please carry me


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

Soul Dancing


Soul Dancing

Soul dancing up high where the skies are bright blue, beyond the grey clouds of injustice and gloom, in the joy of the Love, the revelation of Light, the Infinity where I wander when my soul takes flight.  I dance though I’m crying — I can’t tell you why; my soul sometimes weeps over pain that’s not mine.   I dance to the rhythm of Gd’s Eternal Tune.  I dance as if my partner’s the most stunning full moon.  I dance away worries, anxiety, and fear.  I dance ’til I’m sure that the Angels can hear the pounding of my heart, louder than any drum.   I dance ’til Gd tells me, “This soul dance is done.”  Then I wander back down to this time and place, wondering if others can see on my face that I snuck far away to where I am Free. Soul Dancing in Infinity, my Gd and me.



praying Shabbat brings more shalom to us all, jen

Weaving with Kabir


Weaving with Kabir
Fiber spun from words
into tapestries of praise
worthy of adorning our Gd.
Am I fiber, loom, or weaver?
Perhaps none of them?
For is not the One beneath all?
Surely I’m just a lamb
who grew a little wool,
shepherded by wiser faces of Gd.
Or some kind of robot
programmed to weave fabric
by The Greatest Engineer of them all.
On bad days I’m a loom,
unaware of The Weaver,
distracted by my need for control.
All I know is these words
pour from me into phrases
that I pray are found befitting our Gd.

shavua tov, a good week to all, jen

nothing and The One


nothing and The One

If I could grant myself one wish
when I am filled with Gd’s Love,
I’d be able to open my chest
and ladle it out.

I’d pour it like Holy Water
on the heads of ‘lost’ souls,
and let that Love sink down deep,
shattering open their heart-caves.

Then suddenly they’d know
just as surely as I know:
•Gd’s Eternal Love is the only Truth;
•Gd’s Creative Power resides within us;
•living an eternity is being present in each day.

In time those souls would be ready
to open themselves to others
and give away the secrets
that transformed their lives,
the secrets I received
when I sat with the Guru
whose peace and compassion
shattered open my heart-cave,
allowing me to comprehend:

We’re each “nothing and The One.”



praying Shabbat brings shalom to us all, jen

Hillel Zeitlin’s Yavneh


Hillel Zeitlin was a Jewish philosopher, writer, and publicist who lived in Eastern Europe from 1871 until 1942.   Zeitlin called for the creation of a new Hasidic movement that would return to the Baal Shem Tov’s embodiment of love for Gd, Israel, and Torah. Zeitlin dreamed of establishing a community that would live according to the ideals he espoused, and he called that community “Yavneh.”
In 2012, when Rabbi Arthur Green published translations of numerous texts written by Zeitlin, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi wrote the Foreword, in which he discussed the importance of Zeitlin and his dream of creating Yavneh. As Rabbi Schachter-Shalomi explained:

Those who wish to live a committed and purposeful life in the presence of the living God have always known that they need a societal “container” in which inner ideals can be freely expressed and shared . . . and in which one does not need to apologize for one’s longing to live the life of one’s ideals.

Hasidic Spirituality for a New Era: The Religious Writings of Hillel Zeitlin. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Foreword at xix (Paulist Press 2012).
Until I again opened the Zeitlin book last night for that quote, I had not realized that Rabbi Schachter-Shalomi explicitly connected Zeitlin’s dream of a community called Yavneh to the emergence of Jewish Renewal, but he did… Foreword at xix …And though I had not known he connected them, I have been referring to my Shabbat at P’nai Or Philadelphia, which Rabbi Schachter-Shalomi founded, as “six hours in Yavneh.”
My experience led me to write the following text, which I dedicate to Hillel Zeitlin . . . may his dream of Yavneh continue to inspire Jews for thousands of generations . . .

Six hours in Yavneh,
Now my heart longs for more…

I want to find my own story wandering inside our ancient texts, and I don’t want to have to worry what emotion I display next, as I open my soul and reach for my Gd, surrounded by others who in prayer and song are reaching for the same Truth we all know is there, the Truth of the Unity, the ‘parent’ we all share, of Infinite Eternal Love and a Sukkah of Peace, that travels with us as we wander and protects us from grief while we watch for other wanderers who may have lost their way and invite them to travel with us…



“Create me, then, anew”


With but a single ray of light from You, I am penetrated by Your aura,
but a single word uttered by You, and I arise again to life,
but a single stir from Your eternal life, and I am saturated with the dew of youth,
for do You not create anew all that is?
Create me, then, anew, O my parent — me, Your child, life renewed!

Portion of a prayer “From Anew,” written by Hillel Zeitlin, translated to English by Joel Rosenberg, published at p. 195 of Hasidic Spirituality for a New Era: The Religious Writings of Hillel Zeitlin (Paulist Press 2012).

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shavua tov –a good week– to all, jen