Our Hope

In the face of challenge, you are our hope;
in the midst of chaos, you are our refuge.

When the walls are pressing inwards,
you are there to expand our horizons.

When all seems to be lacking inspiration,
you are there to light the way for us.

In doubt, I will continue to trust you;
in fear, I will not turn away from the path.

When others offer no consolation,
I will seek out your compassion.

When others have no kind words,
I will avail myself of your kindness.

When those who promised, break their promises,
I will trust in the inheritance that you have given us.

When the world looms large in shadows,
I will wait until you bring the dawn.

When darkness threatens to engulf this country,
I will feel reassured by your prophetic word.

Mercy Abides

Mercy abides in the heart, despite all sorrow;

where G-d has planted eternity as well,

so that we know what will be, beyond this world,

no longer needing to live in fear of the inevitable.

For, the remedy has already been applied,

like a bandage upon this wounded world,

whereas mourning will turn into joy at dawn,

and the darkness of night will succumb to the light

of mercy that will shine in our hearts,

radiating outwards, from one end of the earth to another.

From one generation to the next,

the best of intentions fail to succeed,

because without G-d in the equation,

nothing will add up properly,

nor total out correctly, like having the perfect

amount of change for bread and wine,

on Friday, late afternoon, before sunset.

Towards the end of the sixth day,

when the heavens and earth were finished,

currently, nearing the edge of eternity,

as the millennial Sabbath approaches,

and preparations are already being made

for the Banquet of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,

catered by angelic beings, serving wine

from the vineyards of Gan Eden.

Pruning Time

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

This climate of intolerance
sprung up as if overnight,
from an inflexible critique
of everything under the sun.

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.