Sunday, March 22, 2015

#BlogExodus: Baffled by “Bless”

I’m a little bit baffled about the meaning of the word “bless.”  Nothing Merriam-Webster says about it strikes me as particularly Jewish.  Same with the online OED.

On the other hand – and not surprisingly – the explanation offered by resonates with me:  “Throughout Jewish history, the deepest feelings and longings of the soul have been given expression in the form of blessings (brachot) for nearly every occasion, both ordinary and extraordinary, and a liturgy for both daily and sacred times.”

With apologies to master liturgist and wordsmith Alden Solovy and to my friend, the spiritual writer and poet Stacey Zisook Robinson, I offer this blessing for today:

Dear God, Creator of the Universe –

Yesterday we praised you for creation
and rest.  Today, praise for today.

For jammies and slippers,
Coffee and the New York Times,
Thinking and writing,
Phone calls, catching up,
Unmade beds, unshowered bodies, messy hair.

Space for ideas to wander
around in my head.
To attach like barnacles
To a boat’s belly
To other ideas
To grow, to morph,
To come into being.

Words on the page,
To take them in,
To ponder their meaning,
A page-turner.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God,
Sovereign of all,
who created this day,
and let me make it a lazy Sunday.

Inspired by Ima on (and off) the Bima, this post is one in a series marking the days of the Jewish month of Nisan leading up to Passover, which begins at sundown on Friday, April 3, which corresponds to 15 Nisan. If you want to play along, check out this year's #BlogExodus and #ExodusGram prompts.  This series of essays also is priming my heart, mind, and spirit to participate in a six-day summer writing seminar, Beyond Walls:  Spiritual Writing at Kenyon