Are you wanting to start or deepen a spiritual practice? Do you feel stuck in your relationship to God/dess, guides, or guidance? Do you have questions about Jewish spirituality, Hebrew prayer, or how your multifaith paths intersect?

Rabbi Shir offers one-on-one hashpa’ah. Schedule a consultation.

What is Hashpa’ah?

Photo by Mark Gambles from UnsplashHashpa’ah is a process of cultivating spiritual intimacy.

The practice has roots in Hasidism, which is a hierarchical culture. At the top is the Rebbe — the revered authoritative teacher — and below are Hasidim, devotees, seekers. A mashpia/h (“one who offers hashpa’ah — see below for a guide to these terms) serves as an intermediary between these two strata. A sort of prayer coach who helps to integrate the spiritual guidance “from above to below.”

An integral/Renewal approach “transcends and includes” elements from this Hasidic culture while passing up others. There is no absolute, external authority in the form of a Rebbe or Guru. The guidance I help you discern and follow comes from within your own experience. I witness and support the integration of your own knowing, intuition, and wisdom.

I’m bending over backward to avoid a convenient but potentially misleading term: Spiritual Direction. My approach is non-directive and non-coercive. 

In the words of my teacher Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, my responsibility is “to prepare and guide each generation to be able to connect with the Divine.” In your unprecedented and unpredictable way.

We set aside time for sacred conversations. Our spiritual intimacy requires trust, which develops organically. What occurs within the spaciousness of the container takes many different forms and varies from session to session. My approach weaves silence, song, intention-setting, somatic awareness, Midrashic, Kabbalistic, and Hasidic insights, world wisdom traditions, interpersonal neurobiology, intuitive knowledge, Jewish practices old and new, and, occasionally, spiritual homework.

What's in a name? הַשְׁפָּעָה/לְלַוּוֹת

The word HASHPA’AH/הַשְׁפָּעָה means “influence.” It comes from the root-word SHEFA/שֶׁפַע meaning “abundance or profusion.” In Kabbalistic literature, shefa is the Divine Everflow permeating all life. It pours from the Infinite and trickles down to animate and infiltrate every nook of the universe. Connecting with this effulgence is true affluence...

A MASHPIAH/מַשְׁפִּיעַ (male) or MASHPI’AH/מַשְׁפִּיעָה (female) is the one who holds the session for the MUSHPA/מֻשְׁפָּע (male) or MUSHPA'AT/מֻשְׁפַּעַת (female).

These binary and hierarchical terms are problematic for me.

I think of my service as being a Levite. The Tribe of Levi carried the portable Sanctuary through the wilderness, setting up space for sacred encounters and breaking down camp when it was time to move on. They sang sacred songs and stoked fragrant incense. The act of a LEVI/לוי is to “accompany,” being by your side, offering company on the spiritual path, and providing guidance — if desired and when appropriate.

Getting it together, together...

I offer one-hour sessions online or outdoors (in Lenapehoeking — the New Paltz/Kingston, NY region). Some folks see me every other week, others once a month. Sliding-scale sessions range from $80-180. 

It would be an honor to meet you wherever you are.

Schedule a consultation.