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Three Gifts

It has been an interesting week, along the lines of the so-called Chinese proverb.  Disappearing airplanes on one side of the world, disappearing buildings on the other. I want to log off and escape from the news. I feel like curling up in bed with one of those eye masks and ear plugs, and not emerging until Monday. After Purim is over.

But Purim requires engagement with the real world. A rabbinic holiday, its observance is not specified in the Bible. So the rabbis designated its associated mitzvot (ritual obligations) to include giving gifts. We give gifts of charity to the poor and gifts of food to our friends. This gift-giving, along with the customs of feasting and celebrating the deliverance of the Jews of Shushan, is outlined in the Book of Esther, which we read publicly on the holiday.

This week, in addition to giving money to the poor and home-baked hamantaschen to my friends, I am giving a different sort of gift.

compassion torch profile picThis week, I was given the honor of carrying this virtual torch in anticipation of the 2014 Compassion Games.  I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to give the gift of compassion. Keeping track of my acts of compassion in a journal, I’ve discovered that compassion is indeed a gift that can be given to oneself, as well as to other people. This week, I am mapping my acts of compassion on the Compassion Games web site; I hope to inspire others to participate in the games and to celebrate Atlanta’s designation as a compassionate city.

This week, I also find that I’ve been seeking refuge in the studio, channeling my feelings of compassion into my art. On Purim, I will share these three gifts of compassion. After Purim is over, I will pass the torch to another person in Metro Atlanta; I hope to facilitate additional gift-giving and pray that the deliverance of my people will be recorded in a book that will be read publicly centuries from now.

gift for adam webgift of d_r_sh webgift from elyse

1. Amulet for Healing (upper left)

2. Found Object Sculpture/Trash Art: D-R-SH (upper right)

3. Elyse’ Phone: a Found Object Sculpture in progess (lower right)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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