Water From Underground (Maya’anot)
Soaking in water is a welcome activity at many retreats. I remember the day before my rabbinic ordination at Elat Chayyim Retreat Center (now part of Isabella Freedman Retreat Center), doing a mikveh (ritual immersion) in a chilly spring-fed creek at a secluded spot in the woods, then moving on to warm up in the the retreat center’s wooden hot tub. It was a spiritual immersion–water symbolic of Torah and life–while simultaneously a very physical, healing experience.
Underground water can also represent our hidden imagination, dreams, and the unconscious mind underneath the surface of life. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi has described Aggadah, the lore/legends/symbols of our people, in terms of a vast “aquifer,” an underground source of living waters that enlivens our civilization. Without drawing on these sources, we feel spiritually dehydrated. “Filling our own well” has become a metaphor for the kind of nourishment that we need in order to live our fullest lives and to serve others with a full heart.
For the Eternal Your God brings you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills. (Deuteronomy 8:7)
Immerse in this Gateway of Water Under Ground to explore the symbolism of wells and springs in Jewish tradition and in your own life.
Start On Your Journey
The first option below is the suggested next step on your journey. Feel free to browse the following paths and explore in your own time at your own pace.