Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Joining a Sufi gathering in California إن شاء الله

   On Wednesday morning, April 28, I plan to leave, إن شاء الله, God willing, for a Sufi gathering in California through the weekend. I’d like to tell you about it.
   My rebbe, Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, is a tremendous pioneer, thinker and doer. Born in Poland 86 years ago, he came from eastern Europe as a war refugee, studied and was ordained as a rabbi in the Lubavitcher yeshivah in Brooklyn. He was sent out into the world by the previous Lubavitcher rebbe, Reb Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson, as his emissary to bring Jews closer to God. Ever since, he’s been doing that and so much more. 
   Always a seeker, decades ago Reb Zalman widened his horizons considerably. Among many other sources of learning, he became an initiate of the Sufi order of Hazrat Inayat Khan and a sheikh in that order.
   This year marks the 100th anniversary of the arrival of Hazrat Inayat Khan in the West. Each year, leaders and members of six of the Inayati Sufi orders gather to share their learning, their spirits and hearts.  This year, on the 100th anniversary, they invited Reb Zalman to join this gathering. See Reb Zalman asked a minyan of rabbis to go in his place.  I was honoured to be asked to be one of them. 
   I hope to be able to continue learning from Sufi teachers, sisters and brothers, and to be able to share with them from my own learning. I hope as well, of course, to be able to serve as a channel between our communities, our “rivers of guidance” and “streams of the message”.
   I am looking forward to new experiences and learning during the coming days. I ask your blessings and prayers for this journey. If you would like to help my journey with a tax-deductible donation of any size, please let me know and I will tell you how.