Image via WikipediaThere are many instructive writings relating to Jewish earth-centered and shamanic traditions and teachings at the EcoRebbe's website. Shamanic Shift Center and some of our circle companions signed up for his diverse emailings of stories, articles, and links a while ago.
Update - FYI: Rabbi Gershon can officiate Jewish and interfaith lifecycle ceremonies. Here is the url of the lifecyle ceremonies blog - http://jewishinterfaithwedding.blogspot.com! I hope I can get away with sharing this story told by Rabbi Gershon here:
The kabbalah teaches that heaven and hell are but two sides of the same thing.
The story is told of a man who wanted to see heaven before he died. Every night he pleaded with God to let him see heaven. Every morning he pleaded with God to let him see heaven. At Mincha and Maariv, again he pleaded. One night he had a strange dream. He dreamed that Eliyahu HaNavi (Elijah the Prophet) came to his bedside and told him that he, Eliyahu, was sent to take the man to see what heaven is like. Eliyahu asked the man to get out of bed and to put on his clothes and to follow him.
The man joyfully did as he was told. As he followed Eliyahu down the path from his house towards the synagogue, the man asked the Prophet; “Why?” “Why are we going to the synagogue? I thought you were to show me heaven.”
The Prophet replied “You will see heaven.” They came to the synagogue and quietly opened the door. The Prophet led the man down the steps to the basement classrooms where they could see six or seven elderly men loudly arguing Talmud and taking short nips from a bottle of vodka. The arguments were somewhat heated and noisy as the group attempted to resolve a difficult passage of Talmudic text. “There,” said Eliyahu HaNavi, “There is heaven.”
“I don’t understand,” Said the man, “everyday these same men sit at this table and attempt to resolve this same pesakh of Talmud. Do you mean to tell me that these men sitting here in the midst of Czarist Russia, a hellhole for all Jews, are in heaven?” “Ah, how shortsighted you are. Can you not see that heaven is not where the men are, heaven is in the men?”
Rabbi Gershon Steinberg-Caudill