I was reading the Velveteen Rabbi blog this morning. Her Torah study (d’var Torah) for 18 April was “From trauma to healing: Shemini” – http://velveteenrabbi.blogs.com/blog/2015/04/trauma-to-healing.html. I am just going to offer some extracts. Please read the whole blog in context.
“…Later in this week’s portion we read that if a small dead animal, a mouse or a lizard, falls into an earthen pot, that pot becomes tamei — which is usually translated as “ritually impure,” though I understand it as meaning “electrified.” We vibrate at a different frequency for a while as a result of contact with blood or with the body of a creature which has died, contact with tangible life or death.
“The way to make the pot pure again is to break it and glue its pieces back together. Here’s what I take away from that: contact with death can change us, but through our brokenness we can find a new kind of wholeness. In fact, in order to stay tahor, to stay pure, we need to break sometimes and then be repaired. Everybody breaks. This is the path to wholeness: not despite breaking, but through it….
“Our tradition holds that a person who has made mistakes and then made teshuvah — has repented and re/turned themselves in the right direction again — is closer to God than one who has never sinned. Maybe a person who has experienced some brokenness and then been mended is more whole than one who has never been broken. This is the journey of being human. We grieve, and then we heal.
“In the Japanese art of kintsugi, “golden joinery,” pottery is broken and then glued back together with powdered gold. The seams aren’t disguised; they’re magnified, made to sparkle. The beauty is found not despite the patched places, but in them.What would it feel like to stop trying to hide our brokenness, and instead to illuminate our beauty — not despite our scars, but in them; not despite our sorrows, but through them; not despite our seams, but celebrating our own patchwork hearts?”
I include this as part of the Serendipity because I was intrigued by kintsugi I searched for articles and read about workshops, etc. I haven’t found anything I wanted to share yet but will keep reading.
(For those interested the verse in question is Leviticus 11:33. Here is the JPS translation –
“And if any of those falls into an earthen vessel, everything inside it shall be unclean and the vessel itself you shall break.” (JPS)
I was familiar with breaking the vessel but not with reusing it after breaking it.)
Here is a picture of kintsugi from WikiMedia –