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The following is an excerpt from an article on JWeekly about an upcoming talk that Reb Zalman Schachter will be giving at a symposium held by the Starr King School of the Ministry at the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California. Reb Zalman calls this talk his ‘Swan song’ so if anyone is close enough to attend it’s certainly an occasion not to be missed.
“The whispers became a rumor, then news that traveled excitedly through Bay Area Jewish Renewal circles: Reb Zalman is coming to town. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, the 87-year-old granddaddy of Jewish Renewal — the New Age, neo-Chasidic movement he founded three decades ago — is considered one of the few Jewish sages alive today. In the 1970s he fused the mystical traditions of his Lubavitch background with modern sensibilities concerning the environment, technology and psychology in an effort to reinvigorate a Judaism he found stultifying.
Without dismissing Jewish rituals, he told his followers not to be content with surface observance. Look deep inside yourselves, he said. Dance, sing, find the joy within Judaism — don’t be spiritually lazy. (more…)