Poetry

and Prayers

This Rock

Once upon a time
This rock was a mountain, 
God's mountain -
Crowned with snow
Wreathed in green
Trees
Fir Trees 
Always green
And kissed by rain
Time's endless tears
And caressed by wind
Time's endless hugs
Grandeur and greatness
Weathered away
Glory
Diminished
Eternity and majesty
Turned to pebbles
To sand
To dust
But for this rock
No longer here
But everywhere

The whole world is filled with God's glory

May 2, 2018 

© 2018 Rabbi Lewis John Eron

All Rights Reserved

Rosh HaShannah Never Comes at the Right Time

Rosh HaShanah never comes at the right time;
It is always too early or too late.
Who can remember exactly when
The wheels of our Jewish year
Intersect the cycles of secular time
And interrupt our worldly life?

Rosh HaShanah never comes at the right time;
Sneaking in right at the end of summer
After vacation and as school begins,
Or hanging around in the background
Only to arrive just after our autumnal schedule has been set.

Rosh HaShanah always comes before we are ready
To put aside our past and lay our burdens down.
There is always something else to do: 
Another job, another client, laundry to fold, a room to paint.


Rosh HaShanah always catches us by surprise.
Showing up with a Shofar blast
And a chorus of angels proclaiming,
“Hinei Yom HaDin!”
“The New Year is here – Judgment Day has arrived.” 
An unexpected summons,
Like being called to the principal’s office
Or an audit from the IRS.

So we stop, turn and listen
To the arresting voice within and around us
And gather together and pray
For peace and for blessings 
For us and our dear ones 
On this our New Year’s Day.  

 

© 2018 Rabbi Lewis John Eron

All Rights Reserved

There will be a day

(For Yizkor - Memorial Prayers)

 

There will be a day when our dead will be quiet

Their silent voices will no longer be heard

In our heads

When we sleep

Or fix breakfast

Or nod off

Or look at children

Grandchildren

Or flowers

 

There will be that quiet day

When strangers walk between the tombstones

Reading their names and dates

The brief words

Here lies:

Loving Father

Caring Mother

Devoted Friend

Healer – Teacher

Brother – Sister – Child

And puzzle at the Hebrew letters

 

That day will come

But by then

We will have gone.

 

September 10, 2018 

 

© 2018 Rabbi Lewis John Eron

All Rights Reserved

 

 

We are Made of Forgotten Stars

(For N'ilah - Closing Service for Yom Kippur)

We are made of forgotten stars
The light of the beginning
Or the next generation
Dust
We are
But 
Star dust
Once bright, then dark
And for our moment
A spark
To light,
Perhaps,
A star?

 

September 12, 2018

© 2018 Rabbi Lewis John Eron

All Rights Reserved

Lamah Sukkah Zu? - Why this Sukkah?

 

“Why have we built this sukkah?” the little child asks.

“So that we can play in it forever,” his smiling daddy replies.

 

“Why have we built this sukkah?” the adventurous boy asks.

“So that we can explore the earth together,” his caring dad replies.

 

“Why have we built this sukkah?” the questioning youth asks.

“So that we can remember the hungry and homeless,” his loving father replies.

 

“Why have we built this sukkah?” the young man asks.

“So that we may recall our youth and our love,” his wistful old man replies.

 

“Why do we build this sukkah” the new father asks.

“So our dreams may last forever,” the proud grandfather replies.

 

October 12, 2003

© 2003 Rabbi Lewis John Eron

All Rights Reserved

Stories

 

Years end, books end, lives end.

Stories?

They do not end.

They continue over the years, 

Unfolding and contracting,

Reaching in and out.

Characters enter and depart

And stories intertwine

 

Sometimes stories are written.

Sometimes stories are read.

Reading stories creates new stories.

Writing stories creates new readers.

Telling stories creates new friends.

New friends tell new stories.

 

Stories do not stop for time.

Stories do not stop for us.

We can jump in or not

Whenever we wish

Or better yet

Bring a friend along,

And show her

Letters,

And how letters make words,

And how words make sentences,

And sentences, paragraphs,

And paragraphs, chapters,

And chapters, books,

Which hold our stories,

Which never end.

So we get to live forever,

Always young, always old,

Sometimes wise,

But always alive,

In our stories.

June 11, 2013

© 2013 Rabbi Lewis John Eron

All Rights Reserved

Dead Jews Walking

 

Dead Jews walking –

This is not a Holocaust poem

Although some survivors are still walking

Slowly

With neighbors who used ration coupons

And wore Uncle Sam’s cloths

Or enjoyed Stalin’s hospitality

In Siberia or in the Red Army or both

Or hid during the Blitz

And then moved to the suburbs

Where they are now

Back again

After a house

An apartment

Florida

Great grandchildren

And medical conditions that would have killed their parents

Depression, depressing, depressed

At times and lonely too

Just packing for the next journey

To a world probably less strange

Than the one they now share with us.

 

January 2019

© 2019 Rabbi Lewis John Eron

All Rights Reserved

The New Suit

 

One thing I won’t need soon

Is a new suit,

Not until

The ones I own

Become

More outdated than I,

And I have to go

To a wedding,

Or a funeral,

The latter,

More likely,

But, hopefully, not mine,

And I need a new look.

There are always thrift stores and outlets.

So my old suit can be replaced for less money,

Just as I was when I retired.

 

January 2019

© 2019 Rabbi Lewis John Eron

All Rights Reserved

Dayan HaEmet

Burying Mom on a Rainy Day

 

The last word we said was true

Or was it real?

I’m not sure

Nor was I sure

Standing on shaky ground

Wet grass, teary trees, soggy hole

And a torn ribbon

Possessing too much of what I need – clothes

Holding too little of what I want – time

 

Endings are always true

Or real

Or so they feel

Beginnings less so

But who remembers

I greeted you crying

And so I said goodbye

And there I stood

With muddy shoes

Red south Jersey clay

Knowing the only

That my truth

Had changed

March 2019

© 2019 Rabbi Lewis John Eron

All Rights Reserved

Peace is Our Goal

Memorial Day 2019

Cherry Hill, NJ

 

Your dream was to be with us

Yet you gave your life for us

So please forgive us

If we sometimes forget

That:

 

Freedom is precious

And War marks a failure

Though Victory, opportunity

But we need to be brave.

For if Hatred divides us

Then Love can unite us

And Peace is our goal

 

May we remember

What we lost forever

And that through living comes life.

But Fear is our enemy

And Anger our foe

Though Hatred might divide us

Our Love can unite us

So help us be brave.

 

Hope will sustain us

And Memory maintain us

For you were our children

Our brothers, our sisters

Our neighbors, companions

And also our friends

 

So help us remember

That

When Hatred divides us

Your sacrifice can remind us

That Love will unite us

Our values will guide us

To wholeness, and wellness

Because peace is our goal

 

So please abide with us

And bless us and trust us

As we march on forward

To Peace, our shared goal.

June 2019

© 2019 Rabbi Lewis John Eron

All Rights Reserved

Lost Keys
(To my cousin, Liz Eron Roth, in memory of her husband, Danny Roth)

Do you remember that day
When I could not find my keys?
I put them in a safe place
So that I would remember
Where they were
But I didn’t.
So you helped me find them
And my safe place.

So, to be safe
I gave you the keys
To that safe place.

But then I lost you
And with you, my keys
And found myself
Shut out of that place
Which I thought would be safe.

So I will break the lock
And open my heart
For your love to enter
And your spirit depart
And now I remember
I don’t need a key
Since no place is safe
And to be safe is not free.

Lewis John Eron
December 28, 2019

© 2019 Rabbi Lewis John Eron

All Rights Reserved

Grandma’s Tallit

 

The old, worn, large wool tallit[1]

Missing its fringes

Which I thought was my grandfather’s

Actually belonged to his wife,

My grandmother,

Long after he had gone.

 

She was small

The tallit was large

And wrapped in it

She kept warm.

 

She kept the tallit

Missing its fringes

While missing her husband

Who had died.

 

She kept it safe

It kept her warm

And saved it for me.

I keep it in a draw

Wrapped up.

 

After he went niftar – died

And the tallit became pasul – void

She kept it with her

And it kept her warm

And it kept him present

And it kept her alive

Not forever

But for a very long time.

 

Wrapping oneself in a tallit is a mitzvah,[2]

Remembering one’s love is a brachah,[3]

Staying warm on a cold night is a michayyah,[4]

Nothing lasts forever

But even a broken tallit has enduring value.

 

 

[1] Tallit – a prayer shawl with fringes on each corner

[2] Mitzvah – a deed directed by Divine love

[3] Brachah – a blessing

[4] Michayyah – a revitalizing experience

Rabbi Lewis John Eron, Ph.D.

© 2018 by Lewis John Eron  Proudly created with Wix.com

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