Livnot Shabbat – Peace and One-ness

downloadThe glassblower spun the hot clear glass at the end of the rod over colorful shards sitting in a small bowl.  As the glowing cup picked up the pieces, they began to melt back into the whole, becoming one. At the end of the lesson she placed a beautiful small cup in front of us.  It had gone through intense heat, pressure, cutting, molding and expansion to finally rest and cool into a piece of art. During our Shabbat class, Alon the teacher, told us a chassidic teaching about drinking alcohol. During the week, he said, you can drink so much that there is one person in front of you but you see ten. On Shabbat, you drink so that there are ten people in front of you but you only see one. What is the beauty of Shabbat?  How is it a taste of the World to Come, a time of complete harmony and peace?  On Shabbat we get a glimpse of One-ness. An argument arises- we are discussing the notion of the Jewish soul, the Jewish people.  Isn’t the very notion of the Jewish people as the Chosen People, as distinct, part of the problem of disunity in the world?  How can we be a shining light of justice and peace to the world while we separate ourselves?  Everyone thinks, nods, or frowns.  Shlomo says, Have you ever tried to walk on your eyes?  To digest with your legs? To see with your belly button? Each part of our body must do its own part, its special purpose, so that the whole can function.  If every cell tried to be the same, what is that called? Cancer. Beth_torah_star My past two weeks at Livnot have opened my eyes wider and wider each day, my heart swells and swells, my mind expands and expands.  I am always in motion, growing , learning, being challenged.  Even at rest, I notice how much my body needs a break and how much I am also a body, not just a soul and mind.  Everything I have learned- from art, from classes, from hikes, from the street peddler, from the sunset and the sweet wellsprings- is all another angle into the same truth.  We are One. There is only One-ness. Everything is One. I see each person as a unique soul but as part of the divine whole. Whole. Shalem. Shalom. Peace. Vera Hinsey Livnot Onward Israel Health and Wellness Program July 2014    

Nick Henderson
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Before making Aliyah from Scotland, Nick ran an international NGO called Youth End Poverty and worked with a number of non-profits and social change organisations, including the British Council, Oxfam and Save the Children. Nick was previously Social Media Manager / Alumni Relations Manager at Livnot. Now he lives in Jerusalem and is passionate about public health issues, and represents Israel at various international conferences on health policy.