Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Shlepping out a Shtikel Hisbodedus

From Memo to Self by Ruth Lewis

Just At First

It's hard to speak words of faith
just at first.
They seem to catch in the throat,
to sit there and congeal into a lump,
seem to wedge themselves in the teeth,
become entangled between teeth and tongue,
alien intruders in the mouth,
unfamiliar-tasting as a foreign dish.
You think, Who am I - so far from perfect faith -
to speak such words?

You think, Who am I - so far from living up to this -
to speak such words?

You think, Others who are great
don't say such things
You think a lot of things.
It's hard to speak words of faith just at first.
What do you expect?
It's a new exercise,
bound to be uncomfortable,
straining muscles never used.
Just at first.
Then, a dam bursts inside,
and everything flows.

How to do Hisbodedus:


Waiting for the school bus.
"Look, Mommy! A balloon!"
A red balloon
floating above the buildings.
It disappears from view.
"It went to Heaven,"
he informs me.

"Let's daven to the Eibeshter,"
I say.
"Let's send our words up to Heaven like balloons-
red, blue, yellow, purple..."

He laughs.
The idea appeals to him.
We daven:
"Thank you, Eibeshter,
that I'm a Yiddishe yingele.
Thank you that I'm learning chumash...
Lookk Mommy!" He points to the air.
"There go our balloons!"

"What will the Eibeshter do
with all the balloons
that the Yidden send him?"
I ask.

He considers.
"He'll be happy with them!"

-Dixie Yid

(Picture courtesy of insideview)

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