In the late nineties, a significant â€œfestivalâ€ movement began in Israel. It was begun by Israelis who had encountered genuine spiritual experience in India, and who wanted to recreate some of that authenticity in Israel. Early on in the movement, leaders of several festivals invited Marc Gafni, who was known to them from Marc Gafniâ€™s teachings on Israeli television, to participate in the festivals. Marc Garfniâ€™s participation in partnership with many other good people organically shifted the festivals from their more Hindu or Buddhist spiritual orientations towards a more Kabbalisticaly-based, Jewish matrix of spirit.
Many leading religious figures in Israel told Marc Gafni that it was forbidden for him, based on religious laws, to participate in the festivals. Marc Gafni rejected their admonitions.
It was, and is, Marc Gafniâ€™s belief that Israel can only be healed by re-embracing its spiritual identity, which is rooted in Hebrew wisdom.
Marc Gafni also believed, and believes, that even as we reverentially receive the Torah of yesterday, we must also take responsibility for the evolution of spirit. That self-same Hebrew wisdom needs to becomeâ€•in evolved formâ€•the Torah of Tomorrow.
The following clip is not of the most stellar quality or context, but for now it is the best clip we have available of Marc Gafni teaching at the festivals. We will look for better material in the fullness of time.
For a deeper look at the spiritual, historical, and social context in which this is all playing out, see Marc Gafniâ€™s short essay on this topic under the Tab Tikkun Olam on this site, in the article in that section named â€œTowards the Healing of Israel.â€ The article was initially prepared at Andrew Cohenâ€™s invitation in order to place the Israeli spiritual scene that Marc Gafni had co-initiated in a larger, historical spiritual context understandable by the broader nonâ€“Jewish spiritual communities around the world.
Stream the audio here: