Community Values, Inner Work, and Resilience Circles

The Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue in Seattle, WA, will host a Resilience Circle beginning on January 10, 2012. Rabbi Olivier BenHaim of the synagogue offers these reflections on starting the Circle.

The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Joseph 
Genesis 37:1 – 40:23

…Two aspects of Joseph’s transformation–learning to serve others, and making oneself a humble channel for the Divine energies of Love, Compassion and Peace–are the two main components of the Jewish spiritual path. On one hand, as individuals and as a community, we are to serve and support each other, to lend our energies to healing the ills of our society and our world, to pursue justice and work toward creating a communal life that embodies the highest values our tradition upholds. On the other hand we are to ceaselessly engage in inner personal work in order to become more loving, more compassionate, more inclusive and more peaceful beings; to recognize God’s Presence in every place and every one, and to know the One we are.

Bet Alef’s core purpose has been, and continues to be, focused on this second aspect; sharing from the depth of the Jewish mystical tradition the means to deepen our own inner spiritual work. At the same time we have, in recent years, brought renewed focus on the first aspect of service to others. Next month we will bring that work to the next level by creating, within our community, Resilience Circles. These circles will form the base of a new collaborative model for a kind of community, a kind of world, we would want to live and raise our children in; a platform to share in a new vision, a new dream. My hope is that you will come and add your energies to the unfolding of this vision.

Read the full reflection here.