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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Poem for the Festival of Shavuot (Weeks)

 
Torah can be seen as a conversation between God and us.  Or between the Divine that is within us and the human that is within us.  According to one tradition, the only sound that was heard by the people at Mount Sinai was that of the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet....the aleph.  The aleph, though thought of as silent, can be seen as the silent sound within us before we actually create speech.  This evening we begin the celebration of the festival of Shavuot Meaning 'weeks' in Hebrew, Shavuot is the day after we counted 7 weeks from the 2nd day of Passover.  It was originally an agricultural pilgrimage/harvest festival which came to be viewed as the celebration of the giving of Torah on Mt. Sinai, may we all quiet our minds so we can hear the sound of the silent aleph within each of us.

Chag Sameakh - Happy Holiday -
Steven

The Conversation Begins


We stand at the mountain
Ground shakes    quakes
we see the thunder  
the voices
of God
not just hear     but see
God's voice
reaches  our soul
becomes part of us
reality shifts
see the world
differently
see what
before
we could only hear
see what
before
was beyond
perception
see
within
ourselves
feel
within
our souls
the Voice
God

what is
the Voice
I cannot tell
I think
I know
it is me
but you say
it is you
and you say
it is
child    mother    father     friend
comforting     frightening      challenging       compassionate

I am frozen
fear    terror     joy
standing
on the boundary
between
God and humans
liminal space

I cannot
     move
I cannot
     speak
I can only
     hear

I cannot tell
what I am hearing

There is
a voice
     no voice
a word
     no word
only thunder and lightenting
a deafening whisper
imperceptible

the Aleph
no-sound sound
the beginning
of conversation
I
do not know
the contents
of the conversation
I
only know
that
it
is
real
true
more than
anything

Strange
the deepest truth
I cannot hear
cannot know
still
I hear
I know
in my soul

Sinai
long ago
this moment
Hear
the lightning  
Feel
the earth
my soul
quake
Listen
for
the Voice
Trying
to discern
what it says

That is
our task
holy work
each and every day
to decipher
the aleph
the no-sound sound
the beginning
with no end
of the
conversation
with God
ourselves



Shavuot 5763
6/6/93

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