Monday, November 20, 2023

My Gratitude

Every Shabbat

I attend services

And almost every single time 

We are asked by the rabbi,

What are you grateful for?

(A reasonable question)

And a long list from the congregation rolls out

Of family members

And pets

And jobs and vacations

And operations and recoveries

And clergy and social justice leaders

And battles fought and won.

I am also grateful

For the usual stuff


I hate this question.

I really hate this question.

I am annoyed not grateful.

I am annoyed and not grateful on a daily basis,

I am annoyed and not grateful when I wake up in the morning

and annoyed and not grateful when I go to sleep at night.

This world is a terrible, cruel and stupid place and 

I am angry!

Modeh Ani? Hell no.

Bedtime Shma? I forgive no one!

I am angry

and disputatious

and frustrated

But the people who deserve my anger and resistance

Do not know or care that I exist!

I want it all to go away

And I’m ashamed at how little effort it takes

To ignore the unpleasant 

And do nothing. 

I’m so angry at myself.

So, no gratitude today from me.

And anyway,

The things that I am grateful for 

That you are so curious about,

Why do I have to announce them?

You want me to spread my gratitude all around like manure

In this garden of good vibes?


And please, don’t tell me yours,

I am neither interested nor moved by your gratitude!

Except of course I am,

Because I love you and

I like it when people are happy.

And I like it when people share their happiness,

But not on demand!

And not every week.

Not now,

Not this week.

My gratitude is not for tourists.


Holy Wholeness,
Thank you for listening.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Sitting Shiva For Vivian


Holy Wholeness,

I’m sitting shiva for Vivian Silver

Peace Activist, Humanitarian, Progressive. 


She reached out

And helped when help was needed:

Jews and Palestinians. 

I didn’t know her but I did,

A good person, a hero.

But Vivian wasn’t asked for her resume

Before they killed her.  

In her honor,

I will try to hug nuance 

And speak up against hate and intransigence 

And look to understand the reasons and solutions

And try to feel all the pain

Of the perpetrators as well as the victims.


Everyone may despise us but that’s the gig.

Screw it,

Do good anyway,

For Vivian


Friday, October 20, 2023

Beloved Of The Soul (Yedid Nefesh)


Compassionate Oneness,

Imagine us all,


Sweet as honey,

Kind and loving.

Radiant with life,

Pure at the start. 

Then we forget and yearn

For pleasant safety.

But truth is always best: 

Art and argument, obligation and doubt, 

Kindness and cruelty, grief and ecstasy.

We could be splendid.

Show us Your love!

Keep us sane

And help us to remember

Our beautiful souls. 


Sunday, October 15, 2023

I Can’t Sleep


I can’t sleep 

Neither can I

Me neither

I understand 


It happens 

It’s a sign of stress

Me, too

Too many feelings

I see you


Sending love

I’m with you

Call or text anytime 

With you in anguish

I can’t stop thinking

Me, too

How can I help

How can I make it stop

Why are people so cruel

Why are people so stupid

It happens

No sleep 

Not now

Not tonight

Me, too

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

A Prayer For a Difficult Day


Blessed Yah, Creator, Created, Creating...

On this day of 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.

Even if only for one day.


Saturday, September 23, 2023

Blessing For Those Feeling Good as a Nice Change

Photo by Carolyn Hall


I give thanks for this burst of wellbeing in my body/mind/heart!

May it grow and endure 

And come back if it goes away for a while. 


Wednesday, September 13, 2023

During These Days

Bless these holy days of searching

That enable us to ask so many fruitful questions, 

Sanctifying our awareness of our  creative Jewish contradictions,

No matter what the traditional liturgy tells us   

We are not a chosen people. 

We are the people who choose. 

And we choose to make holy our obligations and our doubts,

Our regrets and our commitments,

And our guilt and our innocence. 

During these days of searching we ask, 

Where are you?

Here I am, today. 


Friday, September 8, 2023

Lecha Dodi Kavannah


Come, my friends, to meet Shabbat. 

Every week I step out of mundane time

To be present to what I’m actually doing

Instead of dwelling on what I’ve done before 

Or what I might do next

Or what has or will be done to me or around me,


No matter how content, miserable or stimulated I am,

Every time I am fully inside the depth of a feeling

That is truly of now,

Aware in compassion, truth and presence,

In true connection, then 

It is Shabbat.  

And I am one with the bride:

Hopeful, excited, happy,

Meeting my friends,

My beloveds,

New every week:

My Shabbat.

Lecha Dodi!

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Thursday, July 27, 2023


Art by Mike Cockrill

We pray 
For our safety and health
But we fear for us all. 

We pray 
That it is not too late
But we fear that it is. 

We pray
For common sense
But we fear the fanatics. 

Blessed Holy Wholeness:

May we not be afraid
To act big
And save the world. 

May we also learn 
To act small
And save each other. 

May we also remember
To transcend despair 
And love ourselves enough.