Tuesday, October 5, 2010

At the request of my father, repostedness

Bearing Witness Retreat at Auschwitz/Birkenau

November 1 - 5, 2010

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Tragedy and Healing

"Auschwitz not only represents one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century, but perhaps, in the nature of a profound paradox, a potential source of great healing." - from Michael O' Keefe's Raising the Ashes. Click below to watch the Raising the Ashes trailer and learn why people from a variety of faiths and nations have been bearing witness at Auschwitz for over a decade.

"This retreat at Auschwitz offered profound affirmation that when we continue to listen to ourselves and others with an open mind and heart, death and pain of body and spirit, however terrible, can never offer a final answer," explains Jiko McIntosh in a Bearing Witness Blog article. Stay tuned for e-mails next week for more descriptions of the Bearing Witness experience. Would you like to participate? Read more. Register.

Do you want to support bearing witness at Auschwitz, but you are unable to attend this November? We are offering our ten remaining copies of the Raising the Ashes documentary as gifts to people who contribute scholarship money to bring together at Auschwitz young adults from key conflict areas. Your contribution of $500 matched by an equal contribution from the Zen Peacemakers, could, for example, make it possible for a young Palestinian to join a young Jewish Israeli to practice listening and sharing from the heart.

Become full sponsor to a young adult

Learn More:

Read more and/or Register at the Auschwitz Retreat web page. Visit the Auschwitz page of the Bearing Witness Blog to view photos, read accounts of and listen to talks about last June's retreat, as well as to read teachings from Bernie Glassman regarding Bearing Witness at Auschwitz as spiritual practice.

Friday, October 1, 2010

East Side, West Side, Genocide

According to this news article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-11450093 the slaughter of Rwandan refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the 1990's could be considered genocide. My first reaction to this was, "Well, duh." My second reaction was, "What good is applying that label to the past violence if we're still ignoring the current violence, or the connections between the two?"

As my first academic year outside of school begins, I am thinking about how to put my education on genocide and human rights to use. I'm teaching 7th graders how to put the "mitzvah" in Bar Mitzvah, I'm going on a Bearing Witness retreat to Auschwitz and Birkenau, followed by my own pilgrimage to Vilnius, and most importantly, I'm working in a deli. In a lot of ways I'm still burnt out from Div III and I'm not sure how to go about saving the world on my own time now. But then I read this article about the Congo and I think, "Man people are so stupid!" and realize that I guess I just need to stay up on this soapbox a little longer and then maybe I won't be alone in this whole world-saving thing.

Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.