Friday, April 22, 2016

Plagues Are Not Cute


Plagues are not finger puppets,
Plagues are not soft and furry stuffed toys,
Plagues don't have googly eyes,
Plagues are not cute.

Plagues are not targeted attacks,
Plagues are not guerilla warfare,
Plagues do not show up in a court of law,
Plagues are not fair.

Plagues are not a bland topic for a mild discussion,
Plagues do not call for objectivity,
Plagues are not subject to ironic humor,
Plagues are not interesting.

No,
Plagues are disaster without explanation,
Plagues are revenge without a solution,
Plagues are acts of desperation,
Plagues attack everyone,
Plagues hurt the poor more than the rich,
Plagues kill the innocent as well as the guilty,
Plagues are not cute or fair or interesting.

So I drop wine onto my plate to remember all who suffered, Hebrew and Egyptian.
I drop wine onto my plate for the desperate acts that often come with freedom struggles.
I drop wine onto my plate so that I will not forget that
Plagues
Are 
Not
Cute.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Color of Light: A Kavannah for Putting on Your Tallit

For with You is the Fountain of Light
In your light we shall see the light
      -- Psalm 36:10, translation by Robert Alter


God might be like the color of light:
When you look at it without holy separation, everything is bright and blinding.
But when you have the right tool, like a prism,
or a tallit,
You can set yourself apart and enjoy most of the colors:
And the world opens up.

But there are colors our eyes cannot see
And understandings that our minds cannot grasp but we know they are there.
When you have the right tool, like a spectograph,
or Torah,
You can perceive some of the unseen colors or at least posit their existence:
And the mystical opens up.

Perhaps 
When you have observed all the colors your eyes could see
And then learned about all the colors they could not,
Perhaps, after much time and effort,
You may realize
That it is all part of the One,
Each color separate and together, different and the same.
Flowing from the Fountain of Light,
Continuous.

And there you are, wrapped in the prism of Torah.
And you always were.