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Posts Tagged ‘ufros aleynu’

“May Shekinah’s radiant and abiding love and brachas
shine upon your faces, children, women and men of Paris
May the Compassionate one grant wisdom, compassionate action
and wise guidance for the ones that implement the laws and just action.
You are loved by unending love, and know you are not
alone. We stand, sit, sing with you in prayer, sisterhood
and brotherhood, deep love and life.”
Words of love by Lori Wynters

small chai

Devastation.
Destruction.
Terrorism.
Hatred

and

Prayer
Action
Love
Peace

and

Visioning
Believing
Dreaming
Hoping

There is no option
Moving forward
Reaching for the stars
Creating light

We have our hands, we have our hearts. If we want to find peace, we have to create it. And for those who are despondent, may I be a person who creates the light to lead the way until they can do it for themselves.

May my prayers reach God and my heart reach humankind.
May actions and love speak louder than words.
May I make a difference in all the right ways.

You and I, we both have a village that we cherish; we live in a world that is yearning for peace. My prayer, my hope, my belief is that together our villages can stop hatred from spreading and inspire love of humankind to spread.

ופרש עלינו סכת שלומך
Ufros Aleynu Sukkat Shlomecha
Spread over us a shelter of your peace

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‘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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I really thought our sukkah was missing; it wasn’t.  When I couldn’t find the sukkah last week it triggered a deep sadness that wouldn’t stop flowing.  Somehow it looks like I needed to release some intense pain, the kind that sits in you kishkas (guts) and feels like it will never ease up.  The good news is that the painful trigger has allowed me to process some unresolved pain and my sukkah was found too!

I drew this during my teen years, it always represented deep sadness and renewal too. Each time I look at it, I see pain as well as the perseverance. Life is.

Sometimes dreams turn into reality; sometimes reality becomes a nightmare.  We don’t always have a choice how we walk through life experiences. Life happens and we expect ourselves to navigate the turbulent waters and find balance during the storms. The route we take during the challenging times often makes it possible ‘to keep our head above water’, but at some point in time, we have to crumble.  In many situations, this happens way after the crisis has passed.

Last week I crumbled;  I succumbed to pain that had sliced open my heart for so many years.  The trigger was an event that should have been  nothing more than a troubling moment, but instead the moment temporarily shattered my heart and devastated me.  We don’t always face pain when we are in the midst of it; often we have to maintain our cool until the crisis is over.  Good? No.  But reality it is.

The pain of losing my sukkah in the move from Maryland to Arizona made no sense until I realized that the pain had more to do with unshed tears and the nightmares that life brought to my son Aryeh and our family.  (You can read more about the reality at http://wp.me/pthnB-ha).

While the sukkah has been found and the deep sadness released, there is an awareness of my own fragility.  My heart is still tender; I still find my eyes welling up with tears, but at least the sobs have finally been realized and I am now on the mend.

I am looking forward to building my sukkah this week as I pray and chant the following words.

פרש עלינו סכת שלומך Ufros Aleinu Sukkat Shlomecha
Spread over us the shelter or sukkah of your peace,

May these words resonate true for each of us.  May we all feel safe in the cocoon of life.

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