My travel song

ב׳׳ה

I’m flying today to play with my kids on the beach for a few days and, while I’m sitting here at the airport, I thought I’d share my travel song with you.  

Judaism has a “Traveler’s Prayer” that asks Gd to guard us from “enemy and ambush, from robbers and wild beasts” so that we might reach our destination in peace. It’s full text can be found here.  

But my personal travel prayer is B’sheim Hashem, which means “In Hashem’s Name,” as sung by Neshama Carlebach. In English, the lyrics are these:

In the name of Hashem,
the Gd of Israel,
may Michael be at my right hand; Gabriel at my left;
before me, Uriel;
behind me, Rapheal;
and above my head the divine presence of Gd.

Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael are angels, and the divine presence of Gd is typically referred to as the Shechina, which comes from a Hebrew word for “dwelling,” because it represents a form of Gd that dwells with us. 

Neshama sings the song in Hebrew, and Hebrew lyrics are these:

B’shaim Hashem,
Elohei Yisreal,
mimini Michael;
umismoli Gavriel;
umilfanai Uriel;
umeachorai Rafael;
v’al roshi Shechinat El.

Now that you know what the song is about, feel free to take a listen to Neshama singing it … Enjoy!  jen 

please carry me

ב׳׳ה



please carry me

Won’t You please carry me
out past my fear
to where I’m secure in Your Love?
To a place where I know,
as surely as I’m breathing,
my existence alone makes me enough,
that I don’t need to struggle
or feign that I’m more
for those “mores” don’t really matter.
What matters are compassion
and renunciation of pride,
for then can You bless me with Grace.

**************

shavua tov to all, jen

Wisdom from the Desert

ב׳׳ה

 

 

The One we seek…
The longing of our souls…
The destination we fear is unreachable…

If we break the chains of bondage,
wander empty-handed into the desert,
and, trembling in love and awe,
submit to the Infinite-Eternal Unfolding,
we come to understand:

“Heaven” is less than a hair’s breadth away.
 
 
 

Hanukkah, The Force, & 2017

ב׳׳ה

“I am one with the Force. The Force is with me. I am one with the Force. The Force is with me. I am one with the Force. The Force is with me.”

meditative chant of Chirrut Imwe, Guardian of the Jedi Temple in Jedha City, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

This week, my 12-year-old son told me he had realized the story of the Maccabees is like the story of the rebels in Star Wars, and that realization led him to start thinking that the true miracle of Hanukkah was that a small group of rebels could defeat a mighty Empire.

I told my son he was correct that the Maccabees’ victory was the real miracle of Hanukkah, and I explained that this connection he had begun to understand between the Maccabees and the Star Wars rebels was why I had always encouraged his love of Star Wars… to help me raise him to be a Jew!!

Faith in The Power greater than ourselves that flows through the universe –regardless whether we call it The Force, or Gd, or The Unity, or any of the thousand other inadequate names– can give us the strength and courage to struggle to create a better future… to fight for what is most just, not only for ourselves but for everyone.  And THIS is why I wanted to raise my son as a Jew and as a fan of the Rebels in Star Wars… so that in his life, when he sees people acting as bullies or sees a situation that is unjust, he will have the faith, strength, and courage of conviction to stand up for himself and others.

We enter this year of 2017 on the same evening that we light eight candles for Hanukkah — may we carry the Light and Holiness of our fully lit menorahs with us into the new year. And, whatever the future brings, may we find strength, peace, and courage in knowing we are One with a Force much greater than ourselves!

with blessings, jen

This Light

ב׳׳ה


Standing in Gd’s Grace,
not knowing how to be
a Light unto all others
so they might also see
the immediacy of Eternity
when your only Master is Gd’s Will
and the grandeur of your own Infinity
if humbled, your mind is still.

I’d like to show another
how it feels to live this free;
How do I learn to pass it on,
this Light a Rabbi showed to me?

.

.

praying Shabbat brings Shalom to all, jen

The Path to Freedom

ב׳׳ה

  

My younger son is amused by emojis and he likes to get a note in his lunchbox, so after I pack his lunch, I quickly doodle a note that includes emojis. When I finished today’s doodle, I realized it illustrated some of the Passover lessons that I’ve been thinking about lately, so I thought I’d share it with all of you and tell you what I’ve been thinking about…

The Path to Freedom isn’t always the “easy” path. In fact, sometimes it’s a terrifying journey fraught with danger and difficult steps!!

However, if we want to live as people free of the ideologies, assumptions, habits, and thought patterns that enslave us . . .
then, despite our fear, we must keep walking forward — looking neither down at the muck around our feet nor over at the walls on each side that may collapse in on us, but rather out ahead in the distance, at the Freedom that awaits those willing to place unwavering faith in the One whose power can create us anew each day . . .

This year, may we all become free from more of the things that enslave us!

Happy Passover,
and Shabbat Shalom,
jen