At a divide in the path …

I’ve heard stories before about a musician waking up in the middle of the night and scrawling out a song on any scrap of paper he or she can find, because the song just “came” to the artist, but I’ve never really understood that concept.  Then, a few weeks ago, after my morning meditation, the “writing” that I am sharing below came spilling out of me.
I’ve hesitated to share this writing — about not knowing which way to go when standing at a divide in the path — because it could give the impression that I’m in the midst of making some HUGE life decision when, in fact, I’m not.   But then I ran across this quote from Rabbi Rami Shapiro:
Will you engage this moment with kindness or with cruelty, with love or with fear, with generosity or scarcity, with a joyous heart or an embittered one?
and an incredibly simple, but powerful, truth smacked me in the forehead:
If we choose to acknowledge as much, every moment contains a divide in the path …
So, with that simple truth in mind, and choosing to live this moment in joy, generosity, and love, I share my prayer with you …
אל חלוקה בדרך
****************************
,מה אתה צריך ממיני
?צריך ממיני, אדוני
.רוצה להיות משרת נאמן
.משרת נאמן לך אני
,תגידי לי נא הדרך ללכת
,הדרך ללכת בשבילך
 –כי אני לוא יודעת — שמאל וימין
.והגעתי אל חלוקה בדרך
,מה אתה צריך ממיני
?צריך ממיני, אדוני
.רוצה להיות משרת נאמן
.משרת נאמן לך אני
At a divide in the path
**********************************
What do you need from me,
need from me, my Lord?
I want to be a faithful servant.
Your faithful servant am I.
Tell me please the path to walk,
the path to walk for you,
because I don’t know — left or right —
and I arrived at a divide in the path.
What do you need from me,
need from me, my Lord?
I want to be a faithful servant.
Your faithful servant am I.
.

Chanukah, Dedication, and Temples

Last night was the sixth night of Chanukah, a holiday celebrating the re-dedication of the Second Temple after the Maccabees defeated the Assyrian-Greek army and reclaimed Jerusalem around 160 BCE.

I LOVE Chanukah — the improbable victory of the under-dog over an emperor’s army reminds us what can be accomplished if a small group of like-minded individuals believe in their cause; the eight nights of light and celebration dispel some of the darkness during the long nights around the winter solstice; I love being on the floor, playing dreidel and doing crafts with my kids; and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a holiday that is a “free pass” to eat donuts, chocolate coins, and fried potatoes!!

Nevertheless, I do find it a bit odd that we celebrate the re-dedication of a Temple.  After all, it has been nearly 2000 years since the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans, and very, very few Jews have any interest in returning to the form of Judaism that existed when a Temple stood (i.e., animal sacrifices offered by priests).  Even if we wanted to return to “Temple worship,” the reality is that we no longer live in agricultural societies; our work-products are unlikely to create a “pleasing odor” when burned on an alter!!

Recently, Zach noticed that I had an unbuilt model of the Second Temple that I brought home from Israel a few years ago, and we discussed how it might be about time for us to put that model together.  As I read the booklet that came with the model, I found this quote:

The Third Temple will bring peace and prosperity to the world, but before it can be built, we must learn to be aware of others and to love unconditionally.

I must admit that, while I have NO interest in returning to animal sacrifices, peace and prosperity for everyone sure sounds nice!

. . . Maybe when we finish celebrating the rededication of the Second Temple, we should dedicate ourselves to becoming aware of others and loving unconditionally, so our children might one day celebrate in a world that provides peace and prosperity for everyone . . . no Temple required!