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The Flip

Healing the Earth through Faith and Action: An Interview with Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 by: Jared Rosen and David Rippe
Tags: The Flip, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Rabbi Schachter-Shalomi is the sage of a worldwide movement of Jewish renewal who encourages a meeting of his tradition with the psychological, ecological, and spiritual revolutions of our age. As the founder of the P'nai Or (Children of Light) religious fellowship and the rabbinic chair of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Rabbi Schachter-Shalomi has inspired and guided a movement for an observant, deeply traditional Judaism that is at the same time gender-equal, environmentally aware (he coined the phrase "eco-kosher"), nonhierarchical, and grounded in renewed liturgy. We asked the Rabbi if he believes there is a spiritual flip underway. "When you go deep into meditation, you can arrive at the place where you can feel and hear the pain of the planet. The earth is sick and has emphysema as far as the atmosphere is concerned; blood poisoning as far as the water tables are concerned. So the issue is not so much transformation as healing. The first step is a change in our awareness, to realize that we are not at the center of everything, but rather, the planet is the center and we are like cells of that great organism.

"One thing any individual can do is to find time to be disconnected from the onslaught of the media. We are so constantly barraged by what the media are demanding and telling us that we never connect with our soul. That's why I'm so excited about our Shabbat. If you have a Shabbat where you don't turn on the TV and you don't make phone calls and you stay in a place where you can be in touch with your soul, that makes a great deal of difference. I feel it's not so much what you do in meditation as it is the fact that you're not faced with the barrage of the media. I don't think people can wake up as long as they're in the trance."

The Rabbi believes that we can find the wisdom we need across the generations. "I think our mother, the earth, is making us aware of the needs that she has and one of the needs that she has is for us to act on our wisdom. Elders are the wisdom keepers. Yet the wisdom of the past cannot handle the complexity of our life today. You take a look and see how kids take to computers, for instance, and it's really amazing. They can handle a lot more complexity than we can. And I think that's a wonderful thing. There is an arousing. There are children coming down to earth; they speak of them as the Indigo Children. And that's just wonderful. There is a new spiritual sensibility emerging, but if you have ever seen a butterfly trying to get out of the chrysalis, it's an agony, a struggle. It's like a birth. And that's why in Judaism we speak of this as the birth pangs of the messiah. If you collaborate with it, it goes more smoothly."

Read more at TruthPublishing.com, where you can purchase this book and learn how to turn your world around with essays on love, relationships, health, business and the environment by philosophers, doctors and actors. Anyone can make the Flip! Check out the contest at TheFlip.net, and submit your own true story of personal transformation. Itís your chance to inspire someone else to make The Flip by sharing how you changed your world -- and you could win a Personal Transformation Library with over 65 books, CDs and DVDs!

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