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The Long Count of the Mayan calendar (something in daily use in my house) comes to an end on December 21, 2012 after a 5,125 year cycle. After a couple of thousand years In Pisces we now enter the Age of Aquarius. The seas rise, the earth warms, and wars continue. In the Siberian city of Tomsk several thousand emergency kits have sold containing sausage, matches, buckwheat, candles, a string and a pieceof soap. The motto on the package says, “It can’t be worse” a classic Russian commentary on the end of the world.


In France, and in many other countries, plans are being made to keep those who seek relief from harming themselves to save themselves. Store shelves are being cleared by those stocking up for the apocalypse. In a prison in Russia, anxiety over the Mayan prophecy has been building for some months. Some who perceived that the earth had yawned were terrified and ran off in all directions. Some due to their “disturbing thoughts, were getting sick, or having seizures. Reactions vary from place to place.

I don't understand the rush to buy supplies. If the world is ending on December 21st, why are any supplies needed at all? The prices are being raised by those who think they will be around to spend the proceeds. Don't they have any compassion, why raise prices when the
world is ending?

The Jews believe that the Messiah will come when things are so bad, that we must, without question, be saved. Many in the Holocaust felt, “If not now, when?” “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, and though he tarry, nonetheless do I believe.”


So here we are at what many hope will be a true transition to a different better world. The Messiah, I feel, will not be an individual so much as a change in consciousness. And although things could (and may/will) get worse before things get better, now would be a good time for that arrival. What needs to happen is not so difficult. It just requires the compassion of every human being to open to the lives and concerns of everyone else. Love our neighbors as ourselves? We must pause to think how we would feel if that other person’s problem were ours.

If we all had each others’ backs, bingo! World peace and cooperation!Back to the reality of the world ending before that happens, there are changes afoot. Over in Gaza and Israel, angers escalate, but if the sea rises and the aquifer in Gaza runs out of water, perhaps pulling together to survive will replace ancient arguments. In the ever more connected world of global economy, perhaps we will cooperate to support everyone and keep everyone’s economies afloat for the sake of all.

Perhaps. If not, then as Benjamin Franklin said, “We must all hang together or surely we will all hang separately.”

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Back in the 70’s when I was in one of the countless companies of HAIR who opened the show with “This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius” I had no idea what it meant. Something is changing, we are making the change, we hopeful self-empowered youths announced. The world has changed a lot in 40 years, and now I pray that is an opportunity for a turning. It is time.


A book I read about future lives (as opposed to past lives where people are hypnotized and talk about the times they have lived before and suddenly start speaking perfectly in languages that they do not know in real life, etc.) spoke about a world that was calm and peaceful and had a lot less people on it. The planet, we know, will be fine. She will do her thing and return to health, perhaps shaking us humans off as a dog does fleas. The question is whether we will become enlightened in the process as to what our priorities really should be. When you are out of water, your cannot drink your gold. When your loved ones are failing, the sadness and loss are equal in the top 1% and the bottom 1%. You can’t buy your way into heaven.

The only way to ensure safety is for everyone to row together. December 21 2012 is an actual time for a transition. There are forces at work, there are opportunities to help. We must all think of what gift we wish to give the world, and which one we would like to receive to enhance our contribution. A sun is setting and a sun is rising. We as a global community can decide whether the day will be choked with smog or a clear and gleaming day.We can laugh as write the predictions off as misunderstood math or intention, the hype of those who want to package and sell the apocalypse, the murmurings of the mystical psychic types. But those of us who are sensitive know that change is afoot and has been on going for some time. There is a transition happening. Change is here and we must all give it a push in the right direction.

There are things we can do: don’t put your cell phone too near your head or stick it in your bra. Don’t poison yourself in the myriad of ways we do. Don’t poison others to make some money. Give your kids music lessons. Get some exercise. Open your mind. Lessen your carbon footprint. Help starving children, etc. You get the idea. Add to the list.

Ani ma’amim, I believe that only those who are willing to take care of others, as well as themselves, will survive in any meaningful way. I believe that the genetic disposition to help others is real. If we can all take this work on together, then surely it is the end of one world and the beginning of another. The Piscean age was about our following a few Enlightened Souls: Plato, Moses, Jesus, Maimonides, Buddha, Mohammed, Krishna. The Aquarian Age is about all of us being enlightened.


So what will I wear to the end of the world? Something comfortable, There’s a lot of work to do.

Rabbi Sara Shendelman

Wednesday, 5 December 2012