Friday, June 26, 2015

A Prayer For This Day


Blessed Yah, Creator, Created, Creating...

On this day of joy and celebration and mourning,

We pray for peace and love,

For ourselves and the world,

Even if only for one day:



Instead of anger, we choose kindness.

Instead of revenge, we choose justice.

Instead of resentment, we choose empathy.

Instead of work, we choose rest.

Instead of ideology, we choose compromise.

Instead of destruction, we choose community.

Instead of fear, we choose endurance.

Instead of invective, we choose prayer.

Instead of violence, we choose peace. 

Instead of hate, we choose love.


We give thanks for this day.

May it change us, may it change the world,

And let us say, Amen.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Your Pure Soul: Elohai Neshama

© 2015 Patricia Arlin


Your soul was pure:

You were in yourself,

You remember that.

You remember safety.

Amazed at the taste of food, sugar blew your mind.

You danced and laughed and told jokes.

You slept on the dog.


You loved to hear the cantor sing the songs,

You knew that God was in that room.

You loved cartoons.


Then life happened to you. 

Your soul became corrugated

And you kicked back at the world.

You forgot how to be in yourself,

You only knew how to react.

Your hurt looked like anger,

Your fear looked like sarcasm.


Other people's pain was somehow all about you.

God-ness looked like stupidity

And you were not allowed to touch the Torah.

The past was wrong

And the future was fantasy

And you thought you could not love.


Then one day you stopped.

You listened to the ambient sounds.

You listened to your breath,

You listened for that pure soul.

And you saw things as they really were:

Hurt was only hurt

And you were not the center of the universe   

And you felt compassion instead of fear.

God-ness surrounded you.

The past was past, the future was yet to be.

You began to touch Torah

And you remembered to love.


It is very difficult to get there,

It can take a long time,

But once achieved

It is simple.

Really.


Your soul IS pure.

Our souls ARE pure.

And we are each of us a part of all creation,

Protected in the One-ness.


אֱלהַי. נְשָׁמָה שֶׁנָּתַתָּ בִּי טְהורָה הִיא



Amen

Friday, June 5, 2015

There Is No Other: An Aleinu


© 2015 Patricia Arlin


עָלֵינוּ 
It is upon us to repair the broken places.
It is upon us to comfort the sick in body and heart.
It is upon us to bring joy to those around us.

It is upon us to face the truth no matter how difficult.
It is upon us to see that justice is complex and not always easy.
It is upon us to know when we have choices, and to make them.

It is upon us to understand that our prayers are holy conversations.
It is upon us to be mindful and to take our spirituality seriously.
It is upon us to hold more than one idea of God in our heads at any given time.

It is upon us to enjoy our bodies without shame.
It is upon us to listen when others say no, and when they say yes.
It is upon us to have fun and to spread it around.

וַאֲנַחְנוּ כֹּרעִים
We bend our knees to acknowledge how small we are in the face of all this responsibility.
We bend our knees to warm up for all the hard work.
We bend our knees to dance.

אֵין עוֹד
We are all one in the One-ness, there is no other.

Amen.

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Blessing On Finishing the Counting Of The Omer

© 2015 Patricia Arlin


Blessed One-ness
Why did I count the Omer?

Every night I counted….what?
The grains of wheat I harvested?
My bread comes wrapped in plastic so,
Uh, no.
Counting the days until Shavuot?
I have a calendar on my phone, alerts that ring out
So, again, no.

So why did I count?
I didn't know why I counted until I counted,
then--

Each date noted was a day stopped, if only for a moment.
A shabbat every day
And it was holy, 
Each day separated
All days the same.
So, this then, yes.

With a blessing for each day,
And a blessing for the count,
And a blessing for the counters,
I am in the blessed One-ness.
Amen