Our Teacher

Our Teacher

You asked me why our teacher
was not present in the story this week.

He is present, I said, but hidden —
or quiet, I said,
he is the you in the first line [27:20]
Now you shall command them
then he recedes to where he lives
— the heart of the story
the quiet center.

For all the qualities we could remember him for —
we remember him for humility, you said.

Our teacher is an empty vessel, I said,
plenty of room for God.
He also leaves room for his students
he recedes so creativity can happen
there is no place empty of God
the vessel cannot be too empty
but it can be too full.

No room for God in a vessel too full,
you said.

So he does not come into the Land, I said,
and he does not preside over the sanctuary –
two activities of expressed leadership.
He presides elsewhere
the spiritual center —
none of our story could have happened
without him.

We know, you said,
but need reminders —
the difference between
what is rooted
and what is derivative —

what is source
what is appearance —

what is heart
what is skin.

jsg, usa

Maqam Sigah
Half-flat ¾ 1
Every Shabbat has a maqam, a musical figure,
associated with it.