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.

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

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.

Please accept this gift

ב׳׳ה

Please accept this gift

True North, for me, is not found using stars; it’s found with the voice that whispers in my heart of peace and abundance, a world without strife, Love between people, joyfully sanctified life.

That voice it whispers for everyone to hear. If not drowned by life’s noise, it can be crystal clear.

So run from distraction, wander into the dark, embrace the silence, open your heart to the spark, and find there the Truth that sets souls Free, that shows you who you were, who you are and will be, that teaches of Joy and Love and Light, that turns into day even the darkest of nights.

Please accept this gift, it’s a right of your birth, not just for you, but every human on Earth can stand in the Unity and hold infinity like a stone and know from then on she is never alone.

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May 2018 bring, to each and every one of us, more Peace and Love, Wisdom, Joy, and Light. Shabbat shalom, jen

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.

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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