Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rosh Hashana 5773

O Father, what is this?

He ties me to a sacrificial pyre and he wields the knife -- but I have never loved him more. It is his weakness and his strength, this faith he has in the Oneness of being and becoming, all that is, was and will be, past, present, future all alive in this moment, and I have two choices. I can hate him, or I can forgive him.

This One who calls us to this moment, I have seen him in the gleam and glitter of the knife, the fires my father and I have laid together, and the love that shines in my father's eyes. I know I am beloved. I know this is Yud Hey Vav Hey's (YHVH) will, and my will, and Father's will. So I choose.

I choose life and faith and trust.

In this moment of testing, I will hear. I will love my father and the One with all my heart, soul and might, and I know I will choose life. I know this moment, this call, this knife, will not kill my love for him. I know I will not hate him.

I see his eyes glitter with tears, they are locked on mine and and I feel my own eyes flood with respect and pain and truth. This man is my father, blood of my blood. I have seen him in all of his moments from the day I was born.

We do not lose each other in this moment, but pray mightily for a sign.

The ram is glorious.

My father, my beloved father, stays the knife, unties me, clutches my hand.

"You are my beloved. Forgive me."

I know the truth of this: all that is, was, and will be is contained in this moment. And my father, who was willing to sacrifice his son to God, loves me with all of his heart.

"I do."

Together we are transformed. A people born of light in a moment of obedience and strength, love and truth, given to a God who tests us and loves us, redeems us and grants us hope, even in the darkest moments.

If he had slain me, I would have died with my soul aflame in the truth of love.

Father, bearer of the past, I hold your dreams and darkest fears of rejection in my heart and I love you with the kindness of the world, the glowing future that forgives and redeems.

We will go forth anew. I forgive you.

Erev Rosh Hashanah 9/16/12

Tonight we are moths to flame with wings afire, opened by kindness, the fireflies of forgiveness easing out of the shadows, and still we are aloft, ever higher, many bushes burning, the way we have always been, the way we were born to be.

We return to the light, to the source, and we remember the one home that has never been separate, and the cloud of us, high and burning, sets the night sky to flame and we know the way, it is finally clear. The way that is behind and ahead, the way that is was and will always be, and tonight, bathed in the fire of our divine spark, we dance.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Restless Heart

Deut 28: 64 - 68

We all have times when we realize the goals we are striving for, the ways we are living, the ways we treat ourselves and others, do not serve us how we had hoped.

We lose our way. We are not serving the god, the path, the universe that sustains us, fulfills us and brings us into the Promised Land. We know we want more, but the more we have been defining for ourselves in not working; it's not useful. So what do we do?

It usually includes some kind of awakening that can look very much like a breakdown. We become lost, we realize that we may never have known the way, but there is a promise here: there is a way. Tried and true. It's not x+y=z, but it is a turning, or returning, to YHVH, all that is, was and will be.

We must find the others who have been scattered. We must gather and seek and heal. Our hearts are heavy, our lives have been spent in exile, long stretches or moments or wrong action, but we do have a home. We've suffered the consequences -- we can see it, no matter how much we have accomplished or acquired, and we live with those consequences. And the road ahead is HARD.

But it is do-able.

You/me/we will spend the rest of our lives doing it, turning and returning, living through our choices and circumstances.

So go forth, no matter how scattered we are, no matter how dire the pain of consequences have been. We can start now. We can do it. There is a home, a way to turn and return, YHVH is there for us. So keep walking. Shift your focus, but keep going -- it's there for us all -- right here, and here, and there. Do-able. Keep walking.

Your heart and soul can heal.

That Guy

Deut 17: 14 - 20
Leaders and Judges

Sometimes, I think, secretly, part of us all wants to be that guy. Chosen by God to lead our compatriots, our kinsmen, our fellow travelers.

We would embody justice, humility, fairness and truth. We would feel sacred and blessed to be in this position. We wouldn't abuse our power, turn to greed, treat some with favor, others with scorn. We would be holy. Not perfect, not without erring or falling, but always learning in our drive to honor and represent this chosenness. To honor the trust and faith others place in us and let all our words, all our works, and all our joys be for peace and goodness in the service of the true king.

But can we see it? Do others? What do we allow ourselves to see, even when it's not what we want? Secretly, whether we know it or not, we are all that capable of seeing.

That guy, that woman, that chosen one. But we must trust. Wholeheartedly, whole soul-edly. And we must hold that sacred truth humbly in our hearts, and as we see Yud Hey Vav Hey unfolding our origami paths, then we must go out there and work. Make our words messages of peace. Make our actions messages of wisdom, our thoughts prayers of gratitude.

We are all that chosen, moving and being and doing in the world. May we all be blessed in our doing and being, choosing our words and our leaders carefully on our paths to justice, humility, and peace.

Deut 1: 6-8 7/26/12

We Can't Go Forward In Freedom Unless We Hold Where We've Been

So, here we are. The journey that we began so long ago, really began in slavery. Look what we lost -- and look what we found. Are we better off now? We hope so. It doesn't always feel that way.

But to really know where we've been, we have to know who we are -- the parts of ourselves we mourn, the actual people we have lost, the hopes and dreams we shed along the way, the bitterness and sweetness we've encountered that has been unpredictable, not what we thought, not who we were, but who and what we are.

Really? Are we too old for our youthful dreams? Too young to know our wise truth?


But it's all different than we thought it would be.

God doesn't give us a Disney fairytale. There isn't a happily-ever-after, neat-and-tidy ending, roll credits... WE AREN'T DONE!

So look around, look within... Who are you now? Who are the people around us? What is the story now? Not the one from ten years ago, not the one from fourteen months ago, but NOW.

Can we open ourselves to the story unfolding with us, all around us, and within us? We have to ask and listen, ask and listen, in order to enter the truth, the hope and spirit of the promised land. Examine our previous and current fears, and look at the way we are making ourselves ready to go where no one has gone before.

We all have the capacity to hear, the capacity to learn, and the capacity to support every voice in freedom and hope, with love and gratitude.