Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Repairing the world

I saw this bit of an Adrienne Rich poem today ....

My heart is moved by all I cannot save:
So much has been destroyed.
I have to cast my lot with those
Who age after age, perversely,
With no extraordinary power
Re-constitute the world.

... and it reminded me of something I read in Daniel Silva's book, A Death in Venice. Gabriel visits a friend in Safed who tells him about Tikkun Olam ......

[She] told him the midrash of the broken vessel. "Before God created the world, there was only God. When God decided to create the world, God pulled back in order to create a space for the world. It was in that space that the universe was formed. But now, in that space, there was no God. God created divine sparks, light, to be placed back into God's creation. When God created light and placed light inside of creation, special containers were prepared to hold it. But there was an accident, a cosmic accident, the containers broke. The universe became filled with sparks of God's divine light and shards of broken containers .... The midrash teaches us that until the sparks of God's light are gathered together, the task of creation will not be complete. As Jews, this is our solemn duty. We call it Tikkun Olam -- repair of the world.


Blogger Dina said...

Yep, tikkun is what life is all about.

2:06 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

It's a noble cause - I have to try harder at it.

2:51 AM  
Anonymous Henry said...

Great post, especially the Poem. Have you ever read Leopardi's poems?

2:44 PM  
Blogger crystal said...


No, I haven't read Leopardi's poems. I'll look him up, thansk.

5:19 PM  

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