nurturing our awareness of the constant opportunity to make self-defining choices, that will bless us, even those who feel “childless,” that our efforts are in vain, with the gift of the fruit of our actions; the real message of Tu Bishvat, when the trees and their fruit are blessed for the year.
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