Wednesday, June 15, 2005


On Jori’s Bat Mitzvah

A rabbi tells a Hasidic tale
of a wanderer—
a man who knew
no Hebrew prayers.

One day the man
stood outside a shul,
listening to chants—
ancient sounds
mixed with shetyl soil.
His heart expanded.

He wrapped himself in a shawl,
walked into the shul
and quietly chanted the only Hebrew
he knew, the alphabet—
Alef, Beit, Gimmel.

God, translated the Hebrew letters,
spun them into words, and
words into a dance
of praise.

Alef, the sound of God’s breath—
May its music spread
through your life
filling you with a spirit of love.

Beit, the house of God—
May laughter and goodness
fill you with the dance of Miriam,
a song of praise
a blessed beracha.

Gimmel, for beginnings—
Today we celebrate,
wrapped in tallit, seen or unseen,
wrapped in words, heard or silent.

We listen to those ancient words
wrap each one with a holy
breath. We listen to you
add your voice to the
Torah’s voice
and celebrate.