Wednesday, December 15, 2004

A Poem -- New Halakha

finding a home, a place to rest, a place to act

but there is no home for me here

no place to simply rest

the loneliness is intense,

the depressed feelings of why I don’t do more,

why don’t I contribute more

the world cries in pain

and I sit and read the Talmud

and Rav Soloveitchik

deeply felt traditions, but

isolated, limited,

not expansive enough for me

perhaps that is what I desire

is something to hold me in,

to reign in my wild ride of exploration

yet with the understanding

that love of God, love of the infinite IS everything.

but the word “love” does nothing

to change things

what can change

all levels, all lines, all

scales of magnitude?

they are all changing all the time anyway

must we do anything,

or must we do nothing?

I sometimes feel that everything

rests on me, everything waits for me

to create something,

a new religion even . . .

don’t we need something new,

but not simplistic, not utilitarian,

but prayerful, hopeful, wonder-full

yet demanding,

demanding faith, devotion, conviction,


passion of love and acceptance and dedication

not the passion of exclusion, isolation, righteousness

perhaps it is this passion, this devotion, this dedication

that I find within the pages of the Talmud and in

words of the Rav and in the restrictions of halakha

but can we create new halakha

that are not simply our own desires,

our own pleasures

but in some way honor

and demand a total commitment

of love and dedication?

a halakha that

“believes that there is only one world –

not divisible into secular and hallowed sectors –

which can either plunge into ugliness and hatefulness,

or be roused to meaningful, redeeming activity,

gathering up all latent powers into a state of holiness."

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