Maayan Hatum was founded by Rabbi Gigi long before he was a Rabbi, as a platform to promote the meditation teachings of the Ecstatic Kabbalah following the publication of his book "28 Jewelled Crown: A Comprehensive System of Meditation and Mysticism." That was over 10 years ago. Most of that time since was spent in study and meditation.
Rabbi Gigi is now back in the London in the hope of helping to support a slower, more meditative way of living. The name Maayan Hatum was originally a tribute to Abraham Abulafia's book Gan Na'ul, both taken from the same verse in the Song of Songs. But it has since taken on deeper meaning. Maayan Hatum means Hidden, Sealed, or Signed Spring. It refers to our essential nature, our deepest selves, signed and sealed by the hand of the King of kings. It is a stillness beyond the fluctuations of ordinary thoughts and emotions, a source of deep Wellness, Empowerment and Inspiration.
With Maayan Hatum programmes Rabbi Gigi offers a threefold approach to access the Hidden Spring:
Contemplative Education from Jewish ethical, philosophical and Kabbalistic schools and traditions. Judaism has a long history and a wide geography, and through certain times and places schools and masters have cropped up offering a more contemplative approach. Maayan Hatum draws from 7 key schools: Maimonides and the Maimonidean Sufis, the Ecstatic and Lurianic Kabbalah, Hasidism in general and the school of Izhbitsa-Radzyn in particular, as well as the vast Musar literature.
Contemplative Spaces. Retreats are an ancient tradition in Jewish mysticism, the practice of Hitbodedut is the most fundamental way of accessing deeper wisdom and was undertaken by all the great mystics of history going back to the biblical patriarch and prophets. In this day Hitbodedut is also the most essential practice for anyone interested in finding deeper meaning, connection and inner stillness. Maayan Hatum offers Residential Retreats, In-Life Retreats, as well as Workshops, Courses and Meditation Sessions.
Contemplative Community is the ultimate mission of Maayan Hatum, a community that meditates together and provides spiritual and emotional support for one another. It is very hard to go it alone whatever you are doing, humans are social beings who cannot isolate for very long, but even in ordinary family and social groups people can feel isolated. Spiritual Fellowship is an intimate space where there is genuine support and acceptance. Maayan Hatum hopes to be a centre for spiritual fellowship offering a space for Communal Practice, opportunities for regular Meetings with a Teacher and the growth of Spiritual Havrutas (fellow meditators/ travellers on the way).
Rabbi Gigi has trained in yoga, mindfulness and zazen in addition to meditation from the Kabbalah and Hasidut. He has completed a Master's Degree in Jewish Education through the London School of Jewish Studies and attained his semicha from Yeshivat Hamivtar, kollel Torat Yosef. He has also studied at Yeshivat Shvut Yisrael and in kollel Nachalas Eliezer. He comes from a Sephardic background, first at the Wembley Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue under Dayan Pinchas Toledano, and then at Ohel David Eastern Synagogue under Rabbi Abraham Gabbay and subsequently Rabbi Asher Sebbag, learning regularly with the latter two. He has also studied the Sefer Yetzirah with Rabbi Eiran Davies, who has a background in the Toledano Tradition of Kabbalah, his father was the teacher of the author and Kabbalist Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi. He also studies Hasidut with the current Radziner Rebbe Rav Moshe Leiner, a direct descendent of the Izhbitsa Rebbe Rabbi Mordechai Yosef Leiner, author of the Mei Hashiloach. Together with his wife Laura, Rabbi Gigi was the university chaplain at Nottingham University. They live together with their son Joshua in London.