October 14, 2023 | 29 Tishrei 5784
Torah: Genesis 1:1-6:8 Triennial: Genesis 2:4-4:26
Haftarah: I Samuel 20:18-42
Shalom from Bruce Washburn: This has been difficult and emotional week.
White Fire: Poetry on the Parashah
“That was the best time in my life. Only now that it is gone from me forever—
Only now, do I realize it.”
–Natalia Ginzburg, “Winter in the Abruzzi”
Our paradise is lost to us forever
The sword of fire menaces and turns
Reflecting in our eyes. We need no signage
To know this is the point of no return.
Our paradise is lost but recollected,
The leaves that danced and fluttered in the breeze
The flowers ever fresh and never fading
The fragrant fruit that beckoned on the trees.
Our paradise is lost but not forgotten,
The days we felt God’s voice like wind through leaves
When, smitten, we had eyes for just each other,
A ravishment we hardly dared believe.
Our paradise is lost, for that’s the nature,
Of paradise. It’s always just behind
That first year of our child’s life. Our courtship,
That summer on the beach, our hearts entwined.
What’s paradise but where we can’t now tread?
The sword of fire lights the way ahead.