"Listen up, y'all," says Shekhinah
who looks today like a teacher
in corduroy dress and sedate boots.
"Let the smartphone rest a bit,
or learn how to hear My voice
coming through its speaker.
Let your love for Me well up
like unexpected tears. Everyone serves
something: give your life to Me.
Let the channel of your heart open
and My abundance will pour through.
But if you prefer profit, if you pretend --
if you're not real with Me
your life will feel hollow
and your heart be embittered.
I won't punish you; I won't need to.
Your hollowness will be punishment enough,
and the world will suffer for it.
So let My words twine around your arm,
and shine like a headlamp
between your eyes to light your way.
Teach them to everyone you meet.
Write them at the end of your emails
and on your business cards.
Then you'll remember how to live
with the flow of all that is holy --
you'll have heaven right here on earth."
This is a creative rendering of the second paragraph of the shema, Deuteronomy 11:13-21. It was written for the service I'm leading this morning with Rabbi David at Rabbis Without Borders. (I offer deep thanks to David both for co-leading davenen with me, and for reading an early draft of this poem and offering wise suggestions.)