On the Israeli "Boycott Law" and a wish for nuance

Poem: morning prayer


Some days I say good morning
while the hose splashes into the kiddie pool
and the cat sniffs curiously at its curls

my lightest tallit
a sweep of blue silk
across bare shoulders

Blessed are You
Who straightens the bent, I sing
as I reach for the heavens

and blessed is the One
Who speaks creation into being,
walking across a patch of wild thyme

the mosquitoes want to rejoice in me
so I swish my tzitzit
inscribing letters on the air

without a siddur my amidah is brief
though I linger on the prayer for healing
imagining your mother, my mother

the friend in hospice
whose words have been snatched
by cancer's insidious grasp

then swirl my tallit off
like a bullfighter's cloak
blue rippling around my fingers

it's time to go inside
I turn off the faucet
but Your abundance keeps flowing

One of the best lessons of parenthood thus far, for me, has been the integration of my prayer life and my "regular life." In rabbinic school (particularly at DLTI, the davenen leadership training institute) we spoke often about living with "prayerful consciousness," but I don't think I really integrated prayer with ordinary time until I had to -- until Drew came along and I was no longer able to take the luxury of long, slow, uninterrupted periods of prayer. These days it seems perfectly appropriate to sing morning prayers while I'm in the shower, while driving Drew to daycare, or -- as in this poem -- while refilling Drew's kiddie pool so that the waters will be warm by the time I bring him home in the afternoon.