All Of It

And it shall come to pass
because [ekev] you listen to these ordinances [Ibn Ezra: if you listen]
and keep and do them
God will keep the covenant and the mercy
the mercy
sworn to your ancestors. [Deut. 7:12]

the mystery of the uncommon conjunction
something a preposition might admire
ekev also connotes heel
referring to those acts
we might not be attentive to [Midrash Tanhuma 1]
those that are thrown under our heels [so to speak]
Rashi calls them the light ones
the ones that might not attract our attention
the unglamorous deeds.

There are no unglamorous deeds.
Even the conjunctions of the mitzvah world —
their lovely low-li-ness.

Every generation is a heel generation
every person a heel person
everything previous rests on us
every act every word every gesture
contributes inscrutably
to now —
this day.

We are the heel on which everything rests –
everything counts in some ultimate way
as hidden as the heel that supports
the weight of our bodies.

Everything turns on the lowly conjunction ekev
be a conjunction for a while
be a preposition
an article.

What you did and what you didn’t do
what you remembered and what you forgot
what you honored and what you desecrated
it all rests on the heel of your generation
maybe on you yourself
and one day it may be clear that everything
every single thing
was necessary
everything contributes
the big the small the good the bad
the beautiful the lowly the lofty
the intentions
the mistakes

all of it.


O holy Shabbes Inspiration Ekev
Maqam Sigah trichord: E half-flat F G

Every Shabbat is associated with a musical figure, a maqam,
Arabic cognate to the Hebrew for “place.”