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A Blessing for the New Year

A Blessing for the New Year

There are pages
even in my new machzor
that I imagine stuck together,
remnants of honey from my daughter’s sticky fingers,
sacred fragments
of words and stories
and possibilities
one atop the other
like sandcastles on a beach
trying to describe a person’s life
full of tiny specks
and bold mysteries.

bound and stuck,
like so much of life,
sweet and stubborn,
they help us gulp down the bitter
with the delicious.

we separate
sticky pages
and sticky hearts
lest we tear them
and smudge
or erase or wreck words
and worlds and loves
that call us toward redemption and hope to
confront our mistakes
our misdeeds
our transgressions
our failings,
all the messy stuff that makes us
sweat and makes us

So much history
in the stories and pages—
footnotes of affections
and corners to hold places we intend to return to
and bland dislocation on the margins;
Cries in the center of each folio for
A human alphabet searching for holiness and wholeness
Dreams of purpose
All pages in a sacred text
we hold
to absorb
and write anew.

T’kiyah vibrates in our palms.
We nest the spine of our books
in our palms:
Torn and worn and
hopeful and new;
with the faint aroma of sweetness on our fingertips
we reach to pen the next verses
of a year, a song, a day
with the inconceivable hope
that people once enslaved by Pharaoh will
discover the nectar of courage in their souls to confront
today’s pharaohs
and join with those in exile to be free;
to pen a poetic embrace of the Divine
and emerge from the wrestling match
on top.

We pray our fate is better than the ram’s
that our wandering isn’t exile
and our wondering leads our faith to justice and righteousness
that our purpose is to taste the sticky residue of eternity on our tongues
that we face each other
in forgiveness
that humility is balm to our inevitable sting;
that we sing with sweet love
in abundance.

And we forget not
the bees
who braided honeycombs
of holiness and enduring faith
the odor of sweetness dazzles
our tongues
and the pages
of our books shine golden
with love.

Rabbi Michael Adam Latz is the senior rabbi at Shir Tikvah Congregation in Minneapolis, MN.

Rabbi Michael Adam Latz
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