For Will Soll on his Birthday

kabbalah of age

At fifty six You Are

For Will Soll on his birthday

Lamed is thirty
Mem is forty
Nun is fifty

In your thirties you were the acquiring mode: lamed, learning.
At mem, the source in the Crown flows into Wisdom
the flowing stream, the source of wisdom,
the beginning of consciousness, at forty —
there are thirteen channels of flow,
like the thirteen attributes of mercy
and the thirteen principles of understanding.

The lamed soars into the above but the mem
is folded over onto itself, it has a completion
the lamed lacks, it has a self contained quality
that begins with mem, with forty.
Before forty it is false,

now with fifty you are nun
swimming in your wisdom,
like the fish, one with your medium
coursing through your wisdom
as natural to you now as the water is to the fish
you have earned it —
by being alive.

Six is the vav*
The up and down letter in form
Linking heaven and earth —

The holy And in content
Last year the hey
Opened up ever so slightly
But the vav –
The holy And
Me and you
You and God
The world stands on And
It’s an And world.

When we cannot find the And
We are lost
There is no We without And,

Above all there is the connection in form
The upper and lower worlds.

Let’s stir up the lower and the upper worlds
let’s whip up the wisdom from below.
We are taught
the upper worlds will not respond
until the lower worlds bestir themselves.

Stir it up.

From the kitchen
wisdom will rise
from the dinner table
the true peace
integrative peace
from the hidden sources of wisdom
knowledge will plump like the moon.

This could be the year
the sign of vav, conjunction
the power of language to integrate
the perfect vav before its brokenness
words to make peace out of the pieces
to lift up the lower union
the deep story.

Vav the necessary connection
up and down, vertical.
Also horizontal, the holy and
vav ha-chibur.
In the beginning
God made the heavens
and the earth.

This could be a wonderful year,
And

as always
— life is a commentary on the text of God.

james stone goodman
united states of America

*The vav is the vertical blessing, upper world lower world, in form,
also the horizontal blessing, the holy And, vav ha-chibur, in content.

Peace #11

From Psalm 121

A song of ascents

I lift up my eyes unto the mountains

From Ayin will my help come.


[Esa ei-nai el he-ha-rim

mei-Ayin ya-vo ez-ri]

From Ayin

From Nothing

Consult the silence

The name beyond names

Nothing.

I am Nothing

In Nothingness

Salvation,

If you were thirst

If you were hunger

Your waiting

Would keep the world for peace.

jsg, usa

Peace #10

Jeremiah’s Plan for Peace

Behold, the days come says God
— Jeremiah 31:30 ff.

A new agreement
a starting over always
My teachings shall I place
in your deepest —
in your hearts.

I will be God
you will be human beings
we will each live
up to our dream
of one another,

Certain knowledge
no one will blame
accuse or intimidate —
everyone will know Me,
from the littlest to the
highest
starting now.

The past –
entirely forgiven.
I have forgotten it
we will cease calling it
past.
it is now
— the future.

Who lights the fires of the future?
Who writes the stories?
The sun by day
The passing of the moon
the lights by night
who stirs up the Sea?

If you can measure heaven above
search out the earth below
— just as likely
I will abandon you.

Never.

jsg, usa

Peace #9

I am your double coursed
Sister

I am rescuing you
Slowly slowly
My modal figure
My yearning for voice.

I am a single line
I am the melodic snake
Advancing by half-flats.

I am the hands of Ziryab
The blackbird
The one born in Baghdad.

I am oud player to the court
Of the Umayyads
Cordoba
8th century,
Ziryab
The dark one.

I am your hands
I am the reeshi in your hands
The eagle feather
As you pluck the strings.

I am the fifth course of strings
Introduced by Ziryab –

the soul —
added to the four courses
the four humors of Aristotle.

I am the soul —
The fifth course.

I am the Jew
Oud player to the court of the King of Morocco
I left everything in Rabat
Now I sit in Beer Sheva
And I will not leave again.

I am the hands of the old man
Sitting by the Seven Wells
The sixth course
A single string
I am resolute
The absolute
The sixth course.

I am your hands.

jsg, usa

Peace #8

Rashi’s plan for Peace
[see Genesis 45:24]

Joseph discloses himself to his brothers
You sold me out

I am Joseph your brother

The brothers are going home
To reunite the family
Do not become agitated on the way [Gen. 45:24]
The last Joseph says.
What do they have to become agitated about?

Consult Rashi the poet,

Do not occupy yourselves with a matter of halakha [law]
Do not take long steps
Do not quarrel along the way about the matter of Joseph’s sale.

Rashi calls this the pshat [the plain sense].

Rashi’s plan for peace

Don’t get theoretical
Stay away from general principles.
Make peace out of relationships,
person to person, not theory to theory.

Take small steps, one at a time, make peace manageable.
Peace will take time. Start with a treaty.
Start with a cessation of hostilities.

Peace starts now.
Stay out of the past,
out of guilt, recriminations,
who did what to whom,
begin the peace now.
Stay away from blame and shame.

Let the peace begin.

jsg, usa

Peace #7

First Lesson

He knew nothing about me
I knew nothing about him.

Home in Jerusalem three hours south
More practice, more that night.

Before the separation of Isaac and Ishmael
We are the music of Abraham.

The oud had opened my mouth,
It was singing the world.

jsg, usa

Peace #6

Jeremiah’s Plan for Peace

Behold, the days come says God
— Jeremiah 31:30 ff.

A new agreement
a starting over always
My teachings shall I place
in your deepest —
in your hearts.

I will be God
you will be human beings
we will each live
up to our dream
of one another,

Certain knowledge
no one will blame
accuse or intimidate —
everyone will know Me,
from the littlest to the
highest
starting now.

The past –
entirely forgiven.
I have forgotten it
we will cease calling it
past.
it is now
— the future.

Who lights the fires of the future?
Who writes the stories?
The sun by day
The passing of the moon
the lights by night
who stirs up the Sea?

If you can measure heaven above
search out the earth below
— just as likely
I will abandon you.

Never.

jsg, usa

Peace #4

Peace on the Edge

Everything has a dual nature
My heart is two
Our prayer place is built of two
The meeting of two worlds like a city joined together
If only we could make the peace prayers properly
Twice
The world would be redeemed

Master of all the worlds
All the prayers are peace
Drip drip dripping
But the words have no lift

The lower worlds are bestirring themselves
The Great Heart of the World longs for peace
We are waiting for the true persons of compassion
You know who they are
We are yearning for peace
the silent peace, the true peace

May great peace flow from the upper worlds like a fountain
(Y’hei shlama raba min shemaya)
It will be beautiful
Like our lives

But for now
Save us
For a few more
Twenty four
Hours

amen

Poems for Peace

Until the cease-fire
I am writing
poems for
peace

true peace
the enduring peace.

#1 — For Mazen

Whenever you speak
I will listen for Umm Kulthum

What if she were singing
In both our heads

And we had no history at all
Other than that

#2 – for Mazen

Mazen, I heard you say
You chose peace
I chose peace also
And I am built stronger in peace
Independent of events
Because you chose peace

When I am most uncertain
I think of you

#3 – for Fuad

I hesitate to call you
Though I can’t sleep
I am occupied by the news
Every night

And I am loyal to my family
I am missing you as friend or
Holding my breath
Until a cease-fire

And I can walk into your store
Resume
The drinking of tea

Where it left off.