My breasts are full and tender:
I ache to give to you.
Say yes and I will bathe you
in flowing milk and honey.
Taste and see that I am good.
How I yearn for you to know me!
I want to quench the thirsts
that keep your heart from resting.
I crave your gasp of surprise
and your sigh of completion.
My heart's desire
is to share myself with you.
Open to me, beloved
so my precious words can let down.
This is another poem arising out of my study and reflection on the relationship between yearning and the revelation at Sinai. (See also I want.)
My breasts are full and tender. The Hebrew word for "breasts" is shadayim; one of Torah's names for God is "El Shaddai," which can be understood to depict God as a nursing mother.
I ache to give to you. See Pesachim 221a: "More than the calf wants to suckle, the cow yearns to give milk." (See also "El Shaddai (Nursing Poem)," the first poem I wrote after my son was born -- now published in Waiting to Unfold.)
Flowing milk and honey. Song of Songs 4:11 speaks of "honey and milk under your tongue." One traditional interpretation holds that this is a description of Torah's sweetness. Just as milk has the ability to fully sustain a newborn, so Torah is considered to provide all of the spiritual nourishment that we need.
(Reb Zalman z"l taught that this isn't necessarily so -- sometimes there are spiritual "vitamins" we can most readily receive from other traditions, rather than our own -- but the tradition's likening of Torah to milk is one of the reasons why it's customary to eat dairy at Shavuot when we celebrate revelation.)
Taste and see. See psalm 34:8: "Taste and see that God is good."
My heart's desire. This riffs off of a line from the Kabbalat Shabbat love song "Yedid Nefesh" -- in Reb Zalman z"l's singable English translation, "My heart's desire is to harmonize with yours." Here I imagine that God's heart's desire is to share God's-self with us.