Perseids

The tears of Laurentius, flowing

down to earth, signaling a rebirth

of heaven and earth, upon the turf

of G-d’s ever expanding creation –

from the center of the universe

towards the furthermost edge of space,

the human race rests, in anticipation

of the meteor shower every year.

~~~~~ ~~~~~

As the comet’s tail sheds debris,

visible to the eye, most prominently

towards the middle of the eighth month,

when saints and angels ring their bells,

and heavenly voices tell of all

that has already been foretold,

reminding us to keep on a steady course,

as the stars appear to shift around us.

Lattice

“My beloved is like a gazelle or a young hart; behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh in through the windows, he peereth through the lattice.”

– Song of Songs 2:9, JPS 1917 Tanach

The beloved peers through the lattice,

that we place between ourselves and G-d.

He wonders how to reach our souls,

so fettered with the wonders of the world.

If only he could be spotted outside

of our cluttered households,

seen through the window of our minds,

and past our preconceptions of divinity.

Make room, clear out the house

where you reside, sheltered from the Unknown.

Breathe in, the fresh outdoor air,

where the beloved waits for you.

And, together, hand in hand,

proceed to the Promised Land.

For when all is said and done

in this life, we fly with angels

to the House of the Beloved.

Stand with Me

I stand, amidst controversy,

thrive amongst subtleties,

arrange my life accordingly

to the truths that stand on their own.

Standing room only in Heaven,

when the righteous, downtrodden, and marginalized;

misunderstood, voiceless, and persecuted

will enter into their glory.

Will you stand with me?

Plea of the Pearl

There is something greater, than can be imagined, on the other side of the Veil. Something beyond compare to anything that can be found in this world. Yet, you continue to dive for pearls, as if treasures can only be manifest by searching the seas.

Our tears of compassion will be dried by the angels. Yet, you are heartless, and say, “No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife” (1).

Those who weep for the poor, downtrodden, and voiceless, will be comforted when the Kingdom appears at dawn. Yet, your myopic focus on self, will not be rewarded on the Day Judgment.

Cast away your ambition, for the sake of Heaven, and search for the lost souls, whose renewal will bring you joy. For, “to save a life, is as if an entire world will be saved” (2).

(1). Zora Neale Hurston, from “How Does it Feel to be Colored Me” in World Tomorrow (1928)

(2). Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:1

Heavenly Messenger

Prayers are only answered from a distance;

there is a great expanse that separates

between the supernal heights of Shomayim,

and the lowliness of our earthbound plight.

By the time the angelic messenger

passes through the strata of rakia,

the communication has become veiled,

in language that is beyond our understanding.

The malach who was dispatched from Above,

ascends again with empty hands and a heavy heart;

his only contentment is found in the accomplishment

of the task entrusted to him alone to enact.

Regardless of the recipient’s lack of awareness,

G-d’s word will not have been sent in vain;

rather, its purpose will have been accomplished,

without the cognizance of the beneficiary.

Promise

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.

Blue Dye

Like turquoise,

akin to sapphire am I,

techeles blue, I am called.

As lofty as the throne of Elokim;

and, as lowly as the chillazon snail.

Encapsulated within a single thread,

tied around a religious fringe,

reminding the wearer of Shomayim;

and, the ocean of wisdom called Torah.

Comprising the regal clothing of the Kohein Kadol,

surrounding the mishkan (tabernacle) with beauty.

The color of honor chosen for Mordechai,

and the dishonor of the rebel, Korach.

My ancient source has vanished,

only the remnants of shells remain,

found in an archaeological dig;

yet, some look to the cuttlefish.

Such an important mitzvah

for the sake of the tzitzis (fringes);

the pious wait for the true color,

to be discovered, bringing renewal.

Betrothal

erev Tu b’Shevat 5781

Every bell rings true

at the wedding of Adam and Eve.

All of the animals, flowers and trees,

pay homage to the crown of creation.

There is a music inside the ten utterances

of the Creator, Who brought all into being.

As each seedling sprouted, a world was born;

and, every niche was made for its own species.

Only today, as stewards, we have forgotten,

how to honor the contract between us and G-d,

when we demonstrate our carelessness,

as species die out, fading from the earth.

Rebirth, renewal, and awareness of life,

will bring us closer to Paradise, while

our souls are uplifted towards Heaven;

in search of a divine betrothal.

poem: Delight

A delight to the neshamah (soul),
at the beginning of the Sabbath;
the smell of fresh baked challah,
the flickering flames of candles.

Kiddush with concord grape wine,
at the beginning of my sacred feast,
comforts the soul in its nisyonos;
approaching heaven, to say the least.

Yet, there is really nothing to compare
to the delights of Heaven; when we arrive,
our eyes will be dazzled by H’Shem’s kavod;
truth will reign supreme in our hearts.

The expectation of a good place, 
reserved for the righteous in Olam Haba,
may serve as the focus, when seeking
to transcend the challenges of life.

Lifting our hearts towards Shomayim,
the cares of this life are diminished.
The great banquet awaits the pious:
Leviathan, and wine from Gan Eden.

poetry: Stumbling

Stumbling, every day in my heart;
partaking, of the hope in the air.
Reckoning, the dark with the light;
finding, the strength within to care.

Trembling, with expectation;
yearning, for the sake of Heaven.
Pleading, to find direction;
Forsaking, yesterday’s leaven.

Looking out for tomorrow’s promise;
while still floundering, indecisively.
Wavering between two poles;
trying to keep the truth in sight.

The journey will be worthwhile,
beyond all life’s expectations.
Like finally arriving in style,
at a great wedding banquet.