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The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life has been ransacked

by countless generations of mankind’s

insistence on searching for truth in the darkness,

irrespective of light provided by a transcendent G-d.

—– —– —– —–

The Tree of Life is still protected, even until this day;

yet, the carefully guarded path to eternal life,

offers no obstacle to the serpent, who has set up additional roadblocks,

meant to divert souls to an alternative route.

—– —– —– —–

The detour signs have been designed in many shapes and sizes,

redirecting the thoughts of mankind to the promise of a utopia,

that offers a materialistic garden of technological wonders,

culminating with the preservation of individual consciousness at death.

—– —– —– —– —– —–

The transfer of “the essence of you”

into an everlasting A.I. construction

meant to continually preserve more than a few

of your memories, identity, and personality forever.

—– —- —– —-

This would be more than a technological feat of rebellion;

rather, an anti-creation, championed

by the transhumanists, who have given their souls

to the primeval serpent of lies.

—– —– —– —–

Truth be told, as given to us from Heaven above,

our souls will unfold, into the cosmos of love,

if we wage a war against the evil within us,

and overcome with the Light sent from Above.

The Soul’s Light

“For with Thee is the fountain of life; in Thy light do we see light.”

– Ps. 36:10, JPS

From the earliest days of ancient history,

in the midst of the Garden, harmony reigned,

until the serpent’s poison entered the soul’s fissure,

shattering the unalloyed purity in the flame.

This deadly bite brought with it a tragic curse,

an admixture of good and evil

upon mankind’s hearth,

making all of Creation ill.

While battles rage across the ages,

the war within every human resides,

amongst the splintered ruins, we wage

a campaign against sinister tides.

No one is considered righteous,

because all within us is tainted;

to some degree, even amongst the pious,

who yearn to be free of this blight.

Seek we must, beyond the stars,

reaching upwards Heaven;

lacking the strength to go very far,

weighed down by bags of leaven.

Only the light from Above

can make clear the path,

when all else in man’s treasure trove,

fails to bring any lasting value.

A brighter day gleams in the future,

beyond what the mind can imagine,

when all mortal wounds will be sutured

by the healing power of the soul’s best friend.

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dVerse prompt

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Renewal of the Soul

During taschlich, the ducks are floating,

and quietly quacking in nasal dissonance.

Yet, the scene is tranquil overall.

—– —– —–

At some point,

most of the ducks have gone elsewhere…

the only sign of their presence, a ripple of water,

concentric circles moving out from the center,

where bubbles are rising to the surface

from below the otherwise still pond.

—– —– —–

Natural submersibles,

these humble creatures of G-d are content,

diving for their sustenance in the niche,

wherein they have been placed.

—– —– —–

Unlike many of us humans,

constantly searching for

something beyond our boundaries,

whether self-imposed,

like a box of our own construction,

or the existential limitations

that we are all faced with,

throughout our journey.

—– —– —–

Symbolically, our sins are cast

into the pond today, a reminder

of the promise of forgiveness,

that we may be renewed in the moment,

even as we make that first effort

to seek renewal of the soul,

at the beginning of the year.

Sweetness of the Soul

Prepare mind and heart,

bring awareness to center;

stillness in the soul.

As Rosh HaShannah approaches, preparations abound, beginning with the inner focus – searching the soul. This search began thirty days prior, with the sounding of the shofar every morning, awakening the soul to the awesome approach of the King.

The task at hand is to condition the mind to root out evil and sin. For those like myself, ba’al teshuvah, who were not raised observant, nor had the values of Torah inculcated in them, since an early age, the continual “pulling out of weeds,” if left to grow, would only cause the soul to become entangled in gashmiyos again. G-d forbid.

Serene Dream

The luminous glow

of light upon my latte,

as cinnamon and nutmeg

wafts into my nostrils,

as I inhale the steam,

rising from my latte.

Matcha and almond milk,

flavored with a hint of vanilla.

Umai, ocha ga daisuki desu.

—–

I’ve been drinking 5-7

cups of matcha each day,

while writing, reading, and exercising

in my small cave-like apartment,

akin to a monk’s cell,

and I imagine myself as

a Jewish contemplative,

in lieu of being able to live

in the sacred city of Tzfat.

—–

Otherwise, I picture myself

in seiza position on the wooden floor

in quiet contemplation of G-d.

I gravitate toward composing poetry,

reach into the depth of my innermost self,

as revealed to me by the light Above.

And, continually seek a tranquil mind,

If only for a moment,

upon the breeze in my dreams,

when everything else is serene.

dVerse prompt

Echos of the Past

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller

punchcards filed, data compiled,

information stored, characteristics noted,

Jewish, Romani, Sinti, Slavic,

categorized as the Reich

spread across Europe.

today, echoes of the past,

more sophisticated technology;

new targeted groups, such as

white, heterosexual, conservative,

Christian, Republican, ad infinitum.

the everlasting revolution

against mankind.

dVerse prompt

Soul Renewal

Livin’ life without a net,

who’s to catch me if I fall,

except the One, that I met,

to Whom I’ve given my all.

Renewal of the soul,

at the beginning of the day,

quieting of the mind,

as the light fades away.

Nighttime brings its own song,

in sync with the rhythm of the heart,

reflects upon all that we long for,

dreaming of a new start.

Livin’ life without a net,

who’s to catch me if I fall,

except the One, that I met,

to Whom I’ve given my all.

Every year, the world’s tears flow

like rain from unfamiliar clouds,

until, at the first light of dawn,

we hear Your voice call us home.

Upon the wings of eagles we glide,

in time with the prophetic cue,

brought to the place where we will reside,

in our hearts, singing a new tune.

Livin’ life without a net,

who’s to catch us if we fall,

except the One, Whom we’ve met,

and given to Him our all.

As nations gather together for war,

we will rise above all the flames,

in search of the world no man can char,

the Kingdom that fell is risen again.

One vision to guide us

through the darkness of the land,

One truth to abide in,

as we perceive His guiding hand.

Livin’ life without a net,

who’s to catch us if we fall,

except the One, Who said,

I request of you, your all.

(warning: violence)

(coronation scene)

The Soul’s Beloved

L-rd, you safeguarded my soul,

even in the midst of the darkness

that seemed to consume my life,

at the time when all was lost.

Draw your servant out of the darkness,

and into the light of your sacred intentions,

that I may know what Your design is

for my soul to flourish in this world,

and the World-to-Come.

Rescue me from the fire and ice,

so that I may be free to breathe fresh air,

unhindered by the mire,

where I had previously sunk.

That every day may be

an opportunity for renewal,

as I climb higher on the divine ladder,

between Earth and Heaven.