Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
Carrying Light into Dark Times, p. 2

There are examples
of countless unsung people
who daily practice
random acts of kindness,
who are gentle
even with those
with whom they have differences.

There are people
who advocate and practice
compassionate listening,
there are those
who embrace voluntary simplicity,
who remove the callouses
from their hearts
and keep them open
to feel the pains of others.

Seek them out, I urge you,
and join them
in their compassion.

This is not the worst of all times
but it certainly is not the best.

When I grew up in Austria
I heard the Nazi boast after the "Anschluss":
"Heut' gehoert uns Deutschland
-- morgen die ganze Welt"
"Today Germany, tomorrow the world."
Other nations perceive
in our financial-corporate capitalistic oligarchy
a plan to dominate the globe.
We are not welcomed by them to do this.

The Founding Fathers of this country
had a different vision,
many were Free Masons
who had spiritual insight
in "nation building":
Look at the emblems on the dollar bill.

E Pluribus Unum:
the hope that we will work in concert
and become "Out of Many, One."

The hope that a good Providence
would favor our endeavor:
Annuit Coeptis
"Providence has Favored Our Undertakings."

And beneath the unfinished Pyramid...
pointing to the constant effort
to bring about under God's seeing eye
"A New Order of the Ages,"
Novus Ordo Saeclorum.

They worked to create
a social template that would maximize
individual freedom
and the pursuit of happiness,
and they did not mean
the possession of ever more
obsolescent goods
that deplete our material and natural
irreplaceable resources a
and become toxic landfills.

You will need to do
the almost impossible --
gradually changing the tires of this country
while the car is running.
Not by violent revolutions,
but in patiently working
on the matrix of our society.

You will need to do your healing work
while still more poisonous stuff
is released into air, water and soil.

You will need to earn a living
and at the same time
become engaged
in recovering the silenced voice
of the people for the people
in the midst of the din
of the dissembling media.

You will have to hold
a clear, unsullied awareness
despite the ever-entrancing attack
of the aggressive marketing forces.

You are the ones
who with others
will have to heal America.

Precious America!
I, who came here
as a 16 year old refugee
fleeing from Hitler
have each year devoutly celebrated
the 4th of July.

What a haven it was and still is
for the "tired and the poor".
What hopes were kindled in us
when we first saw the statue of Liberty,
and this wonderful land.

Instead of what they have called
the Patriot Act,
a measure repressive of our vaunted liberties --
let us act as patriots
who love this land
and want to heal it
as the great nation it can be.

"America, America
God mend thine every flaw
Confirm thy soul in self-control
Thy liberty in Law"

So we hope and pray for our country.

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Image: Jay Michaelson

October 2003

Carrying Light into Dark Times
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

With a Bible and a Gun:
The Prohetic Justice of Johnny Cash
Samuel Hayim Brody

Season of Revision
Jay Michaelson

Primal Scream Judaism
Temima Fruchter

More than This
Dan Friedman

Josh's Dinner
Josh Ring

Our 390 Back Pages

David Stromberg

Zeek in Print
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From previous issues:

Abraham Mezrich

I Hear America Bling-blinging
Jay Michaelson
Hypercapitalism as evil.

Jay Michaelson
Dick Cheney and the New Age

What's Your Point?
Samuel Hayim Brody
A WEF Protester tells you why he bothers