Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Birkat HaMazon - Grace After A Meal

© Trisha Arlin

רַבּוֹתַי נְבָרֵךְ

All who sit around these tables,
Friends and strangers,
In peaceful conversation
And pleasant disagreement,
We take this moment to acknowledge
Whenever we eat together
That we are blessed
And, in our turn,
We bless.

בָּרוּךְ הוּא וּבָרוּך שְׁמוֹ

Blessed be the Creator and the created,
Blessed be the sustainers and the sustained.
Blessed be the eaters and the eaten,
Blessed be the feeders and the fed.
Blessed be the cooks and the meal,
Blessed be the drinkers and the water.
Blessed be the farmers and the produce,
Blessed be the baker and the bread.
Blessed be them all.

Blessed be the doers and the done upon,
Blessed be the freers and the freed.
Blessed be the leaders and the led,
Blessed be the sellers and the sold. 
Blessed be the prayers and the prayed for,
Blessed be the servers and the served.
Blessed be the teachers and the taught,
Blessed be the tellers and the told.
Blessed be them alll.

 בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי הַזָּן אֶת הַכּל

נוֹדֶה לְּךָ יי אֱלהֵינוּ  

Blessing us, One-ness,
Wtih the biggest and the smallest of blessings:
We do not lack.
Blessing us, One-ness,
With a history, ancient and current,
That is never boring.
We give thanks

וְעַל הַכּל יי אֱלהֵינוּ אֲנַחְנוּ מוֹדִים לָךְ וּמְבָרְכִים אוֹתָךְ  

Blessing us, One-ness,
With boundless Mercy
For all people,
All made in your image.
We pray for even a fraction of that compassion and empathy
That we may feel the joy and the suffering of all who surround us
And so that they may also feel ours.

רַחֶם נָא יי אֱלהֵינוּ עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל עַמֶּךָ  

Blessed One-ness
Making peace
Sustaining wholeness
For each other
And all the world


Sunday, February 8, 2015

God's Voice? Ten Suggestions: A drash on Yitro

© Trisha Arlin

We may not be prophets.
We may not be able to hear God's voice,
But when we open up our books, our Torah, and read
Then the One-ness speaks to us:

  1. Know your history.  Know that you are all connected in the One-ness.  Know that it is possible to live in community in love and kindness.
  2. Don't worship false idols.
  3. Learn that you can disagree about deeply held beliefs without being flippant or disrespectful.
  4. Rest at least one day a week and make sure that everyone around you gets to rest as well.  Know that this rest is deep and holy.
  5. Honor the elderly. 
  6. Do not murder.
  7. Do not cheat on your loved ones.
  8. Do not steal.
  9. Do not lie.
  10. Do not let the desire for material things rule your life.

Rules to live by, plain common sense...
We know these things, everyone knows these.
But if we know this through Torah
Then perhaps we are in connection
With the holy
(Whatever that means
To us
On any given day)
And perhaps then
We hear God's voice,
And we are heard as well,
In holy conversation.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יהוה
אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶך
אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָנוּ בְּמִצְותָיו
וְצִוָּנוּ לַעֲסק  בְּדִבְרֵי-תורָה.

Blessed One-ness, who makes us holy with mitzvot, blessing us with the ability to know ourselves with the words of Torah.