November Shabbat After Pittsburgh

My neighborhood is radiant in its mourning
The trees burst forth
with brilliant crimsons and golds
we waited so long to see
As if to spread a balm
over our weary, broken hearts
 
Today I saw the very face of G-d in the world
I saw it in children with Lollipops happily skipping into services 
I saw it when a woman, a leader in our community, lovingly helped her 97-year-old father, a Holocaust survivor, put on his tallit
I saw it when survivors of a mass shooting and hate crime came up to the Torah for a group Aliyah
I heard it in the voices raised in defiant love and sheer grit
I saw it in the community coming together to celebrate a bride and groom in our midst because it is Shabbat, because a newly married couple is to be celebrated even amidst our grief
because we turn our mourning into dancing
 
My neighborhood is radiant this afternoon in its mourning
Neighbors out strolling, greeting one another with Good Shabbos and Shabbat Shalom
Black hats and kippot mingling with jeans and nose piercings 
People eating and laughing and speaking of love
People praying to God in full-throated ancient melodies
People showing up en masse to stand witness
 
The leaves begin to make their final descent to the earth
like so many bodies we laid to rest this past week before their time
As the trees become barren, the earth reminds us once again to capture these moments
of the cycle in which nature gives us just what we need
This Shabbat looks nothing like last Shabbat
And for today, at least,
it is radiant
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email

Ritualwell content is available for free thanks to the generous support of readers like you! Please help us continue to offer meaningful content with a donation today. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Rituals

Shop Ritualwell - Discover unique Judaica products

The Reconstructionist Network

Serving as central organization of the Reconstructionist movement

Training the next generation of groundbreaking rabbis

Modeling respectful conversations on pressing Jewish issues

Curating original, Jewish rituals, and convening Jewish creatives

Count On Telling Your Story: A Ritualwell In-Person Immersion

Join us for Count On Telling Your Story: A Ritualwell In-Person Immersion on Sunday, June 9th. Mix and mingle with old and new friends, enjoy delicious kosher-vegetarian food and engage in a variety of creative, thought-provoking sessions exploring rituals, writing, and art.

Get the latest from Ritualwell

Subscribe for the latest rituals, online learning opportunities, and unique Judaica finds from our store.

The Reconstructionist Network