The Sh’ma is the centerpiece of Jewish prayer.
As Rabbi David Cooper wrote years ago, “God is a Verb.” Breathing is an act of prayer…
With Each Breath
…the beating of my heart,
the breath of a lover,
hear the ocean pound, the hummingbird flutter.
Hear the cries of war and sighs of peace,
hear the ache of seeking and tears of grief.
Hear with all of my humanity
all of humanity.
Hear the birds of the air, the fishes of the sea, the beasts upon the land …
Hear. The. Land.
Hear the running rivers and gentle rain.
Hear the moon’s goodnight and the soldier’s pain.
Hear the homeless mother, hungry child at her knee,
Hear enslaved people begging to be free.
Hear the ones I hold dear,
Hear the foreigner and the feared.
With each breath,
Help me make the choice
…the one who wrestles with God,
the one who wrestles with Life,
the one who wrestles with painful memories, relationship strife.
We are one… one community – one humanity!
Blessed is the capacity to wrestle, to create unrest,
to disrupt and disable that which needs reset,
to build and fortify, to tear down walls,
and replace with houses, new friends to call,
to transform hate into compassion,
water into wine,
from the few, make plenty…
and feed many in time.
Hear, O Israel! The secrets are written.
Help me settle myself, prepare to listen,
wrestle and practice
…the ways of peace.
A-do-nai… the Four Letters
a source of Love so great
that I skirt the edges
out of fear and fate…
If I step into my full likeness,
I might become like Elijah…
carried off aflame.
Or commanded to sacrifice
More than I can name.
Doubt strides next to faith
Help me choose faith.
Heaven and earth meet
In the center of each heartbeat.
In what likeness am I fashioned,
out of what clay was I formed …
and for what purpose,
do I breathe?
… the enduring force of transformation,
A soul’s home, sacred source of all Life.
Without beginning… without ending.
Beyond time and space.
The Unknowable is One.
The Unknowable is One
…May my life be in service of the Great Repair,
may I show up as Love,
build bridges across dissent and despair.
Pursue a world where the lion peacefully lays down with the lamb,
swords are tuned into ploughshares because we can.
May my North Star
point me to the ways of healing, reconciliation, justice and peace.
May I always remember
how to re-member
May I bring healing where there is brokenness
Bring patience and calm in the midst of great stress.
With each breath, may I
Inhale a gentleness of spirit and
Exhale the strength to be present.
May I hear, wrestle and recall
That the Unknowable is in each of us,
…part of the Great All.
May it be so.
In memory of Rabbi David Wolfe-Blank, zt”l
(December 12, 1950 – August 29, 1998)
L’Shanah Tovah, 5783