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The Thinking Heart: Facing our Fears with the Wisdom of Etty Hillesum

February 22, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST

close up of person's hands on their chest outdoors in sunlight

“Let me be the thinking heart of these barracks.” – Etty Hillesum

These powerful words were written from within Camp Westerbork, a transit camp in the Netherlands, by one of the most extraordinary writers during the Holocaust. Etty Hillesum was murdered in Auschwitz in 1943 at the age of 29. The diaries that she wrote in the last two years of her life are a document full of love, spirituality, compassion, and trust in life. With Hillesum as our inspiration, we will challenge ourselves to tap into our own “thinking hearts”: to face our feelings with awareness, to see the “other” without animosity, hatred, or bitterness. We will explore how Hillesum’s teachings can support the healing of individuals and nations. We will ask: What does it mean to be the thinking heart in times ruled by violence and fear? How can we connect with the power of our hearts? What is the guidance of my thinking heart? The session will include meditation, writing exercises, and group sharing.

headshot of Dina and EmmaDina Awwad-Srour and Emma Sham-ba Ayalon are passionate women and peace workers who work for social change and global healing. Dina (Palestinian) is a lecturer and a writer on issues of women’s empowerment and sexuality. Emma Sham-Ba (Israeli) is a rabbi, poet, and artist. They created the Etty Hillesum Cards in three languages (English, Hebrew, and Arabic) in order to share the inspiration of Hillesum’s writings with others.

The session will be recorded and sent to participants. We encourage live attendance for you to get the most out of the experience.

We are happy to offer this session for free. A suggested $18 donation has been added to the ticket. If you are unable to donate, you may remove that suggested amount from the ticket. Please consider donating if you’re able, to help us continue to offer free programs like this one.


February 22, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST
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