The Leopard Roars!

“The Leopard Roars!” was shared with me by Lama Surya Das yesterday.

I was so moved by it that I did some further research and found Rabbi Arthur Waskow‘s blog.

The leopard locked in the cage of liturgy was definitely my experience growing up in a conservative synagogue in St. Louis.

This feeling was definitely enhanced by the amount of time my mother spent as the rabbi’s secretary – 35 years!

She also taught many of the students their Bar Mitzvah materials.

“One of my favorite moments of 20th century Torah is a two-line short story by, of all people, Franz Kafka:

‘One day a leopard came stalking into the synagogue, roaring and lashing its tail.

      Three weeks later, it had become part of the liturgy.’

The story tells the tragic tale – the lashing, roaring tale – of all organized religion, not just Judaism.

Powerful moments of breakthrough to The ONE get encoded into a text, a practice, a tale – how else can we make sure the moment is never forgotten?

And then we read it, recite it, practice it, not by “by heart” but by rote.  The leopard is locked into the cage of liturgy.

I hear my calling in the world as letting the leopard out of the cage. In every generation, every year, every day – every breath!  – we must let the leopard out of the cage.

Frightening, that roar, that tail, that tale. And full of life.”

–Rabbi Arthur Waskow from “The Leopard Roars! The Liturgy Awakens, All Breath Enlivens” [Read More…]

Rabbi Waskow and his congregation, The Shalom Center have taken a new turn towards being “a prophetic voice in Jewish, mulitreligious, and American life.”

This is something I applaud because some of their current projects include addressing the climate crisis, unjust economic and political people and corporations, and peacemaking in the Middle East.

I would welcome an invitation to present a day of mindfulness on Healing Cancer with Your Mind to the members of The Shalom Center.

What do you think about this?


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