Holistic Jew
Rabbi T'mimah

Rabbi T'mimah Ickovits, BSE
is best known for her work with Kabbalah; Jewish Mysticism.  She is the founding rabbi and leader of Holistic Jew, a spiritual community in Santa Monica.  Rabbi T'mimah serves on the Steering Committee for the Jewish Burial Society of Southern California.  Ordained as rabbi by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and the Aleph Ordination Program, she received spiritual direction certification from the Yedidyah Morei Derekh program.  Rabbi T'mimah is an authorized Continuum Movement Instructor and teaches in Santa Monica and various US locations.  She sees clients privately, lectures at a variety of communities around the country and teaches liturgy (davvenology) for the Aleph Ordination Program.  Before ordination Rabbi T'mimah had an 18 year career as an electronics engineer.

Who would have thought a knock on the head would guide me to my life's work?  It is true!  My parents of blessed memory are Hungarian Shoah survivors.  They wanted their children to be part of Judaism's chain of transmission, so I attended Yeshivah as a child.  The school's philosophy required adhesion to rigid, patriarchal, and ethnocentric rules.  We were taught that deviations from the school's rules would anger an intolerant and stern G-d resulting in punishment.  I released this Judaism at an early age wishing never to return.

The shadow of the Shoah impacted every facet of my life.  I worked diligently and tirelessly when  as young woman and becoame an electronics engineer trying to prove myself worthy.  I expected financial security would mitigate the feargnawing in my belly.   Shabbos, that is a cessation from work, was not in my consciousness a bit.  I was "wed" to work.   My life was fully scheduled and programmed.

On what turned out to be Shabbat Tisha B'Av 5755/1995, on mile 49 of a 50 mile bike ride I fell and sustained a serious head injury.  My friend, Linda Eaton, rescued me from physical danger. She even flew home with me, since I was unable to care for myself at tht juncture.  Four months of focused rehabilitation were required to heal. 

As my health improved my schedule had some space in it,  for the first time in a very long time.- I had been curious about studying mysticism. My brother, Rabbi Ivan Ickovits, shared that Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man was offering a Kabbalah class on Sefer Yetzirah with Yoseph the Long's commentary.  I found time to learn.

 A big wow!  It was so delicious!  This text taught me to recognize the breadcrumb trail, as it were, Spirit leaves.   The Holy One wants to be seen!   I had never before encountered this depth anywhere, and certainly did not expect to find it in Judaism.  And here it was in my own tradition.  The spark within was ignited.  I wanted to know  more.

Ivan introduced me to Reb Zalman - a Rebbe deep, wise, steeped in tradition and a twinkle in his eye.  Reb Zalman comes from the old country and he  appreciates diversity and teaches an egalitarian, universal and Torah based Judaism.  He helped me integrate these two sides that seemed to fragemented at that time. 

It was an epiphany! It continues. I yearn to learn more and help others become aware of this approach to Judaism.

I am called to follow in Reb Zalman's footsteps and  work the boundary conditions and help others integrate an egalitarian, universal, and evolving Judaism into their life.  I am passionate about text study as a spiritual practice.  I experience the wisdom from Hassidic and Kabbalistic traditionsorganic integration within the context of Gaia's cycles.  Today,   I love to lead prayer and ritual, and have the privilege to serve a Mashpia Ruhanee- Spiritual Guide.  

I am grateful for this lfe and privilege.
I am deeply grateful to my family; My beloved parents, Andy and Eva Ickovits, of blessed memory.  You made sure Yiddishkeit was implanted in my being.  Thank you for your generosity, bountiful gifts on so many levels, and for teaching me to be a deep thinker.  Rabbi Ivan Sandor Raqib Ickovits, my dear brother, beloved hevrutah, and brilliant Kabbalist, thank you for the thousands of hours we shared engaged in the sublime mystery of Holy text study. 

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, z"l thank you, for revitalizing Judaism with  a universal, egalitarian, earth-aware, open, and joyful perspective that makes me proud and eager to be Jew.  Rabbi Daniel Siegel; my program director, you are a wise and kind Rebbe. Thank you for taking me under your wing and generously guiding me with your knowledge and insights.  Rabbi Marcia Prager, thank you for your tireless dedication to the sacred task of developing a new paradigm of leaders for Yisrael.  You taught me to confidently and competently lead prayer with joy and vitality.  Thank you, Emilie Conrad for guiding me to mysteries hidden within the tissue of my body. 

Thank you to my teachers; Rabbi Victor Gross, Rabbi Shaya Eisenberg, Dr. Moshe Idel, Rabbi Jonathan Omer-man, Rabbi Shlomo "Schwartzie" Schwartz, Rabbi Shohama Weiner, and my teachers from the Morei Derech program: Rabbi Amy Eilberg, Linda Thal, Anne Brener and Alan Moranis.
There are more teachers and friends who have guided me on this path than can be named here.  Sometimes a simple passing comment has made a big impact.  Most of all, thank you, Ribbono shel Olam for Your Presence in my life. 

Holistic Jew - Light from The Source
A Home for Holistic Kabbalah

Holistic Jew is a community in Santa Monica. We delight in the ongoing process of renewing Judaism as a means of drawing spiritual and ethical vitality into our lives. We receive significant spiritual inspiration from the legacies of Masters of Kabbalah, Hassidic traditions and through the wisdom of the calendar's natural cycles. We honor the continuum of holy days in a variety of ways including prayer, the study of Kabbalah and Hassidic sources, meditation, chanting, music, and movement to enhance both individual and communal experience. We embrace a global vision of the role of all peoples and spiritual paths in the healing transformation of life on planet Earth.