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Posts Tagged ‘completeness’

‘Ufros Aleinu Sukkat Shlomecha ופרש עלינו סכת שלומך — Spread over us Your shelter of peace’ is a verse from the Hashkiveinu prayer which Jews say during their evening prayers.  Whether you believe that there is a Higher Power empowering us with peace or whether it comes from within, it is still a hope for many of us.  Most every one I know is seeking the protection of a peaceful shelter.

Here is what we will hope will become our Sukkat Shlomecha. May it be so. . .

Each time I connect with this verse through prayer, song, or study, I feel like I am spinning a cocoon of warmth and love around myself as a means of protecting my spirit from the world around me.  The irony here is that the word sukkat or shelter, also refers to a sukkah (a temporary structure that is far from solid).

In this moment, as I am trying to type this blog, another thought is coming to me.   A shelter of peace is created in many ways through a safe home, loving friends, and a connected community.  As I grapple with creating all of those things in my life and within a new community, my sweet, loving Maddie, my dog, has curled up in my lap and reminded me that she is a strong part of my shelter of peace.  Where there is love and connectedness, we can be at peace.

Reflecting on the use of word sukkat as a shelter leaves me wondering if whoever wrote this prayer realizes that most everything in life is temporary, but we have to find peace within the realities of each moment; if not we will go nuts.  Traveling in the dessert or for our harvesting, we dwelled in a sukkah; the structures were not meant to be permanent.  Is anything in our lives really permanent?

Our lives are full of impermanence.  Our relationships evolve on a continuous basis.  Our children grow, our friendships evolve, we move, we grow.  Our loved ones die and more loved ones are born.  And at the end of the day, we all have to find a way to create our own peaceful shelter.

Shalom or shlomecha is my favorite word in the entire world.  The root of shalom refers to wholeness or completeness; once you have wholeness, peace is possible. With every ounce of my being I pray for the feeling of completeness that comes when my spiritual world interacts with my essence.  I strive to create internally what I hope will also exist in my work, my community, and my world.  In truth shalom needs to begin with me before I can do the holy work of creating wholeness or peace for others.

May we all create ways to ‘spread over us Your shelter of peace’.

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