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you open your hand...
middot generosity meditation you open your hand...

you open your hand...

Written by  rebbetzin malkah

art-yudhandThe Hebrew phrase for generosity is nedivut, which also means magnanimity.

This helps us understand that Nedivut is so much more than giving someone money or material items. It also means giving of our time, energy and second chances. But even more than that, it is about jumping at the opportunity to give—about looking for opportunities to give. And it isn't just a one time state of generosity we are seeking out; rather, it is forming a habit of continual giving.

Generosity is a state of mind.  It is not fulfilled with one single act.  When you ask someone how their day is going, you are participating in being generous with your time because you care and choose to ask.  When you take time to stop and give someone a helping hand, you sacrifice your busy ways to slow down and look around.  When you reach into your abundance and share with those who are in need, you have made a conscious decision to improve someone's quality of life.  Take time this week to use this meditation and condition your mind to be "generously aware" so that you may become more generous on a daily basis.

(Note:  While most people associate meditation with Eastern faiths and not Judaism, this is a popular misconception.  Meditation is not foreign to Judaism.  In the days of the Temple and before, meditation was a known component and practiced. Meditation should be approached with an "open mind."  For more information on meditative techniques, see the source Jewish Meditation by Aryeh Kaplan.)

Find a comfortable seat in a quiet place.  First, take a few deep breaths. Deep breathing brings oxygen to your brain and helps clear the mind. Close your eyes. Continue breathing until you feel relaxed and feel little or no distractions.  Try and let the noises around you, no matter how small, filter out.

The focus of this meditation will be on the hand of Hashem and the generosity He has displayed in your life.

Using a phrase from Psalms 145:16 for meditation, choose whether you will say the Hebrew or the English. Repeat it in your mind until you are comfortable with it and can let it flow freely in your thoughts:

פּוֹתֵחַ אֶת-יָדֶךָ

You open your hand...

(Tehillim 145:16)

Contemplate on the hand of Hashem giving you all that you have—sometimes before you even ask, at times when you are desperate.  Contemplate on your abundance and imagine yourself opening and closing your hand.  Opening and giving from your hand.  Focus on your hand mirroring the hand of Hashem, giving to those who need.  You can maybe take this time to contemplate on those who you can identify that you can respond to in generosity after your meditation.

What this meditation will help you with is focusing on generosity in your own life and how it has affected you.  In understanding this, you can understand that your generosity can impact the lives of others in comparable ways.  Only when we can comprehend generosity can we work actively in being generous daily.

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