Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Foundation of Love

In the divine and simple love of One-ness
That is the foundation of Love
It is really good
To be part of a community of people
Who want to be kind to each other. 
Sometimes that's more aspirational for us than achieved,
But here, with our Hesed secure in this solid place of Yesod,
We know
We are where we can keep trying.
Where kindness
And apologies
And forgiveness
And safety
Come our way when needed
And even when not. 
In the divine and simple love of One-ness.
It is really good.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A Kavannah for Seder Hand Washing / Rohtzah

We wash our hands to separate ourselves from the every day
And announce to our bodies,
This moment is different!

This is not a casual stuffing of our faces
With any convenient tasty mess.
This food is special!

Each upcoming bite will be a prayer.
Each  new story will be an memory.
We are here now and nowhere else.
We are like children, 
Getting ready for the repetitions and the boredom,
The questions and the revelations.
So we clean and prepare for our epic meal.

Blessed Eternal One-ness, Breath of the Universe, who has sanctified us through your commandments and has commanded us concerning the washing of hands.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Maariv / Evening Prayer

Baruch Kodesh Hu
Blessed Holy One-ness,

We give thanks for the Dusk
And the setting sun
Which brings on our maariv prayers.
May they be delightful and full of meaning.

We give thanks for the Evening 
That sends us home,
 Our place of safety in the darkness.
May it be welcoming and a place of love.

We give thanks for the Night
That watches as we sleep,
Making room for our dreams.
May they be vivid and oozing with insight.

We give thanks for this Revolving World,
Turning day into night and night into day,
Giving us so much to imagine and so much to see.
May we enjoy both the patterns and the changes.

Baruch Atah Adonai HaMaariv V'aravim.
It is so beautiful.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

My Breath Is A Prayer

I am of the Breath of the Universe
And each breath is a prayer.

I breathe in oxygen
I breathe out carbon dioxide.
The earth breathes in the carbon dioxide
And breathes out oxygen.
The earth and I breathe
And pray
In One-ness.

My breath is a prayer with the One-ness that breathes the universe
And so is yours.
Every moment we take in what we need
Every moment we send out what someone else needs.
When we are in balance we flourish.
Out of balance, we choke and die.

I think of those whose callous cruelty is everywhere these days
And I wonder their throats don't close up,
Honestly, I don't know how they live
When their every breath is a strangling curse.

So I invite you to breathe with me and the planet.
A prayer of acknowledgement and connection.

Breathe in ourselves, 
We are the immigrants
The homeless and the poor
The refugees who have no where else to go
The waters that sustain all life
The animals and their shrinking habitats
The sick or poor who need assistance
The children who are hungry or abused
The creatives shouting to be heard
Those of us who are paid too little, ignored too often, 
Those of us whose hearts are hurting
Those of us who are alone
Those of us who resist 
Those of us who are free.
We are those who need help.
We are those that can help.
This is our home.

Breathe out and we are home.
Let us nurture ourselves
Let us protect ourselves
Let us need ourselves.
We are one in the One-ness.

We are the Breath of the Universe.
And every breath is a prayer.



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Standing At Sinai

Look at us
Standing at Sinai
Gathered together at the foot of a mountain to meet God.
It's too much to take in
Too big to describe
Like this mountain.

Maybe it's just a useful metaphor:
A mountain of the needy and the suffering
that we ignore every day?
Or a mountain of guilt, a mountain of debt?
Or maybe it's all of the knowledge we've yet to learn?
Or a mountain of fear, 
a mountain of the unknown, 
a mountain of uncertainty and procrastination and failure.
A mountain to roll a stone up, a mountain of opposition, 
Oy vey iz mere.
God is in the Law, in the right and the wrong of our choices,
This mountain is huge!

Or maybe it's just a regular old mountain, 
A very large pile of dirt and vegetation,
merely geology.
With trails to climb and
Rocks to stand on to take in the view.
Animals and bugs living in hidden places
Forming their own perfect worlds with no reference to us whatsoever, 
As long as we leave them alone.
Maybe this mountain is our earth, our world, 
To cherish and take care of or 
To abuse and ignore.
God is everywhere in nature and
We are only one small speck on the mountain.

Maybe this mountain is Mount Sinai
And we are waiting for revelation
Because God, the actual God of Torah and Talmud and Tikkun Olam
Is getting ready to show God's self to us.
Maybe all the truth and love in the world is actually making itself available to us,
We who have done nothing but cry and complain.
Poor hungry, scared us!
And this is more special and holy than we can take in.
So we look away and cover our ears
And God is in the marvelous silence.

So let us step up to the metaphors!
Step up to the dirt and the mysteries!
We are standing at Sinai
And it is all for us
However we experience it.

Baruch Atah Adonai, Ruach Ha Olam
Blessed One-ness, Breath of the Universe
We are humble in your presence
However you manifest.
And let us say,


Friday, February 10, 2017

Rosh Hodesh Adar

Blessed One-ness 
Blessed HaMavdil,
Dividing time into years and months and days:

We imagine that long ago
We might have been afraid
When the moon disappeared.
It was so dark at night
Like the end of the world.
We howled at the empty sky
And then, like a miracle,
A sliver appeared.
Whatever arrives, leaves,
Whatever is gone, returns.
We gave thanks for the returning moon then,
We give thanks for the returning moon today.
We give thanks for the regularity of nature.

Adar is the month to schedule a court case, say the sages,
And it’s the month to have an operation.
It was on the first day of Adar that Moses and God brought upon the stubborn Egyptians
The ninth plague,
And this month that begins in sorrow and blindness
Ends, says the Talmud, in joy.
What an auspicious month,
Full of escapes from certain doom!

Blessed One-ness 
Blessed HaMavdil,
Dividing time into years and months and days,
Pushing back the darkness with the light of the full moon,
For that and so much more, we give thanks.

Hodesh Tov!