On the path to reconciliation, between G-d and mankind, many endeavors have been made. Perhaps, as many to replace Him as well; most notably, the Tower of Babel, a failed construction project. Today, “crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end” (Jo Harjo). At least, that is what the architects of this brave new world would like us to believe, once all history, traditional values, and religion has been deleted. This promise of a never-ending utopia in tandem with the innovations of technocracy will not succeed. For in the beginning, G-d formed His own blueprints, design, and overall goals for humanity. And, in the end, “those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmanent” (Daniel 12:3). So, be circumspect, be aware of the signs of the times; and, above all, wait for light to appear at dawn (Psalm 130:6; Proverbs 4:18).
1 Nissan 5781
Running, the tempest behind me,
still present in my thoughts and dreams;
yet, somewhere on the horizon, I can see
in the distance, there is a place serene.
Joyous within myself, outwardly smiling,
my emotions never surface enough to be visible;
perhaps, a trait from my ancestors upbringing,
learned men of books, studying in the shtetl.
My father comprehends the silence,
that his view from heaven always reveals;
although, amidst my own earthly burdens,
much for me still remains concealed.
Yehi ratzon, I will be consoled at last
by the promise of the Final Redemption;
each year that closes the gaps of the past,
brings us closer to our future reunion.
Linear time and eternity merge,
as hours pass into days and years;
in a single glimpse, moments converge,
carrying the weight of golden tears.
The Beis HaMikdash looms visible,
in the inner sanctum of the soul;
a place of solace, clearly recognizable
by the light of the Shepherd’s fold.
“He looketh in through the windows, he peereth through the lattice.”
– Song of Songs 2:9, JPS 1917 Tanach
A glimpse of the Shechinah, within her castle,
as she peers out on occasion during the day;
is this not the goal of all mystics, who seek
only to find for a moment, this brief reward?
Yet, modernity closes in upon the opportunity,
to gaze in peace and silence, to wonder
at all that is sublime within G-d’s creation,
progressively curtailed in Babylon.
You’re perfect in your imperfectness,
complete in your incompleteness;
and, whole in your brokenness.
Life is full of paradoxes,
that only G-d can mend,
by unravelling the tangled
threads of our existence.
Bringing together past and present,
reconciling our souls to the future
Kingdom, already present in our hearts.
Is the past beyond redemption?
Can not the truth be retrieved
from amidst this disorderly pile
of worn out tattered journals?
The dust that has collected,
must be sifted out from amongst
these scattered pages, uncategorized;
yet, containing the codes of my life.
A life, previously unraveled,
like nucleotides rearranged on a double helix,
twisting and turning along an invisible axis
of the original blueprint of life.
In the distance – a light –
that bears witness to the tragic notes,
sounded out throughout an endeavor
to peer through the darkness.
In time, the dust becomes
visible to the eye of the soul,
when the first ray of dawn,
shines through the window.
Every particle, suspended in the air,
for a brief moment, before settling
down on the floor, vanishes from sight,
like the bioluminescence of fireflies.
Tu b’Shevat 5781
Silence. In the depth of the Void, until the first word is spoken;
and, the word spoken, remained in its essence, with the Speaker,
as its potential energy went forth into the emptiness, ex nihilo.
And, there was light, ohr chadash, enlightening the newly born universe,
weaving its way throughout time and space, rapidly expanding outwards,
until time took hold, in nanoseconds, as the vessels were formed.
The culmination of evening, and the beginning of morning were yom echad;
the waters were divided, above and below; heaven showed forth its glory;
the sun to rule by day, and the moon to rule by night.
And, as form was encompassed, within and without by spirit,
sunrise, and sunset, the myriads of creatures were given existence;
on the sixth day, the crown of creation was given to mankind.
And, on the seventh day, the Creator rested;
behold, all that had been created gleamed with light;
Adam and Eve began to populate the earth.
Paradise is lost,
the way, now guarded
by cherubim, after the fall.
Adam, sees their flaming swords,
as the angels guard the way
to the eitz chayim – tree of life.
Mankind stumbles in the darkness,
searches elsewhere for a way to return.
I watch the match strike the surface,
of a matchbox with Shabbos designs;
this flame designates the beginning
of sacred time, the Day of Rest.
After saying the blessing over the candles,
my mother turns the tablet on the dinner table,
so that my view is now of her chair and place setting;
as we begin the prayers, the Shechinah joins us.
Every Friday evening, we’ve been meeting,
closing the distance of 2,300 miles in an instant,
after connecting our pixelated selves,
via the blessings of technology.
Who knows whether or not,
these high tech wonders
exist specifically for times like these,
in order to bridge the gaps between us all.
I take comfort in sharing this moment,
sanctifying the day with kiddush and motzei,
standing upon an island in time, suspended
in between the week days.
A soul, satiated,
not with the pleasures of the world,
nor the intoxication of life;
rather, content with the taste
of love from Above,
no longer running in haste,
away from His treasure trove.
A mind, relaxed,
permitting everything to unfold,
without succumbing to strife;
passing opportunities by,
in favor of the everlasting;
for the time of reckoning is nigh,
when all accounts will be settled.
Yet, everyday I regress,
falling close to the abyss;
climbing under constant duress,
this life’s empty promises of bliss.
Is there no other recourse, to escape
the fate that awaits? Through teshuvah,
receive me back into Your grace.
Silence, a precious treasure.
Priceless commodity of the faithful,
who seek G-d daily, in solitude.
The only notifications that are necessary,
are those sent from H’Shem to our soul.
And communication is not one-way.
Prayer, everlasting, ever nourishing
within the desert landscape of modernity,
barren of meaningful experiences.
No need to traipse around the concrete jungle,
when all that you need may be found in tandem
with the silent presence of G-d.