You Are Standing

On Nitzavim You Are Standing
the sedra of 9/11/2001

We are standing today
all of us
the big shots
chumps
children
wives and sweethearts
–and the stranger
that is within
all of us
before Hashem The Name
God
–from the hewers of wood
to the carriers of water
all of us
today.

To cut a deal with You
So — You will remember the deal
You cut with our ancestors
good people
eager covenant cutters.

But not for us alone
do You keep this agreement
not for us who are here
today
but for those of us
who are not here
today.

This deal that I set before you this day
(You know which one I mean)
it is not too far from you
that you should say
who shall go for us
nor is it too hard for you
that you should say
who will do this for us.

It is not in heaven
and it is not hidden
and it is not distant
but right here
under your nose
it is in your mouth
and in your heart
it is sitting next to you on the bench
waiting for the bus
it is standing on the corner
in front of Starbuck’s
watching for the light to change.

Close
that you should do it.

Look
see
look see:
I have placed before you
the life and the good
the death and the not-good.

Love Hashem
walk like God
do the right things
the simple things and the complex things
figure out what you can for yourself
and be wise together
then you will multiply
and God will grow you
and bless you.

But if you don’t listen
and fly away
I tell you
I surely tell you
you will be lost
and your days will not be lengthened
on the land.

So I call heaven and earth together
to witness for you and against you
I have placed life and death before you
blessing and curse.

Choose life
choose blessing
love God
listen
glue yourself to God
for God is your life
and the length of your days —

God promised your ancestors
God promised them
I swear.

jsg, usa