Heart and Soul

Bob Edgar, Presente

 Dear friends,
 This is a letter I never imagined writing, and am deeply grief-stricken to be writing.
Rev. Bob Edgar, a great public servant and my friend, died yesterday.
I last saw him on January 15, when he spoke at a gathering at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church near the White House,  sponsored by Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, to protest Presidential inaction on the climate crisis.

My brother is dying

My brother Howard  is dying.

Three years younger, healthier all his life than I have been, he is dying of what began as the same cancer that I have in these same last months lived through and lived beyond.

Uncanny that our lives are so intertwined –-- and so divergent.

Indeed, twenty years ago we wrote a book together about how our lives have intertwined – and diverged. Becoming Brothers, we called it. And now, after many years in which he became for me the older brother that he wished I had been for him, years in which he taught me how to love, he is dying, leaving me bereft, bereaved.  Profoundly sad.

He lives in Portland, Oregon, a continent away from me in Philadelphia. I have just come from spending four days with him, to tell him what he has meant to me, and that I love him; and in tears to say goodbye.

And at the same time, I am filled with joy and energy at my own deliverance. I have thought about “survivors’ guilt,” but only thought about it. I have not –- at least not yet –- been gripped by guilt that he is dying while I survive. Instead, I am living with a two-fold awareness: grief and joy.

Joy/Heartbreak/Grandchild: That's one word, not three.

Last week (mid-July 2010), I described what I was doing right then, in a note on my FaceBook page. This is what I said:

"In theory I'm on vacation at Cape May, Delaware. [Cape May, I later remembered, is actually in New Jersey, just across the Bay from Delaware.] It has been a delicious time with Phyllis-- my life-partner, favorite rabbi, and co-author -- and other family, including our ten-month old granddaughter, who is a hoot.

Sabbath in the City

Rabbi Amy Eilberg is a member of the Shalom Center Board. She lives in Minneapolis, leads interfaith work in the Twin Cities, and writes for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

The city of Philadelphia was in the throes of a record-setting blizzard when I joined a conference call the other day with my colleague Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of the Shalom Center.

Embracing The Outsider

By Arlene Goldbard
[Goldbard chairs the Board of The Shalom Center. She has worked for decades in encouraging community-based art.This post is from her blog; see information at the end pf this essay.]

Pachamama, Joanna Macy, and The Work That Reconnects

Rabbi Mordechai Liebling
[Liebling is a member of the Board and President Emeritus of The Shalom Center. He has also been director of the jewish Reconstructionist Federation and vice-president of the Jewish Funds for justice.]

During the past two years, I have been learning – and beginning to learn how to teach – from several holistic wisdom practices / trainings focused on the illness and the healing of the earth.

One of these is rooted in the Pachamama Alliance, creators of Awakening the Dreamer Symposiums.


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