Shanah Tovah U’metukah

The year 2020 has been a strange year, and so has the Jewish year of 5780.

As the sun sets tonight, we hope and pray for a better year.

What will 5781 bring us? Do we dare to dream of health and happiness?

Or shall we begin to brace ourselves for a long, hard winter?

It is our hope which will sustain us, and we pray for a better year.

5781 brings us hope, and another step closer to coming back together.

Serenity (a poem)

we talk about serenity

but I’m not sure what we mean

there have been times

I was serene

but it’s few and far between

I want it to be a permanent state

of being

an emotion that stretches into

the future, forever

but that’s impossible

like asking to control the weather

so, as days go by

& I grow older

I hope I grow wiser, too

settle for serene moments

instead of reaching for something

that’s beyond my feeble grip

(Photo by Eric Muhr on Unsplash)

Book Review: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

I’m always reading heavy and serious books like Kafka, the classics, or dystopian science fiction. So I decided recently to read something a little more light-hearted for a change of pace.

The book I picked up was from Rachel’s shelf – The Golem and the Jinni, a 2013 debut novel from Helene Wecker. The novel still has some serious themes, but it wasn’t the type of angsty existentialism I usually dig into.

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Radiance (a poem)

Look to the light, my love

turn away from these screens that

tether, pull us into a spider’s web –

the ebb, flow of a life filled

with strife, makes my heart sore

I yearn for more love

which is why I turn to you

no matter what happens here

look to the light, my love

the radiance of happier days.

(Photo by Nicola Fioravanti on Unsplash)

Shabbat (a poem)

I knew nothing of Shabbat before you

or the prayers we say on Friday nights

as we break off pieces of challah + let the candle

burn all night by the window –

I’m happy you’ve taught me, it’s brought me

a new ritual in this life, the life we share together.

(Photo source: shutterstock.com)

Saying Grace (a poem)

We say grace before meals, give thanks to God

for food in the fridge + what’s set before us

knowing not everyone is as fortunate +

there are some, right here in this city,

who are starving + scraping by –

God, thank you for our daily bread +

nourish those not at our table.

(Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash)

Everyday Saints

I was a mess in college.

Two years before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I was enrolled at a university in New York with somewhat of a life trajectory, a moral compass, and many good qualities.

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Soldiering On (a poem)

We can soldier through these dark hours if we hold on to faith + meaning –

the government tweeted antisemitism last night, the paranoia set in

we covered the webcam, spoke in whispers

debated if it was intentional

I thought of Viktor Frankl + man’s search for meaning –

humans can exact great suffering on each other,

but they can never take our souls.

(Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash)