A plague raged in Rabbi Akiva’s house
Disrespect was the match
that lit the communal fire.
that extinguished people’s lives.
Leaving only the ashes of misplaced good intentions.
A whole house in ruin.
How do we live after we caused the fire?
How do we repair in the face of looming nothing?
How do we begin after we end?
Let us clean out our lot.
Keep only chesed
Tear down our fences
Keep the wood for a new fire.
The kind that enkindles souls.
That raises good deeds and each one of us toward heaven.
Baruch ata Adonai, ohev amo Yisrael. Amen.
Praise to You, Adonai, who loves Your People Israel and who makes possible our love for each other.