I turn toward You

ב׳׳ה

I turn toward You

Each breath
Each moment
I turn toward You
And pray that I’ll find
You’ve turned toward me too.

Abundant in Compassion,
Astonishing Grace,
Bless me, Eternal One,
with the Light of your Face.
Make Sacred the mundane.
Let Your Love carry me through.
Blind me with the Beauty
of a world filled with You.

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.

Chanukah’s 1st night

ב׳׳ה

Our synagogue was selected by the JCC to light the community menorah on the first night of Hanukkah. I left work early to get us there by 5 PM, and we stood in 25°F weather as the program started. My little guy was huddled next to me amongst the crowd, trying to stay warm and singing from the song sheet I held. My teenager, being a teenager, was standing a little behind the crowd, listening, but in his own space.

After a quick story and a few songs, it was time to light the first night candle and sing the blessings, and much to my surprise, who climbed the ladder to light the candle?

My 13-year-old son.

I wonder sometimes if my sons could possibly fathom how much I love them and how proud I am of the young Jewish men they’re becoming . . .

Chag Sameach!!!! jen

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

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.