Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
Carrying Light into Dark Times, p. 3

But don't forget to also be
Matriots, of our mother the Earth,
people dedicated to prevent a planeticide.

Look from time to time
at that image of the planet
taken from outer space,
one blue, living world in the cosmos.

As our liturgy has it:
Sustain the world
which Thou hast founded,
yea, save our Earth
suspended in space - Amen.

Who are your possible allies?

After all we are now here in the chapel,
in the special presence of God
in this sanctuary.

We are a diverse group,
with different denominational labels,
commitments and creeds.
But we are also of aware
of a caring Providence,
the God beyond triumphalism.

No longer do we each claim
that at the end of days
only our own religion will be vindicated
while the others are infidels
who are eternally damned.

We all share our world
and our core values.

We are aware
that the heart of our commitment
is to be good,
to cherish the sacred and the truth,
and to work for the good
of all sentient beings,

I suppose the good of all sentient beings
is what they at one time called "salvation."

In our emerging reality map
we see not a mechanistic Cartesian clockwork
but Gaia, our planet
as a living biosphere
an organism of which we all are cells
making up organs.

Each religious tradition and community
is like an indispensable organ
within the greater organism
of the world life.

No longer can any tradition claim
to be the sole source of truth.
We each are cells
in a vital organ of the planet.
The liver cannot lord it over the kidneys,
nor can the brain over the heart.
We are all integral
and essential for the planet,
organically interdependent and connected.
This we can all affirm
and create cohorts of helpers.

In each of the traditions
you will find
committed and concerned co-workers
who will share the burden
of working for healing,
motivated by their sense
of being deployed by God.

Make friends with them
in all their diversity.
Grieve with them
over what afflicts us --
get to feel it and to own it as well
and then celebrate together
the privilege of being alive
and of serving in the sacred task
to restore our ailing planet to health.

You and your friends
are, alas, on your own.
Those who are entranced
by the media
and are content to remain
parasitical consumers
will resent you.

You will need to make your coalitions
with likeminded people.
You cannot rely on the public arena
to urge you to do this work.
Your spiritual get-go
has to be energized by yourself
and on your own.

In an almost desperate plea to you,
I urge you to take this to heart.
It is your world
and that of your children.
When some day
you will be in the place of your parents
at the graduation of your children
may you see more light and joy
as you send them on their way.

[1]       [2]       3       [4]       [next->]
Image: Mica Scalin
October 2003

Carrying Light into Dark Times
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

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Jay Michaelson

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Temima Fruchter

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Dan Friedman

Josh's Dinner
Josh Ring

Our 390 Back Pages

David Stromberg

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From previous issues:

Elephant Memory
Jay Michaelson

Zionism and Colonialism
Michael Shurkin

Loneliness and Faith
Jay Michaelson

When I Met Humility, I Saw Letters
Abraham Mezrich