Sunday, October 9, 2016

Haazinu, Revisited: A New Rendering.

Haazinu, Revisited

By Rabbi David Hartley Mark

                                                Hear me, O’ Cosmos, when I declaim,
                                                Let the Firmament absorb my words.
                                                May my thoughts descend like acid rain,
                                                Sizzling into the suffering earth,
                                                Soaked with generations of blood and strife
                                                Roiled with rivenings of man against man.
                                                The Name of my Lord will I shout to the skies:
                                                Glory to God in the Highest….

                                                I cannot fathom the ways of Adonai Elohim,
                                                Even granted my limited mortal mentality;
                                                Considering that He is perfect, I not,
                                                And that all His ways are inscrutable.

                                                Technology, Science, Advanced War-Machines—All
                                                Have attempted to raise us mortals to His status:
                                                Some succeeded, some failed;
                                                Some healed, some killed, and will go on killing.
God spoke, or was silent;
                                                We went on in our struggles.

                                                Do not say, “The past was better,”
                                                But say, “We were younger,
                                                More hopeful—“ for Hope
                                                Remains God’s greatest treasure.
                                                It is easy to complain,
                                                To be cynical,
To smirk at Dreamers and Idealists,
Or to be silent, the greatest Friend to Evil.
                                                Satan may or may not exist,
                                                But his helpers run rampant
                                                Around the globe,
                                                And the Yetzer Ha-Ra,
                                                The Evil Inclination,
                                                Flourishes on TV, computers, our cellphones,
                                                And in our minds.
"If it feels good,
                                                Do it" is not the best advice
                                                For establishing a Moral Civilization.

                                                From the time of our youth,
As we grow and mature,
                                                We face blessings and burdens.
                                                The manner we take on
                                                All of Life’s happenstances
                                                Stiffens our backbone
                                                And tests our courage.

                                                Will God suffer with you?
                                                Is your God all-perfect?
                                                Is it all your perception?
                                                Are you standing in judgment?
                                                Or do you judge Adonai?
                                                If I had the answers,
                                                O suffering children—
                                                I would not be a human,
                                                But godlike my own self!

                                                Our mission in Spirit
                                                Is coming together
                                                In godly congregations
                                                To help one another,
                                                To suffer our burdens,
                                                To quest personal answers,
                                                To seek faith unending—
We sinners and doubters,
                                                We cynics and skeptics,
                                                We children of heroes,
                                                Those who went before us—

                                                And God, somewhere in us—
O God of the Cosmos!