Ancestral Legacies

I called the Denver Jungian Institute to see if there was any space left or if it was too late to register for a seminar with a visiting Jungian analyst from Israel. “No, there is room,” was the reply. So the next day I drove to the appointed address, entered the building and followed the number sequence of rooms but could not find it. Perhaps I was confused because I was looking for a large venue. When I finally located the room there was but one person, an elderly woman, seated at a small table whose capacity I estimated generously to be ten people. I received an affirmative nod from her; indeed, I was in the right place. The speaker was late. I was considering a pre-emptive exit when in beamed Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, bubbling with excitement and embracing me with the warm hug of a dear friend.
We had time to chat as the speaker had still not arrived so we caught up on our lives and Reb Tirzah shared that she had enrolled in a doctoral program in Depth (Jungian) Psychology. That is what had brought her to be in that room. I was wondering that perhaps the reason I had waffled, but finally decided, to sign up for the talk was to see Reb Tirzah. It was immaterial that there was a small audience. I was going to share this learning with Reb Tirzah, there would be stimulating conversation and dialogue.
The door opened and in came a woman and a man—the woman was there from the Jung Institute of Denver to introduce the visiting speaker to us three. The speaker, unfazed by the non-crowd, launched into his talk—a very personal and heartfelt reminiscence of his family surviving the holocaust and immigrating to Israel. His was a story of victimization and victimhood and I could sense Reb Tirzah bursting at the seams to engage in dialogue. I settled in as an observer, my mind set free to witness their ensuing back and forth about victims and perpetrators; a rich commentary on the stories we inherit and live out. Little did I know that this was the very topic Reb Tirzah was investigating in her doctoral work or that this man, despite his protestations to the contrary, was an embodiment of what he was adamantly arguing against—Israelis in his opinion were not living a victim narrative. He appeared to me to be doing just that.
Reb Tirzah is now on the other side of her dissertation and has added another title to herself—Doctor. She will be opening up our series of August workshops (see below) with an interactive and experiential learning about our inherited ancestral legacies. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from and with this master teacher and catch a beam of her brilliance and warmth. I won’t. I registered early.


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