Tikkun Winter 2019 (34.1) - Page 29

of a collective trauma that is also, simultane- ously, my own personal wound. The intersec- tion of collective and individual myths is a mystery of great relevance in our times. It underscores the importance of each of us doing our own personal healing work for the sake of the whole. depression, anxiety, and other stress responses remarkably similar to those of their ancestors. But the new research also intimates that our historical legacies can be transformed. First, we must reclaim our connection to our physi- cal selves, this wise earth plane, and our in- stinctual sense of knowing. By reconnecting with the intelligence of our bodies, opening to the heartbreak all around us, and bringing IV. TAPPING OUR COLLECTIVE WISDOM awareness to the fact that we are connected We each have reservoirs of pain like this, cach- across time, space, and generations, we can es of collective wisdom hidden away in our cel- awaken a multi-dimensional perspective, one that balances the patriarchy’s ceaseless forward lular memory. This is because family patterns momentum with the wisdom of the ages. The exert their influence in ways that are largely unconscious. So do the deep inscriptions of our wounds and the wounding of the fathers may have their indelible imprints, but they can and tribal histories within our bodies. must be healed if we are to As a rabbi and depth psy- stand up to and transform the This was the beginning of chologist, I have long been patriarchy. intrigued by the powers a profound unraveling that Patriarchy is not just the sub- that lie beneath the surface has continued to this day. jugation of women and their of our lives. I have learned bodies but an entire worldview that our connection to that would deny the intricate our forebears and the Jewish concept of Dor l’Dor—from generation to generation—is more fabric that connects our primal body-knowing with cerebral understanding, our individual than just a sentimental idea. Whether our selves with the life of community, our personal grandparents suffered from racial discrimina- memory with the guiding wisdom of our ances- tion in the Middle East, scarcity in the De- tors. Reclaiming and healing these connections pression, or atrocities in the Holocaust, their spells the true end of the patriarchy and moves extreme experiences can be stored and trans- us decidedly beyond it. mitted for generations. “ Now new research in neuroscience and clinical psychology demonstrates that even when they are hidden, our ancestors’ traumas leave their evidence in the minds and bodies of future generations. The field of epigenetics provides growing evidence that traumatic events can create a kind of “biological memory” that emerges under stress. One landmark study carried out in Jerusalem found that the de- scendants of parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents who endured persecution, war, and other extreme stresses were prone to VOL. 34, NO. 1 ” RABBI TIRZAH FIRESTONE, PhD, is an author, Jungian psychotherapist, and founding rabbi of Congregation Nevei Kodesh in Boulder, Colorado. Ordained by Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi in 1992, she is a leader in the international Jewish Renewal Movement and a renowned Jewish scholar and teacher. © 2019 TIKKUN MAGAZINE 29