Embodying the Divine Mystery: a Kabbalistic Movement Journey

Embodying the Divine Mystery: a Kabbalistic Movement Journey with Reb Simona Aronow

As we move through the spirals of life, what is being asked of us on the continually changing Tree of Life, is to stay present to the mystery of life unfolding and be a channel connecting heaven and earth, the sacred and the mundane. In this retreat we open to receiving this living metaphor of the Tree of Life and strengthen our vessels to receive what is uniquely yours to know. Our body’s wisdom will be our primary teacher. Our embodiment tools will be guided by movement explorations, Authentic Movement, somatic meditation, music, and sacred play. In our time together we will experience the Sephirotic lights that flow from heaven to earth, the parallel Levels of Soul, and the letter pathways that correspond to the Elements of Water, Fire and Air. Please join us and experience abstract Kabbalistic concepts in an embodied and personally meaningful way, that will let the material come alive and integrate into your everyday lives. No Movement or Kabbalah experience necessary.


We will meet in a beautiful residential retreat setting in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, near Charlottesville, Virginia.

Dates: March 23 - 29, 2020

Location: Akasha Retreat Center, Crozet, Virginia, 22932

Food: Vegetarian/fish. Healthy and nurturing, cooked with love. 

Cost: Retreat fee, room, and board - $950 per person. Rooms are double occupancy.

For administration questions regarding logistics, fees, or registration please contact Nora at nora@aleph.org.

If you have questions regarding class content, or want help deciding if this program is for you, Reb Simona would be happy to talk with you and share more. Please feel free to email her at saronow@verizon.net.





This class is designed to teach and provide an opportunity for deepening into the mysteries of Kabbalah in a tangible and direct way. Kabbalah means receiving, and each participant will be encouraged to receive this traditional Jewish wisdom through the lens of their unique and individual body-soul knowing. In a safe, nurturing and sacred environment, through a variety of embodiment and movement explorations, you will be encouraged to deepen your inner listening and sensing, and consciously participate in the creative process that mirrors all living things. Using somatic and movement exploration, improvisation, Authentic Movement, music and sacred play, each day we will delve into a different but interconnected aspect of the foundational teachings of Kabbalah. The community learning experience will also be enriched with embodied prayer, text, and time for personal sharing. Our week of exploration together will culminate in a shared joyful Shabbat celebration. Participants will be guided and empowered to grow the roots of their spiritual aliveness, watered by the wellsprings of their body wisdom.



***** LEVELS OF SOUL*****   
"And God blew into his nostrils a soul of life" (Genesis 2:7)

What is your experience of soul?  Kabbalah speaks about having not one Soul, but Five Levels of Soul. Our souls are the deepest connection to the sacred and are needed  to both  interact with and receive information from different dimensions. Each soul level has a unique gift to offer us. We will learn the basic nature of each soul level and play with how it moves through you as an individual. How does each soul level receive nourishment and uniquely express itself? Where in your body and in which body systems do each of these soul levels live? In which levels are you most comfortable and what other soul consciousness might you need to strengthen in order to come to better balance?

***** THE TREE OF LIFE *****  
"She is a Tree of Life to those who grasp her, and those that hold on to her are happy. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her pathways are peace.” (Proverbs 3:17-18)

The Tree of Life is the basic structure that underlies all creation and allows us to traverse the myriad aspects human experience, while unifying the spiritual worlds and physical reality.  We open to receiving the Tree of Life within us as a road map to embodying the sacred. We will explore each of the ten Sephirot , the garments and vessels for spiritual light, and their dynamic relationships on the Tree of Life. We are a microcosm of these Sephirot, and  this is how humans can partake in the divine. To the extent that we can embody the Tree and her varied channels of light, is the degree to which we can embody the sacred in everyday life. We open to direct visceral knowing of these Divine channels for guidance and inspiration. Let the Tree of Life come alive as you embody her Roots, Trunk, and Branches, and connect with them in a personal and meaningful way.

"Three Mothers: Aleph, Mem, Shin, a great, mystical secret..." (Sefer Yetzirah, The Book of Creation, 3:2)

There are also 22 pathways on the Tree of Life, each with an associated Hebrew letter. We will explore in depth through movement, three of the 22 letters that are the building blocks of creation. These three foundational letters, are Aleph (A), Mem (M) and Shin (SH), and correspond to Air, Water and Fire. We will play with the shape, number, and meaning of each of these letters and the Elements they represent. We will also explore the energy and qualities of each of the Elements, how they live within our bodies, and how to  balance these elemental energies as they move through and are expressed in our lives.


Whether you are learning this material for the first time or teaching this material, what is unique about an embodied approach is the direct new understandings and relationships that unfold  from the depths of the body,/mind/spirit in the present moment. Embodied spirituality enables you to enter the material where you are, and come out with a new perspective, often with profound healing and personal meaning. No movement or Kabbalah experience necessary.

"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium....the world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares to other human expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channels open."  -Martha Graham, dancer


Reb Simona Aronow (BC-DTR, CMA, NCC, BCTMB) is a Dance/Movement Therapist, student of Kabbalah, and educator for over 40 years. She was empowered by Rabbi Zalman z"l, as Reverend and Sacred Minister, Sacred Movement and Spiritual Embodiment Guide, Morat Torah, Ritualist and Life Cycle Officiate. Her passion is working with Embodied Spirituality and Authentic Movement both as teaching tools and as vehicles for enlivening others on their spiritual journeys. Reb Simona has taught this material privately and at retreat centers, including Isabella Freedman, the National Havurah Institute, Gesher Jewish Center, ALEPH's Tikshoret program and Kallah, and the UVA Mindfulness Center. In addition, she was on the faculty for ALEPH's Embodying Spirit, En-spiriting Body program, directed by Rabbi Diane Elliot and the Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies Certification Program. As director and faculty for "Embodying the Great Mystery," a 2-year embodied Kabbalistic learning program, she joins her passion for traditional Jewish learning and love of movement to help others find personal meaning. Her love of movement and somatic healing is inspiring.





"My body was a stranger to me for most of my life. After the first retreat I was already beginning to move in the world differently, and by the end of the last week I found myself so incredibly overjoyed with happiness and experiencing an intimate connection with my body and relationship with G-d". -Lisa 
"If it is at all possible, give yourself the gift of this experience. You will be in a beautful setting and eat delicious food. You will meet and become one with a group of wonderful, talented, soulful people. But that's not even the best part. You will reconnect with your body. You will learn and experience movement as part of the Divine. You will learn and experience deep treasures of the Tree of Life, the Hebrew letters, healing, and much more. You will meet one of the kindest, soulful teachers I have ever worked with. Simona has a base curriculum but individualizes it to each person--in terms of movement, emotions, and knowledge of Judaism and Hebrew. Come, come, wherever you are. You will receive blessings too numerous to count." -Karen, Special Educator, Quality Mental Health Professional
"Following Simona's exploration directions I released restriction and tension from my body and opened up to a wellspring of inner joy. Simona brings a depth of understanding to the mind-body-spirit connection, decades of experience, and a heart of compassion that make her a superb and gifted workshop leader and movement therapist. We are so fortunate to have her in our community." -BJ, Charlottesville