We all walk ancientrails. Welcome to the journey.

A Jew

Written By: Charles - Apr• 10•20

Spring and the Passover Full Moon (Corona Luna)

Friday gratefuls: For the lupron injection I’m about to receive today, I thank you. For an appointment with Dr. Eigner today, rather than April 17. For a memorable passover with Seoah, Kate, and 53 virtual guests. For Rabbi Jamie, whose soul shines. For the passover meal from Zaidy’s Deli in Denver. For that time, mythic and therefore real, when Hebrew slaves left bondage, crossed the Red Sea, and began 40 years of wandering in the desert.

If you find the passover the central story in your life, then you’re a Jew. Art Green. I’m a Jew. May as well claim it if this is the criteria.

Throughout my life liberation from oppression has been core to what I’ve done. Whether that oppression was modest as in the case of Juniors at Alexandria High School who couldn’t go to prom unless invited (we created a junior prom) or deep and pervasive in the case of women, the poor, sexual preference outliers, my instinct is to oppose it and if possible end it. Lots of Red Seas to cross.

Climate change is different, you say. Who’s oppressed by climate change? Living things, especially humans. And, as with the coronavirus, the catastrophe will fall often and heaviest on those too poor to adapt and with too little power to affect change.

This opposition of mine to oppression seems instinctual. Doesn’t seem to have an origin story in my psyche. I was neither abused nor oppressed as a child. I grew up with white privilege, white male privilege as my inheritance. The passover story, a universal one like Easter, puts liberation at the center of life. Until all are free, none are fully free.

Today I am a Jew, a pagan whose identity, whose soul, shares much with the tribes of Israel, their collective story and journey. Enough that I’ve become part of them, though not converted. I’m a close friend of the tribe, maybe, by Art Green’s definition, an actual member.

On a related but different topic, inspired again by Art Green, it occurred to me how Judaism and Christianity are complementary, very much so. Judaism differs, he says, from its close relatives Christianity and Islam in its communitarian essence. The message of god, of the one, listened to through Jewish tradition, is one which creates a people, a community. This is true at CBE and is a strength of Judaism invisible to me until I became part of this community.

Christianity and Islam, he says, deliver their message to the individual. God’s love heard through those traditions focuses on healing the soul.

Judaism puts the inflection on community, on liberation, while Christianity and Islam put the inflection mark on the soul; its need for wholeness, for realizing the one is that of which each of us is a part, while, paradoxically, being wholly within each one of us. These two inflections are not a reason for differentiation, but for mutuality. The world needs to know how to live in just communities; individuals need to find their way back to the one, to realize the oneness within them. These are not differences, they are parts of a whole.

I’m on a third path, but I’m coming slowly to recognize how it intersects with other paths.

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