Confession: A Poem for the Vidui

October 2, 2014Stacey Zisook Robinson, z"l

Although we may not think of Judaism as a religion of confession, we often are called to profess our sins – privately, between oneself and God. Indeed, the rabbis tell us we cannot attain t'shuvahT'shuvahתְּשׁוּבָה"Return;" The concept of repentance and new beginnings, which is a continuous theme throughout the High Holidays.  without it. Some complete a daily accounting; others rely on the rituals of Yom Kippur to perform this holy task.

This poem is my vision of how I stand before God – in all my doubt, with all my praise and my sins – to offer my confession, and so return.

I dance -
And rest
In the palm of Your hand.
I thought to stay
For a moment
Or a day,
At least until I caught
my breath.
There was a box of treasure
That I carried,
An offering
Of grace
And sin.
I will set fire to it.
And watch the smoke drift
And tangle
In the feathered wings
Of angels.

I don't believe in angels,
Or their glorious
Wings of
Opal and fire,
And their voices that
Sing hosannas to
Your name.

I will sing
A broken hallelujah.
My offering
Of ash and dust.
It is Yours--
The ash of my sacrifice
And the dust of stars,
The angels' tears
And their sacred indifference,
And the holy silence
That fills me
As I dance
And rest.
It is all in me
All of it
In every breath
And blessed sigh.

And I am so tired.
Even the dust of stars
Is heavy.
And so I will rest
In the palm
Of Your hand,
But I will no longer
Dance.

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