Ps. 90: A Person in Prayer

Carol Rose is a writer, educator and spiritual counselor. Her published works include Path of The Mothers (poetry and prose, Albion-Andalus Books), From the Dream (poetry, Albion-Andalus Books), and Behind the Blue Gate (poetry, Beach Holme Publishing). In 2017, she and her husband, Rabbi Neal Rose, received the Lieutenant Governor’s Award of the province of Manitoba for the advancement of interreligious understanding.

Moses – a person in prayer 

i settle myself, sense your mountainous presence

the earth & the stars a comforting backdrop 

Your gaze a mirror reflecting 

our triumphs, our failures, i dream

of blossoming without death, waken 

to feelings of dread and despair

i turn away

life suddenly seems so frail, so brief, seventy 

maybe eighty years, not nearly enough

to craft Your vision for us, not nearly enough

to enable our children, or theirs’, not nearly enough 

to create, rejoice, to foster change. i scan the horizon

search for wisdom, teach us the value of our days 

teach us to value our days, let Your hands bless

our own, let our works birth healing, bring peace

 

Rabbi Audrey Marcus Berkman has served as Rabbi of Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, MA since 2017. Ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2007, where she was the recipient of a Wexner Graduate Fellowship, she has served in a variety of rabbinic roles as a teacher, chaplain, cantorial soloist, and lifecycle officiant. Passionate about music, poetry, Israel, the Hebrew language, humor, and dogs, Rabbi Berkman lives in Newton, MA with her husband, three sons, and rescue dog.

Psalm 90

It’s too fast. 

Rivers and land and people and oceans

everything creating and colliding,

sleeping and waking,

long before we arrive

long after we depart.

And from the time our breath takes root in us

we believe we will dwell among all this doing forever.

Breath, brain, and body seem so loyal and so ongoing

until they do not. 

And then the longing.

When we become,

world emerges for us, streams into our eyes

in a moment, for a moment,

but from the vantage point of forever

we emerge for You, from You.

We are a constant forgetting,

we are a turning towards, sometimes—finding refuge in remembering how quick and eternal it all is (the remembering, itself, a sanctuary, an embrace).

We are a turning away, sometimes—closing ourselves in fear or in anger, 

when the glimpse in the mirror shows us

hopes and sadness that have stretched or hardened our hearts

for so long, we think,

and not nearly enough

for all this wanting.

 

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The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.