Reb Zalman's "Holy Graffiti" / by Netanel Miles-Yepez

Years ago, my teacher, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, of blessed memory, told me that he had once hiked into the mountains and spray-painted "holy graffiti" on a water reserve tank. He was inspired by the experiments of Dr. Masaru Emoto who claimed that even writing emotionally charged words on a bottle of water changed the structure of the water itself. Words of hate created chaotic structures, and words of love, beautiful patterns. So Reb Zalman took a path into the mountains behind his home in Boulder and hiked up to a large water tank that provided water to the community and spray-painted on it: "Blessings for peace, health, joy, prosperity, and kindness."

Today, a little over a year since his passing, I decided to hike up into the mountains to see if I could find the water tank and see if his holy grafitti still existed. I reached the water tank just after six o'clock in the evening. There was plenty of grafitti on it, but none of it "holy"—at least not on the part of it I could see. I decided to look around the back of it. The ground was wet, so I walked the narrow cement edge around the tank, until finally, I came to the faded black remains of Reb Zalman's grafitti. After some twenty years, and probably more than one paint over, it was still here!

There was no vantage point from which to take a picture of all of it, so I did what I could to capture it in a series of photos.