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Happy Birthday! Below the Bible Belt marks 1 Year -

Here are some important changes. Weekly Vid with Rabbi Amichai

“The Bible is conveying a universal truth.. The violations and heartbreaks suffered in one era often continue to travel through time, creating a legacy of new suffering until they're finally faced and felt.” 

This powerful concept is the focus of Rabbi Tirza Firestone’s powerful book Wounds into Wisdom: Healing Intergenerational Jewish Trauma.  I’ll be honored to facilitate an online conversation between her and another hero of mine, Gabor Mate, on Feb. 16 at 3pm, hosted by our friends at #AyinPress. 

This powerful concept of repair through reflection is why I’ve chosen, a year ago,  to start closely reading the Hebrew Bible, one chapter a day, eager to explore: What about this bulky building block of our heritage and culture carries the seeds of trauma and transmitted pain that no longer serves our human flourishing? How can we look at our collective past, represented through scriptures, with honesty, pain and all, make sense of what we inherited, figure out what’s the baby and what’s the bath water, and make change possible? Coz some of these big ideas and concepts no longer uphold the morals and values of who we are and how we are becoming better humans, and there’s no point holding on to sacred canons that drag us down, no matter how divine their origin or intent. To know is to question, to challenge, to change. With love. 

So here we are. Wrapping up the First Book of Samuel, the 8th of 24 books, with 261 chapters down and 668 left to go. Next week on February 7 will be the one year mark since this journey started - In the Beginning.   And now, as King Saul is about to die - another beginning awaits - the House of David. Talk about trauma! And legacy.. And a lot of fascinating complicated threads that wait exploring. We’ll begin the second book of Samuel, and David’s reign, on Wednesday, February 8. A great day to hop onto the train no matter how many chapters you’ve missed before or how many you’ll miss ahead! 

This Bible marathon is `an exciting and at times excruciating journey. Not just the content that at times is terrible and tough to bear. The commitment to daily reading and posting, deep below the bible belt and inside the heart of darkness and delight - is a lot. It is also very rewarding and I’m so glad we’re on this journey - together! The feedback and encouragement, comments and questions from many of you who are with me for this ride makes it ever so more meaningful. Thank you! 

To celebrate the one year marker I invite you - dear readers - for some new ways this Below the Bible Belt journey will go on. 

ONE- if you are following this on Instagram - we’re taking this daily post off my personal IG page and onto its own - BelowtheBibleBelt929. Starting this week - we’ll migrate over there for the biblical content. Facebook will still be on my personal @AmichaiLauLavie page. 

TWO - As for Substack subscriptions- which is how most of you get this blog, we are introducing a new way to support this project - and enable me to hire a research assistant and get some social media support - which is needed!  This is pretty much a part time job at this point.. 

You can now become a paid subscriber of Below the Bible Belt! You can still get the daily post for free, but if you choose to be a paid subscriber at $18 a month, $180 for a year, or $250 as a founding subscriber -- you’ll also get access to the full weekly video and get invited to the monthly zoom conversation. 

Info on my Substack page! We will activate this new option on Tuesday, Feb. 7. 

THREE - do you want to be my intern or paid assistant? Get in touch! I’m mostly in need of light support with social media posting and editing, and some biblical research won’t hurt either. 

So here we are -- transitioning from year one to year two, from Saul to David, from trauma to truth -- below the bible belt and deep where it matters. 

Here’s to a continued journey together. 

Thanks for joining me Below the Bible Belt, one chapter at a time. Shabbat Shalom

Check out today’s new  vid. Weekly recap of Below the Bible Belt.

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Below the Bible Belt: 

929 chapters, 42 months, daily reflections:

Join R. Amichai’s 3+ years interactive online quest to question, queer + re-read between the lines of the entire Hebrew Bible, with daily reflections, weekly videos and monthly learning sessions.

Below the Bible Belt
Amichai Lau-Lavie (he/him)