Poem Project – entry #7 Gathering Sparks
Gathering Sparks from myth told by Rabbi Isaac Luria, 16th century Jewish mystic
I came upon this myth a few years ago but this weekend I did some more research on the internet. I found a “sermon” by Donne Hayden to a Cincinatti Friends Meeting on January 25, 2009 that gives a brief interpretation of the myth. Ms. Hayden goes on to share about the activism of “tikkun olam,” which I found especially inspiring.
God created the world by forming vessels of light to hold the Divine Light. But as God poured the Light into the vessels, they catastrophically shattered, tumbling down toward the realm of matter. Thus, our world consists of countless shards of the original vessels entrapping sparks of the Divine Light.
Humanity’s great task involves helping God by freeing and reuniting the scattered Light, raising the sparks back to Divinity and restoring the broken world.
Tikkun olam is a Hebrew phrase usually translated as “repairing or restoring the world,” currently used in the Jewish community to refer to “social, moral, or political activism of one sort or another.” According to one rabbi, “tikkun olam refers to our moral obligation to promote change in society for the betterment of all people and the world we live in, including protection of animals and our physical environment.” Tikkun olam refers to “any act that brings knowledge, wisdom, understanding, love, justice, compassion, beauty, etc. into the world.” Such an act “fulfills the purpose of creation and contributes to the repair and restoration of both ourselves and the world.”
Ms. Hayden’s complete message and references can be found at www.Cincinattifriend.org/archive%20of%20messages/Repairing%20the%20World.pdf