It is National Poetry Day! To celebrate, my Shabbat message to you this week is the offering of a poem I have written just for you.
We made it through to the other side of Yom Kippur!
Already – messages of thanks for lovely services are flowing in.
I confess – personally, I found The Day (Yoma, as the Mishnah names it) difficult.
I missed the cramped intensity of Shacharit in shul, prayers hovering in the hot air,
the mellow quietness of Mincha with the committed congregants who stay the day;
I missed prostrating before the open Ark,
the rising drama as those heavenly gates clang shut at Neilah,
the elation of Shofar blasts bringing the Fast to a close.
For the first time I wonder… Is it possible we’ll be online next year again?
Then yesterday –
a glorious morning building our SWESRS Sukkah!
Face to face (socially distanced!), away from the computer screen, connecting with real people (with Farrel, Nina and Sheila) in the autumn sunshine with birdsong.
‘All is impermanence,’ teaches King Solomon in Kohelet, the Book of Ecclesiastes that we read on Sukkot.
(The Hebrew Hevel usually translated ‘Vanity of vanities,’ actually means ‘something fleeting’, like our breath on a damp day that appears as vapour on the air and then vanishes).
In this ‘Corona Coaster’, we all have our ups and downs.
As Solomon advises, let’s relish the moment, enjoy the simple things in life,
Remember to reach out and know
we share the essential loneliness of being human,
share too the resilient strength that comes from connecting.
The work is done.
The sun shines through our SWESRS Sukkah.
Radiant joy rises up and fills me.
‘Rejoice on your Festival!’ (Deuteronomy16:14)
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach!
Wishing you all a peaceful Shabbat and a joyful Sukkot.