These words that I found in this book of prayer on this day became my writing for today the instant that I saw them on the page. And so I took a photo of the text so I would know exactly what is written and could then write about them here.
I like the way the photograph captures the words against the curve of the page. How the words rise oh so slightly so that the sentences flow as if there is a slight wave to them. Perhaps they are resting on an almost calm sea and if I were to take a second photograph a few seconds later the rise of some of these words would be different. And so there is movement to the eye just as there is action from the words.
I found these words in a prayer book last week.
I was in temple. For Rosh Hashanah. The New Year. I have been going to temple with my parents these last few years. Making the trip back east from my west coast life to spend time each fall amidst the sweetly turning leaves of New England and the sweet and lovely faces of my mom and dad.
My priority is to be able to go with them to Kol Nidre. The night before the day of Yom Kippur, the holiest of days and the end of the ten days that is the start of the new year. Because of my longer visits this year, and last, I was able to be at both the beginning and will also be at the end of the ten day celebration that are these high holy days.
And so there I was just this last week, swaying to the music I love best from ancient times, with tunes sometimes made modern but just as often left as is and sung in deep and melodic strains. I sway and sing and listen when works are spoken from the heart or read aloud from the prayer book that lead us through the service. Sometimes I will read along. Sometimes. Often I just listen. Taking in the words without reading them is more meditative for me. The ebb and flow of Rabbi to congregation and then back again, the pauses to let music and song enter the service and those moments of silence that allow for us all to reflect on the connection we seek and which we have here in this place that is of our blood and skin.
But when I do glance down at my mother or father's book, held in their hands and often angled my way just in case i want to peek at the words that are written to be spoken out loud, sometimes I find a passage that lingers with me. Words that answer a question that I didn't know I had or spark a belief that hadn't yet become clear to me or capture a commitment that I am soon to make. And so it was that I found this passage, quickly read before the Rabbi spoke it aloud to us.
It matters little whether you speak out God's name, or Spirit, Source or Oneness. The message is the same. The divine flows through us and as such, the power of the divine is us - our best parts and our worst.
If you want to see God save the innocent, you must get off the couch and save the innocent. If you want to see God feed the hungry, you need to feed the hungry. If you want to see God stand by while innocent suffer, all you need to do is stand by and do nothing yourself.