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What brings You blessings?

I broke out of my routine of meditation … Again! A few weeks ago, I went to hear Rabbi Laibl Wolf speak. In being with him, I decided to revisit the meditation practice he recommended to me during the 10 days of Teshuva (see How to enter fully). After chassidus class the following day, I sat to meditate before the minyan (congregation) started praying, and focused on being present. By creating this “new” space, the subjects I’d been learning arose in a new light as I meditated on how them. One discussion from the Gemara I’d been learning arose.

In Gemara class, the current book we are learning is entitled Gittin which is about divorce documents and various cases of a man writing and giving a gett isha (a divorce document) to his wife. The discussions include sending a shliach (agent) overseas to deliver the document to his wife.

In order to explain a bit about the meditations, it's important to share a basic background of the Gemara. In Judaism there are 6 orders of the Mishna, which is the first of the Oral Torah. Within each book, there are commentaries on the Mishna, which is called the Gemara. The Gemara Gittin is in the book of Nashim (women) which is about marriage and divorce. The tractate after Gittin is Kedushin (sanctification of marriage). One may question why divorce is discussed before sanctification of marriage. Upon asking one of the Rabbi’s about chassidus behind the Gemara Gittin, I received a response that answers this question. He had learned that the Rebbe commented that Gittin is before Kedushin because we have to divorce the impurity and limitation in our personal lives before we marry the pure and holy.

In chapter two of Gittin, there are many discussions brought to prove or disprove a certain principle, which would make the gett valid or invalid. One particular example was brought in regard to mikvehs. A Mikveh is a body of "living waters," such as collected rain water that women and men (men by chabad custom) immerse into to, in short, purify the unholiness. It can be looked at as an act of transformation where a person (or utensil) immerses in and emerges anew. For more about the Mikveh, checkout the link above.