This is a retelling of an old story that invites us to imagine new ways forward. Watch this.
Sea Crossing in the New Paradigm
By Kohenet Annie Matan
Channelled at Kohenet Shabbat on June 20, 2020
Text is transcribed from Zoom Video.
We are journeying.
From a hard place
That is the only place we've ever known.
And even though we know it's not good for us,
So it's hard to leave.
because we don't know where we're going.
The path ahead of us is uncertain.
But we go. And in fact,
we leave faster than we thought possible,
after many years of saying:
We'll never get out of here.
This is the way it's always been.
And this is the way it will be forever.
There's no other way.
That was the story.
My whole lifetime, maybe yours too. Maybe for 400 years.
That's been the story.
And what finally propelled us out was a great cry.
So here we are.
We are on the path. We look behind us and it pulls –
Oh, but it's so [much] easier to just go back.
And we look ahead
and there's some hope on the horizon.
And we think:
okay, one more step, one more step.
I'm finally doing it!
And finally, I'm finally learning this new way,
this way called Freedom!
I take with me what I need:
And when I think:
Ah, I'm finally out!
I find myself between a rock and a hard place.
Or maybe between
an army of Egyptians and the sea.
Or maybe between
all of the ways that I have been conditioned
to see and understand the world
and ways that I'm just beginning to learn
And it feels like this sea of Unknowing
is a great chasm that may be impossible to cross.
Here's where in our paradigm,
in our day,
the story has changed.
Because I grew up learning the Charlton Heston version
with this random guy
(who I later learned was named Nachson Ben Aminadav)
who dives alone off a cliff
in a literal leap of faith.
One person sacrifices.
Believes he is sacrificing himself
because he believes the only way forward is sacrifice.
And maybe death.
And in years past when I have told this story,
you know, even if he just stepped in
one step at a time -
like some of our rabbis tell us -
until the water was up to his nose.
Even that -
not knowing how to swim,
I gotta do this hard thing
That was the old way, People.
The new way
is to stand at that shore
and open our eyes.
And look to your left.
And look to your right.
And look behind you.
Look at all these faces.
And realize no one does it alone,
We are not being called to step forward alone anymore.
…It used to be that that was a badge of honor -
I did it by myself -
We are here with our ancestors.
All the generations are at our back.
And all of our children.
And our children's children.
And their children's children,
generation after generation before us
is in front of us,
drawing us forward
into the future we are dreaming and creating.
And we are all God, remember?
So when we sing Who is like You?
We are looking at our community.
We are looking at all these faces and saying,
each of you,
each of us
is a gift.
We have to do it together.
I’m not like you
and I need you
to hold my hand.
I need you so we can step in together.
When we stepped in, what happened?
The hard way,
the way that seemed impossible
Not just a slog.
It was not a slog.
It was safe.
We walked through
on DRY land.
And here's another way the story is different.
In our world today,
is drowned behind us.
We all make it.
And when we sing,
Who is like you?
for all the ones who are catching up
for all the ones who didn't know any better
for all the ones who are pulling us forward
because WE didn't know any better,
and we thought the old way
was the only way
just like they did.
And now we are
arriving and arriving
wave after wave after wave
and hand by hand
pulling each other up
into the new world
of our dreams
in which every single one of us
Not just surviving.
It is so.