Ten days #3

This way

This way,
said the Rav**
he shuffled into our meeting
introduced us to the teaching
he brought down from the Baal Shem Tov.
Exodus 3:3, Rabbi R said, God speaks to Moses
the bush burning but unconsumed.
Moses turns away,
I will turn away now
and see about this bush
how it remains unconsumed.

Turn away?
Check the Rashi.

Rabbi R became Rashi
I will turn away from here
and approach There.
Then the Rav became the Baal Shem Tov
that’s teshuvah, he said.

Now I know teshuvah —
process not performance
journey not destination
not sin-based
change-based
not goal-taking
movement.

Unstuck.

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