On the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the traditional Jewish Torah-reading is Genesis 21. In it, Abraham’s second wife Hagar and his first son Ishmael are sent forth from Abraham’s family, with a leather-skin of water that is not enough to meet their needs in the dry wilderness. In extremis, Hagar gently lays Ishmael beneath a tree and begins to weep as she fears his death. (The Torah uses the word Tashlich for this laying-down, teaching us that in the Rosh Hashanah ceremony of Tashlich we are not casting our misdeeds away into the flowing water, but seeking to transform their energies for the sake of Life, as Hagar did.) Then, says the Torah, Hagar’s eyes are opened, and she saw the wellspring that she names “Be¹er Lachai Roi, The Wellspring of the Living ONE Who Sees Me." It saves their lives.
As I try to see this story, it seems to me that when Hagar’s eyes were opened, her tears poured forth so fully that she herself created the wellspring. Today, all around the world we face the death of trees and the dearth of water, the deaths of many other life-forms and millions of our own Ishmaels. Many parts of Earth are becoming as scarce of water as was the ancient Middle East. As our planet heats and scorches, our Mother Earth is parched and can no longer pour forth from her breasts the pure water that nurtures and sustains us. May our own tears for Mother Earth pour forth to water the wellsprings of new life. May we open our eyes, and act! -- act out of seeing the Living ONE Who Sees Us.
May we pour forth the tears that make healing action possible!
And as Mother Hagar needed nourishment, so do those of us who draw on flowing Spirit to do the work of healing Mother Earth. Please click on the “Donate” banner on he Left margin, to pour forth as well the money that is also necessary if we are to make healing action possible.