we can find Ladders

ב׳׳ה

What is it about this spot
that brings me nearer You?

It’s really just a step
at the bottom of some stairs…

Yet sometimes sitting here
I see Creation unfolding.
I feel Your Love as it envelopes me.
I remember there’s no moment
We are not together.
I can have faith
You’ll help guide my steps.

Throughout Creation,
we can find Ladders
that help us ascend toward our Self,
if we fight past our defenses,
open up to what’s Present,
and surrender with faith in Gd’s Love.

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

Shavua tov, may it be a good week for each and every one of us, jen

what I’ll be

ב׳׳ה

what I’ll be

My mother really wanted
little-girl me to wear dresses,
but I was uncomfortable in them.

As a teen I really wanted
a social group where I fit,
but I felt isolation instead.

My family demanded
I not be gay; and yet,
nothing else could I be.
And my parents raised me
to be a self-loathing Baptist,
but Gd made a mystical Jew.

More than once upon a time,
I thought I’d become a rabbi,
but Gd just laughed at my plan
and gave me instead
a community to serve
as I raise my sons in Gd’s Love.

Who knows what might happen
when my children are grown
if I’m open to that voice inside me?
In the end I’m certain only
it’s not up to any human
— like Gd, I will be what I’ll be.

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

In the Torah story of Moses’ encounter with Gd in the burning bush, Moses is told he must go to Pharaoh and free the Israelites. Moses asks, “When the Israelites ask who sent me, what name shall I tell them?” (Ex. 3:13). Gd answered “Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh,” (Ex. 3:14), which some translate as “I will be what I will be.” The last line of my poem is a reference to this name of Gd and to the fact that, as image of Gd, I too will be whatever I will be.

shavua tov, jen

at the Sea’s edge

ב׳׳ה

In this week’s Torah portion, B’shalach, the Israelites finally flee Egypt, only to end up being chased by Pharaoh and his 600 chariots. As the story nears its climax, the Israelites find themselves trapped between the Sea of Reeds and the approaching Egyptian army.

Those moments at the Sea’s edge — before Moses raised his staff (and Nachshon entered) to part the water — must have been incredibly tense moments for each Israelite!! As I tried to imagine their plight, I wrote these words:

at the Sea’s edge

I’m standing at the Sea’s edge.
All degrees of freedom are gone.

One millimeter before me is
THE WATER.
I don’t know
what monsters might be in there
or how far I can swim,
so I am
TERRIFIED!

But overtaking me from behind is
THE LIFE I DO NOT WANT:
being enslaved to others and
worshipping gods that are not mine.

To continue standing here
is certain death.
Yet, I am
TOO TERRIFIED
to step forward!!

Eternal Gd of my ancestors,
give me the courage to step forward,
to choose Life,
so that my children may live . . .

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

May Gd give give each of us the strength to overcome our fear and step toward Life, and may Shabbat bring more Shalom to all, jen

carry us Home

ב׳׳ה

carry us Home

There is a Love,
warm like the sun,
that melts all troubles away,
that fills up a room
so that we might float,
that turns night into
the brightest of days.

Please, Eternal Gd,
grace us with Your Love,
wrap us all in Your Joy,
that we might dance
to the rhythm of the Universe
and Your Love might carry us Home.

falling like snow

ב׳׳ה

falling like snow
I’m walking in
the falling snow
with Your Love wrapped around me.
The blanket it muffles
the sound as I shuffle,
at times unaware I have feet,
for I’m floating on air
light as a feather
caught in an upward breeze.
Then as snow falls around me,
Your beauty astounds me,
and, like snow, I float down to my knees.

LOVE

ב׳׳ה

LOVE

There were days
I’d wonder why
I had to live, I couldn’t die,
but then came LOVE.

Reborn with wings
with which to fly,
I danced & laughed, gasped & sighed,
for there was LOVE.

I wept with You,
no more words to say,
never thought I’d feel this way,
but there was LOVE.

Surrendered here,
completely Yours,
at peace with You forevermore,
You are this LOVE.