A Perfect World

A perfected world, according to the designs of man, albeit promising, can not match the divine plan of the Father, who is sovereign over all. Try as we may to succeed, without first studying the Blueprint provided to us by His architectural firm, we only contribute to a modern day Babylon. Although we may seem to speak the same language, the illusion of harmony will fail to convince all.

Leaving G-d out of the equation, is like forgetting to place the mortar between the bricks. We make ourselves slaves for the sake of a common good, that may never materialize. We will only be left disappointed, when the utopia that we seek, morphs into a dystopian reality. Yet, in joining G-d’s team, our hearts will sing, and the poet’s claim will ring true: So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.*

*from William Blake’s The Chimney Sweeper, Songs of Innocence (1789)

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

Waking Dream

Bolechov Synagogue, courtesy of Bolechow Jewish Heritage Society

“If you are a dreamer, come in.”

– Invitation, by Shel Silverstein

Standing in front of the door, I mustered up the courage to knock. As I was about to do so, I heard a voice from within the building say, “If you are a dreamer, come in.” Instead of knocking, I tried the doorknob. The door was unlocked; I entered into a synagogue, furnished with pews, lamps, an ark for the Torah scroll, and a bimah in the center where the rabbi and cantor were leading a service. I could hardly believe my eyes. I had travelled to Bolekiev, Ukraine from the States, to visit the town where my ancestors had once lived. At that time, the town was Bolechov, Poland, before the end of WW2. Now, instead of finding the caretaker inside of a dilapidated building, as expected, I entered into a world that I had thought vanished a century ago.

Eldridge St. Synagogue, NYC, courtesy of Howie Schnee

Message in a Nutshell

I am separated for the benefit of my soul, and yours;

introvert, sheltering in place, for indeterminable hours,

by way of self-imposition, yet, reaching towards Heaven,

even beyond these confines, towards family and friends.

A complete year has passed, full circle since the proliferation

of coronavirus reached the shores of this once proud nation;

some brought to their knees in prayer, others stand in rebellion –

to all who will listen and receive carefully chosen words.

Awake from your slumber, for the time draws near,

later than we may have thought, the burden we must bear;

for the roots of modern day Babylon are being wrought,

as a new foundation is laid in place by the technocrats.

Acceptance of the new normal, will render us complacent,

while a promise of utopia is marketed by manufactured consent;

upon the ashes of society, the “building back better” trope

will usher in a brave new world, devoid of a soul.

The media purveys the call of the organizers of the lands,

who hold all of the cards in their multinational hands;

yet, mankind cannot transcend the problems of this world

without the divine guidance of the Ribono Shel Olam.

Floating Images

Pastel fluffy clouds,

as I drive westward in flight;

eagle captures sight.

If painted by an Ukiyoe artist,

the sky would appear to be closer,

to my recollection, than any words

that I may have to offer.

As if lifted upon eagle’s wings,

spring breeze soars through open windows.

My car slows down upon arrival;

the San Franciso Peaks tower majestically,

over this blessed day, replete with snowcaps.

Never before, have I had this sense of freedom; having left everything behind me, the new horizon seems endless. I digress, for this is but a moment in time, captured by the pen; yet, the actuality lives on. Having received a perpetual blessing, it seemed at the time; now, I realize that while memories like this never seem to fade, time continues to take its toll on my life. Still, nearby the peaks, sheltering in place, daily blessings are renewed like the cycle of the sunset and sunrise.