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.

Sleeper – Awake

Troubles take flight,

return my inner sight,

before the nighttime

sleepily falls upon me.

As I watch, during this vigil,

and wait upon His Presence,

my heart grows faint

with past worries and concerns

still plaguing me, like ghosts,

haunting the inner recesses of my mind,

where no darkness should enter;

hence, there must be a door ajar,

somewhere in my spiritual defenses.

And, it seems as if every time

I make an effort to study Torah,

at the appointed time,

a drowsiness pervades my soul,

and my body loses the strength,

to even keep my head up,

with the chumash open upon the desk;

so, I lay my head down to rest,

and waste valuable time by default.

L-rd, Redeem my neshama

from this nisyanos.

Skin Deep- a dramatic monologue

Were I to grin one day, in the near future, and explain the significance of a scar, that was a visible reminder of a wound that had never healed, I might start by saying… “prior to becoming religious, I was somehow drawn to the idea of having a tattoo ingrained in my flesh, despite the best of intentions of my rational mind to resist the urge to do so.”

Yet, while removal of the mark would renew both body and soul, I hesitate. Will the Higher Calling that I heeded in my heart, win over sentimentality? Removal by way of a laser is costly, and a remote chance of acquiring sepsis exists. Yet, I would never opt for surgical removal; no one will ever be able to say, “she’d had it sliced away leaving a scar.” * If the tattoo remains, no need to grin.

*from Liverpool, by Michael Donaghy

dVerse prompt

The Swarm

The G-d of the Hebrews confounded Pharaoh, his servants, and all of Egypt, for the fourth time, by way of a swarm of flies. Yet, there were no flies amongst the Children of Israel in the land of Goshen. G-d had placed a division between His people and the court of Pharaoh, and all those who served him. We would do well, to learn from this lesson: obstinacy, callousness, and opposition to the will of G-d, will only bring more plagues among us. The wise listen to their conscience, and seek to serve a greater cause than man’s agenda.

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#99Word Stories prompt

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The Blessed Rain

The month of Tammuz,
as the summer approaches,
brings trepidation.

Summer rains are welcome, especially because of the Pipeline Fire, still burning six miles north of Flagstaff, Arizona. A blessing, indeed, to notice the rainfall, a few days ago, on the Sabbath, while I was facilitating services at shul. There are large glass windows inside of the sanctuary; although, I did not turn my head away from the prayerbook in front of me on the wooden podium. Both rabbis were out of town; and, I thought to best concentrate to the extreme, instead of drawing attention away from the prayers. Yet, I could hear the downpour as I was singing; and, I smiled silently to myself, within my heart. Soon, the month of Tammuz will bring the beginning of a three week mourning period, for the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash, both the first and second Temples that were burned down to the ground in Yerushalayim.

dVerse prompt

Golden Opportunities

Freedom, at a cost beyond words, the ageless echo from Sinai rings less in our ears, than the music that blares upon the radio, and the chatter of T.V. So, my ancestors in their graves in Bolechov, sleep soundly until the tehillas hameisim (resurrection of the dead). Yet, the next generations, lured by the false promises of materialism, become enslaved, again, despite the lessons of the past (that have passed unlearned). If only I could ask my great-grandfather, what were his expectations, once arriving at Ellis Island; and, whether or not he ever wore peyos (sidecurls) like his father?

story challenge in 99 words prompt Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Falling Upright

“A righteous man falleth seven times, and riseth up again.”

– Proverbs 24:16, JPS 1917 Tanach

From these dizzying heights,

looking down upon others,

I know that I cannot maintain

my balance upon this pedestal.

For, one slip of the foot

will bring me down to earth;

and, perhaps spark a rebirth,

as I climb up the ladder again.

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

Yet, this time,

not upon my own strength alone,

will I ascend closer to the realm

of sanctity amongst humanity,

lifted up out of the mire.

Upon the wings of angels,

will I be supported, upon these rungs,

making my way, His way,

as I begin to see the light.

dVerse prompt