When I was a child, I knew there had to be a presence bigger than that which was taught to me. I was sure life didn’t revolve around “staying safe” and it would take me years to discover the purpose of soul. For I needed to learn to trust life, to trust myself in life… My birth family taught me the world wasn’t safe. My father was a policeman and my mother worried incessantly that my dad might not come home one day… A lesson in faith and trust (emunah) has been my journey.
In 1992, I was blind-sided by Hurricane Andrew. It literally blew down and flattened my house in Florida leaving my husband, my 2 children and me homeless. I took this experience as a sign for me to learn some bigger meaning of life. Through a turn of events we landed a home in an orthodox neighborhood. I found that my sign was to learn Torah and so we became orthodox jews. I was ecstatic about my purpose, however my husband wasn’t and so for years our underlying childhood hurts would cause harm to my effort to create peace in the home (shalom bayit). I thought that if I prayed hard enough God would fix all our problems. My husband and I built a rare coin, gold/silver/precious stones/expensive watches business together and I grappled to find inner balance. Our marriage was not meant to be forever and we eventually divorced.
As I healed from divorce, I immediately started to open to the riches within. I was studying to be a kundalini yoga teacher and was beginning to undo some of the energetic fear, guilt and sexual judgments I carried for so long. It was really difficult to go through. Why? Well, when I was a teenager, my trusted martial arts teacher raped me. I carried this suffering within for years and years and I realized I had to heal my past once and for all so I wouldn’t repeat patterns.
I published my book Seven Steps To A Peaceful Heart After Divorce. Those steps led me to create a movement practice called Freedom Dance. Through dance, yoga, meditation, journaling, and altar building I defined, designed and aligned into becoming my higher self. I now teach women to define, design, align and refine into ecstatic reunion so deeply that they become a magnet for love and wealth and most importantly, heal the most sacred parts of themselves. I pray that many women find their way to me so that they correct their soul path (tikkun olam) in this lifetime.
On my post divorce journey I manifested a number of incredibly high level healing men to hold me in safety so that I could reveal the deeper meaning of faith and trust. There was the Brazilian healer, a near blind jewish orthodox emergency room doctor, a shamanic drummer, a qigong master, a Christ consciousness tantra master, an Essene Bishop/world class musician, my first online J-Date: a handyman and my Rabbi. By meeting and experiencing the divine love I called in, my body began to transform abuse (and still is) into an ever unfolding journey of faith, trust and rebuilding my life from within. I’ve become so completely ecstatic about every experience I’m in and pray this feeling will stay with me even through the tough times our world is facing.
I had been looking for a Rabbi to take me to the depths of healing that I needed but couldn’t find one to help me understand the Judaic message of my soul (neshama). I knew that Torah meant “knowing”, but what was I to know of Torah? I knew Kabbalah was the mystical experience of Judaism but how did it relate to my pain, (my tsurris) or anyone elses pain? Did I need to continue to bring suffering to myself and others?
When I met Rabbi Loring Frank, he would convince me I could become a Rabbi, rather than count on one to show me the answers. Rabbi Frank’s father created The Florida Institute & Academy of Religion and Rabbi Frank would teach me the tools his father had taught him.
I pondered what would my children need to learn if I were to be so bold? So I dove into the abyss of the unknown and decided to become a Rabbi. Two weeks before I sent my children off to college, on Mothers Day 2009, with my family present, on the beaches of Hollywood, Florida, Rabbi Frank would ordain me. He only required that I show up with the love of Torah in my heart. I was left feeling that Torah or “knowing” was unique in each of us. I “knew” I wasn’t to build a synagogue or have a pulpit at that time. As I continued to heal, I became stronger, clearer and realized my purpose was to teach women this ecstatic reunion within, to help them find their holy voices and create sacred choices in all they do.
I wasn’t sure I had my own voice yet. I remember feeling so frustrated because I still did not have a Rabbi to learn more with. I had already created the 7 steps, but not fully embodied the teaching. My home was empty, with nobody to mother or teach but myself. I had already shared my vulnerability as a survivor of sexual abuse in my book, to my family, to my kids. All I needed was students. So I found an opportunity to teach at an Integrative Medical Conference in Jerusalem in 2010. I spoke about ‘Healing Sexual Energy With Advanced Kundalini”. I believe I shocked the nation because soon after in Jerusalem, Orthodox Rabbi’s announced a training to deal with sexual issues. It was in Israel that I met the Essene Bishop.
Shortly thereafter I was invited to visit the Essene Bishop in Northern California and six months after my visit, I moved to Northern California. In California people wanted to reach ecstatic reunion, they were curious about my gifts. I’m still getting used to honoring myself as a Rabbi because I feel that everyone has a Rabbi within. I was not used to being in such power for I had given it away for so long. As my humility awakened, so did my Rabbi within. I am a servant to healing, a dancer of the erotic. I am devoted to the essence of each soul that I encounter. Energetically people call upon me for the light I’ve cultivated and I deliver them a sense of “knowing”, my unique Torah.
Often I pray and dream to open a center for healing. I pray that I will continue to bring ecstatic reunion to the lives of women, partners, families, communities and the world, that the world will rejoice and reward me with abundant wealth and “knowing” that all my suffering was for naught. I pray with one breath, one soul and hope for one nation to “Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself”. This is all I really need create from, to have faith and trust in “knowing” I am worthy of ecstasy, love and wealth just as I am, because one Rabbi had the faith in me and declared it to be so. And so it is.
For more information about working with Rabbi Melinda, call her at 415.532.4883 and/or please visit www.MelindaBernstein.com or www.RabbiMelinda.com
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This article appears in:
2014 Catalyst, Issue 3: Becoming truly embodied