Aleph Kallah 2013: Opening Remarks

Here is a transcript of Reb Zalman’s opening remarks delivered this past Monday night at the ALEPH: Alliance For Jewish Renewal Kallah 2013. His words are reflective of the theme for this Kallah which is כל אחד  Kol Echad : Connecting With the Divine, Within & Around Us [NOTE: Kol Echad means all one, it’s all one, everyone together]:

“Welcome. Welcome. Shalom Aleichem / greetings to you. It’s so good. Boachem l-shalom / Come in peace. I’m so glad you have faith to participate in this Kallah.

“What a wonderful theme: Kol echad and connecting with the Divine within and around.

“When we first began that [bringing together], we began with a connecting situation because, before the Kallot began in the 1980’s, I would be traveling on the East Coast and on the West Coast. And that’s where we built all these new Renewal havurot and congregations. And it was wonderful! But I all had to keep it together on my little PDA [personal digital assistant] that had the addresses and the phone numbers of people.

“And it was then that Reb Jeff Roth and that Reb Mordechai Liebling helped create the first Kallah that we had at a College outside of Philadelphia, [Cabrini College, Radnor, PA]. And, it was a remarkable meeting because, then it wasn’t necessary [for just me] to be the one who brings people together. People who felt they wanted to do one kind of thing would meet with people who felt they wanted to do the same kind of thing in another locale and they met.

“It is very necessary today to bring together the inner and the outer. Divinity, as it is understood in all ways of the past, as if God were not with us but outside of the universe [and] coming in from time to time and checking us out, does not work.

“Since we have seen Earth from Outer Space, there was a fantastic shift that happened.

“And if you go with the teaching with Chabad and Hasidism, you get it very clear that we are dealing with divinity that fills the world, m-male kol almin [lit., fills-all-worlds] and divinity that surrounds the world, sovev kol almin [surrounds-all-worlds].

“Once we are in touch with the Source of life and [then] we [can] allow ourselves to be re-calibrated so that we can be agents of the healing of our planet and bring about what we have called the Messianic days, the ways in which each person will live the fullest possibility, (at the same time, not injuring anything), as it is said:

[Isaiah 11:9], לֹא יָרֵעוּ וְלֹא יַשְׁחִיתוּ בְּכָל הַר קָדְשִׁי / lo yareoo v’lo yaschitoo b-chol har kodshi / there will not be any evil, nor will they destroy anything up on the holy mountain. Instead of that:

‘כִּי מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ דֵּעָה אֶת ה / ki malah ha-aretz deah es Hashem / the world will be filled with the awareness of God

כַּמַּיִם לַיָּם מְכַסִּים / kamayim layam m’chasim / as the water covers the sea.

“It says it’s really possible that we do that. We look at this possibility and everything that you will be doing at this Kallah can be dedicated to that possibility.

“I just want to ask you: Don’t come in with your mind made up of who of you are and what you are going to come out of Kallah with. Allow the process, in which divinity sends healing and recalibration to us, to work.

“And Yivarechecha Adonai viyishmirecha / may God bless you and protect you, Ya’er Adonai panav elecha veechuneka / may God lift up the awareness of God in your mind and give you grace and joy, Yeesa Adonai panav elecha / may you feel that you have the ability to look at this and see divinity  viyasem lecha shalom / and be in peace with that. Amen!”

6 Responses to “Aleph Kallah 2013: Opening Remarks”

  1. Jeff Marker Says:

    Wonderful greeting! The first kallah was in Radnor PA (Cabrini College? ) followed by 3 at Bryn Mawr before it started moving around the country. Reb Zalman had a PDA before 1985?

  2. Rabbi Zalman’s remarks from the Opening Night of Kallah | Kol ALEPH Says:

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  3. Shir Yaakov Says:

    Audio version coming soon? So much of Reb Zalman’s transmission is in his tone….

  4. Gabbai Seth Fishman (Blog Editor) Says:

    Rabbi Jeff: Thank you for the feedback about where the first Kallah was. The first one I went to was in 1989 at Bryn Mawr College and I had thought the previous ones were there as well. Also, I looked up about when PDA’s were introduced and according to Wikipedia, “The first PDA was released in 1984 by Psion, the Organizer II,” so I suppose Reb Zalman may have been working with one early on.

    Shir Yaakov: I will go to the Aleph office today at Kallah today and see if I can get a copy of the video and get it published. When it is published I will add another comment here with the location. My personal audio recording is of such poor quality, I don’t believe anyone would benefit from my putting it here. I had to turn the volume way down to a minimum and listen with headphones to be able to discern what he said.

    Gabbai Seth Fishman

  5. Mordechai Liebling Says:

    So good to read Reb Zalman’s words and I had a dream about him last night.

    Just to set the historical record straight about time and place: the first Kallah was in 1985 at Cabrini College (I was the Kallah director so I remember). In 1987 it was at Bryn Mawr.
    Love and blessings,

  6. Shir Yaakov Says:

    Seth, Any update on the video? Shabbat Shalom,
    Shir Yaakov

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