Ten Days

Ten days of Teshuvah
one piece a day

Teshuvah is like the sea, said R. Samuel.
— Lam. R. 3:43

Float the sea of teshuvah
Give over to the ebb and flow
Ineffable sea
We will not master the sea.

Its rise and fall
Inscrutable
Here we are
Floating the Great Sea

Up and down the gentle cadence
Reliable Infallible
This is a sea we do not swim
We float –

When we learn that
We wonder how we Did
Anything
Else.

Ten Days One a Day

There are ten days of teshuvah/transformation
A piece for every day

Teshuvah: Go Home

An old drunk from Glasgow helped him come home
Only someone that lost
Can help someone else home

Emptied out
Failing in public ways
This helped too
What he thought he knew
Inadequate
This helped bring him home

To have nothing left with which to struggle
This helped bring him home

To lose in order to win
To be empty in order to fill up
This helped bring him home
To be down
Small

All helped carry him home

He came to appreciate
Everything

Rabbi Akiva was sitting next to him
On a bench
The day he took the bus home

Said Rabbi Akiva
Do what you’re supposed to do

Do it when you’re supposed to do it

And don’t do what you’re not supposed to do
Everything else

Commentary

Go home
Said Rabbi Akiva

Rooted

Rooted

Give ear O heavens and I will speak
and let the earth hear the words of my mouth
May my teachings drop like the rain
my talk flow like the dew
like storm winds upon vegetation
and like raindrops upon blades of grass.

Remember the days of old.

G*d is a rock
perfect
all G*d’s paths are just.

From his hands Moses picked out a lightning bolt
that had burned itself into his flesh
he threw it to the ground
Give ear O heavens
let the earth hear the words of my mouth
he plied a thunderbolt out of his teeth
and buried it in the ground,
he began to teach:

G*d was like an eagle
arousing its nest
hovering over its young
spreading its wings
carrying them
touching not touching.

Compassionate eagle
returning to the nest
not to disturb its young,

Protecting eagle
covering in flight
G*d covers us flying flying.

Blessing dwells and awakens the life force within
rooted we are
inwardliness – awakening
heaven and earth
the stories and the written text
let the teachings drop like rain
bringing forth fruit,

Remember the days of old.

So you got fat
G*d would have suckled you with honey from a rock
and oil from a flinty stone
butter of cattle milk of sheep
fat of lambs
but you became thick
and kicked —

Well, you can always come back.
Return, people
kick and drink the good juice from the grape
unfermented blood of the grape.

Give up your non-G*ds
non-people
become real —
you’re a generation of reversals.

Who is a rock
who is perfect
whose paths are just —
what is the climbing vine
the fructifying rain.

Remember the days of old
understand the years of generation to generation.

Return to G*d
I will heal their disloyalty
I will love them freely.

Tell them
they can always
come home.

He spoke all the words of this song
into the ears of the people
He and his successor.

Then G*d spoke to him on that very day —

apply your hearts to all these words
for it is not an empty thing
it is your life.

jsg, usa