This week-end we spent a lot of time with an old acquaintance-Rabbi Rami Shapiro. It all started when I read an ad in the paper that Rabbi Rami was coming to
Since Rami is a bright light on my spiritual screen, and I had not seen him for 18 years or so, I was delighted. I immediately signed up along with 174 other people to attend his one day workshop on the Sacred Art of Loving Kindness: an interfaith exploration of compassion. And what a rollicking day it was. Not only were we inspired, enlightened, educated and entertained our immune systems got boosted with all of the laughing. Quite frankly, Rami is a delight. And not only that, he is wonderfully irreverent. Not in a cynical way but in a joyful mix of intelligence, wisdom, open mindedness, truthfulness, and absolute compassion for the human condition. If you think I loved the day, you are right.
Probably my favourite thing among many that I took away was the idea of being a “trim-tab.” Rami had studied with Buckminster Fuller and had learned about trim tabs from him. In fact when Fuller died his epitaph reads simply TRIM TAB.
So what does that mean? “A trim tab is the tiny, trailing part of a ship's rudder. Slight pressure on the trim tab moves the rudder, which in turn directs the ship. We are all trim tabs, tiny pivots affecting the overall direction of humanity. As Fuller advised, it is time to take a long view. Zoom out, look at where we've been and where we might be going. See it? Now choose your path and act accordingly.”
As Rami said, “you don’t have to turn the weight of civilization, but you can be a trim tab and be part of the turning.”
The other very special aspect of the week-end was attending our first Shabbat Supper, which was memorable and delicious, prepared by friends and followed by going to their Temple B’nai Tikvah for Shabbat Services. A first for both Gottfried and me and such a special occasion to experience as guests. I loved everything about it.
This week-end was filled with freshness, learning and laughter. Just what the Doctor ordered. Thanks to Debbie, Steve and Rabbi Rami along with all the others who made the whole thing possible.
As always, Trudy
PS: Below is a little more info about Rami.
Rabbi Rami Shapiro
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award winning author, poet, essayist, and educator whose poems have been anthologized in over a dozen volumes, and whose prayers are used in prayer books around the world. Rami received rabbinical ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and holds doctoral degrees in both Jewish studies and divinity.
A congregational Rabbi for 20 years, Rabbi Shapiro currently teaches Religious Studies at