Day 1 of the Omer
Day 3 of the Omer

Day 2 of the Omer



Let Me be known! God said,
and amino acids bloomed
in the amniotic sea.

A semi-permeable membrane
divided waters outside
from waters inside.

The ribosomes received
their names and tasks
and it was good.

But restive creation
hungered for knowledge
the womb couldn't provide.

Eden pushed us out
through narrow straits.
We can't go back.

Sometimes we wail.
This world's manna
isn't what we remember.

But a crackle of matzah
a drop of seder wine
quiets our cries

reminds us of heaven.
Let this waybread be enough
for our great journey

toward the One Who flows
with milk and honey,
Who yearns to be revealed.

Today is the second day of the Omer, the second day on our journey between Pesach and Shavuot, liberation and revelation.

(Again, I mean "today" in the Jewish sense; the second day of the Omer began on Sunday evening at sundown, and will end on Monday evening at sundown. I'm posting these poems in the morning, and those of you who receive them via email subscription are probably getting them around East Coast dinnertime, toward the end of this "day" of the counting.)

One of my favorite Hasidic teachings about God is that God created because God yearned to be known. This poem also plays with images from Bereshit (Genesis) -- God's creation of the universe, and also the expulsion of the first humans from Eden -- as well as images from scientific description of life.

Torah describes the ancient Israelites wailing in the desert, missing the certainties of servitude. What do we miss about what we've left behind? Can this heightened time in our religious year bring us comfort?

Shavuot, the end of this 49-day journey, is when we celebrate the revelation of Torah. Torah is likened to milk and honey. It's also considered, in Jewish tradition, the way we come to know God. What will we receive this year when we stand at the foot of Sinai and open ourselves to what comes?