Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Va'Yakhel - Creating a World

Bezalel was skilled in the combination of the letters by which the heavens and the earth were created.

He could only stand in the shadow

That was his name,

But the silhouette was sacred,

Not in God’s light-it blinds, it kills,

But His shade refreshes creation,

Each day re-moistening

The parchedness of the mouth ,

In the dew of early morning.

At the window I see creation

Ships of white floating

Beneath the translucent blue waters of the sky,

Waters that welcome not fish, but

Angels, and rising wisps of smoke.

Below, branches , bare and brown ,

Bending in the biting breezes of a winter’s

Silvery afternoon.

All I have are words, letters, and

A heart that seeks the right combination

By which to unlock the secrets of the soul,

God’s secrets that await the messianic arrival

Of the right word.

And when a momentary revelation

Crackles in the cortex,

To the thunder of the heart’s sudden thumping,

Like Bezalel, I clamor to combine,

To click one letter to the next,

Like atoms and molecules and cells

Exploding in the space of one’s soul-

And he saw all that he had written and it was…

Was it a creation that was good, but not good enough?

Tov-good, but never tov meod-very good.

We can only stand in God’s shadow, never in Her light,

And so my zeruf otiot- my mingling of metaphors

Can never touch the purity of Bezalel, whose zeruf was zaruf,

A composite of the spotless, a sanctuary untainted by

A mortal’s desperate reach for immortality.

Looking up, the clouds inch away,

Soon to vanish like all things in the sky,

Except for angels,

They have a task to perform,

God needs their praise.

And we must be grateful,

Content that we are a mere hairbreadth lower

Than them.

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