Thank you for choosing to join me and artist Jacqueline Nicholls on this 40 day journey into a new year. I hope these reflections on the ripples of our being inspire private introspection and public conversation. Here’s today’s post:
We’ve walked and talked around in circles, spiraling within to now enter the innermost. The Holy of Holies is imagined as the center of all existence, the bullseye in the middle of the target, the chamber of secrets where the Holy Presence was once known to be Present. It’s where the ripples always start, still.
Back when there was a Temple in Jerusalem only the High Priest would enter there for a brief moment mid-atonement, to connect earth and heaven with incense and a brief prayer to connect our dots. That moment, invisible to all but him, would ripple out into space and time as a ritual of restoration, rebooting life, coming full circle to reignite our highest human aspirations.
Now there’s no temple rising, only memory and metaphor, and now every one of us can enter. We can – but do we? Do we dare? Am I truly ready to look eye to eye within my deepest I? And if I am, can I proclaim to Presence, “Here I Am – Hinneni”? We are invited to try.
We will stand together barefoot and hungry, flawed intentions written on our foreheads along with every shameful scar. Each tear and smile will be our honest offerings, our hopes for access into the soul within, into the holy living deep inside my life. If only for a few seconds of grace.
Once there, once here, just this, just that: A glimpse of the Eternal, the gratitude of Presence, the deep knowledge of deep Love that binds us in this circle of life, of death.
May every breath that animates our being lead us closer to our soul and to the center of the circle of this holy life. May we ripple in and out, again and again, on wings as silent as our lungs, dancing like branches, fingers interlaced in blessing, holding on to each other in this circle dance, in and out, expanding our circles of compassion, one holy of holies moment at a time.
Hinneni. Hinnenu. I’ll meet you t/here.
May we enter and exit in peace.
– Rabbi Amichai
Very excited for Lab/Shul’s fifth season of High Holy Days, back in Tribeca. We invite all ages to return to center, recharge soul, reclaim community and co-create our widening circles of care, compassion and justice.