Qumran

ב׳׳ה

Qumran

The rains finally arrived
to refill the cisterns
that sustain all life at Qumran.
For though the Essenes died
at the hands of the Romans
after hiding their Scrolls in caves,
Hasidim are born
in every generation
to point the way toward redemption
— the path to the One,
Everlasting Life,
the Unity that connects us all
in an Eternal Dance
of Love for our Creator
and Awe at our place in time.

Gd cares not for doctrine,
or dogma, or arrogance,
put down the books and find Love,
Love for the One
who whispers within you,
who whispers from within us all,
for we are of the same Source,
united for all eternity
we need only learn to see
that I am yet you,
as you are surely me,
for our souls are all of Yechidah,
united in our Creator
who brought us to life,
so that we could each find our way Home.

And where is this Home?
This Qumran that needs water?
Wherever our feet touch the ground!
Look past the shul,
the temple, the mosque,
the shrine, the church, that Wall
— you are a Temple
in which The One lives!
Every other person, a Temple too!!

And when you truly see,
your ego will shatter,
you’ll weep at the simple beauty of it all
and wonder how it was
for years you couldn’t see
the Truth that resides in each thing.
you’ll yearn for a simpler life,
accomplish tasks as assigned,
and pray for the rains that sustain Qumran.

T’horah Hi! (It’s Pure!)

ב׳׳ה

T’horah Hi! (It’s Pure!)

Reaching for You
as the morning birds sing,
their song helping me
find Your Grace,
that wide open space
where Abundance reigns
over fear, grief, and anger,
where Your Love
washes tattered souls clean.

Elohai n’shamah shenatata bi t’horah hi.
My God, the soul you gave me is pure.

another intersection

ב׳׳ה

another intersection

Halfway between here and there lies another intersection of You and anywhere, where I think I saw things I won’t swear I saw as Your Light shone through leaves for You’re there under it All, where I sobbed without doubt that I’d die if I stayed, where I begged You to explain why it has to be this way, where I find faith You are with me thru whatever I must do, where I’ve stopped to fix a car seat on the way home from school. Never know what might happen or who I might meet. I call it a Stairway to Heaven. Most just call it 75th Street.

“To Belong to Allah”

ב׳׳ה

To Belong to Allah

To Belong to Allah

Is to see in your own existence

And in all that pertains to it

Something that is neither yours

Nor from yourself,

Something you have on loan;

To see your being in His Being,

Your subsistence in His Subsistence,

Your strength in His Strength:

Thus you will recognize in yourself

His title to possession of you

As Lord,

And your own title as servant:

Which is Nothingness.

“Readings from Ibn Abbad”, Thomas Merton, THOUGHTS ON THE EAST at 60 (New Directions Publishing Co. 1995).

lean into that breeze

ב׳׳ה

lean into that breeze
Some days in this Garden,
I feel You pass by,
leaving a breeze in Your wake,
so I lean into that breeze,
let Your Love lift me high,
and soar like a bird in the sky,
over mountains and lakes,
deep valleys and wide plains,
across centuries in the blink of an eye.
Each flight is too short,
so as I Journey here within You,
I keep praying I’ll feel You pass by.

Please bring me this day

ב׳׳ה

Please bring me this day

I want to live a moment
when I truly know You,
when all of me swims
in the depths of You,
when I’m no longer reaching
for I’m already held,
Your Love washing over me
’til I’m unable to make sound.

I want to breathe in Your breath
and push when You pull,
to walk in sync with
Your sacred steps,
to know there’s no moment
when We are not One,
when I cannot look and find You.

Please bring me this day, Gd,
as I’m praising Your name
and sanctifying this mortal life,
for in Your Wisdom You placed me
right here inside You
that I might let go of my self,
and thereby become
more able to love others,
who thru You are a part of my Self.

al-Rawdah mosque

ב׳׳ה

al-Rawdah mosque (internet screenshot)

It’s been more than a week and I can’t stop thinking about al-Rawdah mosque in northern Sinai . . .

. . . about the hundreds of Sufi who died when they went to pray.

. . . about the unimaginable grief being experienced by that entire community (where undoubtedly everyone knew someone who died).

. . . about the fact that they were killed because religious extremists labeled them “heretics.”

A heretic is a person who maintains an opinion or doctrine at variance with the orthodox or accepted religious doctrine.

By that definition, I’m a heretic.

I’m a Jewish mystic . . . a Kabbalist, a neo-Hasid . . . who has many opinions at variance with orthodox doctrine . . . but who nonetheless is very attached to Gd and Torah.

And maybe that’s why the deaths of those praying Sufi have stuck with me — because I see myself in them and them in me. They held views different from the fundamentalists who killed them, but they were very attached to Gd and Quran.

A few days ago, after I prayed and thought about those who had died, I wrote this poem about Rabi’a al-Adawiyya, a Sufi Saint who lived more than a thousand years ago and whose writings never fail to open my heart to the Infinite Ocean of Love that is the Gd we share:

Rabi’a and me
Rabi’a al-Adawiyya, they’d allege, was a heretic like me. She a Sufi, me a Kabbalist, a distinction irrelevant to Thee. She’d “burn down Heaven and put out the fires of Hell” for there’s only this moment, so we better live it well. Look past the dogma to see the real Truth. Surrender to the Infinite and therein find proof. Swim in the Love that sets souls free, and share it with others, Rabi’a al-Adawiyya and me.

*********

May we each, in our own ways, find moments of connection with those who may appear different from us, so that speedily and soon our world might know greater peace between all peoples, jen