Ritualwell

Tradition & Innovation

Hukat - Balak: On the Heels of Korakh

a person with short, dark hair and a trimmed beard and mustache is shouting with their eyes clenched shut and their hands pressed against their ears. They are wearing a navy blue t-shirt and standing in front of a white background
Devoid of distraction
That tells us we are something other
Than what we thought we are, 
I sense the soil, 
Still, within my mouth.
 
It is not a surprise, really,
That we all find ourselves,
Naked, and standing
At the pinnacle of our private Sinai,  
Holding out the clothes 
To whomever might fit them better.
 
Anger is a wretched thing.
Lonely, made lonelier still -
Because of its cost.
 
We underestimate, some times, the power of ritual:
Ritual that comes with our mother’s milk
Ritual that holds out a destination,
And from such a distance.
 
An Angel arrives to remind,
“Grief comes with question?
“What is this stuff of grief;
“From whence does it come?”
 
My father didn’t offer me many wisdoms,
And most of those,
Barukh HaShem,
I have almost out-grown. 
But there is one that stuck:
One he would always came back to say
More times than I would need a reminder.
“Anger is just a whole lotta hurt.”
 
He knew that I "got him."
 
We must remember:
Anger struck the rock
But it was also anger 
Releasing a spring
Of satisfying need.
And yes, it hurt.
Undeniably, wrought damage.
But Moshe was informed
Of what his sentence would be.
 
He wouldn’t quite make it there.
Maybe some things need 
A little more time to heal.
But, nevertheless, 
At least, 
He was still allowed to travel.

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