Wednesday, April 29, 2015

On the Journey to Transformation - Omer Day 26

by Rabbi Robin Damsky

How can I write of grief? The sun is shining and green things are poking out through the earth. While this season from Pesah to Shavuot highlights the road from bondage to revelation, we must remember that while the start is enslavement, the journey’s entire intention is for freedom and then revelation. To focus on the bondage would be to miss the point. Certainly we must acknowledge the issues and concerns, as they are our starting point. We must be willing to take that deep, honest look at what is so, at who we are; yet we do this not to despair, but rather to see. It is through this deep look – through acknowledging the bondage – that we transform.

In the last months I have been inspired by the work of MIT’s Otto Scharmer and his colleagues, beginning with reading Otto’s book, Leading From the Emerging Future. What a title! So compelling – at once inspiring and contradictory. How can we lead from something that is not yet here? And yet, isn't that what we do each minute? The choice available to us is that we can lead from past predisposition or from the heart. The heart knows oneness – Echad. It is through the opening of our hearts that we sense the future that is unfolding, the future that is inclusive, that is whole. It is this future that our hearts call us to design: to green the earth with food and tree, to expand sustainable energy sources, to use wisely, to nourish and care for everyone in the whole. The absence of these are all expressions of bondage.

To maintain that we have no choice in the future is to succumb to enslavement. This is the antithesis of the Passover story, the narrative that frames not just this time of the year, but our entire entity as a people. We are to reach for freedom and all that it encompasses in spite of what may seem like insurmountable obstacles. Through seeing ourselves as one we recognize that it is through coming together that the healing we seek will be accomplished.

Sit quietly. Breathe into your heart. Feel our interconnectedness. And begin.

© Rabbi Robin Damsky

Robin Damsky is the rabbi of West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest, Illinois. In her spare time she cultivates her organic, edible permaculture property to feed, to educate and to bring people together.

More on Otto Scharmer and his work can be found at

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