“To be a Jew is to hold one’s soul clean and open to the stream of endless striving so that God may not be ashamed of his creation. Judaism is not a quality of the soul but spiritual life. With souls we were born; spirit we must acquire.”
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Earth is the Lord’s, at 108.
Dust and Ashes
I’m just dust and ashes, but this world WAS made for me! When my fear is out of the way, I’m able to see the pattern in the process, the rhythm of the rhyme, Hashem bringing what I need when it’s truly time for me to grow or to “shed another skin,” so I’ll keep “digging this well,” until this body’s just dust again!!
Rabbi Simcha taught we should keep a strip of paper in each pocket of our pants — one to remind us (when we feel arrogant) that we are just dust and ashes, and the other to remind us (when we feel down) that the world was created just for us.
This Shabbat, let’s imagine holding both of those strips of paper at once. Let’s each remain certain that we are only dust and ashes, while also having no doubt that we have a unique, infinitely important role to play in the miracle that is Creation’s unfolding… for there, balancing both, is where we can find holiness.
This morning, after the rain had started but a few minutes before the lightning and downpour began, the morning sun peeked out between the trees and the clouds for about one minute to produce a beautiful rainbow in the rain approaching from the west.
Seeing it, I was reminded that Gd’s presence is with us, even in the midst of our storms… but we must remember to be looking, for Gd’s presence often appears in a quiet, subtle way that is easily missed by those who are too busy to stop and breathe in a moment.
Praying we all find Gd’s presence with us on our good days and our bad days, jen
Time spent flying
Long strange trips nowhere
For where is there to go…
…when the Universe is inside us
…when all Creation sings of the One
It’s a way of being
More present than imaginable
Love flows from the Source
Constantly over-filling our souls
Reminding us we exist in Gd’s Grace.
The Universe is One
Every thing an inter-connected web
We can ignore or
choose to acknowledge and
join those who are Flying Being One
This Shabbat, may we each be blessed with a moment when we are undoubtably aware of the Unity that underlies all of creation, and may our awareness help us feel more compassion for others.
I took that picture last weekend in Florida, and I’ve been drawn back to it nearly every day this week, almost as if I’m waiting for it to tell me… something…
But every day that I look, the picture seems to bring me a slightly different message about Life — about the cycle of life and death, about the interconnection of all existence, about finite matter “standing” at the edge of infinity and eternity, about the holiness and beauty inherent in moments of transition…
So I decided that, this Shabbat, instead of telling you what I see, I’d post the picture and invite all of you to tell me what you see in it. I’d love to hear what messages you see — please leave a comment and let me know!! 🙂 Thanks!
I woke this morning to gray skies and, as I walked out the door for work, there was a cold drizzle that prompted me to mutter, “blech!” I turned to lock the door and then saw that the shrub outside my door was flowering. The little waterlogged flowers brought a smile to my face and reminded me of another quote from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks —
There is … no place without a fragment of G-d’s light waiting to be discovered and redeemed; no situation without its possibility of sanctification; no moment without its call.
Today, may we hear the Call, sanctify moments, and redeem fragments of Light, jen