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Dear <<First Name>>,

Since my last update, US citizens elected a new president elevating major non-white cabinet members, the Covid-19 vaccination was launched while too many are dying daily, and the celestial bodies of Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn assumed the Great Conjunction - a position that hasn't been experienced for 800 years. So I reflect on the great conjunctions I have had with many of you this year, and at this moment, sharing our cycles in the great space of this moment. Below are some updates on things I had the privilege to be involved in during these monumental events:

Lab/Shul, an everybody-friendly artist-driven experimental Jewish community-based in NYC and serving the world community has welcomed me to join their staff as a Rabbinic Fellow for the year. I am excited and grateful to partner with Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie and the L/S leaders in re-envisioning spirituality in this unprecedented moment. Read more in this introductory reflection.

On Thanksgiving Eve, Reb. Amichai and I had the privilege to host Lakota Elder Violet Catches from Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation, South Dakota on Turtle Island (USA). Together with nearly seventy participants, we bore witness to her personal moving experiences and her people's profound teachings including a prophecy of reconciliation. We concluded with a mutual prayer, in Lakhota and Hebrew, for the health of our elders and fulfillment of this prophecy. Lab/Shul and I are planning more ways to bear witness, learn from, and engage with Native Americans and celebrate the weaving of these ancestral heritages. (Screenshot by Joan Beard)

The interview I gave with Rav Kohenet Taya Ma Shere for the Jewish Ancestral Healing summit during Sukkot 5781 (September 2020), is now up for all to listen on their website and on the weekly Spotify podcast. I touched on my journey to Auschwitz-Birkenau with the Zen Peacemakers, learning from my Lakhota relatives in South Dakota, assimilation, ancestry, karma, and presence. 

One World Bearing Witness 2020 was a 24 hour meditation vigil joined by hundreds from around the world to bear witness to humanity as earth completes a full rotation around the Sun, the different times of day visible and changing in the windows of the participants. Faith and indigenous leaders from South America, Australia, Europe and USA offered framing, guidance and prayers. I offered a meditation on ancestry and karma. The recording of that talk, along with the rest of the presenters, can be viewed here. Many thanks to dear friend Elizabeth Debold and Thomas Steininger for this terrific offering and hosting me.
In my Rabbinic seminary Aleph, our class engaged in creative interpretations of key teachings by Rebbe Nahman, the 18th-century Hassidic master from present-day Poland, a 'crazy wisdom' visionary who taught using meditation, storytelling, dance and song, dreams, and radical faith in the capacity of humans to cleave to the sacred even within the struggle. Here is some of the art, music and writings, my classmates did (arranged by Heather Paul, thanks!) The image to the left was the outcome of a creative meditation based on the teaching 'Ba'al Ha'sa'deh' - 'Master of the Field,' a beautiful passage encouraging seekers to manifest a loving and spacious attitude towards all phenomena in their 'field', invite in that which is exiled, and weave them into bouquets of wholeness. 
More Items in Brief:
# An outdoors multi-faith event with Lab/Shul and sibling NYC communities, just prior to the Biden-win projection, was documented by the associated press in this article and video, and in the photo at the top by Jesi Kelley.
# My tribute to Dr. Ahmed Jaber, Brooklyn community pillar, with whom I shared New York multi-faith dialogues.
Ohalah Conference January 2021: I will participate in the panel "PLENARY: Maaseh Avot Siman l’Vanim: Ancestral Legacies of Wisdom and Trauma in Today’s World" with Reb. Tirza Firestone, Freedom Cartwright, Ayelet Meir & Rav Kohenet Taya Shere.
# International secular group One Day Meditation will host me to lead a 4-hour online meditation on January 17th 2021, 10-2pm EST. Join for all or part of the four hours, for free and open to all.
# Zen Peacemaker Order: Established first in 1994 by Roshis Bernie Glassman and Jishu Holmes, I have been participating in a steering committee envisioning its next iteration. Stay tuned for more announcements in early 2021.
I am grateful to be taking part in all these amazing offerings above. Some are paid and most I offer by donation. If you find this meaningful and feel moved to support my work financially, the easiest way is to use this link
Thank you for reading, and thank you to all those who wrote me in response to the previous email. May the next days usher 2021, a year of health, wakefulness, safety, and hope, and may we celebrate the great conjunctions that make up this very moment. And the next. - RAE 
Copyright © 2020, All rights reserved.

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