It was so wonderful to spend the last moment of Shabbat in community, learning Torah, singing and getting to know the divine in each of those present. To all of those in attendance, thank you for being a part of my first of many. And I am in gratitude to all of those that keep reminding me that I don't need to know every melody and I can ask for help. Shavua Tov!
Here is a taste...
And then the moment comes,
the moment that all lovers fear,
the moment of return,
return to the seen world.
The searing pain is tangible.
The lovers cling to each other
as our melodies beckon shekhina back to us
their arms outstretched,
trying to maintain their connection
for the last fleeting moments.
Their hearts grasping at each other
trying not to let go
but their bodies aware that the time has come
as Shekhina’s outstretched arms mimic Michelangelo’s
our melodies attempting to sweeten this moment of deep pain
God’s anger aroused that Shekhina is forced to leave
We send up reiach nichoach, the pleasing scent of incense
in an attempt to sweeten it and we sanctify it.
We sanctify this moment of brokenness
We elevate it to a level of holiness.
So that when Shekhina brings down that light from above-
the light that we cannot see with the eye
the light that shines through cracks,
and brings us our own wholeness.
It is for this, that she returns, bitteresweet.
For she wishes to remain in the unseen world,
but for us, she lovingly returns.
So that, we can bring her light into the world
through all of our cracks of imperfection.
As last week was the 20th Yartzheit of Yitzhak Rabin and my dear friend Shir Yaakov begins The Bearing Witness Retreat I pray that we lift ourselves above the current reality and find a new peace in the world.
As I walked through the gray pained roads of Majdanak
I could feel the agony of hundreds of thousands of souls as they ascended to heaven.
Double chai in the thousands-the life beaten out of them.
I watch the ashes of my human family fly through the air like snowflakes in the winter.
Auschwitz, the tracks and the ancient howling screams held fast in the wind.
A bunker empty, I ponder the largess of the appearing sleep space
quickly realizing that their thinning bodies lay one on top of the other
as 20 men filled each one, I stifle a scream.
My body shakes and heaves with the intense pain of a world that was mad
and yet my eyes are dry.
Maybe it is the separation of years or the shock of it all, I will never know.
But standing in the center of pain did not bring me to tears.
I step off the plane for the first time and I kiss the ground.
The ground I have been dreaming of for 16 years.
I travel the countryside starting out the window of the bus,
the bedouin tents dotting the road bring up the deep seated pain
I have been fed for years, in a world more interested in appearances than truth.
A world where the hyenas of Disney’s Lion King ravaging the promised land
are represented by those bedouin tents on the side of the road.
A world where Jews were right and Arabs were terrorists.
A people who claim Torah’s vision in their hatred of another.
But then, in my youthful naïveté I too believed.
Believed in a world black and white,
a world where only one group was suffering at the hands of another.
We approach Mount Herzl with heavy hearts
only five months after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.
I walk through the maze of steps surrounded by earthy growth,
the smell of life penetrates this space of death
The lush greens of this space juxtaposed
by the gray of death 100s of miles away in that world ravaged with darkness.
I step around a corner and I see it, I see that which I never saw before.
In clear Black and White the marble of the stones glint in the sunlight.
Their flash like a sharp needle puncturing my eyes
as a heaving of my soul reverberates through my body.
My tears like a tsunami crashing against the rigid walls of my heart
as I realize that we are continuing the work that began in 1939.
We who have been murdered and slain in the millions
stand self righteous in indignation of each other.
We who claim that we are the children of Israel
have not learned from those sacred books.
We continue the struggles laid out in the opening chapters
Brother killing Brother, war in the name of peace.
"Rabins' Grave" by User:Pharos