Our Values

The work and lives of the Or HaLev community are guided by the following principles:

 

  • The fundamental goal of transformation (tikkun) is to make us better people. This includes:

    • Honoring the sanctity of all beings, made in the image of God, in our dealings in the world.

    • Awakening to the joy and wonder of everyday life, thereby awakening to
      divinity.

    • Radical openness to the variety of human experience, pleasurable and painful, just as they are, thereby honoring the sanctity of each moment.

    • Developing wisdom, understanding and insight.

    • Celebrating our intrinsic belovedness, as a child of the divine.

  • Judaism is a source of deep wisdom and tools to effect transformation (tikkun) of ourselves, our community, our world and God. Such repair has always been the ultimate goal of the Jewish mystical tradition.

  • Transformation occurs through discipline and practice, and requires concrete techniques and technologies (i.e.. mitzvot) of self-development. Other traditions also have wisdom and tools, and we are open to drawing on those techniques that aid our transformation.

  • The goal of spiritual practice is self-transformation, not spiritual states (i.e. ecstasy, bliss, etc.). Ecstatic states are valuable only to the extent that they aid in transformation.

  • Our teachers are themselves on the path of transformation, succeeding and failing, and sharing their journey with their students.

  • Spiritual community is a crucial component of self-transformation. We work together to tend our spiritual community.

  • We make no distinctions between small and large tasks, small and large actions. The way we do our work and the way we treat one another are always guided by our values.

  • Honoring the gifts we have received from our tradition, we commit ourselves to sharing this practice with others.