Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


I am raised by your arms

The following is a poem I received in a class on Judaism I took in seminary. The rabbi who taught it was teaching about the practical aspects of keeping the sabbath in his conservative congregation. In doing so he described his own family's home practices. Below is a text he would recite from memory to his wife each week. Rabbi Moline said that the power of coming back to these words each week was immense.

Frank and Victoria on September 7, 1985I have said these words to my wife on occasion and for a while emailed this to her every Friday (as the Jewish sabbath begins sundown on Friday and continues through sundown on Saturday). I reproduce the text here now in thanksgiving for 22 years of marriage this day. As you can see in the wedding photo here, my wife looks the same as when I married her, though that kid she married looks pretty young in the photo. We are celebrating tonight by eating at Boy Scout Troop 226's spaghetti supper at King of Peace, which is from 4-6:30 p.m. for those heading next door to the football game. It's a great meal for $5, so come join us in raising money for a good cause.


(Husband embraces and kisses wife, then takes her hand and recites:)

I love you
What you have done for me this week,
comforting me,
challenging me,
privileging me with your grandeur,
I shall never have the skill,
the genius
to articulate.
Dragged down again and again
by mundane and commonplace
jobs and burdens,
I am raised by your arms
once more
to your visions of
Because of you
I will never know despair
or the claws and clutch
of loneliness.
You are a constant revelation,
a reminder of all the Noble
and the Upright of the Earth,
and I shall never know for what reason
I have been graced by your love.
Companion. Ineffably precious friend.
Each moment is a Bracha-blessing
because of you,
each day a portion of the primal mysteries
of Sinai and Creation,
each tomorrow a taste
of Future Worlds.
My metaphors
are meek:
For you move my soul in ways
only the eloquence-of-silence can express.
And yet,
you see,
I must speak.

I love you.

From And God Braided Eve's Hair by Danny Siegel (United Synagogue of America, 1976).


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