G-d whispers




When G-d calls, He does not do so by way of universal imperatives. Instead, He whispers our name — and the greatest reply, the reply of Abraham, is simply hineni: ‘Here I am,’ ready to heed Your call, to mend a fragment of Your all-too-broken world.
——–Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

This Shabbat, may we each stop long enough to listen for Gd’s whisper and, then, may we find the courage respond when we are called.
shabbat shalom, jen

A quote to contemplate on Shabbat… 


“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.” —THOMAS MERTON 

Shabbat shalom to all, jen

Shavua Tov!!


I arrived home last night to find a new two-volume set of Torah commentaries in my mailbox.  They were sent by a friend with whom I study telephonically, so I wasn’t expecting these particular books to arrive.  It was a very happy surprise!!  

The surprise was made even sweeter by the fact that the commentaries are based on the writings of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev (d. 1810) — who just might be my favorite Hasid.  He was known “for his ability to see the best in people and for his intimate relationship with God, whom he saw and experienced everywhere.”  Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Intro at xxxv, Hasidic Tales: Annotated & Explained (Skylight Paths Publishing 2004).   Here is the English translation of a song the Berditchever Rebbe is said to have sung in his native Yiddish:  

Where I wander –You!
Where I wonder–You!
Only You, You again, You always!
You! You! You!
When I am happy–You!
When I am sad–You!
Only You, You again, You always!
You! You! You!
You above!
You below!
In the beginning–You!
In the end–You!
Only You, You again, You always!
You! You! You!

Rabbi Shapiro, Hasidic Tales at 177.

shavua tov -a good week- to all!!  May we, like the Berditchever Rebbe Levi Yitzhak, be blessed with glimpses of The One as we reside here amongst the many, jen

“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

beneath the surface of the obvious 


“Mystical doctrine claims that we can experience the Infinite right now, that beneath the surface of the obvious, there exists Divinity.”

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Gate to the Heart: A Manual of Contemplative Jewish Practice, p. 6, Albion Andalus, Boulder, Co. (2013).