Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Jewel of the Whole Earth

View from Mount Scopus, Jerusalem

Israel Pilgrimage—2006

It’s nighttime—
We arrive at Mount Scopus
overlooking Yerushalayim[1]
The stars glimmer
in the heavens
and The City is lit up
like the jewel of all the earth

Wishful, I want
there to be fireworks
want the surroundings
to express the excitement
stirring inside of me—
Suddenly, I hear fireworks
boom, boom, booming
although I cannot see
their luminous splendors
bursting in the sky

We partake of the fruit
of the vine—
our cup of blessing
as we prepare to enter in

Our rabbi prays
for the peace of Jerusalem
prays the Shema[2]
prays the Shehekianu[3]
covers his head
with a magnificent tallit[4]
embellished with
the Star of David and the Lamb
He lifts his hands and prays
the Aaronic Benediction

Our joy cannot be contained—
This is the City of Our Great King

I watch a tear
trickle down
my rabbi’s face

Maude Carolan Pych

[1] Jerusalem
[2] The central prayer in the Jewish prayerbook (Siddur)
[3] A common Jewish prayer to celebrate special occasions
[4] prayer shawl

For details about ordering my little book of poems about pilgrimage, scroll to the end of the blog.

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