Posts by Rabbi Mara Young

Friday, August 28, 2020

Jerusalem Flowers

The year I lived in Jerusalem the winter was particularly cold
The mist descended gently from the 7 hills
And kissed the ground with weighty lips
Remaining low in the valley four months
Pesach cleaning swept the dampness from the corners of the kitchen
Brushed it out the front door where it dissolved in the sun
The water bubbles bursting with excitement
As they rose into the blue skies.
I hadn’t known it when I moved in,
But there was a thick rose patch that lined the walk to my front door
I didn’t notice stems or buds, just, one day, roses!
Their petals unrolled overnight
Exposing, unabashedly,
Open-palmed spirals of color
Tie-dyed whirls of springtime hallelujah.
Fanned out, sunsplashing,
the quiet gasp of resuscitation.
A triumphant return from the depths.
A surprising restoration of color to the soul.

Before Creation

Before Creation,

there was a dark, swirling void

messy and bleak,

the weight of its emptiness[1]

was planet crushing.


From this dark, isolated chasm,

a voice called out for recognition

and God’s spirit paused.


Like Joseph cries in the waterless pit,

and Jonah’s song from the belly of the fish.

Like the prayer deep in Hannah’s heart,

un-utterable but true,

a voice now calls out to you, Eternal One.


Pause again,

gaze upon the dark night vacuum,

the time before Creation.


Pregnant with possibility,

a soul, a whole universe,

is begging to be born.


Hover over the depths,

breathe life into them,

and once again declare,

“Let there be Light!”






[1] cf Sforno on Geneis 1:2,