Friday, September 21, 2007

Inner Light

A child who crawls
Like a youth that prays
Like me, yearns for closeness to G-d

A child who cries
Like a youth who waits
Like me, yearns for closeness to the Creator

He still isn't walking, still not speaking, tries to hold the key
That slips between his fingers that are wet with milk

The inner light in his eyes
All his life is ahead of him
He yearns for the candle that used to burn above his head*1.

A child who laughs
A youth who controls himself*2
I've caught the key – it slips away again.

The child sits up
The youth starts to calculate
And I've been yearning for the Teshuva of the heart for a long time

And like the child who tries to catch but doesn't succeed
Ratzo va'shav*3 – we come closer and we grow farther

To the inner and hidden light
Life between the forbidden and the permitted
I yearn for the simple and good laugh.

Now in my arms
A few more years on my shoulders
He sits calmly on my lap and smiles

He's living the now
I recognize my face in his
He lights the inner parts of my soul
With the light of his smiles

And like the child who's soothed by sitting on his father's lap
Our soul doesn't get soothed til we get there*4

The world's inner light
Life He gave to us all
The G-d who yearns for Man


Translation notes:

*1= reference to the Midrash about the life of a fetus. It is described as sitting inside the womb with an angel, learning Torah by the light of a candle over his head.

*2= "mit'apek"

*3= the Kabbalistic term for the tension within relationship with G-d. We cannot exist on the level of ecstatic bliss constantly (just as a person is not capable of running endlessly) yet we cannot be torpid either. There is the ecstatic state and then a necessary regression to "rest," to the mundane and then a return to the extraordinary.

*4= to heaven

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