Holy Corrosion of Holiness

Carey Averbook

About Carey Averbook

Carey Averbook comes from long lines of Ashkenazi Jews who came to this land, The United States/Turtle Island, while escaping pogroms in Eastern Europe. My passion is to shift the stories we live by, individually and collectively, consciously and unconsciously. Yuval Noah said, “to understand the world you need to take stories seriously. The story in which you believe shapes the society that you create.” I believe we’ve forgotten how to be human and are unwell—that many of our stories about being human have lost their way. Some writers have referred to this as a spiritual, cultural, ecological, and moral crisis in America. To remember and return to being well as human beings, we need different stories. Stories that are a mix of new and ancient. My work explores these kinds of stories and is crafted to be emotionally and spiritually evocative.I received my MA in New Media Photojournalism from the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University and my BA in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I’m a multimedia visual storyteller and emerging poet who is also an ALEPH Kesher Fellow and a student in ALEPH’s Earth-Based Judaism certificate program.

About Holy Corrosion of Holiness

This poem came through while I was sick after my first COVID-19 vaccine and was digesting class material about Leviticus through an agrarian lens. The poem is a memory, a transmission, a passionate plea, and an invitation. I look around and experience everything as holy and whole and also broken. I see a corrosion of the human relationship with Creation as holy. So how can all that is, be holy right now and yet corroded… is the corrosion then holy? If so, then what for?The Shmita Year year is about rest, land, relationships, release, trust, and return. In a society of rhythms, stories, and ways out of tune with Earth, out of tune with the sacred, and out of town with relational wealth, this prayerpoem calls for return to holiness, wholeness, and reconnection—a return to shmita years in time and ethos.
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