Day 12 of the Omer
Day 14 of the Omer

Day 13 of the Omer


Of all the outbuildings
the loneliest is the workshop.

The round stone barn remains
sweet with hay, the meetinghouse

patiently awaits the next meeting
but the woodworking tools

miss the touch of weathered hands.
They're still bound in concert,

leather straps and belts, but
no one lifts the floodgate

to send meltwater churning through.
Sometimes I envy a life

of constant trembling before God.
That's not a non sequitur:

hands to work and hearts to God
was the intention

with which they shaped oval baskets
from gently bent wood,

gathered eggs, milked the cows
painted their buildings bright.

They believed redemption was at hand.
When we walk daily through the Sea of Reeds

when we love each other wholly
do we glimpse their rapture

feel echoes of their trembling
in our own pounding hearts?



Today is the thirteenth day of the Omer, making one week and five days of the Omer. This is the 13th day of our 49-day journey between Pesach and Shavuot, liberation and revelation.

In the kabbalistic paradigm, today is the day of yesod she'b'gevurah, foundation or generation within boundaried strength. I found myself thinking about generations, and about generation of power, and that reminded me of the laundry/machine shop at Hancock Shaker Village.

The penultimate verse hints at a Shaker hymn which I learned from Rabbi David Ingber of Romemu and which I sometimes use at my shul. It's called More Love.