The Temple of Our Humanity: A Poem for Tisha B’av

During Tisha B’av we commerate the loss of the Holy Temple, the brokenness we felt as a community as we watched our spiritual and cultural center go into ruin. In our society today there is a new brokenness, a new loss. We have witnessed a loss of love for our fellow human beings, children separated from their parents at our borders here in America, and worldwide there is fear of those who are different. This Tisha B’av I give this poem as a declaration of Hope, employing the Shekhinah as a mother wailer so that we can find “The Temple of our Humanity” again, this love for the other which we have so forgotten.

The Temple of our Humanity

Our Mother the Shekhinah mourns

She mourns because her children have forgotten each other

She mourns because she can no longer put her arms around us in solace because we have chosen not to see the beauty she sees within us

She desires her temple again amongst us, and oh how we cry for her presence!

Let us call upon compassion again and make it real

We have made many into the other and not undersood that we all have this same mother 

Have we forgotten how Eve was unjustly blamed?

Have we forgotten how Leah was treated by Abraham?

Have we forgotten how Miriam was punished for speaking her mind?

Have we forgotten the time when we were all strangers?

It is time now to build; healing will come along with the building

It is time for the Shekhinah to feel safe dwelling amongst us again

She desires to embrace us in solace

Why do we cry as if we know not what to do?

We are all עם אחד/Am Ekhad: One people, One Humanity

Let us build our temple, destroy our biases, surrender our selfishness, reject our own apathy, and find our mother again so she may cry no more

All that we need is in our hands:

Here is brick, here is mortar, let us build it again.

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