Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rosh Hodesh Kislev

© Trisha Arlin

Kislev is the month for despair.
The sun fades away
And we get depressed.
We forget that the light will return.
We dwell in darkness
We lose faith in change.

Kislev is the month for re-inventing courage.
At the worst possible moment, the day gets longer
And we have parties.
We imitate the sun with bright lights.
We eat a lot of sugar
And we make plans for the future.

Blessed holy One-ness,
Giving us the month of Kislev
In which to lose hope and find it again,
So clever.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Found: A Kavannah for a Wedding Anniversary

The hatov vehamaytiv is the fourth benediction in the Birkat HaMazon, the blessing after the meal, and  is also recited upon, among other reasons, hearing good news concerning others and for the drinking of a second cup of very good wine.

This moment is good
For all of us
And we are here today
To celebrate a particular piece of goodness:
__ years ago,  _____________ and _____________ got married.
They found each other.
And they found us.
God is good and good things happen.

We give thanks for this anniversary,
___ years of love, art, spirituality, fun, spirituality, music and community that exists because they are together.
___ years of making community with all the friends and family and colleagues who love and need them.
God is good and good things happen.

May their next ____ years be like a second cup of wine.
Even better than the first one, which maybe you drank too fast?
This second cup has all the familiar and comfortable flavors,
But having breathed a little
It offers up so much more nuance and pleasure
Than that first cup ever could.
God is good and good things happen.

Close your eyes.
Think of all the good things and people that surround you.
Wherever they are, have been or will be.
Now open your eyes.
And look around, here we are!
Right now,
This is the moment.   Here.
We are safe
We have been found.
We are home.
God is good and makes good things happen.
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam, Ha-tov V'hameitiv.


Friday, November 14, 2014

A Motzi for Sustainability

Blessed God of our ancestors, beginning the chain of work, we give thanks: 

For the portion of dough we take off the challah before we bake it in order to sustain high priests, artists and those who are in need;

For the seed and the earth and the rain and the sun and the farmer and the picker and the miller and the baker and the trucker and the packager and the store owner and the grocery checker and the shopper and the cook and the waiter and waitress and those who will clean up after us, for those who brought us this food that we bless together;

For the scientists and activists and the teachers and the learners and the new farmers and the leaders who work to help us heal this earth, our home;

For all those who work to sustain us
For all those who work for sustainability.

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu Melech HaOlam
Brucha at Shechina, Ruach Ha Olam
Blessed One-ness,
HaMotzi Lechem Min HaEretz.