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Posts Tagged ‘Tikun Olam’

I am hard on myself. I never believe that I am enough, that I give enough, that I am present enough. This is especially true for doing my part to repair the world (tikun olam) or to stand up for the politics I believe in.

Instead of lamenting about what I could have or should have done before this time, I have decided to begin doing what I can now. This actually started weeks ago, but over the last days, I have really been called to action.

Here I am; I am here to serve you!

Here I am; I am here to serve you!

 On Wednesday night, two things happened that nudged me out of my inertia.

  1. Nine beautiful souls were massacred at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
  2. A devastating fire in the San Bernadino National Forest near where my son is working in Angelus Oaks, California forced the staff to evacuate from where they were camping. For this moment, the camp is safe, but all is not looking good for that area. At this point 17,000 acres has been destroyed and the staff only have the belongings that they had on their overnight. I am happy that the residents and firefighters are safe at this point; may that continue! I am devastated for the wildlife.

The visceral reaction that I had initially shifted to a deep desire to ‘do something’.  By Thursday, I asked my chant group for possible chants so that we could shift the energy, I created resource sheets for comforting those in mourning, those affected by the deaths, and for the wildfires too.

Nearly every waking moment since Wednesday, I have chanted, prayed, visualized, healing for all in need. I haven’t been able to sleep or eat much either. I have allowed a few tears to fall and my heart to crack open.

And yesterday, I called a local reverend to ask if he would mind if I joined his upcoming vigil. I also emailed my rabbi to see if she would be willing to have my new congregation host a shloshim* gathering for the local AME church. Regardless, I will be reaching out to them myself and finding out if perhaps I can organize a mandala making gathering so that we could send cards or mandalas to each and every member/family of the Charleston church.

The bottom-line is I am a tree hugger and a lover of all life-force. I may not be able to do much, but I can do something. There is a part of me that is simply not able to sit back and do nothing.

Over the years, I have been inspired by people that make a difference. Today, I have the ability to touch lives. Just because I have yet to do enough for others doesn’t mean I have to stay on that trajectory.

Politically, I plan to find my voice over the coming year for the upcoming elections, gun control, and the environment. Next summer, I am hoping to find a trip that will allow for me to learn more and have a greater impact in American policy towards Israel. I live in Houston, Texas now; it is my time to step up to the plate. I can’t hide from being involved any longer.

It is also time for me to celebrate that my life is quite amazing. My sons are healthy young men that are beginning their launch into adulthood. During much of their growing years, I was absorbed with their healing from serious illnesses. (They are both healthy now.) And in recent years, I had some of my own personal challenges to contend with.  But it is important for me to remember that I rarely sat back and did nothing. There were years when I volunteered in shelters weekly, took in a homeless family for six months, did work for the environment, stood strong for Israel, worked towards eliminating modern-day slave labor, and did my part for local and national politics. BUT I truly have not done enough and I am ok with that. As long as I stand by the below equation now:

KNOWLEDGE + VOLITION + ACTION = RESULTS**

After my older son healed from serious illness, I had a false start and thought I would do more, but it wasn’t my time. I have to find peace with that reality. I am not the same person I was then. I have faced a few more demons, fear of homelessness, and what it means to work for a hourly wage. Both my spirit and my body were seriously impacted by what happened to me in Tucson, but I am thriving now.  Still, Tucson gave me one of the most precious gifts imaginable, it gave me the ability to hear differently and the determination to help others.

So, here I am. Hineini. I am here to serve others, to impact the world for good, and to weave my words so that others may be drawn to reflect, to stretch, and to grow.

With every fiber of my being, I pray that my actions and my words do their part for tikun olam, repairing the world, while I walk gently and lovingly with each step.

With love, light, and blessings,
Chava

Notes:
*In traditional Judaism, the first 30 days after someones burial is for intense mourning. For this situation, I am thinking we could mark 30 days after the massacre and create a healing ritual.

** This equation was originally found from Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D., but I do think I have seen it elsewhere as well.

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Mothering Dovi has taught me so much about life.  Mostly he has taught me about the power of silence; speaking should be done when you really have something to say.  He says what he thinks and he rarely does small talk.  When he speaks, he usually has something insightful to share.  Dovi is also one of the kindest people I know.  For the most part he uses his words wisely.

Dovi with a closed mouth. . .no surprise here.

In August 2009, I learned one of  the most empowering lesson of my life.  Silence does not necessarily mean disinterest or lack of caring.  My assumption could have been a costly one to our mother-son connection.  Living in Washington, as we did at the time, we had the opportunity to attend rallys, actively engage in politics, and to be involved in the holy work of Tikun Olam, healing the world.  On this one occasion,  I had planned to take the boys to a rally at Dupont Circle in honor or memory of young adults in the LGBT community in Israel that were killed while seeking a supportive environment of their moadon, community center.  Dovi didn’t want to go; I had assumed he wanted to hang with friends or play on his computer. I was wrong.

The outburst that followed was painful for both of us.  Dovi told me that he feared the consequences of our attending the gathering.  Jews are persecuted for being Jewish; the LGBT community is persecuted for their lifestyle.  He was petrified.  We did end up going and the entire time, Dovi made me hold him tightly.  And while everything did turn out OK, we did experience one crazy man (within 6 feet of us) who yelled obscenities to the crowd before he was escorted away by police.

This experience as well as observing how Dovi walks  through the world has given me many moments to pause.  My beautiful son has taught me to trust the silence without the need to fill in the empty space with words.  He has taught me that making assumptions based on someone’s silence does not always serve us well.  And mostly Dovi has taught me to trust silence a little more than I had in the past.

May we all learn from the lives of those around us.

With love and light . . . .

Found on Facebook – looking to give credit

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