Sukkot: AfterGlow

The kedushah

of these seven days lingers,

like our hearts, minds, and spirit,

intent on remaining for another day

in Your presence on Shemini Atzeret.

We will carry these sacred moments,

into our lives, during the ensuing months

until we meet again at Pesach.

Still Waiting

"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy."

– Psalm 126:5

Weighed down by my cares,
troubled by the ways of the world;
the only recourse is to shape
myself from within this swirl
of emotions both dark and light,
by resting my gaze upon the Creator.

To be a light unto others,
as much as humanly possible
even while my own flame
is flickering in the wind,
with hardly enough glow
to light the path home.

To be lifted up upon eagles wings,
to have my soul refueled from Above,
to cross the narrow bridge of life,
in fear and trepidation of every step
along the way to freedom.

Is this the way that I imagined?
Is this the life that I expected?
Once becoming a new person,
upon committing my life to G-d?
Yet, I do not speak of joy in this life;
for, surely, I can wait for Olam Haba.

Acceptance & Renewal

“When night comes, and retrospect shows that everything was patchwork and much that one had planned left undone, when so many things rouse shame and regret, then take all as is, lay it in G-d’s hands, and offer it up to Him. In this way we will be able to rest in Him, actually to rest and to begin the new day like a new life.” – Edith Stein

Every morning,

my mind is like a blank canvas;

until, upon scratching the surface,

I can begin to see layers of sadness

underneath the pristine dermis.

The exploration of each coating

would require careful attention,

as every detail may bring,

meaning to the painting’s revelation.

Like the previous chapters of my life,

the unrealized dreams, yearnings of the past,

unfulfilled hopes – these all resurface

from time to time in my thoughts.

Yet, I am on a new path,

ever since I left my past at the border;

a new trajectory, meant to last,

as if born anew, ever looking forward.

Having sloughed off the doldrums,

brushed off the dust of yesteryear,

and shed outdated programs,

to embrace all that is real.

Still, I am only a human being,

full of memories, dreams and the potential

to transcend, while remaining grounded,

ruminate, while not getting lost in the consequential,

and move steadily forward, while being at peace.

Soulful Ingredients

A dose of discernment,
an ounce of wisdom.
Two pounds of knowledge,
plus a life time’s worth
of yiras H’Shem.

Grant light unto me,
from the stars above,
to shine in my heart.
And truth beyond measure.

From one end of heaven,
to the other end of heaven,
may all of my mitzvot
be like seeds planted,
with a great yield
at harvest time.

A dash of hope,
every morning
when I wake;
a pinch of joy,
to flavor each day.

Faith in abundance,
throughout the night;
and, an everlasting
supply of belief
in G-d above.

Blue Calling

Blue is the color of techeles:
sky blue, looking down from Shomayim.
The ocean, likened unto Torah
flows within our veins,
whether recognized or not,
sometimes, only latent.

Until some rich experience,
a wake up call orchestrated
from He Who sits upon His throne
in His place (makom) gestures,
in a way that the designated angel
understands, and makes its way
to place the holy intuition
within the mind of one
who will be born anew,
as if he always knew
his origin, roots, and mission.

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.

Metamorphosis

“I wound, and I heal.” – Deuteronomy 32:9

“I am the bud and the blossom, I am the late-falling leaf.”

– Paul Dunbar, the Paradox

We are Thy glory, when we follow in Thy footsteps;

yet, when we miss the opportunity to do good,

in all likelihood, we might go astray.

Nevertheless, in every moment, we are given a choice,

whether to turn towards Thee, or to turn away;

let us not miss the mark, when clearly seen.

You are the beginning and the end,

of all that I seek in this world;

being above and beyond mundanity.

The initial intuition, and the resultant fruit,

of all the good deeds mentioned under the sun;

from birth, through life, and in the end,

You will be with me.

Go forth

“Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where G-d was.” – Exodus 20:18, JPS 1917 Tanach

Go forth

into the darkness of the cloud;

an effortless transition

into the sacred realm

of time and space

on Mount Sinai.

Enter the mystery every day,

wherein the way is unknown;

bring back the light of truth,

so that you may be strengthened.