Saturday, April 06, 2013

Entering the stream on the words of Torah

היום אחד עשר יום שהם שבוע אחד וארבעה ימים בעמר
Today is eleven days, which is one week and four days of the omer
נצח שבגבורה
A day of perseverance in a week of strength

There is a power one feels when chanting Torah. The words and the tones resonate in and then cycle out. The exact comprehension is often not there for the listeners, yet the words and the tones resonate for them as well. We all get to enter the timeless stream of our people---connecting past, present, future. The covenant, the bond we have with God and with each other. Even for those who need to take God out of the equation, the ties remain strong. It is in that stream that we find the strength to persevere as a people.

Meditation before reading Torah
by Marge Piercy

We are the people of the word
and the breath of the word fills our minds with light.
We are the people of the word
and the breath of life sings through us
playing on the pipes of our bones
and the the strings of our sinews
an ancient song carved in the Laurentian granite
and new as a spring azure butterfly just drying her wings
in a moment's splash of sun.
We must live the word and make it real.

We are the people  of the book
and the letters march busy as ants
carrying the work of the ages through our minds.

We are the people of the book.
Through fire and mud and dust we have borne
our scrolls tenderly as a baby swaddled in a blanket,
traveling with our words sewn in our clothes
and carried on our backs.

Let us take up the scroll of Torah
and dance with it and touch it
and read it out, for the mind
touches the word and makes it light.
So does light enter us, and we shine.

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