Thursday, September 09, 2010

An Invitation to Dance

Our rabbi Esther opened today’s service with this poem from Hafiz, a 16th century Sufi poet:
The God Who Only Knows Four Words
Every child has known God.
Not the God of names.
Not the God of don’t.
Not the God who never does anything weird.
But the God who only knows four words.
And keeps repeating them, saying:  ‘Come dance with me.’
She suggested that Rosh Hashanah is our invitation from God to dance as we celebrate LIFE before the proverbial DEATH of Yom Kippur.
Her sermon asked us to consider two questions:
  1. Does this synagogue matter to her Jews?
  2. Does this synagogue matter to her city?
In either case if the answer was ambivalence or NO, she suggested that we have work to do!
She asserted that entities can only matter to one another if they have a mutual understanding, a common bond.  She challenged each of us to join Temple Micah’s new “Listening Campaign”, which will pair us up in an effort to start an institution-building dialogue.
She closed her remarks with a quote from Mary Oliver’s poem “When Death Comes”:
When it’s over, I want to say:  all my life I was a bride married to amazement.  I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
Her call to action fits right in with my plan to find things to do that make a difference in the world and that keep me engaged with my fellow humans!  


Anonymous lr said...

I hope everyone at Temple Micah has such an enthusiastic and active response to this holiest of seasons. You attend services with interest, grasp significant ideas and plan an action to carry out those ideas. You, Barbara, are a dancer extraordinaire!

7:31 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

Happy New Year!

1:14 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

This is so fascinating, Barbara, such sermons and thoughts really grab me. We have a radio program here, called Shabat Shalom, and I also love to listen to that. So much wisdom in Judaism!
And I love this idea of dancing with God - yes, I think that is what I am doing. My yesterday`s English student to whom I showed my toy cow who speaks two foreign languages (I will blog about that) said, I am not good at English and French, but I enjoy coming here! And that means he understands my joyful attitude towards life! I hope that one day my pupils will remember me for that.

3:26 AM  
Blogger Merle Sneed said...

I think your rabbi is a wise woman.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

LR -- People were actually asked to fill out a card committing to the "Listening Campaign". I think there were a lot of cards filled out! It's a pretty enthusiastic crowd. Our immediate project is to each fill a bag with NEW underwear, which will be given to local homeless shelters. The goal this year (by Yom Kippur) is 6,000 pieces.

Gary -- Thanks so much!

Angela -- Dancing with God goes across all religions, doesn't it? I'm always reminded about your enthusiasm for life in general!

Merle -- She is so wise to be so young. She continues to amaze me!

9:49 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

oh! I love, "Come dance with me!" It's what I hear whenever I'm out of doors.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Pauline -- Ours is definitely the same God. Oh yeah!

5:21 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Happy new year, Barbara! Your rabbi Esther sounds like a great guide into any new year.

10:01 PM  

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