Pruning Time

To write, or not to do so,
in ink, pixels, or pencil;
to express my views or not,
and risk being deplatformed?

I am aware of the climate
of intolerance, sprung up
from the same inflexible voices,
in the hallways of Universities.

The seasons are changing
and the times are rearranging;
the values of the past have become,
like branches that must be pruned.

Yet, each time they grow anew,
they are trimmed back even further;
until, perhaps, nothing will be left,
except the barren trunk of a tree.

And, when that is reduced to nothing
except for a stump, planted firmly in the ground,
the seedlings will quietly sprout up elsewhere,
remaining hidden, until the light reappears.

Sagami

Sweat, discipline, and a weekly regimen,

fosters a strong will, and a determination

that prevails each and everyday, until

the end of the semester, after testing

~ we cross the span of the river ~

To feast on miso soup, sushi, and sashimi;

cups of green tea, and sake throughout dinner.

Conversation turns towards Japan, where

all devoted students would like to train.

Cozy

Perfect, in the moment;

beyond that, I do not know.

Knowing that change is imminent,

would prevent me from being present.

Kairos will soon give way to chronos;

and, the moment will diminish,

retreating into the past.

Nearly forgotten, countless moments,

lined up as figurative points

on the receding path of memory.

Yet, the expectation prevails,

a hope for the unity of tomorrow,

when past meets future in the now.

Anxiety retreats, fear scatters,

and the familiar presence of being

one step closer to the Geulah,

brings solace to the heart.

Lives in Limbo

“I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.” – Wislawa Szymborska

The darkened hearts of some of our neighbors, who have renounced their humanity will be judged by the Almighty, while I and my brother, hiding in between these walls, will continue to cling to the Ribono Shel Olam, Who has provided this place of refuge for us. We are fortunate enough to be blessed with kind Christian neighbors, who will not permit the darkness to cloud their own sense of judgment, morality and faith. Although this bleak reality (only an appearance of a life in limbo) may cast an occasional shadow of doubt upon our own faith, I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being. And, who knows whether these very walls may have been built for this purpose, to shelter us from the tyranny of the soul that seems to have pervaded the world’s conscience.

To Be Human

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.

poem: Integrity

A bulwark against the tides of change, guide us into understanding your truth.

Permit me to take refuge, in the shelter of your wings. Glimpses of calm, peace, and sanctity, reveal the transcendent hope of our lives, our very souls.

For the spectre is on the horizon, like dark storm clouds, obscuring the way. Yet, the truth will prevail. The light that shines in the hearts of men, will conquer evil.

A test of mettle, settling all accounts. Courage in the face of adversity, and integrity, while remaining faithful, all of these sureties, against the impending darkness.

poem: Hope

foundations crumbling, under the pressure
of influences beyond control of the common man.
faith in G-d increases amidst the righteous,
while cities surge, yearning for something better.

in their eyes, the disguise is unrecognized,
with misplaced expectations they continue
to trust in man and his endless promises,
unrealized in every single age of history.

yet, we look towards a new dawn,
where truth is uncompromised,
hope flourishes within the heart,
sustained by G-d’s lofty promises.

for His people are waiting,
His children are yearning,
for something promised
by the Only Guarantor.

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.