Updated: Mar 9, 2021
Shefa is a hebrew word (שפע) for abundance from the source of life. Shefa is a mentality of recognizing the wealth in what you have. Shefa represents the cyclical patterns of life and nature. Shefa represents plenty and satisfaction.
In Hebrew, every letter represents a number, which is the basis for Gematria or "numerology". Ironically, the word Shefa is numerically equivalent to the word "Pesha", which means crime. What is the meaning of this? How can an idea that represents abundance and plenty connect to the idea of survival and action from needs? I struggle with this question, and yet the two are dualities like two sides of a coin.
The soil underneath our feet can offer an answer. This soil is a space of exchange like a market, nutrients and minerals are transferred among organisms based on the state of the matter. In this cacophony of economic activity, everyone has a role. Plants, fungi, animals and micro-organisms each hold their place in this system. When an element is needed, the other actors step in to provide for that need. The natural processes of how these soil builders interact has a built in services exchange. How does the system recuperate when the balance is thrown off by disaster or human interference?
Another perspective on this question could be the difference between blessing and curse. Nature provides for our every need, nature is also the source of greed. How we view the world could be the difference between Shefa and Pesha. If we see the world around us as supporting our needs and providing for our sustenance then we have a perspective of Shefa (abundance). If we see the world as another opportunity to be selfish and hoard resources, then our perspective is of Pesha(crime). These are all choices we make everyday and every one can either choose their day of Shefa or their day of Pesha.
Shefa: A Forest Forage Blog is an attempt to gain a perspective of the world through the lens of Shefa abundance. My intention is to open my eyes to the plenty in nature and to encounter it gently. I discourage and condemn transforming the forest into a resource to be exploited. I support and encourage using the forest to support our human needs of nourishment and enrichment. Please join me on this journey and share your experiences of foraging, natural encounter and Shefa in everyday life.