| 15 Dec 2005 @ 02:11, by Letecia Layson|
Kohenet Priestess Training Intensive
Rabbi Jill Hammer and Holly Taya Shere will be partnering to create a Jewish priestess training program, Kohenet: A Jewish Priestess Training Intensive, to begin sometime within the next year. Women who are interested in applying to the program should write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How We Define the Hebrew Priestess:
A Hebrew priestess is a woman who has chosen to serve the Jewish people through the practice of consciously embodying the Shekhinah, the indwelling Divine Presence. The priestess creates wherever she is a mishkan, a shrine of holiness where space, time, and soul come together in unity.
The Shekhinah is the feminine Divine, immanent soul of creation and transcendent womb of the universe. She is described in the mystical teachings of the Zohar as mother and bride, earth, sea, and apple orchard. She has many faces: some have shined in Jewish tradition for centuries, while others have been lost or erased. Through service, creativity, and fellowship, the Hebrew priestess seeks to recover the faces of the Hebrew Goddess and live them into being. She seeks to reclaim women’s wisdom across time, from before the beginning of the Jewish people to the present day.
The original priests of the Israelite tradition cared for the sacred spaces of the people and served as keepers of the connection of earth, season, and spirit. Kohenet seeks to reclaim skills pertaining to sacred space and sacred community . While the women who commit to the priestess way of life may do many kinds of work in the world, they will share the task of bringing together holy space, holy time, and holy ways of being.
The Hebrew priestess acknowledges the earth as her temple, for as the Zohar says, the Shekhinah dwells within the dust of the ground. Though the priestess is rooted in an ancient and specific tradition, she recognizes that she is related to all creation, and seeks to nurture and protect life. She observes the passing of seasons, new moons, and Sabbaths as celebrations of the cycles of nature. The Hebrew priestess, as a keeper of the sacred earth, attempts to reclaim for the Jewish people the nature-based and shamanic elements that lie within Jewish traditions, so that these teachings may serve and guide us.
The Kohenet training program is a two- to four-year course of sacred study through which women engage the Shekhinah’s archetypes through ritual, embodied practice, creative work, sacred story, and community. Initiates will learn traditional priestessing tools including ritual-making, dreaming, spirit-journeying, healing, chanting, divining, observation of the earth and seasons, holiday and Sabbath practice, and traditional mitzvot of lovingkindness. Each initiate will craft from these tools a rich and meaningful spiritual practice and a vision for how she will use her skills to serve others.
Two revelations in the wilderness lie at the core of the Jewish people’s spiritual experience. One is Sinai: the revelation of text, law, and covenant. The other is the mishkan: a portable shrine representing the earth, within which the Shekhinah reveals Herself. Jewish tradition for centuries has given primacy to the Sinai revelation. We believe it is time to re-invent the mishkan. We ask other women to join us on this transformative journey.