Sunday, December 15, 2013

Delusions of Separation and Reference: A Hatzi Kaddish


Bless our need for a name
For that which cannot be named.
It has made us so creative
And gives us structure,
Blessed One-ness.

In Genesis
God created the wild beasts and all the birds of the sky
And brought them to Adam to see what he would call them
And the man gave names to them all.
Did Adam gain control of the animals because he could name them?
Or was that only an illusion of control
To comfort Adam in his newborn bewilderment?

And sometimes I think
That the God who receives all this blessing
Watches us to see what we will call God.
Giving us the illusion of control
Over the Eternal Ineffable Unnameable One-ness
So as to comfort us in our spiritual infancy.
And let us say, Amen.

Praise the One-ness who has given us the delusion of separation
So that we might see beginnings and middles and ends
And not go crazy.
Praise the One-ness who has given us delusions of reference
That we may pretend that we are the center of the universe
And not be lonely.
These are comforting gifts,
One among many.

We give thanks for this Hatzi Kaddish
That separates one prayer from another
That creates structure in the prayer service,
As we come together,
To Bless the Name 
of the Names of the Un-nameable
Now
Until
Then.
And let us say, Amen.

Layer Upon Layer
A Holy Wholeness…
May all our prayers
Be understood
By God
However we understand God on any given day.
God,
Making peace and sustaining wholeness
Through us
For us
And for all the world,
And let us say,
Amen


A Mourner's Kaddish



Layer Upon layer of attempts to describe the Indescribable.

We cannot help but be separate,

We cannot help but be part of the One.

It is our holy dialectic

In the face of the unknown

And thus our need for

A Name that will describe

A Name that will explain

A Name that will make it easy.

But how do we name the Un-nameable?

We can but try.

Bless this endeavor,

It has made us so creative.

Bless the Eternal and the Glorious,

The Holy Whole,

And let us say, Amen.


It makes us happy to think about God.

Overarching and unseen.

We have absolutely no idea what the truth is,

But we are blessed with this burden

Because we need to describe what cannot be described,

Because we need structure in the face of the vast mysteries,

Because we go on and on and on.  

And then, one day we don’t.

Blessed One-ness.


We pray, these are requests for meaning despite doubt.

May these prayers be answered,

As unlikely as that may be,

You never know.

And let us say, Amen.


And may the Un-nameable be sanctified

And the Names we have invented to name the Un-nameable be sanctified

And may The Name we invented to name the names we invented for the Un-nameable be sanctified.

Layer Upon Layer of attempts to describe the Indescribable,

Those layers allow us to touch the awesome truth

And still be safe.

May our creations flourish and survive our limitations.


Bless The Name of the Names of the Un-nameable

Now

Until

Then.

Layer Upon Layer

May all our prayers be understood,

And let us say, Amen


Blessed One-ness.

However we understand God on any given day,

Making peace and

Sustaining wholeness

For us, through us,

If we but have the eyes to see.

Holy Wholeness,

For each other

And all the world,


And let us say, Amen.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holy Wholeness: A Kaddish Shalem


How can a name be great?
Why exalt a name?
Why do we need a Name?
From Before Time Was,
During Time As it Is,
After Time Which Will Be
Bless the Ancestral God or your Personal God 
Or the God of Our Current Understanding or lack thereof,
And let us say, Amen.
  
Bless who?  what?  how do we name the Un-nameable?

Bless the names of God that we came up with anyway, because we’re human and we need names.
Elohim
Shaddai
Adonai
Shechinah
HaMakom
And so many more.

Bless the name, Hashem, meaning “The Name”, because even the inadequate names we came with are a bit too powerful for some of us to say out loud.
Oy, it’s complicated.
Layer Upon Layer of attempts to describe the Indescribable.
It’s a good thing we Jews like that sort of thing.
So bless our need for a name
It has made us so creative.
Bless the Eternal and the Glorious,
The Holy Whole,
And bless our imaginative attempts to imagine the Unimaginable.

It makes us happy to think about God

Even though we have absolutely no idea what the truth is,

That's never stopped us before!
Really, we can’t say it enough,
We are blessed with this burden.
We go on and on
Above and beyond these blessings
Above and beyond the prayers and psalms and torah reading
We go on and on
Because we need to describe what cannot be described.
We need structure in the face of the vast

So we make up stories.
We create a personality and voice for God.
It makes sense of of the apparently chaotic.
So let us pray for beginings and middles and ends.
These prayers of all the Jews, these prayers of all the world:
For life despite death
For joy despite sorrow
For meaning despite  doubt.
May these prayers be answered,
As unlikely as that may be,
You never know.
And let us say, Amen.

Let us go on and on
So that we may be heard
Let us shout if we have to!
You want us to listen to You?
Then listen to us!
And let us say, Amen.

To all Jews everywhere
Observant, religious, liberal, secular, cultural…
To all of our teachers and to their teachers
And to all their students' students
To all who study Torah
To all who want to learn anything
To all who need to learn,
Here or anywhere
May we be at peace,

So that we may enjoy our learning.
May we know our true selves

So that we can act with compassion.
May we find wholeness
And may we share the wholeness
And receive the same in return.
And may we have nice long lives in which to share and enjoy the good things of life:
And may we have an inkling of a smidgeon of a glimpse of
Of the shadow of the back of God.
Oh please may we know God’s presence.

Please please please.

Oh wait, God's presence has always been here

And always will be.

Never mind.

God doesn't need any names,

Only we do.
And let us say, Amen.

May we have the will and the luck and the opportunity and the grace
To experience in our short lives:
Love, Kindness, Compassion
Sexual Pleasure, Good Food, Fun
Parents, Children, Family
Knowledge, Learning, Teaching
Work, Responsibility, Community
Rest, Gratitude, Companionship
Health, Forgiveness, Healing,
Atonement, Redemption, Salvation.
May everyone everywhere achieve all this
And let us say, Amen.

And may the Breathing Breath of Eternity
Grant peace
Upon us and everybody else.

And may the Un-nameable be sanctified
And the Names we have invented to name the Un-nameable be sanctified
And may The Name we invented to name the names we invented for the Un-nameable be sanctified.
Layer Upon Layer of attempts to describe the Indescribable.
It’s a good thing we like that sort of thing.
Bless our need for these names,
It has made us so creative
In our own small way.
Amidst the ongoing Creation
Of the Creating Creator,
May our creations flourish and survive our limitations.

And may we see the good things grow
And the bad things diminish
In our lifetimes.
And if we may be so bold as to hope
For the good things to happen
Sooner rather than later?

Bless The Name of the Names of the Un-nameable
Now
Until
Then.
Layer Upon Layer
A Holy Wholeness.
May all our prayers
Be understood
And let us say, Amen

God,
However we understand God on any given day,

God,
Making peace and
Sustaining wholeness

Through us
If we but have the eyes to see,
For each other
And all the world,

Shalom.
And let us say, Amen.