Saturday, September 16, 2017

Sweet Cake (Rosh Hashanah 5778)

Last week, the air turned cooler, the smoke cleared, and the first leaves of autumn began to turn.  For us, too, the time for turning has arrived.  On Wednesday night, we will welcome in the new year, 5778.

I look forward to seeing many of you for the first time since returning from my sabbatical.  Over the course of the fall holy days, I’ll be sharing some of my experiences in Lithuania as part of a sermon series that I’m calling “Turn.  Pray.  Liberate.”  It’s based on the central line of the Unetaneh Tokef prayer, which teaches that teshuvah (turning), tefillah (prayer), and tzedakah (acts of justice) have the power to mitigate the severe judgment of the season.  My experience while paddling the rivers of my ancestral homeland—and meeting the people there—illuminated that teaching for me, and I’m eager to share the stories with you.

In the meantime, here’s a poem by my colleague Rabbi Alden Solovy that expresses my hopes and dreams for our CABI community during the Days of Awe:

Sweet Cake

Give me a drop of honey,
And I will give you the harvest moon.
Give me a silent tear,
And I will give you the roaring sea.
Give me a cup of milk,
And I will give you the rising sun.
Give me your secret prayer,
And I will give you my broken heart.

Give me a drop of honey,
And we will make a feast of this life.
Sweet cake,
To feed ourselves with joy and love.
Sweet cake,
To feed the world with awe and wonder.
Sweet cake,
Of milk and honey.
Sweet cake,
Of prayers and tears.

L’shanah tovah tikateivu.  May we all be written and sealed in the book of life for a good year.

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