Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Poem - Or

The sefer leans heavily against the shtender
while i drift through the sun-drenched window.
i fly out and high
across tree-spotted valleys and cityscapes.
i contemplate:
such a gift is this world
one could lose himself in its roaring possibilities
or consider rather
the giving and the Giver
reading the card before tearing the box.
And looking straight ahead
I find myself
in the middle posuk
of the middle perek
and breathing

Yisrael Kashkin

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Not with might

And I saw, and behold there was the candelabrum of the Sanctuary, golden through and through, carrying the source of oil on its pinnacle, seven pipes of oil leading to each of the seven lamps. And next to the source of oil, carried by it, two trees of the oil fruit, one to the right of the source and one to the left.” “Do you know what they signify?” “It is God's word to Zerubbabel: (Zech. 4,6) Not with might, nor by force, but with My spirit, says the Lord.”

The spiritual life of the Divine law is self-sufficient. It is victorious by means of its innate strength. It achieves victory without outside support, without state support, without military might. It carries sufficient energy to supply the lamp as well as the tree on which the fruits of its supply ripen. Although the difficulties facing Zerubbabel mounted steadily they were all destined to be solved. The spirit was the cornerstone to which the abundance of mercy would flow. מִֽי־אַתָּ֧ה הַֽר־הַגָּד֛וֹל לִפְנֵ֥י זְרֻבָּבֶ֖ל לְמִישֹׁ֑ר וְהוֹצִיא֙ אֶת־הָאֶ֣בֶן הָֽרֹאשָׁ֔ה תְּשֻׁא֕וֹת חֵ֥ן חֵ֖ן לָֽהּ: (Zech. 4,7)

R' Samson Raphael Hirsch, “Kislev III”, Collected Writings, Vol. 2, p. 225