Drawing On Being

lamb drawing

Illumination from the “Edge of Life”

Rachel Naomi Remen’s telling of a formative story of hope:
On her fourth birthday, her grandfather, an Orthodox rabbi and a student of the Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah, taught her about “the birthday of the world,” as he called it: In the beginning, the world was made of light. But by some accident, the light was scattered, and it lodged as countless sparks inside every aspect of creation. The highest human calling is to look for this original light from where we sit, to point to it and gather it up and in so doing to repair the world, tikkun olam.This might sound like an idealistic and fanciful idea. But Rachel Naomi Remen calls it an important and empowering image. It insists that each one of us, flawed and inadequate as we may feel, has exactly what’s needed to help repair the part of the world that we can see and touch. This story is a practical tool — the kind of practical tool religious traditions carry forward in time — for a world longing to address images of suffering that can otherwise overwhelm us.

Krista Tippett


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is heartening. But the scroll of images on the right are really breathtaking.

    • Thank you, Judy. I try to believe – but I’m not doing it right.
      My efforts are frustrated, people keep killing things–can’t even hold off pointlessly carving up their hedges for the few weeks our few remaining songbirds are trying desperately to find a safe place to nest in the gutted greenery around here; How are the big complex problems ever going to come close to being addressed effectively?

      Those are just random posts from the archives. I hate to think that people won’t scroll back a few pages and see what’s been said–
      Virtually all of it an ongoing Earth Day celebration . . . or valediction.

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