27 minutes | Dec 7th 2020

S1E107 - Rabbi Susan Silverman on Genesis 1:1-8 – “Beginning Again”

Mark is delighted to welcome Rabbi Susan Silverman to the podcast today. Rabbi Silverman is the founder of KAMOCHA: A Jewish Response to Refugees, is on the Board of Directors of Women of the Wall, and the International Council of The New Israel Fund. She is also the Founding Director of Second Nurture: Every Child Deserves a Family – And a Community, an organization dedicated to providing a path to adoption for “waiting” children by bringing together multiple adults from within the same community who are interested in foster-adoption, creating an adoption cohort, and offering multilayered support throughout the adoption process. The passage she has chosen to discuss is Genesis 1:1-8.   Rabbi Silverman’s dual interpretation of the passage sets off a wide ranging discussion between herself and Mark regarding such topics as the two beginnings, the New Years of the Torah, being in relationship with God and others, and the eternal challenge of balancing order and freedom. As the conversation turns to the theme of brokenness, the Rabbi shares her perspective on how this passage, and really the very nature of the Torah, relate to the lives of those children with whom she works through foster care and adoption. She finishes the episode with the lessons she has learned about humankind, particularly about the need for relationship which is so prevalent throughout her vocation of ‘being engaged in the sacred process of helping children from troubled backgrounds to begin again’ - a noble example of this passage brought to life each and every day.   Episode Highlights:   ·   Rabbi Silverman’s summary of the passage and its interest for her ·   Her explanation of the two beginnings ·   How the passage relates to Rabbi Silverman’s work in foster care and adoption ·   The New Years in the Jewish calendar ·   Being in relationship with God and others ·   The eternal challenge of balancing order and freedom ·   Brokenness inherent in Creation itself ·   How foster children relate to this passage practically ·   Foster children naming their story ·   The importance of making room for foster children to retell their stories of trauma ·   The lessons that Rabbi Silverman has learned about humankind    Quotes:   “God’s creation is potential, and…we are the vessels that give that shape.”   “The great gift in the Torah is the ability to begin again.”   “We have so many tracks in which we need to begin again.”   “Existence means relationship.”   “It’s false humility to deny the gifts that God has given you.”   “You know, you can really force your kids to do pretty much anything, but don’t expect to create a relationship.”   “When we do well, everybody does well.”   “There’s no growth without loss. There’s no growth without brokenness…brokenness is inherent in Creation itself.”   “I want your broken selves.”   “Telling our story is what is so powerful.”   “Every time a child is uprooted…certainly from their bio family and then from foster families, it’s a trauma.”   “We become because someone’s reflecting...us.”   “Start to make the stories matter.”   “There’s no one right way to educate a child. Each child’s different.”   “Ultimately, everybody wants and needs relationship…there's no self without the other.”   “We have to be able to see ourselves in every other person.”   “I think we all rule over God.”   Genesis 1:1-8 Bereshit When God began to create heaven and earth— the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water— God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, a first day. God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the water, that it may separate water from water.” God made the expanse, and it separated the water which was below the expanse from the water which was above the expanse. And it was so. God called the expanse Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. https://www.sefaria.org/Genesis.1.1?lang=en&with=all&lang2=en   Links:   The Rabbi’s Husband homepage: The Rabbi's Husband   Mark’s Twitter: Mark Gerson - The Rabbi's Husband (@markgerson)   The Rabbi’s Husband Newsletter contact: mailto:daniel@therabbishusband.com

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